A recent study released by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, shows many notable trends in fatalities in the County over the past year. One of the more noteworthy increases, was the rise in motor vehicle related fatalities, and specifically the surprising increase of unintentional pedestrian accidents resulting in deaths, which increased by 35% from 2013 to 2014.
In 2014, there were 93 pedestrian deaths as a result of motor vehicle collisions with pedestrians. 88 were deemed by medical examiners to be unintentional deaths, while 3 were deemed to be suicides and 2 were deemed to be homicides. This figure of 93 deaths, is the highest number of pedestrian deaths in a single year, since 1992, when 97 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents.
The Report states that nearly half of these pedestrian deaths involved drivers who were driving under the influence, and many also included pedestrians crossing, outside of a crosswalk, in the dark.
California is a state where pedestrians have the right-of-way in many situations. If you have been in an accident, while crossing the street, you may be able to hold the driver of the automobile liable for your injuries. Much of this is dependent on the facts of your case. Under California law, driver must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing in marked crosswalks, in unmarked crosswalks at intersections and in a variety of other situations. To prevail in a pedestrian accident case, a pedestrian must show that the driver failed to yield in a situation where they were supposed to yield.
However, pedestrians must also obey their own duty under California law. That duty is to cross the street using due care for his or her safety. This means that a pedestrian cannot merely leave a curb suddenly and cross directly in the path of a moving vehicle. A pedestrian cannot place themselves in a situation of imminent harm. More simply, a pedestrian who creates his own dangerous situation, may not be able to recover, or alternatively may have their recovery limited due to their own actions.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so please cross the street in marked crosswalks.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle accident, then a San Diego pedestrian accident attorney can help you avoid any potential pitfalls that might block or limit your recovery. For a free consultation with a San Diego personal injury attorney ready to help you protect your interests, please call Martinez & Schill LLP today at 951-200-4630, or email us at [email protected]