A Pedestrian Injury Near UC Santa Barbara is a Reminder of the Dangers Those on Foot Face Every Day
In 2021 alone, nearly 7,500 American pedestrians lost their lives in crashes with autos. Whether fatal or just injury-causing, pedestrian accidents often are the result of negligence by the vehicle driver involved. When you're hurt because a vehicle driver did not operate their vehicle with the care the law demands, then the law says that you're entitled to take action based on that negligence. An experienced Santa Barbara pedestrian accident lawyer can help map out what those actions should be, and advocate for you to get the fair compensation you deserve.
Of those 7,400+ pedestrian deaths, more than 1 in 8 occurred here in California. In 2020, California had three of the 10 deadliest cities for pedestrians (Los Angeles - #1, San Diego - #9, and San Jose - #10). In a KTLA report, the executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association pointed out threads common to a lot of these fatal pedestrian accidents. "We must address the root causes of the pedestrian safety crisis – speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors, inadequate infrastructure, and roads designed for vehicle speed instead of safety – to reverse this trend."
Santa Barbara is no stranger to pedestrian accidents, including accidents where vehicle driver negligence was a potential issue. Last year, a driver turning from Camino del Sur onto El Colegio made an "unprotected left turn." When the driver did so, the vehicle hit a pedestrian who was walking inside the crosswalk, according to a Daily Nexus report. Emergency responders took the pedestrian from the scene on a stretcher. The pedestrian struck his/her head "and may have sustained other injuries," according to the report.
Pedestrians who are hit by autos often suffer serious injuries or death. These serious injuries may have long-lasting (or lifelong) impacts on you, including long-term or permanent pain and disfigurement, long-term or permanent disabilities that prevent you from working (or impair your ability to do work,) and long-term or permanent need for medical assistance including rehabilitation and treatment by medical specialists.
The reasons a vehicle driver might have been negligent in crashing into a pedestrian are varied, but they all revolve around a failure to observe safety standards and/or maintain proper alertness. These can include drivers using their smartphones while driving (or otherwise driving while distracted), speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, driving while sleepy or fatigued, and failing to yield the right of way.
Liability for Your Injuries May Go Beyond a Negligent Driver
Sometimes, though, the causes go deeper. A pedestrian's injuries may be the result (at least in part) of unsafe road conditions. This might include an improperly maintained road surface, an improperly marked crosswalk, a traffic signal (or crossing signal) that is not operating (or operating defectively,) or a defectively programmed signal that does not give pedestrian time to cross safely.
When these things happen, it may be necessary to take legal action against a city or county government. Be aware that taking on governmental entities is not the same as bringing an action against private individuals and/or entities. Your case must clearly establish both that a hazard existed and that the government knew (or reasonably should have known) about it, but failed to take the appropriate actions to address the danger.
The helpful Santa Barbara personal injury attorneys at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP have the knowledge and the first-hand experience needed to help guide injured pedestrians through the legal (and insurance claim) processes. Contact us today at 805-617-1365 or through our website to get a free case consultation and get us started working for you.