Last month, NPR reported that fatal pedestrian accidents had reached a 40-year high. The Governors Highway Safety Association estimated that more than 7,500 pedestrians died in 2022, the most since 1981. These stark figures are just one more reminder of how serious a collision often is when it involves a vehicle versus a pedestrian. Given the gravity of the harm, getting full and fair compensation is essential, which is why an experienced Santa Barbara pedestrian accident lawyer can be invaluable to you.
A recent pedestrian accident from here in Santa Barbara is yet another statistic, though thankfully not a catastrophic or fatal one.
According to an edhat.com report, a 10-year-old girl was transported to a hospital after a driver hit her in a Carrillo Hill crosswalk. The collision occurred at Carrillo and San Pascual Streets, just south of the 101 freeway. Neighbors indicated that the crosswalk’s yellow flashing lights were illuminated at the time of the crash. Despite the presence of the flashing lights, the driver of a gold sedan allegedly failed to yield and hit the girl.
The neighbors also indicated that drivers engaging in unsafe practices were a problem in the area. One indicated that drivers often “race to merge” onto the 101 freeway on-ramps. Another indicated that drivers frequently “blow right through the yellow flashing lights” at crosswalks.
Negligent driving is a major factor in many pedestrian crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration looked at data from 2017 and found that roughly 1 in 6 (17 percent) of the drivers involved in fatal pedestrian accidents had a blood-alcohol content at or above 0.08, the legal limit in California. Speed also can play a crucial role, especially in relation to the severity of the pedestrian’s injuries. According to research reported by the AAA Foundation, when a pedestrian crash involves a vehicle going 16mph, the chances of pedestrian death are only 10 percent. At 32 mph, that climbs to 25 percent. At 42 mph, it’s 50 percent and, at 50 mph, the pedestrian has only a 25 percent chance of survival.
Strategies for Obtaining Fair Compensation
One potential problem an injured pedestrian (or the family of a fatally injured pedestrian) faces is a driver with little or no insurance coverage. Pedestrian accidents can be major, meaning that an injured pedestrian may incur massive medical bills and extensive time away from work. If the driver who caused the crash had little or no insurance, you may be able to recover additional funds by filing a claim on the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of your own auto insurance policy.
Proper investigation from a skilled legal team may also reveal that the driver was “on the job” when they hit you. If the facts indicate that, then you may have the ability to recover compensation from the driver’s employer under the legal theory of vicarious liability.
Furthermore, an in-depth investigation may reveal an additional cause for the crash—the intersection itself. If the evidence indicates that the area was designed (or redesigned) in such a way that it posed an unreasonable risk of harm, then you may be able to sue the entity (or entities) responsible for negligent design.
Whether it’s finding all the liable parties, amassing the necessary evidence, assessing the extent of your damages, advocating in settlement negotiations, or litigating your case at trial, you can rely on the experienced Santa Barbara personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP to fight for everything the law says that you deserve. Don’t wait to get the legal representation you need. Contact us at 805-617-1365 or through our website to get a free case consultation today.