Long Beach Pedestrian Injury Attorneys
Pedestrian accidents are often catastrophic in nature. The human body, when completely exposed, cannot take the impact of a motor vehicle in motion, which involves an immense amount of force. That is why even a slow vehicle can cause serious injuries to a pedestrian. To prevent such accidents, both motorists and pedestrians are expected to abide by certain rules and regulations of the road. Although car-pedestrian collisions are occasionally caused by reckless and/or negligent actions on the part of the pedestrian, the motorist is more often at fault.
As a pedestrian accident victim, you are likely getting assailed by the costs associated with recovery. If another party was at fault, you should not have to pay for the damages. Get the compensation you deserve by bringing a Long Beach personal injury lawsuit against the liable party. However, you should first get in touch with The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV at (562) 901-0840 or toll-free (888) 454-5569.
Since pedestrians are much more vulnerable to injury than motorists, the state for the most part places the burden of responsibility on drivers through established right of way laws, which include the following:
- Drivers must yield to pedestrians at intersections, whether they are crossing in marked or unmarked crosswalks. Drivers should also stop when other vehicles are waiting at a crosswalk; they may be letting pedestrians cross.
- Drivers should never be on sidewalks, which are generally reserved for pedestrian use only.
- Motorists must yield to pedestrians and other vehicles when pulling out of driveways or exiting parking lots.
- Motorists must yield to older and/or disabled pedestrians, even if they have the signal.
- Motorists must always look out for pedestrians and yield to them, even if they are outside a crosswalk.
Pedestrians restrict their movements to crosswalks, sidewalks, and other safe areas in order to stay safe. They should also wear bright clothing when it gets dark, remain in areas with adequate lighting, and make eye contact with motorists before crossing a roadway. Walking while distracted or impaired is dangerous and strongly advised against.
There are differences between injuries sustained by pedestrians struck by vehicles and people in car accidents.
Pedestrians are most likely to sustain injuries to the head and lower body, especially when the accident results in death. Cuts and scrapes are common, as are broken bones and damage to internal organs. Some of the most common injuries in a pedestrian accident include:
- Head and Neck. Injuries to the head often result in loss of consciousness, especially when a pedestrian's head strikes a vehicle or the ground. Serious injuries can occur to the brain, often resulting in temporary or permanent brain damage, which can have life-long consequences. Injuries to the neck are much less common than they are for vehicle occupants in a collision, though the pedestrian’s scalp and face can be seriously injured.
- Upper Torso. Pedestrian accidents often cause injuries to a person's upper body, especially the rib cage. Broken ribs are quite common and can result in additional injuries like punctured lungs or heart. The respiratory system is often injured in this type of accident.
- Abdomen. Injuries to the abdomen usually result in damage to internal organs, since there isn’t protective bone in that area. The digestive system and other organs can be ruptured, requiring surgical attention.
- Spine. Impact from a crash or landing on the ground can cause real damage to a pedestrian’s spine and central nervous system. This can lead to tremendous pain, paralysis, and other complications. Surgery may be required and the consequences of spinal damage can last the rest of a person's life.
- Upper Extremities. The shoulders and upper arms are often injured. Falling and recovering from an impact can injure someone's elbows or wrists, but the shoulders usually take most of the damage.
- Lower Extremities. The legs are vulnerable to a great deal of damage, and the knees and ankles of a pedestrian can be severely hurt in a crash. Hips and thighs are less likely to be injured, while a pedestrian's feet may be crushed or sliced. These injuries usually include bone fractures and cuts.
Due to the exposed nature of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle, fatalities are a real possibility. Even at low speeds, the size and mass of a car or truck can do incredible damage to a person. Injuries to the head are often the cause of a death, since brain damage and severe bleeding follow a traumatic head injury. When such a tragedy occurs in a pedestrian accident, it is even more important that those responsible be held accountable for any negligence.
In order to prove liability in your claim as a pedestrian accident victim, you must provide ample evidence of the other party's fault in the incident. Collect all materials and aspects of your accident, including a police and medical report, photos of the accident site and relevant damages, witness statements, expert testimony, etc. A qualified Long Beach pedestrian injury lawyer should be able to help you with this process and ensure you have a claim that can hold up in court.
Hit-and-run laws in California apply to any accident in which a vehicle was involved. A driver involved in a pedestrian accident, no matter whose fault it was, must remain at the scene and provide his or her identity to others involved. Even if the pedestrian does not seem injured, the driver is required to remain at the scene and give the pedestrian necessary information. If someone is injured or dies due to an accident, and the driver leaves the scene, he or she may be charged with a felony.
Contact The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV and one of our knowledgeable Long Beach car accident attorneys will provide you with a free, comprehensive consultation. Learn more about your rights and legal options and call us at (562) 901-0840 or toll-free (888) 454-5569.
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