Pedestrians are the most defenseless road users, and motorists have a duty to behave safely around them. Unfortunately, California drivers are notorious for negligent driving behavior, leading to serious accidents that often hurt passersby on the sidewalk or people crossing the street.
If you or a family member was injured as a pedestrian, know that you may be entitled to fair compensation. In the Inland Empire, get the legal help of Gavel Law Firm. We are a personal injury firm with the advantage of having a background in the insurance industry. This allows us to be highly strategic in pedestrian injury claims, resulting in ideal outcomes for our injured clients.
Riverside residents trust the Gavel Law Firm. Get a free consultation and see how we can help you in your pedestrian accident case. Call (951) 289-0202 today.
What are Pedestrian Rights in California?
California Vehicle Code Chapter 5 clearly states the rights of pedestrians in the state. Some of the most important ones are the following:
- Vehicle drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are using a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
- Drivers cannot stop on or block a crosswalk.
- Pedestrians also have the right-of-way on sidewalks. Vehicles are prohibited from blocking these walkways.
- Blind pedestrians have special protection when they have a guide dog or use a white cane. When approaching these pedestrians, drivers must use extra caution to give them the right-of-way. Violating this could mean a criminal charge for the driver.
These rights apply to pedestrians who are walking on the sidewalk, trying to cross the street, walking their pets, strolling in a park, walking across a parking lot, and more.
Along with these rights, California law also outlines the responsibilities of pedestrians in public places. For instance, pedestrians are forbidden from suddenly stepping off a curb onto the path of a vehicle. Persons crossing the street must also avoid unnecessary stops or delays while on the crosswalk.
Unfortunately, many California pedestrians still get injured despite obeying laws and safety precautions. When this happens, the injured person needs to enlist a lawyer who can help investigate the accident and establish who is at fault.
How Common are Pedestrian Accidents in California? Statistics and Rankings
It’s a sad fact to acknowledge that California leads the nation in the number of pedestrian deaths, with 1,100 pedestrians killed in traffic in 2022 alone. For comparison, the state with the second-highest number is Texas with only 834 pedestrian fatalities that year, according to data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association.
The Riverside area in particular sees hundreds of pedestrian casualties yearly. According to the Integrated Traffic Records System at UC Berkeley, Riverside County has an average of 478 pedestrian injuries and deaths each year. The following are Riverside cities with the highest averages of pedestrian fatalities and injuries:
- City of Riverside – 84.8 pedestrians killed or injured yearly
- Hemet – 36 pedestrians killed or injured yearly
- Moreno Valley – 35.4 pedestrians killed or injured yearly.
Despite numerous efforts to promote pedestrian safety in Riverside and California at large, accidents still occur due to negligent parties. Because California follows a fault-based system, the party who caused the accident is liable to pay for resulting injuries and other losses.
What is The Average Payout for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car in California?
Estimates vary as to how much an ‘average’ settlement is for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle in California. Some say it ranges from $10,000 to $10,000,000, while others point to six-figure amounts. However, there is no true ‘average’ or ‘standard’ amount for pedestrian accident settlements because there’s a wide variety of outcomes, depending on the unique facts of each case.
In general, a successful pedestrian accident claim can compensate you for economic (monetary) and non-economic (non-monetary) losses. These may include:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income
- Lost ability to earn
- Disability needs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental/emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life.
If you tragically lost a loved one who was killed as a pedestrian, you may likewise file a wrongful death claim. This may compensate you for related losses such as funeral expenses, burial or cremation costs, associated medical bills, lost earnings from the deceased, lost companionship, and more.
Because pedestrian accidents often involve massive costs, it’s important to get a reliable attorney to help you obtain maximum compensation. At Gavel Law Firm, our experienced pedestrian accident lawyer knows how to maximize pedestrian claims, working tenaciously to get full compensation for each client. Don’t hesitate to talk to us in a free consultation.
Who is At Fault If You Hit a Jaywalker in California?
If a jaywalker in California is struck by a vehicle, they may still be able to file a claim against the vehicle driver. However, California’s comparative negligence rule will likely affect the claim outcome. Under this rule, if you were injured but were found to be partly at fault in your accident, your compensation could be reduced according to your share of fault.
For example, let’s say a jury awarded you $100,000 for your injuries, but also determined that you were 40 percent at fault because you were jaywalking. Taking away 40 percent from your award, you would receive just $60,000.
It’s notable that since January 1, 2023, California has relaxed its laws on jaywalking and now allows pedestrians to cross the road outside of crosswalks. This doesn’t mean that people on foot are completely free from responsibility. Pedestrians must still behave with reasonable caution on the street, and may still be deemed negligent if they act irresponsibly.
This is something that insurance companies use to dispute or minimize pedestrian injury claims. If an insurer is making it challenging for you to get fair compensation, call Gavel Law Firm right away. We know how these claims work from the insurance side and can protect our clients from unfair insurer tactics.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Pedestrian Accident in California?
The answer to this is: it depends on the complexity of each case and any scheduling delays. A typical California injury claim may settle within three to nine months from the start of negotiations. However, many cases also stretch out to one to two years, especially if they go to trial.
Most personal injury claims don’t reach the trial stage as they are settled out of court. Depending on how straightforward your case is and how well the insurance negotiations proceed, you may obtain an agreeable settlement without entering the courtroom. A competent injury attorney should have a case-specific strategy for collecting evidence, negotiating, and filing a lawsuit, if necessary.
What is the Time Limit for Filing a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit in Riverside?
Under California’s Statute of Limitations, you generally have two years to file a pedestrian injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit, starting from the accident date. Two years may seem like ample time, but various delays have cost many claimants their right to sue. In addition, certain factors can change the deadline to file, so it’s wise to consult a pedestrian accident attorney as soon as you can.
You’ll get a free consultation at Gavel Law Firm. Our trusted Riverside accident lawyer can provide high-quality legal guidance and case assessment at no cost to you.
Contact a Riverside Pedestrian Accident Lawyer from Gavel Law Firm
With the steep costs and extreme stress from your pedestrian accident, you deserve only the most reliable legal service to help you get compensated. For this, Riverside residents trust Gavel Law Firm. Let our skilled attorneys fight for your rightful compensation, and let our team treat you with sincere care and kindness throughout the process.
Your consultation is free, and you won’t have to pay us lawyer fees until we win compensation for you. Call Gavel Law Firm now at (951) 289-0202.