Getting hurt in a pedestrian accident can be life-changing. The physical pain, mounting medical bills, and emotional trauma can feel overwhelming. If you’re facing these challenges after a pedestrian accident, you need a reputable lawyer to advocate for your rights and demand the compensation you deserve. You need The Shamsi Law Firm, APC.
For decades, Sean Shamsi has secured tens of millions of dollars in settlements and trial verdicts for Californians impacted by others’ bad behavior. Sean takes pride in his boutique approach, ensuring that clients like you receive personalized attention every step of the way. More than that, Sean makes sure that you have a voice. He refuses to let insurance companies bully accident victims by paying less than what their case is worth.
Let Sean be your guardian during this challenging time. Reach out today for a free, no-obligation initial consultation and case review with a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer.
What Are the California Pedestrian Laws?
In the Golden State, specific laws outline pedestrians’ and road users’ rights and responsibilities. These laws encompass guidelines related to crosswalks, sidewalks, walking on roadways, and more. Here are the California pedestrian laws you need to know:
- Crosswalk Laws – Drivers must stop for pedestrians in both marked and unmarked crosswalks. However, pedestrians shouldn’t suddenly step into a crosswalk if an oncoming car is too close. Additionally, when a car stops at a crosswalk to let a pedestrian pass, other cars approaching from behind should not overtake the stopped vehicle.
- Sidewalk Laws – Before driving over or onto a sidewalk, drivers must yield to any pedestrians present. Drivers also cannot unnecessarily stop their vehicles to block sidewalks or marked or unmarked crosswalks for pedestrians.
- Tunnel and Overhead Crossing Laws – Pedestrians are encouraged to use pedestrian tunnels or overhead crossings when available. If they choose not to use tunnels or overhead crossings at intersections, pedestrians must yield the right of way to motorists when crossing.
- Jaywalking Laws – The law advises pedestrians to walk within designated crosswalks, but California no longer prohibits jaywalking when it is safe to do so. If a pedestrian is walking on the roadway outside of a crosswalk, they must yield the right of way to vehicle traffic. Moreover, pedestrians shouldn’t cross roads between intersections equipped with traffic signals or patrolled by police officers unless they’re in designated crosswalks.
- Walking on Roadway Laws – When pedestrians need to walk on roads outside of business or residential areas, they should stay close to the left edge of the road unless conditions dictate it’s safer to be on the right.
- Standing and Hitchhiking Laws – Pedestrians may not stand on the road to hitchhike or solicit rides.
- Laws for Blind Pedestrians – Motorists must pay special attention to blind pedestrians. Drivers must always yield to those using white canes or accompanied by guide dogs.
What Are the Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility. But it’s particularly important for drivers to take precautions and remain vigilant, especially given the potential harm their vehicles can cause. When drivers fail to take the right precautions on the road, they can cause pedestrian accidents due to:
- Distracted Driving – Texting, eating, or even adjusting the radio can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road, leading to catastrophic consequences for pedestrians.
- Speeding – Driving at excessive speeds reduces the reaction time a driver has to prevent a collision.
- Drunk or Impaired Driving – Alcohol or drug impairment slows a driver’s reaction time, affects their judgment, and hampers their ability to focus on the road.
- Left-Hand Turns – Turning left requires drivers to cross multiple lanes of traffic, and sometimes, they focus more on oncoming traffic than on pedestrians crossing the street.
- Vehicle Defects – Sometimes, the fault lies with the vehicle itself. For instance, faulty brakes might prevent a car from stopping in time, even if the driver reacts promptly upon seeing a pedestrian.
How Many Pedestrians Are Killed in Los Angeles and California Each Year?
According to the Transportation Injury Mapping System from the University of California, Berkeley:
- Throughout California, the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents each year ranged from 997 to 1,169 over a recent four-year period.
- There was an average of 1,077 annual pedestrian accident deaths statewide in the five-year period just past.
- In Los Angeles specifically, the number of pedestrian deaths ranged from 124 to 161 in the most recent three years.
- So, on average, Los Angeles accounted for more than 13 percent of all pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents across California each year.
- There was a general upward trend in pedestrian accident fatalities in the most recent five-year period, both statewide and in Los Angeles.