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San Bernardino Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Pedestrians who walk on the streets of San Bernardino are vulnerable to external factors, such as motor vehicles and road hazards. Since they do not have adequate protection to defend themselves against these surrounding forces, the aftermath of a pedestrian accident can lead to serious injuries and financial losses.

If you were struck by a negligent driver or object while out on a walk, you may be entitled to sue the at fault party to recover damages. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our San Bernardino pedestrian accident lawyers will guide you through each step of the legal process to ensure you get fair and full compensation.

We run on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you do not need to pay for our services until the case has been settled. To schedule a free consultation, we welcome you to call (213) 927-3700 or completing our quick contact form.

2023 Pedestrian Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 7,388 pedestrians were involved in fatal accidents in 2021. On average, a death occurred every 71 minutes, and injuries were every 9 minutes. Other additional details they shared include the following:

  • There was a 12.5 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities and an 11 percent increase in injuries from 2020 to 2021.
  • Pedestrian deaths contributed to 17 percent of fatal traffic accidents.
  • Pedestrian injuries accounted for 2 percent of traffic accidents.
  • The average age of pedestrians who were killed was 47.
  • 75 percent of people who were killed in a pedestrian accident were male.
  • 49 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents involved alcohol for the driver and/or pedestrian, and 30 percent of them were found to have a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08 g/dL or higher.
  • 19 percent of pedestrian crashes involved a driver with a BAC of .08 g/dL percent or higher.
  • 77 percent of pedestrian deaths happened at night, 20 percent was during the daytime, and 2 percent was at dawn.
  • 89 percent of fatalities were caused by single-vehicle accidents, 23 percent were by a hit-and-run accident, and 11 percent died from a multi-vehicle accident.

Common Types of San Bernardino Pedestrian Accidents

There are several types of pedestrian accidents that may occur on the road. The sections below will discuss each one and what could be done to prevent it from happening.

Backing Up Pedestrian Accident

A pedestrian accident can occur when a vehicle is backing up. This typically occurs in parking lots and driveways. To reduce the likelihood of striking a pedestrian while reversing, drivers are encouraged to:

  • Check the mirrors,
  • Look at the rearview cameras, and
  • Physically turn to have a better view of what is behind you.

Pedestrians, on the other hand, should cautiously walk in parking lots and driveways, and keep an eye out for any vehicles that are attempting to back up.

Off-Road Pedestrian Accident

An off-road pedestrian accident occurs when an individual is struck while occupying designated areas meant for them, such as sidewalks or trails. This happens when a vehicle suddenly leaves the roadway and crashes into pedestrians walking.

To lessen the chances of an off-road pedestrian accident, people will need to cautiously drive on the road, especially in highly populated pedestrian areas. In addition, the city should place proper signages to make sure no confusions influence a driver to make mistakes that could harm people nearby.

Side of the Road Pedestrian Accident

A side of the road pedestrian accident is when a vehicle crashes into a person who is walking on the sidewalk. This type of collision can be caused by:

  • Distracted driving,
  • Lack of visibility,
  • Impaired driving, and
  • Speeding.

It is encouraged for drivers to follow the city's traffic laws to provide reasonable care to pedestrians nearby.

Highway Crossing Pedestrian Accident

A pedestrian crossing a highway can put them at high risk of getting into an accident since vehicles are traveling at high speeds on that type of road. Drivers will have a reduced response rate to a person who is attempting to cross not only because of their speed, but also from the rarity of noticing someone crossing a fast-paced highway when they should not.

Pedestrians should comply with San Bernardino's road rules, and avoid using highways as a means to walk on. This is a dangerous situation that can lead to a catastrophic injury.

Vehicle Passing an Intersection

A driver that is passing an intersection can cause a pedestrian accident if they:

  • Fail to yield the right of way to people who are using the crosswalk,
  • Speed through the intersection,
  • Focus on distractions rather than the road, or
  • Have difficulties seeing pedestrians crossing the street due to poor weather conditions.

Pedestrians can also be held liable for this type of accident if they mistakenly or intentionally cross the road at a time where they are not permitted to do so.

To prevent this type of accident from occurring, drivers should give people the right of way when they are attempting to walk across the street. Pedestrians, on the other hand, should follow traffic signals and check their surroundings before crossing.

Intersection Turn Accident

Left hand turns must be done cautiously, especially if a pedestrian is seen walking on a marked crosswalk. Unfortunately, cases have occurred where a driver:

  • Failed to yield the right of way,
  • Had difficulty noticing someone occupying the crosswalk, or
  • Made fast turns that made it nearly impossible for them to react on time.

To lessen the chances of an intersection turn accident, drivers should scan their surroundings and proceed to turn when it is safe to do so.

Sudden Dash Pedestrian Accident

A sudden dash pedestrian accident happens when a person suddenly walks on a marked or unmarked crosswalk and gets struck by an oncoming vehicle. This typically occurs when a pedestrian is:

  • Jaywalking,
  • Failing to obey traffic signals,
  • Drunk, or
  • Distracted and did not realize that they were crossing the street.

In this case, a pedestrian can be found accountable, but a driver could also share a degree of liability if they:

  • Were speeding,
  • Drove while under the influence, or
  • Failed to yield the right of way.

Leading Causes of San Bernardino Pedestrian Accidents

Based on data provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of pedestrian accidents are:

  • Drivers,
  • Walkers,
  • Alcohol, and
  • Road designs.

In 2020, 60 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred on urban roads that had a posted speed limit of 45 to 55 miles per hour. Most of these crashes were caused by questionable road designs. For instance, stores and restaurants were established in areas where vehicle movement was prioritized. This made it challenging for drivers to react on time to pedestrians who were attempting to cross the street.

The CDC further went on to mention that:

  • SUVs were known to cause serious injuries due to their heavy weight and large size.
  • Drunk drivers and pedestrians accounted for almost half of the crashes that lead to fatal accidents in 2021.

Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents

Since pedestrians are vulnerable when out on the city streets, they are prone to sustain serious injuries if they are struck by a vehicle or object. The types of physical pain that you could potentially endure include:

  • Spinal cord injuries,
  • Traumatic brain injuries,
  • Broken bones, or
  • Temporary or permanent disability.

Pedestrian accident victims should get treated as soon as possible, especially if it is a catastrophic injury. You will need to get admitted to a local hospital and get emergency care.

What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident

Getting into a pedestrian accident can be a frightening and traumatic experience. Although it is easier said than done, you should try to do the actions listed below to help strengthen your personal injury claim.

Call the Police

If you notice any injuries or damages, you should contact the police. They will arrive at the scene and conduct a police report. You may request a copy of this written document to use in your lawsuit.

Gather Evidence

Get as much evidence as you can. Try to take photographs or video footage of your injury, road conditions, and the location of where the pedestrian accident occurred. Be sure to document your experience in a diary or journal entry, and put the date and time of when it happened.

Exchange Contact and Insurance Information

You will need to share the following with all parties involved in the pedestrian accident, such as:

  • Names,
  • Addresses,
  • Contact numbers,
  • License plate numbers,
  • Vehicle identification numbers,
  • Driver's license numbers, and
  • Insurance information.

Obtain Witness Details

If you notice witnesses nearby, you should ask for their name and contact information. A witness testimony can greatly help strengthen your personal injury case.

Seek Medical Attention

You should seek medical attention soon after the pedestrian accident. Once you have been examined by a physician, they will let you know if you have any notable concerns that may require short- or long-term treatment. Your doctor visits, procedures, and prescriptions will be saved on file. You can request a copy of your medical records and use it as proof that you got injured due to the defendant's negligent behavior.

Do Not Admit Fault

Avoid admitting fault. There can be certain factors you may not know about that could prove how the opposing side committed more negligence than you. This can make you lose compensation you could have been entitled to had you not confessed. Nonetheless, the defendant may use your words against you, so be cautious with what you choose to share.

Hire a San Bernardino Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

To better your likelihood of having a favorable outcome in your personal injury case, you should hire a San Bernardino pedestrian accident lawyer to represent you. They will protect your legal rights, negotiate with the opposing side, defend you in court, and get fair compensation on your behalf.

When Is a Pedestrian At Fault for a Motor Vehicle Accident?

A pedestrian can be at fault for causing a motor vehicle accident if they do any of the following:

  • Jaywalk on busy roads,
  • Interrupt the flow of traffic,
  • Avoid using marked crosswalks, or
  • Suddenly appear in front of vehicles.

Since California is a comparative faultstate, all parties involved in the pedestrian accident will be evaluated to determine how much negligence was contributed from each side. For instance, if you are 10 percent liable for damages, you can still recover 90 percent of compensation from the defendant.

Pedestrian Accidents and Wrongful Death

If you lost a loved one due to wrongful death in a pedestrian accident, the decedent's estate or surviving family members may be entitled to sue. Under the One-Action Rule, only one lawsuit can be made against the at fault party.

Compensation for a wrongful death claim may include:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Funeral and burial costs,
  • Loss of financial support, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

This can be a difficult legal process to go through on your own, which is why you should seek assistance from a skilled personal injury attorney. They will help you pursue compensation for the damages you endured as a result of the defendant's negligent behavior.

Determining Liability in a San Bernardino Pedestrian Accident Case

To determining liability in a San Bernardino pedestrian accident, you will need to get evidence that proves the at fault party caused or contributed to your injury and/or damages. This includes showing how:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care,
  • The defendant breached their duty of care, and
  • The defendant's reckless behavior caused you to sustain injuries and damages.

You can also show the amount of financial and emotional losses you endured as a result of the pedestrian accident. This includes using receipts and/or medical records as proof that your income was affected by the incident and you sought out treatment to recover from your injury.

Since pedestrian accidents can happen on the road or on someone's property there can be multiple parties involved, including:

  • A negligent driver,
  • The individual or entity responsible for the hazardous area, and
  • The pedestrian.

How to Prevent a Pedestrian Accident

For your own safety, you should consider doing the actions listed below to preventa pedestrian accident:

  • Wear bright or reflective clothing at night to appear more visible to other drivers.
  • Use marked crosswalks whenever possible.
  • Use sidewalks.
  • Remain on the left side of the road when near business or residential districts if no sidewalk is accessible, and walk on the right side of the road if no crosswalk is available. (CVC 21956).
  • Do not allow distractions, like your cell phone or music, to disrupt your attention to what is around you.

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In addition, drivers should obey the city's road rules to provide reasonable care to pedestrians nearby. This includes:

  • Yielding to people who are crossing the street,
  • Keeping your eyes on the road at all times,
  • Cautiously backing up, and
  • Ignoring distractions.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a San Bernardino Pedestrian Accident Case?

There is no exact guarantee when a pedestrian accident case will settle. The duration of such a lawsuit will depend on the amount of time it takes for you to gather evidence, find the right personal injury attorney, and form an agreement with the opposing side. To get an idea of what you could be owed and how long it may take for your lawsuit to settle, you should consult with a knowledgeable legal representative.

What Damages Are Available in a San Bernardino Pedestrian Accident Claim?

Damages available in a San Bernardino pedestrian accident claim will vary based on multiple factors, such as the injuries you sustained and the damages that occurred as a result. Some will leave the incident with minimal impact, whereas others will have a catastrophic outcome. All pedestrian accident victims will be granted economic and non economic damages (and sometimes punitive damages) as long as they provide evidence of the losses they endured from the incident.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are out-of-pocket expenses you experienced from the incident. This includes:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages,
  • Disfigurement, and
  • Loss of earning capacity.

Non Economic Damages

Non economic damages are intangible costs that cannot be measured in monetary terms, such as:

  • Loss of consortium,
  • Emotional distress, and
  • Pain and suffering.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages were established to punish a wrongdoer for their reckless behavior, and to provide the victim with additional compensation. This is rarely awarded in personal injury cases. To get punitive damages, you will need to prove that the defendant committed gross negligence, willful misconduct, and/or intentional harm.

Reach Out to Our San Bernardino Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today

If you were involved in a pedestrian accident and would like to recover compensation, our San Bernardino personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are available 24/7 to evaluate your case. Once we review the evidence and documentation provided, we will pursue legal action against the opposing side to ensure you get a favorable outcome.

To schedule a free consultation, we welcome you to reach out to us by calling (213) 927-3700 or completing our easy contact form.

More Resources

Environmental Conditions and Pedestrian Accident Liability

Pedestrian Accidents and Construction Site Injuries

California’s Pedestrian Accident Laws

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