Our San Jose Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Are Here To Help
With the hectic schedules and lifestyles so many people lead, it’s no wonder pedestrian accidents continue to be a problem in many cities and towns. While most people have no intention of physically harming or causing the death of another, both drivers and pedestrians hold certain responsibilities to ensure safety for all.
Pedestrian Accidents Rates
Pedestrian accidents can happen to people of all ages with children being the most vulnerable of all age groups. Data collected in 2009 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows 4,092 people were killed in pedestrian-related accidents. Overall, deaths resulting from pedestrian accidents average around 5,000 per year with 78,000 people suffering injuries from being struck by a car or truck. In everyday life, these figures equate to one pedestrian death occurring every two hours and one pedestrian injury for every nine minutes.
The natural impulsivity of children coupled with less than adequate supervision leave children especially prone to unexpected accidents. In 2009, 19 percent of all traffic accidents involving child deaths (ages five to nine) were pedestrian-based accidents. Children aged 15 and below accounted for seven percent of the total number of pedestrian fatalities occurring in 2009.
Senior citizens are another age group associated with high pedestrian accident rates. In total senior citizens were involved in 19 percent of pedestrian accidents resulting in death and made up eight percent of the total number of people injured in a pedestrian accident.
Driver & Pedestrian Responsibilities
Driver and pedestrian responsibilities both center around exercising “reasonable care” within a given set of circumstances according to FindLaw’s legal resource site. A lack of reasonable care on a driver’s (or pedestrian’s) part is considered negligence, meaning the negligent party is viewed as the cause of the accident.
Examples portraying a negligent driver may include:
- Failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian entering a marked cross walk area
- Not paying attention while driving
- Driving under the influence
- Running red lights or stop signs
And while people operating vehicles carry more responsibility in terms of practicing safe driving, negligent behavior can also occur on a pedestrian’s part. Examples portraying a negligent drive include:
- Failure to use marked cross walk areas
- Ignoring traffic signals and “walk” signals at intersections
- Stepping into traffic or interrupting the flow of traffic
- Stepping out in front of an oncoming vehicle
The issue of reasonable care sets the guidelines for determining who is at fault in a pedestrian accident. Reasonable care has to do with how a person conducts themselves within a particular set of circumstances, so the grounds for reasonable care depend on the factors involved in each particular case. Reasonable care is also based on the thinking and actions a “reasonable person” would take to avoid foreseeable risks and protect others from harm.
In effect, a pedestrian wanting to sue for negligence on the part of a driver would have to prove the driver failed to exercise reasonable care at the time of the incident. In other words, the driver failed to uphold their “legal duty” to the pedestrian, such as ignoring a stop sign or a traffic light. The same goes in cases where a pedestrian is negligent in their actions.
If you have been injured in a San Jose pedestrian accident, contact our San Jose accident attorney today for a FREE legal consultation.