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Is the Incidence of Pedestrian Fatalities Rising in California?

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Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable users of the road, as no physical barrier protects them from personal injury in the event of an impact from a motor vehicle. On average, such collisions claimed the life of one pedestrian every two hours and injured another every nine minutes in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While the incidence of death and injury has been steadily decreasing in motor vehicle, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents, increases have been recorded for pedestrians in California, explains a personal injury lawyer in the state.

From 2009 to 2010, the California Office of Traffic Safety recorded a 15.4 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities in the state, from 567 to 599. Moreover, several pedestrians were struck and killed or seriously injured in the first few months of 2012.
Many of the accidents occurred in Orange County and Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, February 7th, a 48-year-old woman was seriously injured when a stolen SUV crashed into a power pole near the bus bench where she was standing in Westminster. She was transported to a local hospital to receive treatment for lacerations and fractures. Witnesses claim that four men exited the vehicle after the crash and ran. Police apprehended two of them.

The following day, a mother was critically injured and her toddler killed in a hit-and-run accident in Anaheim. While the 26-year-old woman was pushing her 3-year-old in a stroller in the crosswalk at Gilbert Street and Guinada Lane a Nissan Maxima struck them. The driver fled the scene, leaving the vehicle, which had been reported stolen just minutes before the crash, in a nearby neighborhood.

California streets and sidewalks can be extremely dangerous for pedestrians, as not only is the incidence of fatality rising but it has also been the highest in the nation for several years. Motorists have a duty to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked and unmarked crosswalks in most situations. When a motorist neglects this duty and an accident ensues, he or she may be held liable for the pedestrian’s injury-related expenses, including medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Additional information, including articles on pedestrian rights and the personal injury and wrongful death claims process, is available to the public free of charge.

To request one of these free resources, or to discuss a specific legal matter with a California personal injury lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596.

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