Walking is an inescapable part of California life
Unfortunately, California drivers lead the nation in injuring pedestrians due to careless driving. In fact, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, California is one of the most dangerous states for drivers and pedestrians alike.
Given the sheer mass of vehicles and a pedestrian’s vulnerability, pedestrian – auto injuries can be particularly severe, oftentimes causing lifelong injuries and, potentially, death. Given the extent of these injuries and the potential high dollar damages that accompanies them, insurance companies tend to aggressively fight claims.
What if the pedestrian is also being blamed?
A pedestrian may still be entitled to recovery even if he or she is partially at fault. Under the doctrine of comparative fault, a pedestrian may still receive compensation even if she played a role in causing her injuries. Under this law, a plaintiff’s recovery is reduced by their percentage of fault for the collision. For example, comparative fault principles will apply to a case where a driver sped through an intersection and collided with a jaywalking pedestrian. At trial, a jury would be asked to apportion fault to both the pedestrian and the speeding motorist. The pedestrian’s recovery would then be reduced by the proportion of the pedestrian’s responsibility. While the pedestrian in those instances may still be at fault, they may still be entitled to significant compensation.
The Law Governing Pedestrian vs. Auto Cases
Deadline to file suit: In California, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver in a pedestrian-auto accident is 2 years under Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1.
What needs to be proven in a pedestrian vs. auto case: Pedestrians involved in pedestrian – auto collisions pursue negligent drivers under a theory of negligence. To prove their case, pedestrians must prove:
- Duty: A driver is obligated to exercise reasonable care around pedestrians walking nearby
- Breach: If a driver fails to exercise reasonable care as required by California law, he is in breach of his duty and can be held liable
- Harm: In order to recover an award from a negligent driver, a pedestrian must have been harmed, usually in the form of physical injuries, economic damages, property damages and, in some cases death
- Causation: The driver must have been the actual and proximate cause of the pedestrian’s injuries.
Do not take on the insurance companies alone. The Accident Pros team of attorneys has experience handling these complex cases and will help you navigate the treatment and legal process. If you or someone you know has suffered personal injuries from a pedestrian-auto collision, call the experienced injury attorneys at The Accident Pros today. Our experienced lawyers can offer you a no-cost case evaluation to help you understand your legal rights after these types of accidents, and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Let us help you get the peace of mind you deserve during these vulnerable times.