Crossing the street at night may not seem like a big deal – “There are fewer cars,” you may think – but it can actually become risky (especially on Friday or Saturday night, when there’s a higher likelihood of encountering drunk drivers).
Fact: over 5,000 pedestrians are killed in car accidents across the U.S. every year, while other nearly 130,000 suffer injuries in traffic crashes.
A Long Beach woman, 40, learned this the hard way when she was struck by a vehicle on Saturday night. Although there is no immediate information about the driver’s sobriety, it was reported that the incident took place at about 11pm.
The car – Toyota RAV4 driven by a 47-year-old man – hit the woman when she was attempting to cross Austin Boulevard. The woman was severely injured and was hospitalized, while the driver didn’t flee the scene and helped the victim.
The victim is currently in a coma and in critical condition, with police reports saying she suffered a fractured skull, internal bleeding and a broken femur.
Long Beach car accident attorneys have yet to determine liability in the case, but one thing is clear: crossing the streets at night is quite dangerous. But can the pedestrian be at fault in a car-pedestrian accident?
Can a pedestrian be at fault in a car-pedestrian accident?
While we always tend to assume that only drivers can be held liable for car- pedestrian accidents, in realty it’s not uncommon for pedestrians to be at fault in such traffic collisions, our best car accident attorneys in Long Beach say.
Fact: higher vehicle speed increases both the risk of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle and the severity of pedestrian injuries.
But what may truly surprise you is that pedestrians are often at fault in car-pedestrian accidents, which may significantly minimize or even deny their compensation benefits.
While people are more tempted to cross the street illegally (jaywalk) or cross outside of a crosswalk at night, it’s true that crossing the street at night increases the risk of both getting into a car-pedestrian accident and being fully or partially at fault for the car crash.
Our car accident lawyers at JML Law outline four scenarios in which a pedestrian can bear the blame for the car-pedestrian accident fully or partially.
- Crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, and jaywalking
- Crossing the street in the crosswalk but against a red traffic signal
- Stepping onto the street or highway while overly-intoxicated
- Walking along streets, highways or bridges where only cars are allowed to drive.
How to seek compensation even if you’re partially at fault?
However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that just because you were partially at fault for the car-pedestrian accident, the car driver and his/her insurance company won’t compensate for your injuries.
In fact, in Long Beach and elsewhere in California, there is a standard of comparative negligence that determines liability in car accidents based on the amount of negligence of each party involved in the accident.
That means, for example, if you get injured in a car-pedestrian accident after crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, even though you are partially at fault for crossing the street illegally, the car driver may still be partially at fault for speeding, or being intoxicated, or texting and driving (and other factors).
If you became the victim of a car accident as a pedestrian, and the driver or his/her insurer denies your recovery for your injuries and damages, seek the immediate help of a skilled car accident attorney to find evidence of the driver’s negligence and recover compensation.
Here at JML Law, our best car accident lawyers in Long Beach and across California stand up for pedestrians to help them seek financial compensation for their injuries, damages and losses.
Call our Long Beach offices at 818-610-8800 or send an email for a free case evaluation.