hit by a car in a crosswalk

Hit by a Car in a Crosswalk: How Do I Prove Liability?

Los Angeles Pedestrian Knockdown Lawyer Explains Liability When You Are Hit by a Car in a Crosswalk

Every child is taught to respect the roadway and be very careful to avoid being hit by a car.  This becomes ingrained in most adult’s mind as well.  But unfortunately, when some adults get behind the wheel they forgot what it means to be a pedestrian and to watch out for people on or around the roadway.  According to the CDC, roughly 6,000 pedestrians are killed each year in traffic crashes.  The United States Department of Transportation notes that this trend has been increasing in recent years, growing by 9% over the last decade.  In California, approximately 1,000—or one-sixth—of the pedestrian fatalities in the United States occurred in the Golden State.  This is a shocking and staggering statistic for our state.

At the Broadway Law Firm, our experienced pedestrian knockdown lawyers know just how dangerous being hit by a car can be.  There are many significant personal injuries that are commonly cause including brain injuries or paralysis.  High medical bills and huge amounts of lost wages are also common in hit by car cases.  All of these facts make it more critical for a victim and his or her family to call a bodily injury law firm that knows how to recover this compensation and more for a family.  Learn why the Broadway Law Firm is that law firm by dialing 213.344.0067 to schedule a FREE consultation.

Why Pedestrian Knockdowns are Different

Unlike a passenger in a motor vehicle, a pedestrian does not have an airbag, side curtains, seatbelt, or even just the steel walls around them to act as a crunch zone.  The lack of these and any safety features just means that a pedestrian hit by a car is hit with the full force of an impact.  

Not only is the impact without any crunch zone or barrier, but a pedestrian is often launched onto a vehicle’s hood or propelled into the ground suffering a secondary injury.  These can further case significant damage which is not normally seen in passengers of motor vehicles.

Proving Liability After Being Hit by a Car in a Crosswalk

The strongest case that a pedestrian has in terms of liability is when he or she is hit by a car while in a crosswalk.  This is because California Vehicle Code section 21950 provides under subdivision (a) that “[t]he driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection . . . .”

This means that a person crossing the street and in a crosswalk has the right-of-way and all vehicles must yield.  A vehicle that fails to yield and strikes a person crossing the street can be held liable for the accident.  Liability can be predicated on the violation of this statute through the doctrine of negligence per se.

Negligence Per Se

The doctrine of negligence per se allows a victim to establish liability against a defendant when a statute has been violated.  A person hit by a car in California can use this statutory violation to help prove liability against a defendant driver.  To do this, a victim must establish the following:

  • That the defendant violated a statute (i.e., Vehicle Code section 21950).
  • The statute was meant to protect people like the victim from harm (people crossing the street), and
  • The statute was meant to prevent the type of harm that the victim suffered (i.e., injuries from being hit by a car).

Where these elements are established, a victim will be able to automatically prove liability and just focus on proving causation and damages.  This allows a plaintiff to put more time and resources into expanding on damages to really prove the full extent of the past, present, and future damages such as expected surgeries.

Common Injuries in a Pedestrian Hit-by-Car Accident

A pedestrian who is hit by a car can suffer very serious or catastrophic injuries, including life-changing injuries.  Many of these injuries can result in horrible damages that can affect an entire family.  Some victims may need around-the-clock nursing care, while other victims may be entirely unable to work again—sometimes not even be able to walk again.

The most common types of injuries that our hit by car lawyers at the Broadway Law Firm can handle for you include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
  • Paralysis such as paraplegia or quadriplegia 
  • Broken bones or fractures, including those requiring open reductions or surgeries
  • Organ injuries including a lacerated liver, bruised kidneys, lung contusion, or heart contusion
  • Nerve injuries include brachial plexus nerve injuries or facial nerve injuries
  • Loss of eyesight 
  • Significant disfigurement or scarring
  • Wrongful death, and
  • Any other injuries that our Los Angeles pedestrian knockdown lawyer can obtain for you.

Can I Recover Compensation Even if I Was Partially At Fault?

Yes, even if you may have contributed to your accident in being hit by a car, you may still obtain compensation.  This is because California is a comparative fault state.  This means that your partial and comparative fault in an accident will be proportionally used to reduce your award.

For example, if a court or jury finds you to be 20% at fault for being hit by a car (i.e., stepped off a curb too soon), your award would likely be reduced by 20%.  If you recover $100,000, your award will be reduced by $20,000 to result in a total of $80,000.

Were You Hit by a Car in a Crosswalk?  Let Us Help You

Being hit by a car is a traumatic type of personal injury accident.  It can lead to very serious personal injuries and result in the wrongful death of an innocent person.  Even though being hit by a car within a crosswalk is a strong case, that just means that a defense lawyer will fight back even harder.  Victims and their families need to hire an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to fight for your rights under California law.  Call the Broadway Law Firm to do that for you to learn how our pedestrian knockdown lawyers in Los Angeles, California can recover the compensation that you deserve by dialing 213.344.0067.

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