What are the pedestrian laws in California, and when should I call an attorney?

Posted On October 6, 2018 by Cameron May

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, pedestrian fatalities account for nearly a quarter of all traffic accident fatalities. That is a huge percentage.

It's unclear why this is the case, but many believe it's due to California's ambiguous pedestrian laws. Although it's widely believed that pedestrians always have the right of way within the state of California, that's not completely accurate.

Pedestrians have the right of way within both marked and unmarked crosswalks in an intersection. So if you're walking across the street in an intersection, you always have right of way.

Of course you still want to exercise due caution and not walk out into the street directly in front of a moving vehicle. But it means if you're walking across the street in an intersection and a negligent driver fails to see you and hits you, the driver is 100% at fault.

However, if you're walking across the street anywhere that is not an intersection, you, as a pedestrian, do not have right of way, and you need to wait until absolutely no cars are coming or make your way to an intersection.

When Should You Hire an Attorney?

After a pedestrian accident, be sure to call 911 to get the police on the scene to report the accident and determine fault in addition to calling an ambulance for medical attention. Pedestrian accidents can easily result in serious injuries, so you want to get checked immediately.

If you have a legal case for your accident, this means negligence in the driver is able to be proven or you had the right of way.

Here are instances when you should hire an attorney for your pedestrian accident:

  • The driver was speeding
  • The driver failed to yield to a pedestrian at a marked or unmarked crosswalk in an intersection
  • The driver was distracted—talking on the phone, texting, eating, etc.
  • The driver failed to signal while making a turn
  • The driver was under the influence
  • The driver failed to safely regard weather influences that contributed to the accident (i.e., slick roads)

If any of these things were a contributing factor to your pedestrian accident, be sure to call a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. An attorney can help protect your rights, assist in determining who was at fault, and fight for you to get compensation to cover your medical expenses while you recover from your accident.

If a loved one was killed in a pedestrian car accident, you can also file a case for wrongful death.

If you or a loved one has recently suffered from a senseless pedestrian car accident, please call The May Firm. We are here for you to talk to you about your case.

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