A tragedy occurred in San Francisco late last month.  A 68 year old female accountant was crossing the street in a crosswalk at the corner of Polk and McAllister streets at around 11:30 a.m. A motorized cable car-style tour bus struck the woman, killing her.

It’s not clear why the driver of the vehicle did not see the woman. At the time of the accident, the driver was not narrating the tour to the passengers. It’s believed there was a separate tour guide who was providing the narration. According to police, something distracted the driver and he did not see the woman until after she was under the wheels of the vehicle. At the time of the accident, passengers were occupied by looking at City Hall.

Currently, a signal is already planned at the crosswalk where the victim was killed, and will be installed next year. Officials say that San Francisco is becoming more crowded, and the city must improve both traffic enforcement as well as safety measures in order to make the streets safer for pedestrians. Following the accident, the mayor said this accident is an example of how dangerous the streets can be. He is urging voters to pass Proposition A, which is a $500 million transportation bond measure. Almost $300 million of the $500 million is dedicated to pedestrian safety, education, and enforcement.

As discussed on this blog before, pedestrian safety in San Francisco is a huge issue. By law, pedestrians have the right of way in designated walkways and areas. However, pedestrians still get struck by vehicles even when they are following all of the rules of the road. When a pedestrian gets hit by an automobile, it’s rare that the individual suffers only minor injuries. Instead, normally the pedestrian is seriously injured, such as with severe head, neck, back or spine injuries, or death.

The biggest causes of pedestrian accidents are driving while distracted, and issues involving visibility. Many drivers are so involved with other things while they are driving, such as a smart phone, other people in the car, eating, fiddling with a radio or GPS, or other things, that they do not see pedestrians until it is too late. Even if they are paying attention, it can at times be difficult to see someone walking, especially if it is dark, foggy, the individual is crossing on a hill, or the windshield is dirty.

For pedestrians, it’s critical that they make themselves visible to drivers. This could be done by wearing a reflective vest or other bright clothing. Pedestrians should also never be distracted while walking. Instead of answering a phone call while crossing the street, take the time to be alert for other drivers who may or may not see you.

It’s critical that pedestrians who have been injured in a San Francisco pedestrian accident speak with an attorney right away. Your attorney will review all of the evidence in your case, including police reports, surveillance videos, accounts from eyewitnesses, and forensic reconstructions of the case. A quality attorney will use that evidence to help build a case against the responsible party. The driver of the other vehicle, or other parties, could be liable for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, other out-of-pocket expenses, and more.

At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that a driver who hits a pedestrian should be held responsible for all damages that occur. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, call San Francisco pedestrian accident attorney Micha Star Liberty at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. She works with clients throughout the San Francisco area. Call to learn more about your options.

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