Collisions involving pedestrians are always a possibility given the crowded and busy highways and streets in and around our community. On Friday, September 5, a 62-year old man from Huntington Beach was crossing the street near Education Lane and Yorktown Avenue when he was struck by a vehicle traveling westbound on Yorktown Avenue. The victim was transported to the hospital and died the next day.
The 64-year old male driver of the 2004 Nissan Sentra that struck the pedestrian remained at the scene of the accident, but he was later released without being charged. We want to express our deepest condolences to everyone that was involved in this tragic and devastating collision. The loss of a loved one, no matter what the circumstance, is very difficult to bear.
At the moment, it is unclear from the facts that have been disclosed by officers or the police department who is at fault for this accident. While the driver was not charged and he was released, the accident may still be under investigation and charges may be filed if the police determine that the driver was negligent, careless, or reckless while operating his motor vehicle.
Pedestrians have the right of way and drivers are required by law to stop to allow them to cross the road. However, there are instances where a person on foot may be at fault if he or she is struck by a vehicle while crossing the road. In the case above, the specific situation is unknown so it is impossible to know if the driver or the pedestrian was at fault for the accident.
While it is assumed in most of these cases that the driver is at fault, the driver should consult with an attorney to determine his or her rights and defenses to the charges. On the other hand, the victim or the victim’s family should also immediately contact a personal injury attorney experienced in pedestrian accidents to protect their rights in case they are eligible to obtain compensation for damages.
The specifics of this case are not clear; however, if the driver is at fault, the pedestrian’s family may have a claim for compensation. When a pedestrian is injured due to the acts of another party, they and/or their family may have a legal right to be compensated for injuries sustained.
Pedestrian accidents result in a disproportionate number of severe injuries and/or death because the person on foot is at such a safety disadvantage when compared to the driver of the automobile. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011, 4,290 pedestrians died in traffic accidents and another 69,000 people suffered injuries.
Because of the severity of the injuries, damages for these accidents can quickly exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. For those who intend to pursue compensation, it is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in pedestrian accident cases that knows how to maximize the recovery for the victim and/or the victim’s family. Damages that may be available include:
Yes, you should consult with and consider retaining a pedestrian injury lawyer following a collision. Many victims and/or their families believe that they can settle their claim directly with the insurance company. However, insurance companies want to pay as little as possible for your claim and will fight you every step in order to reduce the amount of money you receive for your injuries. Insurance companies will take advantage of a victim that is not represented by counsel to offer a lower settlement amount than the claim is worth.
Often victims realize too late that by trying to deal with the insurance company directly that they have hurt their chances of recovering a just and fair settlement for their claim. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation with no obligation to retain; therefore, it does not cost you anything to discuss your case with them.
For victims, it is in your best interest to obtain a consultation from a lawyer that has experience and success with these types of collisions. Those who have been involved in a car accident in Southern California are eligible to receive a free consultation from a pedestrian accident attorney at our law firm by calling (800) 838-6644.