The family of a Highland Park teen who was struck by a truck while attempting to cross an intersection at a marked crosswalk has been awarded $6 million nearly three years after his death. The boy’s family sued the city of Los Angeles, alleging that the city driver who hit their sun was not qualified to drive the vehicle and had driven in a reckless manner. The city agreed to the payment without litigation. And while it doesn’t replace the child lost, this payment does hold the city accountable for the actions of its employee.
Prevalence of Pedestrian Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, around 5,000 pedestrian vs. motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S. each year. In addition, around 76,000 pedestrians are injured, sometimes critically, shattering lives and leaving pedestrians with lifelong medical problems. Pedestrian accidents are not limited to vehicle-related incidents, however. Defects in pavements and sidewalks, ongoing construction and poor walkway maintenance can also cause pedestrians to fall or become otherwise injured.
Establishing Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident
A seasoned Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney can help you determine who is liable for the injuries you sustained in your accident. Depending on your particular case, the responsible party may be the driver of a vehicle or the company that owns the vehicle that struck you or the party or entity responsible for road or sidewalk maintenance.
Drivers have a duty of care to watch for pedestrians and to do no harm on the road. Speeding, disobeying traffic control devices, failing to signal during turns, or disregarding traffic or weather conditions can all be the cause of negligence that results in a pedestrian-related accident. Distracted driving is also a problem on the roadway; texting or talking while driving, although illegal, leads to thousands of pedestrian accidents each year. Drivers who are intoxicated on the roadway may also be at fault for pedestrian accidents.
In non-vehicular pedestrian accidents where the landscape itself causes the injury, the entity or party charged with the upkeep of the sidewalk or roadway may be held accountable. In order to establish liability, the party must know of the condition and fail to correct it or the condition must have existed long enough for the party to have discovered it.
Working with a Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian accident claims can be tricky; in most cases, the at-fault party or insurer will try to place the blame for the incident on the pedestrian. Be sure to always contact the police immediately following the accident, stay on the scene until help arrives, note any witness names and contact info, and avoid making statements to anyone before you speak to a Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney. Your attorney can help establish liability in your case so that you get the maximum amount of compensation provided under the law.