Lake Forest Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

No matter how many precautions you take, you risk getting struck by a motorist any time you walk on a street, particularly in a crosswalk or intersection. Unfortunately, as the rate of driver distraction continues to climb, the number of pedestrian accidents does as well—which is why the assistance of a personal injury attorney could become very important to your personal and financial future.

According to the California Department of Public Health, there was an average of 238,000 fatal and non-fatal traffic injuries every year from 2007 to 2013, totaling nearly 1.7 million injuries. If you are struck by a car and injured, a Lake Forest pedestrian accident lawyer could help you recover damages from the responsible driver. Work with a capable personal injury attorney who could help you get back on the road to recovery.

Pedestrian Rights in Lake Forest

In Lake Forest, pedestrians have the right of way when they are in a crosswalk—whether it is marked or unmarked—under California’s Vehicle Code. To protect those crossing the street, the rules of the road established by the California Department of Motor Vehicles require drivers to use extra caution when driving near pedestrians.

Specifically, they must:

  • Exercise caution and reduce speed as they near a crosswalk
  • Stop for pedestrians when crossing at corners or crosswalks, even if there are no traffic signals or markings
  • Not pass any car that is stopped at a crosswalk since there could be an individual crossing the road
  • Not stop in a crosswalk
  • Yield to pedestrians
  • Give pedestrians enough time to cross the road

In addition, drivers in Lake Forest must take extra precautions in intersections to protect pedestrians. In intersections, drivers are required to:

  • Slow down and be prepared to stop, even if there is no STOP or YIELD sign
  • Yield to pedestrians who are in the intersection or entering it
  • Check for pedestrians who want to cross when turning

Who Qualifies as a Pedestrian?

In California, more than just walkers are considered pedestrians. In addition, skateboarders and rollerbladers are grouped under this term, as are those who use wheelchairs, tricycles, or quadricycles for transportation due to a disability. Any of these individuals who are struck by a motor vehicle may have a cause of action for personal injuries arising out of the accident, and a Lake Forest pedestrian accident lawyer could help them pursue legal action.

Establishing Negligence

While safety features like high-visibility crosswalks can help improve pedestrian safety, nothing can protect individuals fully from negligent motorists, such as those who are distracted, speed, fail to yield, or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. To have a cause of action for a personal injury caused when a motorist strikes a pedestrian, the plaintiff must prove:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to exercise due care
  • The defendant failed to fulfill that duty
  • The defendant’s breach of the duty caused the plaintiff’s injuries
  • The plaintiff suffered actual damages

Even if the plaintiff was partially at fault for the incident—for instance, because they failed to exercise due care for their own safety—they can still recover damages. However, they would be awarded an amount reduced proportionately by their own percentage of fault.

Contacting a Lake Forest Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you are struck by a motorist, you should not have to pay for the losses caused by someone else’s negligence. An experienced Lake Forest pedestrian accident lawyer could help you get fair compensation for your damages, and the justice that you deserve. Get started on your case by calling us today.