Even amid the cool summers and fog, San Francisco is a wonderful city to walk through at nearly any time of day. It’s the best way to experience the wild array of architecture, and to this day, it’s the cultural epicenter of California. Unfortunately, experiencing San Francisco as a pedestrian is becoming a significant health hazard. Pedestrians are not safe in San Francisco.
Negligent drivers pose a noteworthy risk to pedestrians as they may roll through stop signs, blow through intersections, or failed to yield for a pedestrian. The injuries that come with being hit by a vehicle when walking are among the most serious within the personal injury umbrella. A pedestrian has no defense or protection the way that a driver vehicle does.
Pedestrians are Exceptionally High-Risk in San Francisco
In 2014 San Francisco chose to adopt the Vision Zero initiative. Vision Zero is a system of controlling traffic by design to reduce the fatalities associated with vehicles to nothing. Although cities that have successfully achieved Vision Zero have proven that it takes years to reach any degree of success, San Francisco has gone the other way with dramatically increasing pedestrian fatalities and injuries.
In fact, in 2019, the city of San Francisco had to declare a state of emergency given the severe rise in traffic-related deaths, specifically involving pedestrians. But why are pedestrian accidents still on the rise? But the increase of ridesharing and the ever-increasing population of San Francisco it’s difficult for drivers in the city to properly observe traffic laws that protect pedestrians.
Driver and Pedestrian Negligence
One of the most important elements to present as part of a pedestrian accident lawsuit is negligence or carelessness. A driver could be considered as negligent for violating any traffic law. The most common traffic laws that drivers break that result in a pedestrian accident include failing to stick to the speed limit, use their turn signals, and yield at crosswalks. A startling number of pedestrian accidents happen at crosswalks or pedestrians clearly had the right of way.
One of the other primary factors of driver negligence is driving under the influence. Driving under the influence of alcohol or legal or illegal substances is often associated with pedestrian fatalities and pedestrian injuries. Although San Francisco police have tried to crack down on DUI drivers, this is an ongoing struggle for everyone in the city.
Many people forget, however, that pedestrians can also be negligent. Even when you are clearly the victim, the other driver may try to impart some negligence onto your role in the accident. Some ways that insurance companies and drivers will attempt to push negligence onto the pedestrian is by claiming they darted in front of the vehicle. Additionally, claims of jaywalking or distracted walking can come up during negligence and fault discussions.
Evidence and Assistance from San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
When you’re the pedestrian at the crash scene, it’s nearly impossible to collect your own evidence. You likely needed immediate medical attention, which means you did not have time to walk around with your mobile device and take photos. You probably did not have an opportunity to speak with witnesses or obtain the other driver’s information.
San Francisco pedestrian accident lawyers often serve the functions of collecting evidence, assembling it in a compelling way, creating a demand letter, and moving a claim or lawsuit forward for settlement negotiations. The evidence used in a pedestrian accident will likely include a police report and images or other documentation of the scene at the time of the crash. It is possible to obtain surveillance footage from local businesses that may have captured the collision when it happened.
Finally, there may be other evidence or assistance necessary for your claim. You may need to compile your medical bills or have an expert assess the true cost of your damages. These are resources that you can access through any legal professional that would be qualified to take your case. It’s important to get assistance wherever you can.
Collecting compensation is not a straightforward process. Initially, you will have to file a claim through your car insurance policy, and they may try to take over the resolution for the case. These insurance companies, however, are never looking out for your best interest. In California, it’s not common for drivers to carry any type of personal injury protection insurance, which is what you would opt for in the event of a pedestrian accident.
Instead, people turned to their insurance providers as a means of getting into contact and filing a claim against the other driver. California’s bodily injury insurance liability insurance should always cover pedestrians injured as part of a vehicle collision. But there’s no reason for your insurance company to have your best interest in mind in this situation. They have nothing to gain.
What most people end up looking to is a local pedestrian accident attorney that can take their lawsuit forward to court if fair compensation can’t be reached through the settlement negotiations.
San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Fight for Your Case
When approaching a case for a pedestrian accident, there may be more challenges in your future than initially considered. While you are working on your physical recovery, which may require multiple surgeries and physical therapy. In addition to therapy for anxiety or PTSD, you also need to work on the legal matter at hand. Initiating a pedestrian accident lawsuit means taking a lawsuit out against the responsible driver. But that doesn’t mean that driver will go through this process easily or quickly.
At TorkLaw, we’ve seen the best and worst of these types of cases. Without a doubt, it is possible for the pedestrians to come under scrutiny for some extent of fault, although the driver was clearly the most negligent and caused significant damage. As part of your lawsuit, you’ll need to work with a legal professional that can assess the risks and challenges of your case while still pushing for a fair resolution. Contact the TorkLaw offices to meet with one of our experienced attorneys.