Guide to California Pedestrian and Crosswalk Laws

Guide to California Pedestrian and Crosswalk Laws

March 1, 2023

Understanding California Pedestrian Laws

Suppose you have been involved in an accident as a pedestrian in California. In that case, understanding the laws and regulations surrounding such incidents is essential to getting the outcome you seek. Over 6,500 walkers were killed nationwide in 2018 alone, with nearly 578 pedestrian fatalities occurring within California.

This stark statistic shows just how important it is that those caught up in these types of accidents know their rights and responsibilities under the law. Here is a detailed overview of pedestrian laws and their relation to personal injury cases.

An Overview of Pedestrian Laws in the US

Pedestrian laws vary from state to state, each having its own rules and regulations surrounding who has the right of way in different scenarios. For example, in some states, you must obey traffic signals and use crosswalks at all times – failure to do so could result in a jaywalking ticket. Other states may have different rules for different scenarios, such as requiring drivers to yield the right of way to walkers when turning or in areas with high pedestrian activity.

In general, walkers have the same rights as motorists concerning obeying traffic laws, such as following all signs and signals. Additionally, drivers must yield to pedestrians regardless of the situation, especially in California.

The Importance of Pedestrian Laws

These laws are essential for keeping people safe on roads and sidewalks. They provide a clear set of expectations for drivers, bicyclists, and walkers to follow, which helps reduce accidents by ensuring everyone knows their rights when it comes to sharing the road. Additionally, they can help protect walkers in an accident, as many laws are in place to ensure they receive appropriate medical attention and compensation.

Pedestrian Safety Laws and California Vehicle Code

California is one of the few states with comprehensive laws protecting pedestrians from motor vehicles. These laws specify who has the right of way in different situations. Car accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists can be difficult to win as the person driving the vehicle, alternatively, pedestrians rarely take fault but that isn’t always the case.

Pedestrians always have the right of way regardless of red lights, crosswalk laws, or means of transportation the pedestrian was using such as scooters or skateboards. One key aspect of the state’s pedestrian laws is the Pedestrian Right-of-Way Law. This law states that, regardless of the situation, a driver must always yield the right of way to any walker crossing at an intersection or in a marked crosswalk. This includes skateboarders, or any other individual not in a motorized vehicle.

This law states that drivers must also come to a complete stop when approaching an intersection to give walkers the right of way.It also has laws relating to areas with high pedestrian activity, such as school zones and public parks. In these areas, drivers must be cautious and follow the speed limit signs. Additionally, drivers must be aware that walkers may use any part of the road when crossing, not just the designated crosswalks or sidewalks. An unmarked crosswalk, bike lane, stop sign, or pedestrian crossing is still the motorists responsibility to observe and yield.

Personal Injuries and Pedestrian Laws

Under California law a number of personal injury cases can be filed when a pedestrian is involved in an accident. If the driver is found responsible for the accident, they may be held liable for any damages caused by their negligence. In these cases, victims are also entitled to compensation for medical bills and lost wages due to missed work. Victims might be eligible for punitive damages if the accident was caused by a driver violating one of the state’s pedestrian laws. These are intended to punish the at-fault party and serve as an example to others to prevent similar accidents from occurring.

Evidence for a personal injury case using pedestrian laws can include witness statements, photos of the scene, and any medical bills or lost wages. Requirements for such a personal injury case are:

  • Proof that the driver failed to yield the right of way to a walker
  • Evidence of damages caused by their negligence
  • Proving that the victim was injured due to the accident.

Even though many states have similar laws regarding pedestrians, California has some unique regulations that are important for drivers and pedestrians alike to be aware of.For this reason, it is essential to contact an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer immediately after the accident occurs to build a strong case.

Can you File a Personal Injury Case Using Pedestrian Laws?

Yes, victims of pedestrian accidents may be able to file a personal injury case. The process starts with the following:

Identifying the Liable Party

The parties responsible for the accident are legally required to pay compensation for any injuries or losses caused by their negligence. This can include drivers of cars, bicycles, or other motor vehicles, as well as pedestrians themselves, who may have contributed to the accident in some way.

Gathering Evidence

It’s essential to collect evidence to determine who is liable and the amount of compensation you are entitled to. This includes medical documents, eyewitness accounts, photos of the accident scene, and records of any wages lost due to your injury.

Filing a Claim

Once all the necessary evidence is gathered, you should file an official personal injury claim with the liable party’s insurance company. It will require providing detailed information about your case, including evidence of the other party’s negligence and a statement detailing the damages you have suffered.

Negotiating for a Settlement

The final step is negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement amount that covers all your losses. It includes medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering from serious injuries and emotional suffering, and other damages. You can negotiate directly with the insurance company but to get the compensation you deserve, we advise you hire an experienced personal injury attorney well versed in pedestrian laws to help you secure a fair settlement amount.

By understanding these pedestrian laws and taking the steps outlined above, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses from a negligent party. Contact us today at Avian Law Group for your free consultation.

Posted by

Michael Avanesian

Michael Avanesian, the founder and driving force behind Avian Law Group, is a passionate and dedicated attorney with a strong background in personal injury law. As a partner at JT Legal Group, Michael led the growth of the personal injury practice from a single employee to a team of over ninety professionals, securing over $2 billion in settlements for clients in just three years.

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