The current population in Orange County is estimated at 3,179,950 people. There are many people on the road and walking on the sidewalks in sunny Orange County each day, which makes the potential of getting involved in accidents even more likely. When pedestrian accidents happen, they can cause serious bodily injury. Even with just a ten mile per hour decrease in speed, the potential of a pedestrian surviving an accident increase. When these accidents happen, victims need to contact an Orange County pedestrian accident lawyer to help with their lawsuit.
Traffic Laws for Drivers and Pedestrians
Orange County traffic laws are put into place to keep anyone on the roadways safe. These laws are for pedestrians and the drivers of automobiles. The purpose is to keep anyone on the roadways safe.
Pedestrian accidents are preventable if the drivers on the roads and pedestrians work together to follow the laws. Being aware of each other on the roadway can help reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities associated with pedestrians.
Vehicle Driver Right-of-Way
In Orange County, the right-of-way is yielded to vehicles if a pedestrian is trying to cross the road outside a marked or unmarked crosswalk. The laws for jaywalking must still be abided by. A pedestrian cannot cross in the middle of the street if they are within a block of traffic signals. Pedestrians in an accident who are jaywalking could be found liable for the accident.
Pedestrians who are crossing in marked or unmarked crosswalks are given the right-of-way by law. The exception to this rule is when a pedestrian steps into traffic, causing a hazard that could have been avoided if they had waited.
Pedestrians who push or pull a cart in the roadway, they are given the same rights as those drivers who are on the road. The drivers of cars must respect and treat these pedestrians as if they were another vehicle on the roadway. These drivers are to maintain a safe distance from the pedestrian in these instances.
Liability of the Government
When reviewing an auto-pedestrian accident, one party may be more at fault than the other. Sometimes it may not be that simple. At times the cause of the accident is the infrastructure of the intersection that makes the roadway unsafe. In these cases, it could be the state or the city that is held liable for the accident.
For matters pertaining to the city, it is best to consult with a pedestrian accident lawyer before trying to bring a lawsuit. These lawyers have experience handling the cities and their liability claims.
Common Reasons Pedestrian Accidents Happen
Pedestrians roam the streets in Orange County for many reasons. Some people want to keep up on their health, while others like to reduce stress by walking. Others may not have a choice but to walk because they don’t own a car. Whatever the reason for walking, the road is a place where sharing must occur.
The most common reasons that pedestrian accidents happen in Orange County are:
- Unsafe speeds
- Drivers who feel like they can exceed speed limits or do whatever they want put pedestrians and other drivers at risk. The severity of an injury caused to a pedestrian depends significantly on the speed the vehicle is going at the time the accident happens. Injuries can range from minor up to fatality.
- Poor visibility
- Even with sunny skies shining in Orange County, drivers can find themselves in situations where the visibility is poor. Think about a parking garage and how dark they are, when first pulling into them, the eyes have to adjust to the change in lighting. If someone is crossing at the time a vehicle enters, the potential of hitting them increases because they aren’t seen.
- Distracted Driving
- Distracted driving is defined as a driver who has their attention anywhere but on the road. The most common distracted driving instances involve cellphones on the roadway today. Taking calls or answering text messages is one of the biggest distractions a driver can encounter. All it takes is a second for an accident to happen.
- Driving under the influence
- Drivers who are under the impairment caused by drugs or alcohol have a harder time making decisions. It is also harder for these types of drivers to hit their brakes to avoid an accident due to delays in their reaction times.
How Orange County Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Prove Negligence
The only way a negligence claim is going to hold up in court is if the plaintiff and their pedestrian accident lawyer can prove the following:
- The defendant did not show a proper duty of care in the situation
- The failure of the defendant to show the proper care caused the injuries sustained by the plaintiff
Cases, where the defendant broke the law, are often easier to prove negligence. The state of California presumes that someone has been negligent and did not show the proper duty of care when:
- A defendant has violated the written law
- The defendant’s violation of this law causes an injury
- The injury that was caused is the type of injury the law was created to prevent
- The victim of the injury is whom the law was created to protect
When figuring out the damages owed and the responsibility of each party, California uses the principle of comparative negligence to assign a percentage of blame to each party. Once the percentages have been assessed, the award amount is adjusted to reflect the correct payout amounts from the accident.
Orange County Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Available
Pedestrian accidents in Orange County can be complicated cases. When you need a pedestrian accident lawyer, the Orange County office of TorkLaw, located in Irvine, is ready to take your call. If you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident, the legal experts at TorkLaw are here to help.
TorkLaw offers free consultations on all your personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents. For a free consultation, call 888.845.9696 and speak with one of our associates.