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Is Dangerous Roadway Design a Key in Pedestrian Accidents?

Monday, November 28, 2016

While many outside the city don't realize it, but Los Angeles is one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians. Fatal pedestrian accidentsare almost a weekly event in the city, and it has residents questioning something that pedestrians in all major cities should be questioning - is roadway design to blame?

Most roadways are designed strictly for the ease of use of motor vehicles, however with more people choosing to walk or cycle through their neighbourhoods; it may not be feasible to leave roads as they are. In Los Angeles, as only one example, many drivers are focused on beating oncoming traffic when turning, failing to yield to pedestrians. This leads to those crossing the street, even with the right away, to scramble out in front of cars that are trying not to get hit by other cars themselves. Safety advocates throughout major metropolitan areas believe that better road design, speed reductions, and landscaping can help cut down on fatal pedestrian accidents significantly.

However, pedestrian safety is a give and take. Pedestrians must limit themselves to areas of the road specifically put there for their use, such as sidewalks and crosswalks, but cars must also exercise caution and yield to the right of way that pedestrians hold.

For those who have already been injured by a vehicle while observing their right to cross the road, if it was due to poor road way design, you may not only have legal recourse against the driver, but the city as well. You may be able to seek compensation for a number of damages. If you have been the victim in the Los Angeles area, contact us today.

Understanding Pedestrian Accidents: Do Pedestrians Always Have The Right-Of-Way?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

California vehicle codes grant pedestrians a great deal of protection, to the point that a popular belief has developed that pedestrians always have the right of way in traffic in the state regardless of the circumstances. This isn't always the case, however. While pedestrians usually have the right of way, they are also expected by the law to exercise the same caution and courtesy that drivers do.

Let's look at some potentially questionable situations. One such situation would be when there is a crosswalk in the middle of the street with no light or sign controlling traffic present. Vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians in these crosswalks according to Vehicle Code 21950. However, the code immediately goes on to state that the pedestrian has a responsibility to exercise due care for their safety, and gives the specific example of a pedestrian jumping off the curb immediately in front of a car as a case where the pedestrian could be found to be responsible for their own injury.

Another example is when a pedestrian chooses to walk across a street that does not have a crosswalk. The code that covers these instances is Vehicle Code 21954. Contrary to popular belief, pedestrians do not have the right of way outside of an established crosswalk. They are required to yield to all oncoming traffic that is near enough to present a potential hazard. However, drivers still have a responsibility to exercise due care for a pedestrian in any roadway; their being outside of a crosswalk is not a free license to get away with hitting them!

Though some pedestrians may believe that California law grants them a right to jaywalk, that just isn't the case and it is very possible to get ticketed for it. For both drivers and pedestrians, common sense and caution should always rule the day at any street crossing.

If you have been involved in a traffic accident and feel you may need the services of an attorney, contact us to learn what your options are and what we can do for you.

Los Angeles Pedestrian Accidents: Who Will Enforce Your Rights?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

It's a nightmarish scenario: you're walking or running when you are hit by two tons of moving metal. Whether you saw the vehicle coming or not, you didn't stand a chance against it. You now have physical injuries that may keep you from work for a few days, months or even years. The emotional trauma can be even worse, leaving long-lasting scars on the inside.  

Unfortunately, accidents involving pedestrians are all too common. A February 2015 LA Times story reported that California led the nation for pedestrian accidents for the second year in a row.

There are many reasons for pedestrian accidents; many involve inattentive drivers or drivers operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Others accidents are just that: accidents, and in some cases, you may feel partially responsible. But, whatever the cause, these types of accidents invariably involve medical evaluations and treatment for injuries. 

Whether your injuries were relatively minor or more severe, a consultation with a personal injury attorney is a critical next step. You have rights under the law, and by engaging an experienced law firm, you will have a team of experts working to enforce those rights. Pedestrian accidents are almost always complex, and no two cases are exactly alike.

Rather than accepting a driver's or an insurance company's initial offer of settlement, you owe it to yourself to ensure the offer is fair and appropriate based on the circumstances.  

If you or a loved one was involved in any type of pedestrian accident, contact us for a free consultation. You won't pay a penny in legal fees unless we win your case and get you the compensation you deserve.  

Distractions Contribute to Teen Pedestrian Accidents

Sunday, October 12, 2014

As many as three -quarters of all teenage pedestrian accident fatalities occur between the hours of 7 PM and 7 AM. That information came from a new report by Safe Kids, which surveyed teenagers and their walking practices.

As many as 50% of the teenagers admitted that they often crossed the street while using a mobile device. Those findings are alarming to Burbank pedestrian accident lawyers because teenagers are at a high risk of accidents when they are distracted while they are walking.

Teenagers who had been in an accident or nearly been in an accident also frequently reported crossing in the middle of a block. Teenagers need to be taught safe walking practices, and those include walking only at a marked crosswalk. The survey included 1,000 teenagers, and out of these, 40% said that they had been struck or almost struck by a car, motorcycle or bicycle while walking.

At least 50 percent of the teenagers admitted that they walk outside in the dark at least sometimes. That could also explain why so many pedestrian accident fatalities, or 75% of them involve teenagers walking outside between 7 PM and 7 AM.

The study also found that there is a teen pedestrian injury every hour somewhere in the country. In 2012, there were 284 teen pedestrian fatalities across the United States. Another 10,000 teen pedestrians were injured in these accidents. It's as important to teach the teenagers the safe ways of walking, as it is to teach young children safe practices. Teach your children that if they need to use a cell phone while walking, they must stop walking, and find a safe place to do so.

Teens need to avoid using headphones as much as possible when they're walking, and must never use headphones when they're crossing the street. Teenagers must cross at crosswalks, or using traffic signals, or at corners. Always use sidewalks for walking.

Focus on Distracted Pedestrians Loses Track Of Real Safety Issues

Monday, August 06, 2012

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the risks involving distracted pedestrians who are using cell phones or MP3 players while walking are very real. Across the country, several state and local administrations are devising pedestrian safety campaigns that are aimed at encouraging pedestrians to switch off their cell phones, MP3 players and other distracting devices while walking.

Philadelphia will soon launch a pedestrian safety campaign that will be targeted at pedestrians who are walking with their eyes on their cell phones instead of the road. Several other states are also planning similar campaigns. In some states, there are also attempts being made to pass legislation that would fine pedestrians who are distracted while walking.

Thousand Oaks car accident lawyers find that all of this focus on distracted pedestrians seems to take away from the real crux of the problem - the fact that most pedestrian accidents are caused as a result of motorist negligence. More pedestrians are killed every year in accidents caused by distracted, aggressive, and intoxicated motorists, than by their own distractions. An average of 4,000 are killed in accidents every year, and most of these deaths are caused by motorist failure to yield, and other forms of driver negligence.

That isn't to say that pedestrian distractions are not a problem. Many pedestrians use their cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. If a person is near an intersection or crosses a crosswalk, such behaviors could possibly increase the risk of an accident. However, there are other pedestrian safety factors to blame here, like the behavior of motorists when they near intersections, or crosswalks.

More pedestrian lives could be saved every year, if motorists were educated about the need to look out for pedestrians at all times, especially when they near crosswalks. In so many cases, this does not happen, leaving pedestrians at risk of injuries.

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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.