Pedestrian Laws in Pasadena, California
Pedestrian accidents are a growing problem in California. According to the most recent data from the California Office of Traffic Safety, the number of pedestrians killed on the state’s roads rose 26 percent over a five-year period. More than 14,000 pedestrians were injured in accidents in a single year, and California’s pedestrian fatality rate is almost 25 percent above the national average.
It’s no secret that pedestrian accidents can result in life-changing injuries. Unlike other motorists or even bicyclists, pedestrians have no protection if they’re struck by a car. If you or a loved one has been hit in Pasadena, you need a pedestrian accident attorney who will fight for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Contact the Law Offices of Pius Joseph – Personal Injury Attorney right away. We have more than 25 years of experience helping accident victims in Pasadena and throughout California.
We’ve recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients and earned widespread recognition for our work. Attorney Pius Joseph has been named one of the Top 100 trial attorneys by The National Trial Lawyers. He is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an honor given to less than one percent of U.S. lawyers.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
What Are the Pedestrian Laws in Pasadena?
In order to collect compensation for injuries in a pedestrian accident, pedestrians must show that someone else is responsible for their injuries. Generally, this means proving they weren’t in violation of state and local pedestrian laws.
- California law states drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are crossing the street at a marked or unmarked crosswalk. This includes crosswalks at intersections as well as certain marked mid-block crossings. However, pedestrians also need to look out for their own safety. For example, pedestrians should not suddenly enter the street into the path of a moving vehicle. Pedestrians should also avoid stopping in the middle of a crossing or delaying traffic in other ways.
- State regulations say drivers must slow down and “exercise all due care” when approaching pedestrians at either marked or unmarked crosswalks.
- The California Vehicle Code states pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles in a roadway unless the pedestrian is at a marked crosswalk or at a traffic intersection.
- Under California’s disorderly conduct law, pedestrians can be charged with a misdemeanor if they’re intoxicated and are obstructing a street, sidewalk, or intersection.
- Pasadena law says anyone using roller skates or who is riding a skateboard, scooter, or other electric mobility device is required to yield to pedestrians on sidewalks or crosswalks.
- Local law states pedestrians are required to use crosswalks to cross the street if they are walking in a business district.
- Pasadena law says it’s illegal for pedestrians to stand or sit on any street, alley, sidewalk, or crosswalk if it hinders or obstructs others from passing.
- There are two diagonal crossings in Old Pasadena with their own specific rules. When the WALK sign is lit at these intersections, only pedestrians are allowed into the intersection, meaning they can go straight across or go diagonally. However, if the WALK sign is not illuminated, pedestrians should not cross, even if they are crossing with the flow of traffic.
Is the Driver Always Liable for Pedestrian Accidents?
Figuring out who is liable (or “at fault”) for a pedestrian accident depends on the facts of the case. Generally speaking, the liable party in a pedestrian accident case is the one who acted negligently by violating state or local traffic regulations in some way.
Example 1: A drunk driver hits and injures a pedestrian who was lawfully crossing the street. The driver would be liable because the pedestrian was following the rules of the road. Furthermore, the driver broke multiple traffic laws by driving while impaired and failing to yield the right of way.
Example 2: A driver is texting when he strikes a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Again, the pedestrian was following the rules while the driver was not. Because the driver was distracted and failed to yield the right of way when he was supposed to, he can be held liable for the accident.
When Is a Pedestrian Liable for an Accident?
While the driver will bear at least a portion of the responsibility in many pedestrian accidents, there are times when a pedestrian can be held liable for the injuries they sustained in a crash. Like with drivers, pedestrians who break traffic laws may also be held accountable for their part in causing the accident.
Example 1: A pedestrian fails to cross the street at a designated crosswalk and gets hit by a car. The pedestrian may be held at least partially liable for the accident because they were breaking traffic laws. While drivers do have a duty to watch for people on foot, the law also requires pedestrians to look out for their own safety and not create a hazard by crossing where they aren’t supposed to.
In certain cases, pedestrians may be held liable for collisions even if they were crossing legally at an intersection.
Example 2: If a pedestrian is intoxicated and stops suddenly in the middle of an intersection, he or she would be guilty of disorderly conduct and bear some responsibility if an accident occurs.
Proving Liability After a Pedestrian Accident
Because establishing liability is so crucial in pedestrian accident cases, you’ll want as much evidence as possible when you file your claim. Examples of evidence include:
- Medical records: You have to establish that you have an injury that is directly linked to the accident. That makes your medical records a key piece of evidence in any type of injury claim. Always see a doctor if you’ve been hit by a car. Hold on to any medical records or medical bills related to the accident.
- Police accident reports: Police are required to investigate any accident that causes serious injuries or death, especially if a pedestrian is involved. This makes police reports an extremely valuable piece of evidence, especially if the investigating agency cites the other driver for breaking traffic regulations.
- Photos or video from the accident scene: Visual evidence is powerful in pedestrian accident claims. If you’re able, take photos at the scene of the collision. Include shots of the whole area around the crash site, especially of any nearby traffic signs or signals. Photos of the vehicle that hit you are also helpful, as they help illustrate exactly how you were injured.
- Surveillance video: Footage from traffic cameras or nearby surveillance cameras can provide an objective view of what happened in an accident, helping to show who’s liable. A lawyer can help you obtain this kind of evidence.
In California, pedestrians can still recover compensation for their accident-related injuries even if they are 99 percent at fault for a wreck. It’s worthwhile to speak with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to ensure you are assigned a fair portion of fault. An attorney can protect your rights to maximize the amount of compensation that you receive.
How Can the Law Offices of Pius Joseph – Personal Injury Attorney Help Me?
Because pedestrian accidents typically result in serious injuries, it’s important to get help from a lawyer who knows the tricks that insurance companies use in an effort to deny victims the money they deserve. At the Law Offices of Pius Joseph – Personal Injury Attorney, we know how to collect the evidence needed to substantiate your claim and argue for the best possible outcome in your case. Working with our law firm also gives you the opportunity to focus on rest and rehabilitation while we handle the heavy work.
Our team is ready to start on your case right away. Call or contact our Pasadena office today for a free consultation.