People in California utilize the state’s roadways in a variety of different and legal ways. While most people think of motor vehicles when they consider roadway usage, bicyclists and pedestrians have equal rights to use the roads. Because of their lack of protection, pedestrians could be especially vulnerable in car accidents. Those harmed as a result of another’s negligence may be unaware of their legal options following an accident.

According to the National Highway Safety Association, approximately 5,000 pedestrians are killed in accidents involving motor vehicles each year. In 2012, an additional 76,000 people were injured. In order to prove negligence, a plaintiff must meet several criteria. In addition to proving that he or she was injured by an accident caused by the defendant, a plaintiff must also prove that the defendant breached a legal duty owed to the injured party.

There are a variety of different behaviors that could be perceived as a breach of duty to other users of the roadway. These include ignoring speed limits, texting while driving and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, among others. Additionally, drivers have an increased responsibility to children. Because they often behave unexpectedly and are difficult to see due to their size, drivers must taken special care in areas where children are present, including near schools and parks.

Unfortunately, some drivers in California breach their legal duties to pedestrians and other users of the roadways, often causing serious car accidents. These accidents often result in serious injuries to innocent victims. In addition to their injuries, victims often suffer financially as a result of their medical bills and lost wages. An experienced personal injury attorney can help these victims better understand their legal options and assist them in pursuing appropriate recourse.

Source: FindLaw, “Pedestrian Accidents Overview“, Accessed on Feb. 10, 2016