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Personal Injury Blog

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Thursday, July 12, 2018

For many people, when possible, walking is their preferred way to get from one place to another. Walking is a great way to get exercise while also saving on gasoline, but it also requires you to take extra care to avoid getting injured by an inattentive driver.

Pick the Right Path

One of the most important things you can do as a pedestrian is to pick the right path. When sidewalks are available, use them. When possible, even if it means taking a slightly longer route, take roads that have well-maintained sidewalks. If the street does not have a sidewalk, walk as close to the edge of the left side of the road as possible. This allows you to see oncoming traffic and to avoid impeding traffic.

It is also important to use crosswalks. When possible, cross at streets with pedestrian lights. Drivers are more likely to be watching for pedestrians at crosswalks than they are if you simply cross in the middle of the road. Even when crossing at crosswalks, always make sure drivers see you before you cross the street. Never assume a driver will stop for you. Even after the driver has stopped, you may want to make eye contact with the driver to ensure that the person really has seen you.

Make Yourself Visible

It is always important for pedestrians to be easily visible. When walking along the side of the road, if there are vehicles parked along the road, avoid weaving between them. Maintain as straight of a path as possible.

It is especially important to make sure that you are visible when you are crossing the street. Never attempt to cross the street between two parked cars or if there are other items that might hide you from passing drivers' view.

Pedestrians traveling after dark or in bad weather can be especially hard for drivers to see. When traveling after dark or in bad weather, avoid wearing dark clothing. Instead, wear bright colors. You may even want to invest in reflective clothing, especially if you often travel on foot after dark. To make yourself even more visible, carry a flashlight or other device that gives off light to help drivers to see you better.

Be Smart

Pedestrians who make smart decisions are more likely to be safe pedestrians. People often emphasize the importance of not driving impaired, but it is also important to not walk impaired. Drugs or alcohol may impact your judgment or your ability to walk straight. Because of this, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may weave into traffic or try to cross the street when it isn't really safe to do so. Stay where you are or get a ride rather than trying to walk or drive anywhere until the effects of the drugs or alcohol have worn off.

It is also important to avoid distractions, which may also cause you to weave into traffic or step off the sidewalk when you cannot do so safely. Put down your cell phone. Don't try reading and walking. Do not engage in any other behavior that may distract you from paying attention to your surroundings.

Another part of being a smart pedestrian is paying attention to drivers near you. If there is someone driving erratically, you may need to move onto the grass or otherwise get out of the driver's way to stay safe. You may also need to move over if someone is driving close to the curb or might otherwise hit you.

Unfortunately, even if you are careful, sometimes drivers are not watching for pedestrians. If you or a family member was the victim of a pedestrian accident, contact us. We will provide you with a free evaluation of your case and work to get you with fair compensation for any injuries you or your family member suffered as a result of the accident. 

How Distracted Walking Effects Pedestrian Accidents

Friday, June 22, 2018

distracted walker

As a pedestrian, you should expect a certain amount of safety on sidewalks and crosswalks. Unfortunately, things happen and you may find yourself hurt by a car as a result, even as a pedestrian. However, if you have been injured, you need to be able to prove that the driver was at least at some fault for the accident. However, if you were engaging in distracted walking, such as looking at your cell phone, you may not be able to recover as much compensation as if you were walking around without distraction and had all your senses about you.

Types of Distracted Walking

When walking, especially near busy streets, it pays to be undistracted and alert of your surroundings. While you as the pedestrian have the right of way in most cases, cars do not always see you and the pedestrian has a certain duty to do their due diligence when walking near roadways, especially when crossing them.

When it comes to distracted walking, many people consider cell phones or other handheld devices to be the only sort of distraction that counts. However, audio devices count too. This means if you step off the curb while looking at a device or listening to music, you can be held at least in some fault for engaging in distracted walking.

How Distracted Walking Affects Your Case

If you are at a crosswalk and it signals that it is safe to cross, but a car hits you anyway because you were looking down at your cell phone, you may not be at full fault, but you will be at some fault. Alternatively, if you step off the curb, trip, or cross at a crosswalk that designates it is not safe to cross because you were looking at a device or listening to music, then you will, in fact, be in full fault for the accident. If the driver could not avoid you, you may be on the line for your damages as well as potentially theirs, depending on the unique circumstances of the case.

However, if you were distracted and the situation resulted in the driver being mostly at fault, you can still receive compensation. In this situation, it will limit how much compensation you can receive depending on how much of a percentage you were at fault in the accident. For example, if you are set to receive $10,000 in compensation for the accident, but were 10 percent at fault, you will only receive $9,000 in compensation as the percentage is deducted.

If you were walking while distracted and got into an accident, things are going to be bad going on worse. You need that compensation for your injuries and you will want to get as much as possible. This is why it is crucial to get an attorney as soon as possible. If you were walking while distracted and the witnesses can prove it, you will be held at least in some fault. There is no resolving that, but your attorney can help keep that percentage of fault as low as possible so you can get as much compensation as possible.

In order to do this, your attorney will need to prove that the car that hit you was acting illegally, such as running a red light or making a right turn without first looking for pedestrians crossing. If you have been in a pedestrian accident in California, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman is ready to fight for the rights of injured pedestrians, even if they were walking while distracted when they probably shouldn't have been. Let us fight to get you the compensation that you deserve for your case.


Who is at Fault in a Jaywalking Pedestrian Accident?

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Almost everyone has jaywalked at some point in their life. Maybe at first, you are very diligent about making sure there are no cars even in sight, but after enough jaywalking, you tend to get a little lax with making sure things are safe. This is where jaywalking becomes dangerous as well as illegal.

Jaywalking is illegal for a very good reason. If you get hit at a crosswalk, usually it is because a car was going a little too fast. However, in jaywalking cases, often a car isn't slowing down at all, which can lead to catastrophic injury or even death. In these cases, you or your family may be able to file a personal injury case for compensation, but can you even recover damages if you were jaywalking?

California law states that a pedestrian must yield the right of way to motor vehicles if they are crossing anywhere other than a crosswalk. However, this does not mean that a pedestrian will have no right to damages if they were injured while illegally jaywalking. California is also a comparative negligence state, which means that if the driver also shared a percentage of the fault in the accident, they may be able to pay a percentage of the damages. Unfortunately, if you are determined to be more than fifty percent at fault for the accident, you cannot recover damages and you may need to pay for the other parties injuries.

Jaywalking is something you shouldn't be doing, but people still do it. However, it can make pedestrian accident cases much more difficult, which is why you need a skilled attorney on your side to make sure you can and should pursue damages for your injuries. If you have been in a pedestrian accident in the greater Los Angeles area, contact us today.

The Numerous Factors Of Pedestrian Accidents

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Collection Of Possible Causes

So many factors have been known to cause pedestrian accidents. While the injured pedestrian is not always negligence-free, all details of the incident are important to consider. Multiple parties are occasionally liable for pedestrian accidents. For example: 

  • The role that the driver of the vehicle played. Was excessive speed involved? What about the all-too-common "driving under the influence" of alcohol and/or drugs?
  • Was the vehicle itself defective, causing the accident?
  • Were the lighting conditions inadequate for safe roadway or pedestrian traffic use? Is the city or municipality liable to any degree?
  • Had the road condition deteriorated enough so that safe driving was difficult?  

A Collection Of Possible Damages

Just as there can be multiple causes of pedestrian accidents, so too the repercussions for the victim can be many and long-lasting. For example:

  • Severe injuries sometimes prevent a victim from ever resuming their vocation, and even destroy the chance of many career choices.
  • At times, reconstructive surgery is needed to make the victim "whole" again.
  • Sadly, premature death is often linked to serious injuries a pedestrian has suffered. 
  • When the quality of life of an injured pedestrian is clearly damaged or permanently ruined, compensation is called for. 
  • Certain issues an injured pedestrian deals with physically will require round-the-clock medical care. Maybe permanently.

Some pains and problems are instantly obvious, but some may take weeks, months, or years to reveal themselves. Certainly reason enough to seek competent legal representation. 

Have you been hurt in a pedestrian accident? Then contact us immediately to receive fair compensation. Benefit from our 30 years of experience! 


Can the Pedestrian be at Fault in an Accident?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Typically when we think of pedestrian accidents, we somehow think that the car or other vehicle that was involved was strictly at fault and the pedestrian is the victim. This belief is typically because the pedestrian is often hurt much worse than the other party, but could they be to blame for their own accident?

Short answer? Yes, the pedestrian can be partly or wholly at fault for a pedestrian accident.

When determining the fault of a pedestrian accident, much of the proof will need to come from witnesses. Some circumstances, like where the pedestrian was clearly jaywalking, are pretty clear cut. However, if they were struck at a crosswalk, there will need to be someone who can attest that the pedestrian did or did not have the sign to cross. Pedestrians can even be at fault if they were intoxicated during the accident since that impairs their overall judgment.

However, in many cases, both parties share the blame. The driver may have been intoxicated and the pedestrian may have tried to chance it and cross the street on the do not cross sign. In most states, these cases are handled by comparative negligence, in which the injured person’s damages are reduced by a percentage equal to the share of their fault.

If you have been in a pedestrian accident in los angeles, whether you are driver or pedestrian, and believe that the other party is at least partly to blame and you aren’t getting your justice, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman is ready to fight for your rights.


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