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Boyadjian Law Group Personal Injury North Hollywood California

Pedestrian Accidents North Hollywood

The Pedestrian’s Dilemma

As vulnerable pedestrians, life can end in an instant. No matter how compliant you are to the rules, you just can’t prevent the inevitable. Having the right-of-way rules, common sense, and respect between the drivers and the pedestrians have always been the guiding standards in keeping traffic safety. As a pedestrian, your safety is the number one priority. Observing proper conduct whenever crossing the road is a pedestrian’s duty. On the other hand, respecting the right-of-way of pedestrians and giving them utmost attention and priority are the responsibilities of a driver.


But in the real world, taking enough precaution does not necessarily mean ensured protection.


Whenever there is a traffic accident involving a pedestrian, it almost certainly will be the pedestrian’s fault. That is why it is the responsibility of a pedestrian to be mindful of their surroundings, to follow traffic laws, and to be respectful of others’ right-of-way. But it’s difficult for a pedestrian to assume the driver’s right-of-way especially if they themselves don’t know their own right-of-way. Assuming the other party’s right-of-way can sometimes be tricky especially when there is no legal ground to say who is right or wrong.


Having right-of-way laws can still lead to misinterpretation to both the pedestrian and the drivers, which in turn leads to frequent accidents along with fatalities. If this is the case, being cautious can sometimes be useless if the law itself is open to misinterpretation. This is evident in the state of California, where pedestrian deaths occur in approximately 22% of all traffic fatalities. This begs the questions: Do pedestrians truly have the right-of-way? And if so, why do 2 out of 10 pedestrians die in a traffic accident in California?


To better understand the situation in California, a look at the California Vehicle Codes is necessary. According to California Vehicle Code 21950:

  • Drivers should yield to pedestrians crossing a marked crosswalk and at intersections.

  • Drivers should slow down and exercise all due care when they are approaching a crosswalk, especially if there is a pedestrian crossing it.


This code implies that pedestrians always have the right-of-way when they are crossing the street. The State of California Department of Motor Vehicles has also advised pedestrians and drivers alike to respect each other’s right-of-way — a nice gesture but one that doesn’t help in preventing traffic accidents nonetheless.

Moreover, California Vehicle Code 21950 (b) states that pedestrians are not allowed to suddenly leave the curb or sidewalk and go into the path of an oncoming vehicle as doing so can be hazardous and dangerous.


As you can see, both codes are open to misinterpretation. The subjectivity regarding the right-of-way is the main problem. In effect, it disables the ability of the drivers to disregard pedestrians and focus on their driving. These are just some of the reasons why California has the highest pedestrian deaths of all traffic fatalities in the country.


These problems faced by the state of California will make you think twice about your protection whenever you are out in the streets walking. You may do your part by following the rules as a pedestrian but the same cannot be said for your fellow pedestrians and drivers. Accidents may still happen but being cautious would lessen the risk of it. Conversely, negligence of your responsibility as a pedestrian entails repercussions — if you are fortunate enough during a pedestrian accident, the least you can get are broken bones and some bruises. But in the most extreme cases, you can suffer from head trauma, paralysis, spinal cord injury, brain swelling, organ disruption, amputation, and even death.


In these kinds of cases, it is your utmost priority to look for a credible and experienced pedestrian accident attorney to help fight for your rights and help you settle any legal compensation you deserve to assist in your medical needs. You need a pedestrian accident attorney who is well-versed in California’s pedestrian laws to explain to you its. myriad technicalities, exceptions, and gray areas. You need an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to help you pursue justice and guide you through this difficult time.


If you or someone you love and care about has been involved in a pedestrian-related accident, contact your North Hollywood personal injury attorney for a free consultation and case evaluation now.



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