San Diego Pedestrian Accident Lawyer - Michael Rehm
Call (619) 787-3456
Pedestrians represent a relatively small percentage of San Diego traffic accident victims, but when collisions with pedestrians occur, they are often fatal. Over the last several years, 16% to 28% of traffic accident fatalities in San Diego have involved pedestrians. Dozens of pedestrians are killed by careless drivers every year in San Diego County.
Hundreds of pedestrians are injured each year in San Diego County after being hit by a car. When pedestrians survive a collision, their injuries are often severe and sometimes catastrophic. Traumatic brain injuries and paralysis are among the most serious consequences of traffic accidents involving pedestrians.
Pedestrians who are injured in an accident that is caused by the driver of a motor vehicle are entitled to compensation. The Law Office of Michael Rehm represents pedestrian victims of traffic accidents throughout San Diego County, including El Cajon, Chula Vista, Carlsbad and Oceanside. Contact our office for advice about pedestrian accidents in San Diego and surrounding communities.
San Diego's Department of Transportation and Storm Water conducted a comprehensive analysis of collisions with pedestrians in San Diego. The analysis found that 41.5% of pedestrian collisions occurred on roads with at least four lanes and a speed limit of at least 35 mph, but 39.7% occurred on roads with fewer than four lanes and a speed limit of 30 mph or less. The data suggests that pedestrians are at risk regardless of the speed limit or the number of lanes they need to cross.
About 40% of pedestrian collisions occur in intersections with a traffic signal, and another 20% occur at uncontrolled intersections. Most of the remaining accidents occur when a pedestrian is crossing mid-block, although a small percentage occur on sidewalks (when, for example, a driver is backing out of a driveway) or on private property (such as mall parking lots).
Seniors are the most vulnerable pedestrians in San Diego County. Accident victims age 65 or older account for more than 26% of the county's pedestrian accidents. The Downtown, Uptown, and City Heights communities have the highest concentration of pedestrian accidents involving seniors.
The city neighborhoods with the highest overall rate of pedestrian accidents are:
- City Heights
- Southeastern San Diego
- Pacific Beach
- Clairemont Mesa
- Greater North Park
- Encanto neighborhoods
- Mira Mesa
- Eastern mid-city
On a per capita basis, however, the Midway-Pacific Highway area and the Barrio Logan neighborhoods have the highest frequency of pedestrian accidents. In fact, the span of neighborhoods stretching from southeast of Mission Bay to Barrio Logan, including Downtown and Uptown San Diego, are the most dangerous areas for pedestrians.
Determining Fault in San Diego Pedestrian Accidents
The Department of Transportation analysis determined that collisions with pedestrians are usually the fault of the driver, not the pedestrian. Drivers are usually at fault when they:
- Turn at an intersection without yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk (about 38% of pedestrian accidents)
- Start driving at an intersection even if pedestrians are in the crosswalk
- Fail to stop at an intersection for pedestrians who are in the crosswalk
- Drive over the speed limit
The analysis classified pedestrians as being at fault when they crossed the street mid-block or against a light. Even in those situations, however, fault is usually shared. A driver who watches the road and travels at a prudent speed will usually avoid hitting pedestrians who cross the road improperly. If a careful driver could have avoided the collision, the failure to do so is negligent.
If a driver and a pedestrian are both negligent, the pedestrian is entitled to pursue compensation from the negligent driver. Compensation will be reduced in proportion to the pedestrian's fault, so a pedestrian who is 55% at fault will receive 45% of his or her total damages. When damages are substantial, it is usually wise to pursue compensation even if the pedestrian may have been more at fault than the driver.
Wrongful Death Compensation for San Diego Pedestrian Accidents
Certain family members can sue for wrongful death when a pedestrian is killed by a negligent driver. In California, those family members include:
- The victim's spouse or registered domestic partner
- The victim's living children
- The children of any deceased child of the victim
- If the victim had no surviving children, siblings or other relatives who would have inherited from the victim if the victim had died without a will
- The victim's parents and stepchildren if they were dependent upon the victim for support
A few other people can join a wrongful death claim under limited circumstances. Wrongful Death Lawyer Michael Rehm can help family members identify the individuals who can participate in a wrongful death suit.
If the accident victim did not die instantly, a survival lawsuit will often be joined with the wrongful death lawsuit. A survival lawsuit is brought by the victim's estate, so any beneficiary of the estate shares in the recovery.
Wrongful death compensation generally includes:
- A spouse's community property interest in future income the victim would have earned
- Other economic losses suffered by family members who would have received financial contributions if the victim had not been killed
- The loss of the victim's love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support
- In the case of a spouse or domestic partner, the loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations with the victim.
- Primarily in the case of a child, the loss of the training and guidance that the victim would have provided.
Survival compensation includes the victim's pain and suffering, as well as economic losses the victim experienced (such as medical expenses and wage loss) between the time of the accident and the time of death.
Since pedestrian accident injuries are often severe, compensation may be substantial. A catastrophic injury, such as brain damage or paralysis, may require compensation that will cover a lifetime of specialized care.
Even when injuries are not catastrophic, pedestrian accidents often lead to serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Puncture wounds and lacerations
- Knee, ankle, hip, elbow, and wrist injuries
- Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Soft tissue injuries (stretched and torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons)
In addition to past and future medical expenses, compensation should cover wage loss, loss of future earning capacity, and the expense of coping with the injury. Compensation for pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life should also be included in the settlement of a pedestrian accident claim.
Representation in California Pedestrian Accident Cases
A San Diego pedestrian accident lawyer can help accident victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve. The Law Office of Michael Rehm provides compassionate service to injury victims in all parts of San Diego County.
We deal with insurance adjusters to maximize settlements so that accident victims can concentrate on healing. Most cases settle, but when adjusters are unreasonable, we use our skills as aggressive trial advocates to pursue favorable verdicts for our clients. To learn how we can help you, call Attorney Michael Rehm at (619) 787-3456 or contact us at [email protected]
The Law Office of Michael Rehm
402 W Broadway
San Diego , CA 92101
Phone: (619) 787-3456