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What Are the Most Common Causes of a Pedestrian Accident in San Francisco?

In 2020, San Francisco was ranked as one of the top 5 most walkable cities in the United States. The city provides several paths that make it possible for pedestrians to walk from their homes to retail stores, parks, or public transportation spots. With a large volume of pedestrians occupying the streets on a day to day basis, it does increase risks of pedestrian accidents from occurring. Unfortunately, from 2014 to 2020, there have been a total of 115 pedestrian fatalities caused by traffic accidents.

Victims of a pedestrian accident are eligible to file a personal injury claim against the party at-fault for damages. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our San Francisco pedestrian accident attorneys are available 24/7 to provide legal assistance to those who are interested in pursuing a claim. With our track record of recovering more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your case.

To schedule a free consultation at our San Francisco personal injury law firm, please contact us by calling (415) 326-8794 or emailing [email protected].

Common Causes of a Pedestrian Accident

Oftentimes, pedestrian accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Pedestrians are expected to be given the right-of-way by drivers, however, many of these drivers choose to ignore the rules of the road and continue to do as they please. Those who are found breaking right-of-way laws will be given a penalty of at least $220, if injuries are involved. The penalty for not yielding to a blind pedestrian is more severe: a maximum $1,000 fine and six months in prison, or possibly both.

Other common causes of a pedestrian accident include the following:

  • Skateboarders on a sidewalk
  • Runners on a sidewalk
  • Distracted pedestrians not watching the road
  • Uncontrolled or unleashed dogs
  • Large groups of people on a sidewalk
  • Trucks or buses with large side mirrors that extend into a sidewalk
  • Parked cars suddenly opening their doors
  • Bicyclists on a sidewalk
  • Physical altercations
  • Children running around or rough-housing

Pedestrians may also breach their duty of care by committing negligent acts, such as stepping off a curb when a vehicle is nearby, stopping in the middle of the intersection, or blocking traffic even when they have the right-of-way. One of the most common negligent acts a pedestrian has often been found doing is illegally crossing the street. This is known as jaywalking. If a pedestrian is caught jaywalking, and this action results in an accident, then the pedestrian will be obligated to provide compensation for any damages caused by their negligence. If the other party involved in the accident also committed a negligent act, such as speeding, then liability will be shared.

Jaywalking Laws

As previously discussed, jaywalking is an illegal act that involves a pedestrian walking in areas where pedestrian traffic is not allowed. Just like any driver, pedestrians are also required to obey traffic laws and signals. This means that any pedestrian who fails to follow pedestrian rules will almost certainly be found partially liable for a pedestrian accident, especially if their failure to follow these laws contributed to causing the accident.

In other words, the damages an injured pedestrian can recover will almost certainly be lowered if a pedestrian acted negligently, such as by jaywalking.

Available Damages for a Pedestrian Accident

Victims of a pedestrian accident are eligible to file a personal injury claim to acquire compensation for losses caused by the incident. The pedestrian may be awarded with economic and non-economic damages, such as:

  • Medical Bills. Pedestrian accident victims often need medical care to treat their injuries. Victims have the right to seek compensation for their past, present, and future medical bills that are necessary to help them recover from their injuries.
  • Lost Wages and Income. Pedestrians who endured serious injuries from an accident will likely have to miss work to recover. These victims are entitled to seek compensation for both past and future lost wages and benefits, including sick and vacation days, bonuses, and other employment benefits.
  • Loss of Earning Capacity. In addition to lost income, accident victims may also be able to make a claim for damages due to a loss of earning capacity. These damages occur when an accident prevents or limits the injured pedestrian from continuing to work in their current position or advancing in their career.
  • Pain and Suffering. When you are injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to receive money for your pain and suffering.These types of damages are meant to compensate you for your physical pain and suffering as well as your emotional distress.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life. Pedestrian accidents can often limit a person’s ability to participate in the activities or pleasures of life that they enjoyed before the accident. When an accident victim sustains physical or mental injuries that limit his or her quality of life, this is a type of damage that may be recoverable in a personal injury claim.
  • Loss of Consortium. When a spouse is hurt in a pedestrian accident, the non-injured spouse may have the right to file a loss of consortium claim. This claim arises when, as a result of the accident, the injured spouse is unable to provide the non-injured spouse with companionship, care, protection, support, comfort, and sexual relations.

In order to acquire these damages, the victim must gather important information and evidence that will help strengthen their personal injury claim. Prior to filing a personal injury claim, it is highly urged for victims of a pedestrian accident to contact an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney. The attorney will assess your situation and determine whether you have a case on your hands. If so, the attorney will help you through the process of strengthening your case. They will also negotiate with insurance companies to make sure you get fair compensation that will help cover for damages caused by the other party at-fault.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you were involved in a pedestrian accident in San Francisco and would like to pursue a lawsuit against the party at-fault, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced San Francisco personal injury attorneys who are readily available to assist you with your case.

Contact our 24/7 legal team today by calling (415) 326-8794 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our San Francisco personal injury law firm.

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