With its beautiful scenery and wonderful weather, as well as numerous tourist attractions, the Oakland – San Francisco Bay area is a great area for pedestrians. However, it can also be prone to traffic nightmares, distracted drivers, poorly functioning or designed traffic lights, lost drivers, and thousands of miles of roads, which can lead to pedestrian accidents and fatalities.
California is one of the top four states for pedestrian fatalities, along with Florida, New York, and Texas. These four states make up 41 percent of U.S. pedestrian fatalities. In 2012, over 4,700 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents, and another 76,000 were injured. On each trip, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than occupants of passenger vehicles to be killed in a crash.
Those most at risk include children, adults over the age of 65, and pedestrians who have been impaired by alcohol or drugs. Alcohol is particularly dangerous – in 48 percent of the crashes that resulted in pedestrian deaths, alcohol involvement was reported for either the driver or the pedestrian.
The Oakland – San Francisco area can at times be especially deadly for pedestrians. Although city officials are taking steps to better enforce traffic laws as well as making the streets safer for pedestrians, such as by installing crosswalks and more signals, far too many pedestrians are injured or killed in traffic accidents in the city each year.
If you are planning on walking in Oakland or San Francisco, you should take some special precautions to avoid getting into an accident with a vehicle. You should dress in bright colors, or use reflective tape if needed, and consider carrying a flashlight. Walk on sidewalks if possible, and if not, walk on the shoulder facing traffic. Walk only in well-lit area, which will not only help avoid a crash, but also can help you avoid becoming a crime victim. Pay special attention, and only cross at cross walks. Walk defensively – don’t assume that every driver sees you. With so many drivers driving while distracted by a smart phone, it’s possible that even if you are very visible, a driver may not see you. Finally, if you are drinking, don’t walk the streets. Your defenses will be down and it would be very easy to become involved in an accident. Instead, call a cab or ask a friend to drive you.
Pedestrians who have been injured by automobile drivers have the right to seek compensation for their accidents. Some damages to which injured pedestrians are entitled include compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, time off work, and compensation for family members. If a loved one has been killed, the family members of that person could be awarded compensation for wrongful death.
Normally, if a pedestrian is involved in an accident with a vehicle, the injuries to the pedestrian are extensive. The pedestrian may have broken bones, internal injuries, cuts and bruises, spinal cord damage, neck injuries, back injuries, or head injuries. After an accident, you may call the driver’s insurance company, as well as your own. The insurance companies may send an adjuster out to your home quickly after the accident. It’s critical that you do not sign anything before speaking with an attorney. The goal of insurance adjusters is not to give you a fair settlement that is what you deserve – it’s to minimize the damage for insurance companies.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that injured pedestrians should seek the full amount of compensation to which they are entitled after their accident. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident in the San Francisco Bay – Oakland area, call Micha Star Liberty, San Francisco personal injury attorney, at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. She works hard on behalf of their clients to ensure that they are treated fairly. Call today to learn more.