Anyone who decides to walk across a street in Humboldt County is at risk of being injured by an inattentive driver. In 2010 4,280 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States and another 70,000 pedestrians were injured. This averages to 1 crash related pedestrian death every 2 hours and a pedestrian injury every 8 minutes. Pedestrians are 1½ times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash.
In Humboldt County the odds of being injured in a pedestrian/vehicle accident sky rocket. According to the statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety’s website, Humboldt County was ranked #25 out of California’s 58 counties for total fatal and injury collisions and #4 for pedestrian collisions. In 2012 43 pedestrians were hit in Eureka and of those 41 were injured and 1 person killed.
The persons most at risk are pedestrians age 65 and older and children between the age of 5 and 9. Alcohol impairment is often a cause and is reported in 47% of the traffic crashes that result in a pedestrian death. Another rising cause of pedestrian accidents is the distracted driver who decides to look at a cell phone rather than pay attention to where they are driving.
In California the law provides that every pedestrian within a marked cross-way or within an unmarked cross-way at an intersection has the right of way. While a pedestrian should yield the right of way to vehicles when they are not crossing within a crosswalk this does not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising reasonable due care for the safety of the pedestrian who is not within a crosswalk. (California Vehicle Code Section 21954)
If you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident you should talk with a qualified attorney immediately. If you wait too long, evidence in your case may be lost and witnesses may be difficult to find. You may also be asked to give a statement to the driver’s insurance company and may be misled into saying something that could later damage your case.
It is also important that you are aware of the potential sources of recovery. It is not always entirely the driver’s fault. Sometimes the streets are so poorly designed that the public entity controlling those streets may also be responsible. Also, simply because the driver is uninsured does not mean you can’t obtain a recovery. If you have auto insurance your own carrier may provide coverage for you under your uninsured or under insured motorist coverage.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian/vehicle accident please give us a call. We collect no fees or expenses unless we obtain a recovery for you.