Because they are utterly unprotected from harm, pedestrians are uniquely vulnerable on streets and roads. Even a relatively slow speed collision can lead to devastating injuries — and Los Angeles pedestrians are at greater risk of these injuries than most.
According to a 2018 report from the Los Angeles Times, pedestrian deaths have surged recently. In 2017, 134 pedestrians were killed in Los Angeles, the highest number ever recorded and an increase of more than 80-percent from the previous year.
Because of its huge traffic volume, Los Angeles is one of the more dangerous cities in the United States for pedestrians. Yet traffic isn’t solely responsible for the rising number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Distracted driving, which occurs when a motorist pays attention to a smartphone or similar device and ignores the road, has reached epidemic levels.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that a quarter of all road accidents are linked to distracted driving. Many of these distracted drivers become so inattentive that they drift into walkways or sidewalks or fail to stop and respect the right of way of pedestrians.
Fortunately, California law protects any pedestrian who has been injured as the result of another motorist’s negligence.
What to Do When Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
It’s important to understand that pedestrian injuries don’t necessarily involve a vehicle striking a person. Pedestrians often are the victim of secondary injuries from flying or falling debris — or even the mental anguish of seeing another person suffer a grievous injury.
In any case, it’s imperative to take fast action to ensure the safety of everyone on the scene. First, after an accident, make sure that all parties are out of danger and away from broken glass and other hazards.
Next, contact the authorities so medical personnel can render necessary aid and law enforcement can process the scene of the accident. Take photos, shoot video and gather any witness statements. Do not make any statements discussing liability.
If you’ve been injured, seek medical attention at once. Pedestrians who have been struck by cars are at risk of serious and long-lasting orthopedic injuries, so it’s essential to seek an immediate medical evaluation.
Additionally, you should keep detailed records of any time missed from work, lost wages, medical bills and other financial issues associated with your injuries.
Contacting Legal Counsel
Injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents can lead to a lifetime of physical disabilities. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney immediately.
Because pedestrian injury cases can be quite complex, it’s important to work with a firm that has the experience to handle the toughest cases.
By finding the right legal advocate, you can help ensure that you receive everything to which you’re entitled under the law.