A recent article in the Bakersfield news underscores the dangers of pedestrian/vehicle accidents. According to the report 15 individuals have died in Bakersfield pedestrian accidents this year. Earlier in December, two young Oildale residents were struck and killed by a Kern County sheriff’s patrol car driven by an officer responding to a call. A few days later, a 40-year-old woman was killed while crossing the street in the crosswalk.
When cars strike pedestrians, the potential for serious injury – such as head, brain or neck injuries, or even death – is great. If you or a loved one have been injured as the result of a car accident it is important to consult a Sacramento pedestrian accident lawyer to answer your personal injury questions and determine your next steps.
Many times, those injured or the family members of individuals who have lost their lives are unsure of their legal rights and whether they may be entitled to compensation. Several factors go into this determination such as whether fault exists on the part of the driver or the pedestrian. For example, whether the pedestrian had the right of way and was crossing within a crosswalk may affect whether the driver may be held liable. Additionally, considerations such as whether the car was speeding or otherwise going too fast for conditions, or if the driver was violating any other traffic laws.
While California law requires drivers to exercise “reasonable caution” toward pedestrians, with extra care shown for the disabled and children, pedestrians also have a responsibility to use due care. This includes such actions as crossing within crosswalks, paying attention when crossing the street, and looking both ways before entering the roadway.
However even where a pedestrian is partly at fault, he or she may be able to recover compensation from a negligent driver. California is a comparative fault state which means that where an individual harmed is partly to blame, the injured party may still recover, but the amount is recovered is reduced by his or her percentage of fault.
Many questions remain after the recent Oildale accident and the official investigation continues.
For more information or if you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact an aggressive Sacramento personal injury attorney at Sette Law Office for a free, initial consultation.
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