When you try to cross the street, you do so expecting to reach the other side safely. Complying with laws about traffic and sharing the streets and sidewalks can reduce your risk of an accident. Obeying crosswalk lights and deferring to cars that clearly aren’t stopping is smart.
However, you can’t do much if someone in a vehicle fails to see you when driving. Maybe the driver turned the corner quickly and didn’t see you in time. Perhaps the driver was distracted by a cellphone, a passenger or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It only takes a second of distraction for a pedestrian accident to happen.
When a heavy and fast-moving motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, catastrophic, life-changing injuries often result. Your body won’t have any protection against the blunt force trauma of the vehicle hitting your body. Victims may get thrown into stationery items, like stop signs, or even get tossed into oncoming traffic, resulting in even worse injuries. If you were trying to comply with state laws by crossing properly in a crosswalk, the driver of the vehicle may incur serious liability for your injuries, depending on the circumstances of your accident.
Pedestrian accidents are far too common
You may think that your chances are slim of getting involved in a pedestrian/car collision, but these accidents happen every day in the state of California. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, pedestrian accidents make up nearly 10 percent of San Rafael’s annual fatal car crashes. 2014 is the most recent year with an analysis available.
In 2014, 34 of 383 fatal crashes in San Rafael involved a pedestrian, six of whom were under the age of fifteen. That means that roughly three pedestrians a month in San Rafael alone get killed in collisions with motor vehicles.
Many people who suffer through a pedestrian/car crash sustain severe injuries but do not die. These people may require surgeries, bone setting procedures, physical and psychological therapy and even plastic surgery to recover from the accident. Pedestrians should not get held financially responsible for a collision caused by a negligent driver, but it happens. Insurance policies for drivers have limits on how much they payout for medical expenses. If the driver was only carrying state minimum insurance, an injured person could quickly exceed the maximum coverage with a single surgery or hospital stay.
Exploring other options for recourse and compensation is a sound idea. Depending on the circumstances, there could be liability shared by a business (if the driver was working at the time of the crash). The driver could get held financially accountable by the courts, particularly in cases of intoxicated or distracted driving. You should consider every option to reduce the impact of the accident on your life and well-being.