Irvine Accident and Personal Injury Attorney


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Building in Irvine, CA

Orange County's Southern California City of Irvine is a world-renowned travel destination. People value its commerce, as well as its lush, carefully planned, and landscaped residential "village" neighborhoods.

Not only is it a center of corporate America, but this is also a green city. Irvine even recycles the water supplying its vast irrigation system. Also, it supports green travel with its network of bike paths and pedestrian lanes. Over the years, Irvine has received multiple prestigious honors. In 2018, Business Insider Magazine™ recognized Irvine as the "2nd happiest city in America."

Also, Irvine is home to thriving, world-class medical research foundations. Also, it maintains booming educational institutions like the University of California, Irvine. ("UCI.") Additionally, Irvine hosts an award-winning public school system.

Its closeness to John Wayne Airport, major freeways, and abundance of major hotel chains, makes it a great place to present gatherings. For example, it sponsors the ethnically diverse Irvine Global Village Festival.

Crossing Irvine's topographical path is the Interstate 405, Interstate 5, California Route 73, California Route 133, California Routes 241 and 261. At any given time, Irvine's rather wide roads and sidewalks are teaming with traffic from local and out of town merchants, as well as entertainers.

Airline pilots and attendants can rest their heads till their next duty periods, and enjoy outstanding global cuisine. With so many college students, DUI and DWI driving is always a concern. Also, Irvine has taken major steps to develop a world-class transportation grid for its residents and guests.

For example, an advanced fiber-optic network links its streets and intersections. And these link traffic data to the Irvine Traffic Research and Control Center ("ITRAC"). Irvine's own Ayn Rand Institute likely considers this to be overreaching state surveillance of drivers.

However, the city uses numerous traffic monitoring cameras and ground sensors to help increase traffic flow. Monitoring motorists in this way ostensibly assists in easing traffic flow during peak and off-peak periods.

Algorithmically, the city uses this data to adjust signal phasing automatically and to line up traffic. The idea is to give more vehicles the green light and possibly allow speed limits of over 50 mph. Energy conscious households own fewer cars than on average, and some tend to use transportation alternatives like bicycles, carpooling, Uber, and Lyft.

However, Irvine itself has a unique bus transportation system as well. Charged with Irvine's interior mass transit is the OCTA or Orange County Transportation Authority. However, for short trips within Irvine itself, the actual city of Irvine runs the iShuttle.

So residents have the weekday option to take any of four commuter shuttles to many places of employment, neighborhood homes, places of commerce, or their vehicle's storage areas.

It also maintains passenger commuter rail links extending out to parts of Greater Los Angeles, as well as a new parking structure to ease your rail experiences. Modernly, freight rail no longer remains an important aspect of Irvine's flourishing economy.

Its original rail line is now the Venta Spur bike trail. Its remaining rail line, the Irvine Industrial Spur rarely is in motion. As a result, Irvine's planning department may also convert this railway into another bike path.

More About Irvine's Bikeways.

As noted, Irvine's government and residents are big on the green energy concept. So naturally, bikes are a positive way to stay healthy and remain fossil fuel free.

As noted, Irvine has many wider than normal roads. Also, it maintains hundreds of miles of bicycle lanes and trails. As a matter of fact, these recreational pathways get many riders to and from their places of employment.

 

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Irvine's Emergency Services.

When there is an unpleasant accident, Irvine sports a world-class fire department, municipal police force, and private ambulance industry. There are many hospitals, urgent care centers, and emergency care centers dotted along the city. To top it off, it has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

  • Common Irvine Injury Claims

In any event, Irvine's visitors and residents are not immune from personal injury claims. Although traffic accidents prevail as a top cause of harm to others, dog bites are up there with slips and falls as a main cause of Irvine's personal injuries.

Many dog owners fail to comply with the six foot leash law, or simply let their dogs run loose. Orange County sees more than four dogs biting people per day. Of special interest, OC is a declared "rabies zone."

So an infection from a dog bite can cause blood poisoning or death. Remarkably, 1,500 OC dog bites were reported in 2016. Dogs chasing bicyclists and kids on bikes are a common concern.

Fortunately, for those needing any legal services, ELFPI offers the most outstanding personal injury attorneys in the country. Also, with multiple California offices, we are conveniently located in Irvine to lessen your worries.

Why Ehline Law Is a Prudent Choice?

Have you or a loved one suffered a personal injury in Irvine? Was the negligence, misfeasance, malfeasance or non-feasance of another person or organization what caused your predicament?

What if you are unsure about where the fault lies? For example, a public school, a private hospital, an elder care facility, or pizza delivery service could be on the hook depending upon the unique facts presented by your case.

Victims are legally entitled to seek money damages to compensate them for various types of harm as a matter of justice. However, knowing how to identify the defendants who have money to pay you collectively is no easy task.

However, ELFPI Irvine remains dedicated to this mission, come hell or high water. Our goal is getting you and your loved ones the most money possible for your particular accident case. Our laser focus remains on catastrophic personal injury cases.

Because of this, we have a vast sea of experience in all facets of these types of matters. Also, our superior legal staff has a comprehensive and continuing legal education required by these complex matters.

So we are completely up-to-date with the local rules of court, and investigative procedures to identify all culpable parties. We have had many remarkable and triumphant victories in and out of court.

Our windfall like negotiated settlements and courtroom findings in all kinds of personal injury cases include:

  • Automobile accidents
  • Bike accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Dog bite attacks
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Slip, trip and falls
  • Wrongful death

As a sampling of our unique skills, our unique focal point will be about pedestrian accidents in Irvine. The reason we highlighted this specialty, is because of the increased dangers to pedestrians in Irvine. The California Office of Traffic Safety ("COTS"), and National Highway Traffic Safety Association ("NHTSA") statistics illustrate grave dangers presented to hikers and passersby in burgeoning cities like Irvine.

What are the Irvine Car Accident Statistics?

Over the years, COTS has found reports of 891 Irvine vehicle crashes resulting in injuries and fatalities, including:

  • 54 instances of driver under the influence of substances like narcotics or alcohol
  • 22 instances were reported of motorcycle riders getting hurt
  • 36 reports of pedestrians being maimed or killed came to light
  • 56 cases of harm to bicycle riders

In fact, the NHTSA reports show that from 2014 to 2015, California had the country’s highest number of pedestrian fatalities. Sadly, the most recent records show an increasing trend in California pedestrian accidents.

Irvine's statistical data collected from 2017 shows two pedestrians passed away due to automobile accidents. Irvine's most dangerous streets include:

  • MacArthur Blvd and Campus Dr.
  • Bake Parkway and Rockfield Blvd.
  • Lake Forest Dr and Romano.
  • Jeronimo Road.
  • 1-405.
  • SR-133.
  • Main St and Siglo.
  • Cherry Ave and Trabuco Rd.
  • Irvine Blvd and Jeffrey Rd.
  • Harvard Ave and Michelson Ave.
  • Truman Street.

What are the Causes of Most Pedestrian Injuries?

Many causes of pedestrian injuries exist. For example, defective street and sidewalk maintenance can lead to injuries. But believe it or not, falling and flying objects can hit a person in the head.

As discussed, a crazy untethered pooch barreling along the sidewalk could excitedly paw or scratch at a person, or even nip or bite someone. Lacerations, punctures, bruises, infections and even death could all result from a sudden confrontation.

Also, slick, poorly lit parking lots, with trash, oil and debris on the concrete or asphalt surfaces remain a major part of our case intake. But most of all, common, ordinary automobile collisions are the cause of most pedestrian injuries.

What Types of People are at Greatest Peril for pedestrian accident Injuries?

Obviously, anyone out jogging, or going for a stroll on public or private pavement is a potential sufferer of injuries. Statistics show that certain population sectors have a greater affinity to become embroiled in a pedestrian thoroughfare mishap as follows:

  • Older adults (Those aged 65 years and above make up approximately 20% of all reported pedestrian accidents.)
  • Children 14 years of age and under. (Did you know that one in five children who perish in vehicular accidents are pedestrians?)
  • Drunk or drugged in public walkers. (At least 50% motoring injuries involved excessive alcohol consumption by either the departed pedestrians or motor vehicle drivers.)
  • Evening walkers.
  • Walkers in urban expressway areas.
  • Walkers in crosswalks and implied crosswalks at locations with no marked intersections.

Of particular interest, driving at high speeds greatly escalates the chances of hitting a pedestrian with a car, truck, or motorcycle.

Also, animals are attracted to movement. So sometimes the faster you run, or peddle, the more aggressive a dog can become. So it's almost impossible for a pedestrian to escape injury or becoming bereft of life in such cases.

When Does the Injured Pedestrian Have the Legal Footing to Make a Plea for Damages?

Sometimes injured consumers have no case. But other times the insurance company tries to dupe the unrepresented victim. Their goal is to browbeat you and make you think you have to take the small amount they offer or the case goes stale.

But sometimes even sour lemons can be converted into lemonade. Lawyers know the test isn't whether you were injured by a car, animal, uneven sidewalk, broken sidewalk, road debris or other pathway matter. Yes, this remains an element used to get clients paid.

But there has to be a connection to another person's negligence in causing or creating the conditions leading to the patient's impairments. If so, the injured parties become eligible to make a plea for compensatory money damages. Is it making sense so far?

To prove negligence to a jury or insurance adjuster, the victim must prove each of the following steps:

  • Existence of a legal duty to act reasonably (sometimes those in a superior position of trust will owe a greater, "special duty") towards pedestrians and keep them safe.
  • A breach of the reasonable duty to keep pedestrians safe.
  • That defendant’s failure to do or not do something caused an accident with the pedestrian.
  • The person received injuries as a direct, or indirect result of the defendant's negligence.

How Do Pedestrian Traffic Casualties Prove their Burden of Fault?

The burden of proof in a personal injury case is on the party asserting the claim. Here, the injured victim has the burden of proving every element of the claim based upon a preponderance of the evidence.

Before a casualty gets paid, however, plaintiffs must show what person or persons caused the malaise. Pedestrians have the right of way in California, so in a vehicle v. pedestrian case, courts tend to side with the person on foot, but not always. So unless the person on foot were a real scofflaw, the faster, more massive vehicle would often bear some degree of responsibility towards the unprotected pedestrian.

Also, traffic laws tend to protect vulnerable people out strolling over autos. Below are some of the applicable, legislatively prescribed traffic rules:

  • Motorists must yield the right-of-way to people entering marked crosswalks until the person's feet are on the opposite sidewalk.
  • Drivers must still yield the right-of-way at unmarked and implied crosswalks whether or not at junctions.
  • Pedestrians must look out for themselves before, during and after crossing the road.
  • Motorists must use extreme care and attention, always reducing their speed when they see pedestrians close by.
  • Drivers must exercise whether or not pedestrians are walking outside of a marked crosswalk.

Almost always, pedestrians in Irvine are expected to be careful at traffic interchanges. Pedestrians must stay inside the painted lines of marked crosswalks. But in the end, the actions of the motorists will be thoroughly scrutinized in an accident like this.

Large vehicles and loose animals are capable of wreaking catastrophe to the unprotected body or a walker, jogger, or person strolling about on foot. Because of this, drivers must exercise the utmost care and caution when traveling.

How Will California's Pure Comparative Negligence Affect My Case?

California's pure comparative negligence rules apportion fault among the parties in an accident case. Since sometimes more than one person or event plays a role in a car crashing into a pedestrian, all involved, even the plaintiffs may share a portion of the expenses.

Assuming the plaintiff's own negligence contributed to his or her own injuries, the compensation gets decreased by the plaintiff's imputed prospective ratio of liability. Juries and courts often apportion obligatoriness in certain types of fact patterns with multiple defendants as follows:

  • The motorist who ran over the pedestrian.
  • The owner of the dog that chased someone into the street.
  • Public and private entities on the hook for maintaining sidewalks, and parking lot may be liable for failed street repair and maintenance, etc.
  • The action or inaction of the pedestrian that could have mitigated the injury's severity.

What is My Responsibility as a Motorist?

As a motorist, you owe a duty to the people you share the road with you, as well as to those nearby. When reasonable care is not used, a pedestrian can get run down. In that case, the defendant is considered negligent.

Similarly, these same facts could also form the basis of a criminal complaint about vehicular manslaughter. Contrasting a crime with a civil case, a federal or county prosecutor prosecutes the crime on behalf of the State (akin to the State being the victim.)

Civil negligence is proven in a civil court, and no jail time is dispensed to the loser. So there is no criminal sentencing hearing or pleas entered. Instead, ordinary negligence rules are used to find fault and to help obtain a compensatory award of money.

Below are typical examples of both negligence and negligence per se based upon the California Vehicle Code:

  • Failure to use proper turn and caution signals.
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while in the crosswalk or street.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Speeding.
  • Failure to obey posted traffic signs, placards and signals.
  • Unsafe driving for existing traffic conditions such as rain, snow, darkness, etc.
  • Distracted driving. (Ex: doing your make up in the rear view mirror. Texting, playing with radio dials, or deep conversations and arguments with a passenger can cause a wreck. Imagine screaming babies in the car's backseat. A bad argument with your spouse or adolescent when angrily operating a vehicle can lead to road accidents.)
  • DUI or DWI (driving under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or other substances.)
  • Unduly exhausted from driving cross country in a big rig, or simply suffering from stress and unable to rest.

As discussed, when children are present, drivers of motorized vehicles and dog owners should take special care. It would be best if you assumed children are present in particular areas and proceed with caution.

So be on the alert near places like shopping malls, bus stops, school zones, campgrounds, playgrounds, parks, residential locations, and road crossings. The bottom line here is that children can suddenly dart into the path of an oncoming car.

But even backing your car out of a driveway can harm an unseen child. So you must be cognizant of the fact that children are small in proportion to an adult's size. Drivers don't expect a kid on a tricycle or scooter to be right behind their rear bumper. So take heed.

What is My Duty as a Pedestrian?

Unlike an accompanied child, adults roaming on pathways must take precautions to avoid placing themselves in unreasonable peril. Assuming you are out walking a dog, don't use those dumb leash extenders. Don't let your animal dart in front of cars, bikes or others. OC Animal Care says: “You are required by law,” “to report any bite or scratch from a domestic or wild animal to animal control.”

In any event, if you fail to mitigate your risks as a pedestrian sharing the way, you become partially responsible for any injuries to yourself or those under your care.

Some examples of a pedestrian contributing to their accident include:

  • Advancing into traffic on a flashing DON'T WALK sign, causing drivers to take evasive action
  • Jaywalking across the avenue, especially on a poorly lit night.
  • Refusal to cross at designated crossings, and instead just running across the street.
  • Darting in front of an oncoming vehicle, or impeding the safe flow of traffic with sporadic movements.

Always remain vigilant as a pedestrian above all else. Pedestrians are twice as likely to be run over in a marked crosswalk according to academic analysis. Researchers concluded that many pedestrians have a false sense of security.

Many think that drivers are paying attention to the existence of an upcoming, marked crosswalk. Much to the chagrin of the unsuspecting wayfarer, many motorists blow right through signs, lights, and cross-ways. What if the drivers are drunk, or an elder out for a stroll starts having a seizure?

Depending on lighting conditions, who can guarantee a distracted driver will even see? It will be too late once you are violently thrown across the hood of a fast approaching car. Pedestrians need to pay special attention to vehicle speeds and patterns. It is pure fantasy to assume that a vehicle will magically stop for your every-time.

Avoiding a tragedy could very well rest in the pedestrian's common sense. Pedestrians must obey two main safety rules:

Stop all forward moving motion. Look and listen left and right before crossing the street. Never enter the roadway crossing with nearby vehicles. At least don't do it unless you have made eye contact with the driver. Only enter the lane if you believe the driver sees you, AND they are slowing to a stop.

A pedestrian signal can provide a safer way for people to go across the street. But not all intersections remain signalized. The pedestrian crossing signal is triggered when the person crossing the street pushes a detector button.

Once lit green, a specific period is granted for the pedestrian to get across to the other side. Once the phased signaling time is expired, a few remaining seconds are given to the walker to get across. Afterward, the "WALK" light phases back into a flashing "DON'T WALK" signal.

But again, like cross paths, lights don't make cars automatically stop. So in the end, pedestrians can't rely upon traffic signals to keep them safe. So vigilance makes a big difference in pedestrians staying safe.

What are the Duties of Parents and other Caretakers?

Parents are not the only caretakers, and children are not always the only dependents. Elders going for a stroll may be under the care of a nurse or chaperone, for example. Moreover, mentally challenged adults may be dependents all their lives as well.

The bottom line is that caretakers owe a special duty of care. This duty applies to the nanny, babysitter, doctor, nurse, grandparent, next door neighbor, or after school coach. Failing this, they may be legally on the hook for a pedestrian's injury.

Tips to make the passage across safe include holding hands, sauntering, and not running. Staying within the marked pathway, making eye contact with other drivers, wearing bright clothing is helpful.

Keeping children and others under your care safe from traffic dangers is one of your solemn duties as a custodian. If you were an unreasonable caretaker and someone got hurt, you will be made to pay up.

Other Parties Responsible for Pedestrian Accidents.

As previously noted, the county, State, or even the City of Irvine could be liable. In this case, you have limited time to sue. What if the government failed to conduct proper road maintenance?

Pedestrians could be knocked into an open trench, or even get run over by a work truck, for example. A private party could also be liable for failing to maintain its land and structures responsibly.

Both types of defendants owe a duty to warn of and protect pedestrians. They must keep others safe from potential dangers like wet floors, unattended pools, and hazardous defects.

However, the designers and builders of component car parts and even traffic signs may be liable under products liability theories. Hence, many parties may be responsible for paying for your accidental impairments.

Call Ehline Law Firm for Assistance in any Type of Personal Injury Case

Were you hurt in an Irvine pedestrian accident? If so, Ehline Law is located in Irvine and at your service to take over the representation of your case. We abhor you to be selective in hiring a legal representative.

Our brilliant lawyers available right now to tenderly consult with anyone hurt in a pedestrian accident. Our law firm's pledge is to work harder and smarter than our competitors and your opponents.

The end game is getting you the uppermost potential monetary settlement. We give you peace of mind so that you can focus on healing from your bodily injuries and mental distress. ELFPI is contactable right now at 888-400-9721, or by using our website contact form.


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