What to Know about a Pedestrian Accident in California 

What to Know about a Pedestrian Accident in California 

In California, pedestrians have the right away according to Vehicle Code 21950. It requires a driver to yield the right-of-way to anyone crossing in the roadway within the crosswalk. They must also give the pedestrian the right-of-way if the three is not a marked crosswalk at an intersection. Unfortunately, drivers don’t always follow this law and accident happen. Pedestrians injured by a driver must contact a pedestrian accident injury attorney sacramento to protect their rights to sue.

Negligence Makes a Driver Responsible for Paying an Injured Pedestrian

According to California’s personal injury law, only a negligent party is liable for injuries caused in a pedestrian accident. An individual act negligently when they fail to act in a manner the law expects a reasonable person acting in the same and/or similar circumstances.
In court, the injured pedestrian has the burden of proving the driver caused the accident and hurt them in four ways. The pedestrian must show the driver had a legal duty to protect them from harm by not causing an accident. The driver breached that legal duty by causing the accident. The driver’s direct or indirect actions led to the pedestrian’s injuries. The pedestrians are owed damages. These damages include lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.

Drivers Can Claim Pure Comparative Negligence as a Defense

The jury may decide in the pedestrian’s favor and award them damages. However, the driver can use a defense called pure comparative negligence to avoid paying the pedestrian. Pure comparative negligence looks at the pedestrian’s actions during the accident. If they are at least 1 percent at fault, they are barred from receiving money. For example, the pedestrian had the legal right-of-way to cross the street when a driver hit them. They receive a jury award of $10,000. However, they crossed the street outside the marked crosswalk. That may be considered a negligent act. They jury may find them 10 percent negligent. They won’t receive the $10,000.

Statute of Limitations of a Pedestrian Accident

The state has a statute of limitations on a pedestrian accident. This means the injured pedestrian must file their lawsuit within a certain time. In California, they have two years to file the lawsuit. The time clock on the statute of limitations starts the day the accident happened.
Once a lawsuit is filed, it can be settled at any time prior to the jury deciding a verdict. A settlement occurs outside of court and requires the driver and pedestrian to agree on a money amount. The pedestrian receives the money to pay their damages. They driver doesn’t have to admit fault. The lawsuit automatically ends.

Pedestrians Should Contact Lawyer About their Accident

Many pedestrians may be afraid to file a lawsuit because they believe the pure comparative negligence will be used against them. They should speak to a lawyer instead of worrying. The defense is often used by insurance companies to convince people to talk to a lawyer or file a lawsuit.

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