Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles

Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in Los Angeles: Compensation for Injuries

Walking can be just as frightening and hazardous as driving a car. In California the pedestrian fatality rate is 25% higher than the national average, according to The California Office of Traffic Safety. That means you or your loved ones are at a higher risk of sustaining severe injuries in the bustling Los Angeles metro area.

Any time you go for a stroll you need to be aware of any and all dangers that a pedestrian can face. Always be mindful of your surroundings and take extreme safety measures to prevent the risk of getting hurt. Collisions involving bicyclists, motorcyclists, or drivers can lead to devastating injuries. Whether you live in a quiet and calm suburb or reside in an energetic metropolis, an accident attorney in LA can help you recover compensation after an accident.

Experienced And Trustworthy Legal Counsel for Pedestrian Accidents

At The Law Offices of Oscar H. Gutierrez APC our personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles has helped clients through their accidents for over 40 years. We're a California-based legal practice that focuses on all different kinds of personal injuries. When it comes to pedestrian accidents you need an attorney to protect your rights against a negligent driver.

Going through any accident might feel overwhelming and devastating. Out LA pedestrian accident attorneys are professionals whose service will put you at ease. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won't pay attorney fees until we win your case. To help you navigate through complex pedestrian accidents, we outline information you might find helpful below.

Jaywalking and California Laws

According to a 2017 study, pedestrians in the U.S. die from traffic accidents once every 88 minutes. In fact, after the pandemic, there have been fewer accidents resulting in minor injuries from an auto collision. Pedestrians aren't walking away harm-free. Instead they're sustaining injuries such as:

  • Herniated discs and spinal damage
  • Leg cartilage and tendon tears
  • Severe brain trauma
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken arms, ribs, and legs
  • Liver, spleen, and kidney damage

An average car weighs 2,871 pounds. People just can't compete with that. Now more than ever Californians must obey the rules of the road, especially when it comes to yielding to pedestrians. Per state vehicle code § 21950 drivers are required to yield whether there is a sidewalk available.

This might seem like an unfair advantage for a motorist if someone suddenly walks toward oncoming traffic without warning. Jaywalking is illegal in California per state vehicle code 21955. If pedestrians get injured while jaywalking, they can still recover damages against the driver through comparative negligence laws.

The doctrine of comparative negligence is when both parties pay a percentage of damages based on their fault in the accident. That means that even if you were cited for jaywalking, you could receive a portion of financial compensation for your damages. The same might also apply to drivers who abided by the road rules at the time of the incident.

That's why drivers need to slow down, make eye contact, and stop when someone is walking nearby. Pedestrians should equally check both ways before crossing the street, even if they have the right-of-way. Wait until the vehicle stops – never assume the driver will when they see you. These cases are much tougher to recover damages from without a personal injury attorney by your side.

Public Intoxication and Drunk Walking 

Walking under the influence can affect your ability to think clearly and act with caution. It is not illegal to be drunk in public, but the state does set penalties when pedestrians are jeopardizing the safety of others and obstructing roadways or sidewalks.

You're legally considered as "drunk in public" if there's enough evidence to prove:

  • That a controlled substance impacted your walking
  • You were in a public place when you were intoxicated
  • At the time of the accident, you could not exercise care for your safety or others' safety

Public intoxication can result in six months of jail time and a $1,000 fine. Convictions will also go on your permanent criminal record and remain accessible to anyone who would find this information useful.

Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can be incredibly distressing. Many different and equally unsettling factors can contribute to such accidents, including:

  • Distracted Driving – drivers who aren't paying attention to the road can bring on these types of accidents. Avoid eating, texting, and talking on your phone while driving or walking in busy areas.
  • Dangerous Conditions – bad weather reduces visibility on the road. Drivers should slow down to a safe speed. Pedestrians should also wear reflective clothing to increase their chances of being seen.
  • Reckless Driving – drivers should operate with caution, especially at an intersection or within school zones. Look for any signs of individuals or cars.

If you've recently experienced a pedestrian accident you should reach out to a lawyer immediately if you hope to recover compensation. Severe injuries have prevented people from returning to work, harmed their social lives, and affected relationships. If you find it's changing your quality of life, a pedestrian and car accident lawyer can ease your legal burdens to give you more peace of mind.

Who Oversees Pedestrian Safety in Los Angeles?

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) oversees pedestrian safety across LA County. As one of many popular tourist destinations in California, there is a surge of pedestrians who walk along our busy city streets. LADOT has collaborated with other committees across the city to improve pedestrian safety tactics.

As more people get hurt on foot, pedestrians can expect to see more awareness about distracted walking. Texting and listening to music have contributed to the spike in accidental deaths. The city is also expected to increase the number of crosswalks available to promote safer practices.

Related Articles About Pedestrian Accidents

How Are Pedestrians Responsible for Road Accidents?
Pedestrians are almost always more injured than the car that hit them. However, the severity of one's injuries does not always indicate fault. Sometimes, pedestrians are to blame for the crash. Pedestrians are often liable for disobeying traffic laws by jaywalking or crossing at a random part of the street instead of a crosswalk while texting, or talking on their phone. In these cases, you might not get fully compensated for your injuries.

What's The Average Settlement For A Pedestrian Hit By A Car?
Since accident settlements are not one-size-fits-all, there's no set amount that a pedestrian typically receives following an accident. Compensation hinges on the bodily damage, property damage, and amount of negligence exhibited by each party involved. While the pedestrian can be partially liable in a pedestrian-car crash, the driver will usually bear a greater percentage of fault. Your settlement depends on the total damages in your case.

Common Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents
Hitting a pedestrian is every driver's worst fear, and it can occur at the most unexpected of times. You are most likely to get hit by a car if you are walking at night and wearing dark colors. Older pedestrians and children are the most susceptible populations to this kind of accident. Drivers are most likely to hit someone when they are distracted, whether it's by fiddling with the radio, talking on the phone, texting, or looking for something in the car.

Pedestrian Accidents: Civil vs. Criminal Consequences
Most drivers who hit pedestrians will stop, get out of their car, and follow traditional post-accident procedures. It usually results in a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, and the driver will likely pay a higher auto insurance premium for the next 3-5 years. However, some drivers try to flee the scene, which turns the pedestrian accident into a hit and run. Fleeing the scene will result in criminal charges against the driver.

What To Do After A Pedestrian Accident
Getting hit by a car can be scary. However, there are a few steps you should try to remember if you find yourself in this scenario.

  • Call 911 and always try to remain calm while you wait for first responders to arrive.
  • The 911 operator will dispatch a police officer and ambulance to the scene. Once they arrive, accept an examination from a medical professional to check for latent injuries.
  • Limit the amount you say to anyone at the scene to avoid admitting fault.
  • After receiving emergency treatment, call a Los Angeles injury compensation lawyer to start your case.

Your attorney will investigate the accident, find expert witnesses to weigh in on what happened, and add up the total of your injuries so that you are paying little to no out-of-pocket expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pedestrian Accidents

  1.   Do drivers owe pedestrians a "duty of care" on the road?
    Yes! However, both pedestrians and drivers owe each other a duty of care.Pedestrians are at a higher risk of sustaining fatal injuries or dying from impact. Therefore, drivers should be exercising a greater duty of care on the road and in high-traffic areas.
  2.   Can you explain what a pedestrian should do to avoid liability?
    • Make sure to follow and obey crossing signs, traffic signs and signals.
    • Ensure the road is clear before entering the street to prevent the possibility of collision.
    • Avoid walking, running, or jogging while impaired. In California, it is considered a misdemeanor offense to be drunk in public if it affects your duty of care toward others.
    • Be mindful of your surroundings! Although you have the right of way, always look out for oncoming vehicles just as they look out for you.
  3.   What happens when a minor gets hurt or dies in an accident?
    Drivers should be vigilant of minors, especially young children that instinctively run out into the street. Children don't have the same cognitive skills as adults. That act quickly and impulsively.Children often run out into the street to retrieve a lost item or toy in most pedestrian accidents. Therefore, drivers should anticipate their presence even if the child isn't visible. When minors get hurt or die from impact, immediate family members can bring a case against the driver.
  4.   What damages are recoverable in a pedestrian accident?
    • Wage loss from time off work
    • Past, current and future medical expenses
    • Pain and suffering for the emotional and physical toll
    • Punitive damages – to directly hold the defendant accountable

    In wrongful death cases, the victim's family can pursue compensation for their economic and emotional loss brought on from his/her death.

Why Hire Us for Your Pedestrian Accident Claim

When you need pedestrian accident attorneys who know all there is to know about justice, it's time to call us, the Law Offices of Oscar H. Gutierrez. Our experienced and highly proficient team has helped thousands of clients throughout the state of California.

Navigating the insurance agencies and legal framework for compensation can be difficult, especially if English is not your first language. That's why you should call the bilingual lawyers of Gutierrez Law to make sure you are compensated for your pain and suffering.

Don't leave your medical bills and property damage to chance; instead, hire a law firm that can win you the maximum settlement. Contact our office for a free consultation at 323-999-3500 or email us at