When people think about accidents involving moving vehicles, they most commonly think about crashes involving cars, bicycles, trucks, or buses. Few consider how many accidents each year actually involve pedestrians. However, when you stop to think about the high volume of traffic found on streets in the Bakersfield area, it’s not hard to imagine how many pedestrian accidents can occur.
Pedestrians are the least protected individuals involved in accidents with moving vehicles. They are usually wearing no form of protective head gear and often they are children going between home and school or playing in the neighborhood. Elderly people who have vision and mobility issues are another high risk pedestrian group.
<strong>California Laws about Pedestrian Accidents</strong>
California law covers a variety of issues involving pedestrian behavior and accidents. Pedestrians bear responsibility to make sure they are:<strong></strong>
<ul><li>crossing streets in appropriate places, like crosswalks or at signal lights;</li>
<li>obeying all street signs and signals;</li>
<li>using sidewalks when available and if not, walking on the far left edge of the roadway facing oncoming traffic;</li>
<li>avoiding distractions that affect what they can see and hear around them, including oncoming traffic;</li>
<li>dressed for weather conditions appropriately and wearing reflective clothing for early morning, evening, and nighttime hours.</li></ul>
Operators of moving vehicles also have responsibilities. To avoid hitting pedestrians, operators are expected to :
<ul><li>watch their speed in residential areas;</li>
<li>slow down on congested roads;</li>
<li> change their path of direction or stop completely;</li>
<li>pay attention to all road and traffic signals;</li>
<li>not be under the influence of other substances that may impair their judgment;</li>
<li>not participate in distracted driving, such as using cell phones while the vehicle is moving.</li></ul>
It is better for operators of moving vehicles to err on the side of caution as accidents involving pedestrians can result in serious injury or even death to those who are hit by a moving vehicle.
<strong>What to Do If You are Injured as a Pedestrian</strong>
Determining who is at fault in a pedestrian accident can be difficult to prove. It is important to follow the directions of all law enforcement and medical personnel on the scene as this will help your case. In order to protect your right to compensation for personal injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses or loss of wages, pedestrians who are injured in accidents involving moving vehicles should do the following:
<ul><li>call for law enforcement immediately to begin assessing the scene and interview possible eyewitnesses;</li>
<li>exchange contact and insurance information with the operator of the moving vehicle;</li>
<li>if you have no medical care on the scene, receive a medical evaluation within 24 hours to document any injuries you incur as injuries may not be immediately apparent;</li>
<li>comply with all medical directives and follow your doctor’s orders, including showing up for any follow-up appointments;</li>
<li>if you are employed, return to work as soon as you are cleared by your doctor.</li>
<strong>Seeking Financial Compensation</strong>
You deserve to seek compensation and receive fair representation for injuries resulting from a pedestrian accident with an operator of a moving vehicle. At Bakersfield Accident Lawyers, we have trained attorneys who are experienced in determining the circumstances of your situation and how much compensation you should receive for personal injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses, or loss of wages. There is no fee for consultation and our services are only reimbursed if you have received reasonable compensation through the legal process. Let the attorneys from Bakersfield Accident Lawyers be the ones to obtain the full compensation you are entitled to under the law today. We are waiting to help you.