According to a 2018 news article published in The Orange County Register, Angelina Guentcheva, age 65, was killed in the city of Irvine after being struck by a vehicle in the Woodbridge neighborhood. The fatal incident took place on February 18, near Blue Lake South and Springacre. While Irvine is regarded as a safe and affluent city, the California Highway Patrol’s 2014 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) report offers further alarming statistics regarding pedestrian safety: three deaths and 26 injuries occurred as a result of pedestrian accidents in Irvine. In total, 47 people lost their lives and 764 more were injured in the greater Orange County during that year because of pedestrian accidents.
Sadly, this has become the norm as thousands of pedestrians are killed or injured every year by negligent or reckless drivers who are not looking out for walkers or runners. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 5,376 pedestrian deaths in the United States as recently as 2015. Fortunately, California law offers protections for pedestrians who were injured in a motor vehicle collision.
If you or a loved one was injured after a pedestrian accident in the city of Irvine, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Our experienced and compassionate team of Irvine pedestrian accident lawyers will recover the compensation you are entitled to so that you can focus on your recovery and on the ones you care most about.
Common Causes for Pedestrian Accidents
Whether you were enjoying an early morning jog along Jamboree Blvd., or walking home after a hard day of work in downtown Irvine, being hit by a motor vehicle can completely change your life. Pedestrian accident injuries tend to be severe, because a pedestrian has no protection when they are struck by a moving vehicle. Anytime a vehicle collides with a defenseless pedestrian, the resulting injuries can be fatal.
Below are common causes for pedestrian accidents:
- Bicyclists: Statistically speaking, careless drivers are usually responsible for causing a pedestrian accident, but cyclists can sometimes share in the blame. If, for example, a cyclist is sharing a bike lane with a runner, a cyclist can accidentally force a runner into oncoming traffic and cause a tragic situation.
- Alcohol Impaired Drivers: It goes without saying that a drunk driver is a danger to everyone, but especially to a pedestrian. Accident victims struck by a drunk driver can collect normal damages and may also be entitled to punitive damages.
- Cars Turning Left: A pedestrian is three times more likely to be injured when drivers are making left turns. A driver may be too distracted looking for oncoming vehicles and may forget to check for pedestrians at crosswalks. Make sure that drivers visually acknowledge you before crossing a street.
- Dark Clothing: Your clothing may not seem important, but it can possibly prevent you from being a pedestrian accident victim. It’s easy to miss a pedestrian dressed in dark clothing after dark and if streets are poorly illuminated. Wear bright colors or reflective gear while walking at night.
- Unsafe Crosswalks: Unmarked or poorly visible crosswalks increase the chances of a pedestrian accident. Signaled crosswalks are always the safest for people to use when crossing a street.
Below are 9 tips to reduce the possibility of a pedestrian accident:
- Make Eye Contact. Never assume a driver sees you. Always make eye contact and make sure that he or she is aware you’re crossing the street.
- Use the Sidewalk. Always walk on a sidewalk and do not walk on the street for any reason.
- Be Visible. Be aware of any obstacles that might block you from a motorist’s line of sight, such as walls, bushes, traffic signals, and parked cars.
- Stay Off Your Phone When Walking. Keep your eyes on the road and you have a much better chance of reacting to a vehicle bearing down on you.
- Look Both Ways. Always stop before entering an intersection and look both ways to make sure you’re fully safe.
- Watch for Parked Cars. Never walk between parked cars and be sure cars are definitively parked and that drivers are not about to move.
- Use Crosswalks. Using crosswalks instead of walking across the middle of a street is the best way to reduce the likelihood of being injured.
- Avoid Alcohol Before Walking. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consume any alcohol. Instead, follow the same drinking guidelines you would use if you were going out for a drive.
- Defensive Walking. Be aware of your surroundings and watch what is going on around you.
Types of Charges In a Pedestrian Accident
Below are common charges a reckless driver may face after a pedestrian accident:
- DUI: Driving while under the influence and injuring a pedestrian can lead to severe criminal penalties. If an individual is injured while crossing the street by a driver who was under the influence, it can count as an aggravated circumstance.
- Hit and Run: It is illegal for a driver to leave the scene of an accident he or she was involved in. Hit and run accidents may incur misdemeanor charges that can range depending on the severity of the incident.
- Manslaughter: If a person dies because of someone’s reckless driving, this constitutes as vehicular manslaughter. About 11% percent of traffic deaths involving a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle.
The team of Irvine pedestrian accident lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers has decades of experience successfully advocating for the rights of pedestrian accident victims. We will fight for all forms of compensation you are entitled to, such as:
- Medical Bills.
- Lost Wages and Income.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life.
- Loss of Consortium.
- Pain, Suffering and Emotional Distress.
- Loss of Earning Capacity.
Contact us to find out how we can help
If you have sustained injuries in the city of Irvine as a result of a pedestrian accident, an attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.