Whenever you’re walking around the busy roadways and streets of San Diego, you must stay cautious at all times.
One reckless mistake by a driver can seriously alter your life and leave you struggling financially, physically, and mentally.
>Ehline Law and our San Diego pedestrian accident attorneys have more than a decade of experience working with pedestrian victims and recovering compensation for their loss. Contact us to learn more about your rights as an injured pedestrian.
Common Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident
The following are some of the common pedestrian injuries sustained in an accident:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Back and leg injuries.
San Diego Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian accident cases have reached an all-time high across the United States, and San Diego is no exception. Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) in 2021 reported 7,485 pedestrian deaths after getting hit by a driver, the highest in the last four decades.
Increase in Pedestrian Deaths per One Billion Vehicle Miles in the United States
The GHSA data shows 2.32 pedestrian deaths per one billion vehicle miles traveled in 2021, significantly greater than the historical average of 1.9.
What’s troubling is that according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the percentage of pedestrian fatalities caused by speeding among children below the age of 15 has almost doubled.
Compared to the other traffic deaths, which increased by 13% between 2010 and 2020, pedestrian deaths in the country increased by 54% during the same period.
San Diego Is Pushing the Vision Zero Campaign to Reduce Pedestrian-related Fatalities
San Diego roadways are extremely dangerous for pedestrians, which is why the city has invested more than $50 million in its Vision Zero campaign, with the mission of zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries by 2025.
According to San Diego Tribune, the city saw 213 fatal traffic accidents in 2019, including 84 dead pedestrians.
The city of San Diego conducted a study in 2019, “Systemic Safety the Data-driven Path to Vision Zero,” where it studied three years of crash data from 2014 to 2016. During this period, there were 1,700 pedestrian accidents.
The study revealed that turning vehicles fail to yield to a pedestrian crossing the crosswalk at a traffic signal.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in San Diego
Many factors contribute to the exponential rise in pedestrian accidents across the United States, including drugs, alcohol, and distracted driving.
In the 2021 GHSA annual report, the findings revealed the following:
- Most pedestrian accidents occur at night on local roads.
- Unsafe driving behaviors are the main factor in pedestrian deaths, including drowsy, distracted, and reckless driving.
- An increase in large SUVs on the roads resulted in more fatal pedestrian accidents than before, as a pedestrian is twice likely to die if an SUV hits them than a passenger vehicle.
The city introduced Lead Pedestrian Interval to combat increased pedestrian accidents, allowing pedestrians to enter the intersection 3 to 7 seconds before the vehicles get a green signal, making them more visible to drivers.
Although there are other causes of pedestrian accidents, such as poorly designed intersections and crosswalks, distracted driving remains the leading factor in both car and pedestrian accidents.
Defining Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are not limited to an accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle. It includes slip and fall accidents on public sidewalks and even falling debris or objects near construction zones.
Any accident on the road that hurts a pedestrian, whether it involves a vehicle, construction sites, bicyclists, or other road users, constitutes a pedestrian accident.
Fortunately, injured victims may be able to recover compensation for damages suffered in a pedestrian accident due to another’s negligence.
Who Is At-fault for Your San Diego Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
In most pedestrian accidents, it is the driver or motorcyclist at-fault, as many pedestrians stay on sidewalks unless they need to cross roads. When crossing the road, they often use the pedestrian crosswalks provided and follow the pedestrian traffic light.
There are some cases where a pedestrian is at fault, and most involve a drunk pedestrian. Other cases may include violations of the “don’t walk” signal, jaywalking, or running after a child.
On the other hand, drivers are more negligent or reckless than pedestrians.
Here are some common errors drivers tend to make, resulting in pedestrian accidents:
- Violating the speed limit
- Violating traffic rules and stop signs, especially in a school zone
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- No respect for pedestrian crosswalks
- Not paying attention to the road (texting, eating, etc.)
After an accident, the other party may blame you and make you feel that you were at fault, which is why it is crucial to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Do Pedestrians Have Specific Rights under the California Vehicle Code?
Under California law, some of the rights of a pedestrian include the following:
- Walking within marked and unmarked crosswalks at intersections
- Walking on a crosswalk, even where there is a green light or no control light present
- Crossing a highway properly.
If you’re unsure of your rights as a pedestrian after an accident, contact our skilled San Diego pedestrian accident attorneys to know more about your rights and legal options.
How Much Is Your San Diego Pedestrian Accident Case Worth?
After an accident, it is common for pedestrian accident victims to wonder how much they can recover to determine if it is worth pursuing legal action.
The value of your personal injury claims depends on many different factors, some of which include the following:
- Type of injuries
- Severity of injuries
- Medical bills and future treatment costs
- Lost income and reduced earning capacity
- Reduced quality of life
- Circumstances surrounding your case.
Many other factors can affect how much you recover in a personal injury case. Our San Diego pedestrian accident lawyers carefully investigate an injury case to determine the full extent of the damages incurred.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a San Diego pedestrian accident, contact us to discuss the details of what your case may be worth.
What Kind of Damages Can an Accident Victim Recover after a Pedestrian Accident?
Accident victims can recover compensatory damages following an accident, including economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are out-of-pocket expenses incurred following an accident and include past, present, and future medical expenses, lost income and lost earning opportunities, and property damages.
Non-economic damages refer to compensation for non-monetary losses, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, scarring, and reduced quality of life.
The court may also award punitive damages in cases involving serious gross negligence or intentional harm. Although rare, courts award punitive damages to punish the defendant for extreme recklessness or deliberate harm.
Can You Recover Compensation If You’re Partially at Fault?
California follows the pure comparative negligence rule, meaning pedestrian accident victims who are partially at fault for an accident can still recover compensation for their injuries.
The court or the jury will decide the degree of fault based on the arguments and evidence provided and award damages. If you’re found partially at fault for the pedestrian accident, your damages will reduce according to the responsibility assigned.
Let’s look at an example. John crosses the road without looking out for an incoming vehicle but gets hit by a speeding driver under the influence of alcohol. John suffered severe injuries and filed a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for $100,000 in damages. The court finds John 25% at fault for the accident.
In the example above, John can recover compensation even if he is at fault, but his damages will reduce by the degree of responsibility. Instead of $100,000 awarded, John will now receive $75,000.
Insurance companies try to blame the victim in many pedestrian and car accidents where the liability is unclear. It helps them reduce payouts and enjoy greater profits.
An experienced San Diego pedestrian accident attorney can help gather the evidence to strengthen your case and protect your rights against such dirty tactics.
Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accidents in California
If you’re injured in a pedestrian accident in California, you only have two years following the date of your accident to pursue legal action against the negligent party. Failure to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit within two years, you lose your right to recover compensation.
Two years may seem like a long time but collecting documents, gathering evidence, and building a case can take some time. The more you delay a claim, you risk losing crucial evidence that may help win your case.
What to Do If You’ve Suffered Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents can cause confusion and instill fear among injury victims, with many unsure what to do following their accident.
However, it is essential to note that the steps you take following your pedestrian accident can protect you and your pedestrian accident claim.
If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, follow these critical steps:
- Move out of the way: It is important to move to a safe spot, away from cars, motorcycles, and other hazards, to avoid further accidents and injuries to yourself.
- Call the police: When pursuing compensation for your injuries, submitting a police report can strengthen your claim, which is why it is crucial to alert San Diego law enforcement about your accident.
- Collect information: You must take down the names and contact details of the parties involved in the accident. Take their insurance details as well.
- Gather evidence: Capturing fresh evidence at the accident scene can bolster your personal injury case. Take pictures of the accident site, yourself, the intersection or roadway you were trying to walk on, and the street signs nearby.
- Seek immediate medical attention: If you’re injured, head to a medical provider immediately for a medical examination. You must visit the hospital even if you’re not hurt, as some injuries can take time to manifest. Keep medical bills and records safe with you; you will need those as proof of your injuries later.
- Call a reputable law firm: Once you’ve started your medical treatment, you need to contact the insurance provider to inform them about your accident. But before you do that, you must speak to our experienced personal injury attorneys to know what type of information you should disclose to the insurer, as saying too much can put a dent in your case. Our attorneys can get the legal process started and handle your claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law
Ehline Law is a leading award-winning personal injury law firm with more than 15 law offices across California, including San Diego County.
If you suffered injuries as a pedestrian due to another’s negligence, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free case evaluation, as you may be eligible for compensation. Our personal injury lawyer will help assess your case and hold the responsible parties accountable for your loss.
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