It’s common knowledge who suffers greatest injury in most car vs pedestrian accidents. But attorneys at Sette Law in Stockton this caution: when it comes to liability, the driver does not always shoulder all the responsibility for a Stockton pedestrian accident. Our lawyers say that California practices Comparative Negligence and Duty of Care. Accident attorneys explain that this principle requires that walkers, runners and bicyclists must perform in a safe and responsible manner – adhering to traffic laws and basic common sense, as are drivers of motor vehicles.
Consider this; a young man chooses to run across three lanes of a freeway rather than using an overhead pedestrian crossing. He’s hit by a motorist, badly injured in a Stockton pedestrian accident. His lawyer cautions him that the driver of the car may bear little or no responsibility for the pedestrian accident. The attorney for the car’s driver may argue that the young man bears complete responsibility and his reckless behavior caused the pedestrian accident. The attorney representing the pedestrian, on the other hand, will look for aberrant behavior on behalf of the driver. Was he speeding, under the influence of alcohol or some mitigating factor that contributed to the Stockton accident? Lawyers for both parties will impact the outcome of this case, seeking to establish percentages of liability in the pedestrian accident.
Injury attorneys say that most people know the rules of the road as drivers, but laws governing pedestrian behavior are not as well understood in Stockton. Our accident lawyers believe that more education about this topic should be provided in an effort to prevent pedestrian accidents. Lawyers, for example, are familiar with a California Vehicle Code section that states pedestrians not in an unmarked or marked crosswalk, are required to give right-of-way to vehicles that may present an “immediate hazard.” Of course, drivers still have responsibility for pedestrian safety. But, as our Stockton accident lawyers point out, safety is a shared responsibility.
Injury attorneys point out many people know that California law prohibits what used to be known as hitch-hiking. It is clearly risky to solicit a ride while standing on a roadway in Stockton and accident lawyers point out that it’s also illegal. A little more complicated is a code stipulating that pedestrians shall not cross a street that is between two traffic signals that are adjacent, unless there is an official crosswalk. Our accident lawyers say another lesser known rule requires pedestrians to walk on the left side of a street in business and residential locations, unless it is clearly unsafe to do so. Clearly, our Stockton accident attorneys don’t run across many instances in which this code is strictly enforced. However, we feel it’s important for people to be educated about conditions that can lead to pedestrian accidents. Attorneys believe drivers and pedestrians should both operate out of awareness and caution.
Our Stockton accident lawyers know that our city, like so many big cities in California, was built around commuting, not walking. Wide streets and high speed limits are conditions that contribute to pedestrian accidents. Attorneys tracking data report that about 22 % of deaths in California accidents from 2009 to 2011 were pedestrians. Additionally, accident lawyers say California Walks recorded at least 1,600 pedestrian accidents in 2011 that resulted in significant injury. Our lawyers believe better information about pedestrian responsibilities and rights could bring these figures down.
Our Stockton accident lawyers pay close attention to the work of Smart Growth America.org. Along with compiling pedestrian accident statistics, the group advocates for more thoughtful development that makes walking and running safer for pedestrians. Our Stockton accident lawyers support his work. We find it troubling that from 2009 to 2011 Smart Growth America reports 676,000 injuries nationwide to pedestrians along with 47,025 fatalities. According to Smart Growth analysts, many of these accidents are preventable. Our accident lawyers say that although education can help raise awareness of safety, municipalities can prevent pedestrian accidents through city planning that includes awareness of Stockton pedestrian safety. Injury attorneys encourage new development that incorporates walking and biking as alternatives to wide streets made for automobile traffic. These conditions have proven dangerous in the past with high speeds that contribute to Stockton pedestrian injury. Our lawyers have families too, so awareness of pedestrian safety is close to home!
Although many precautions that pedestrians can take for their safety are quite simple, our Stockton accident lawyers suggest families review these rules, particularly for children and elders. One of our injury lawyers says he tells his children to “Assume that you are invisible to drivers.” This basic message encourages pedestrians to be watchful and aware of the potential for an accident. This attorney, who also rides a motorcycle for recreation, reports his cautious approach has many times saved him from a serious accident.
Lawyers add that parents should make sure their entire family dresses appropriately. Pedestrians walking or running, particularly in evening hours, should wear light colored clothing and even carry (or wear) a warning light to prevent an accident. Our attorneys are gratified to see that such affordable safety equipment is now sold in stores throughout Stockton.
Injury lawyers also have some important advice for pedestrians who do meet with an unfortunate accident. Our attorneys suggest that, outside of medical needs, pedestrian victims should not freely express themselves at the scene of a Stockton accident. Our lawyers know that seemingly innocent comments can be used in court to influence a decision. One of our Stockton accident attorneys recalls that a pedestrian injured by a bicyclist actually apologized at the scene for her part in the crash. Later, the bicyclist’s lawyer claimed the victim’s comment was an admission of responsibility for the pedestrian accident. Attorneys advise accident victims to focus on their physical condition, exchange only necessary information and only talk to law enforcement or to an accident lawyer.
As a final precaution, our Stockton accident injury lawyers want people to know that statistics collected by traffic and safety organizations do not reflect reality. There is an admission that countless pedestrian accidents go unreported. Our injury attorneys caution that the dangers are many and real for pedestrians on the roadways of Stockton.