Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

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Law enforcement authorities in Escondido are looking for a white truck that fatally struck a 23-year-old pedestrian in Escondido yesterday. According to witnesses, at around 10:10 pm last evening (February 3, 2014), a white “U-Haul style” box truck hit 23-year-old Benjamin Ramirez on Bear Valley Parkway just west of Boyle. The truck slowed momentarily and then sped away.

Police believe that the truck may have been damaged to the front left side, and may now be making a rattling sound.

Mr. Ramirez was an Escondido resident who was known to walk in that general area.

Four Major Bus Crashes in December

Rainy weather in Southern California has made the highways slick and dangerous. Currently, four serious bus crashes have occurred on the California highways in the last month. Some commentators believe the rainy weather contributed significantly to the crashes.

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A tour bus on its way to Valley View Casino, just north of San Diego, crashed and caused serious injuries and one fatality, according to an article in Reuters. The bus accident injured more than 20 passengers when it overturned near Fallbrook in the middle of the afternoon, reported California Highway Patrol Office Jim Bettencourt. According to the article, the bus passengers were older adults on a casino excursion. The crash victims were transported to nearby hospitals, where their injuries were reported as “ranging from minor to serious.” In the hours after the accident, the cause of the charter bus crash remained under investigation.

Bus accidents happen with some frequency in California, and such mass transit accidents can be especially dangerous. An article in the Huffington Post reported that federal bus safety regulators recently shut down 52 companies due to poor safety records and failures to meet certain standards. In southern California, buses are not only responsible for transporting San Diego residents on daily commutes through the city, but they also provide transportation for school students and senior citizens. And when these buses aren’t safe, victims can sustain severe injuries.

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In California, there’s a statute of limitations for filing a bus accident injury claim. In our state, under California Code of Civil Procedure §335.1, you must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of your accident. If you have been injured in a bus accident, it is extremely important to speak to an experienced California bus accident lawyer.

Motor Coach Industry Statistics

Just last week, a person was hospitalized after a Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) trolley struck the victim near a station in Grant Hill. Although the investigation remains ongoing, this was a very serious MTS accident. The San Diego Fire-Rescue dispatchers received the call just after midnight on Sunday, and they quickly reported to the trolley station at 25th and Commercial Streets. According to U-T San Diego, the firefighters had to extricate the person from underneath the trolley. It’s not clear yet whether the victim had been a pedestrian or a trolley patron.

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While original reports described the incident as a fatality, emergency medical responders did rush the victim to Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego. News reports described the victim as having sustained “major injuries.” The incident is still under investigation, and the identity and gender of the victim haven’t been released yet.

Trolley accidents can be very serious for pedestrians, bicyclists, and patrons. If you or a loved one have been injured by a trolley or another public transportation vehicle in the San Diego area, it’s important to speak to an experienced accident attorney as soon as possible. Since California has a statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims, you’ll need to make sure you’ve filed a claim before your time window runs out.

Here at Walton Law Firm we get many case inquiries from pedestrians who were struck by cars. Many times those accidents occur outside crosswalks, and the initial belief is there cannot be a recovery for someone who is injured while “jaywalking.” Indeed, just yesterday a person was struck and killed in Tierrasanta, and commentors on the news stories want to lay blame on the decedent because she was not crossing in a marked crosswalk.

But are pedestrians always required to use a crosswalk? What if there is not one nearby?

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Generally speaking, it is not illegal to jaywalk. In California, a pedestrian may cross a street anywhere, but of course, must use due caution when doing so. There are exceptions, however. If crossing between two adjacent intersections and both have crosswalks, then the crosswalk must be used (even if it’s far away).(Cal. Veh. Code. §21955) And if a pedestrian is crossing outside a crosswalk, it is the pedestrian’s duty to yield to oncoming cars.(Cal. Veh. Code. §21954) But drivers must also be paying attention to the road and potential crossers.

Is it safe to be a pedestrian in busy urban areas? Earlier this month, an elderly couple died in a tragic accident in Valley Center when a suspected drunk driver hit them, according to a report in UT San Diego. Pedestrian accidents occur much more often than we’d like to think, and it’s important to know how to be safe while walking on our busy roads.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), California is among the top states when it comes to pedestrian fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident case, it’s important to speak to an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible. In California, there’s a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident, and you’ll need to file before then in order to be eligible for compensation. Contact us today to discuss your claim.

Details of the Valley Center Accident

Most people entering a grocery store or department store do not realize the hidden dangers that exist down each aisle. Of course, most trips to the store are routine, and you will typically leave the store unscathed. Being aware of the dangers will not always prevent you from sustaining an injury; however, it can lessen the chances of an unfortunate incident occurring.

Even before customers enter grocery stores and department stores, they may face dangerous conditions. Parking lots are the site of many, instances of car accidents or a car striking a pedestrian. With many drivers pulling in and backing out, plus those driving around looking for a parking space, it is not surprising that they are not always aware of their surroundings. Additionally, many drivers choose to drive at speeds more appropriate for a street than a parking lot, decreasing the driver’s reaction time and the pedestrian’s warning time. Unfortunately, drivers do not often use the same care in a parking lot that they do on the road. The holiday season will increase the chances of an incident occurring, with the extra cars and extra shoppers.

Department stores often place signs, displays, tables, and other objects in the aisle ways where customers are expected to walk. Not only do they clog the walking paths throughout the store and affect your ability to navigate, but they can also present trip and fall hazards. Signs, in particular, usually have somewhat long bases to compensate for their height, which tends to be at eye-level to attract the customer’s attention. When customers are walking through a crowded aisle with an armful of items or bags, they may not be able to see the floor properly and might trip over a sign or another object. The problem will soon become worse with the holiday shopping season bringing more signs and displays, as well as more shoppers.

In what was described as a gruesome accident scene, a pedestrian was struck by a San Marcos Sheriff Deputy while trying to cross San Marcos Boulevard near Old California Restaurant Row.

DeputyPedestrianFatal_3.jpgAccording to early news accounts, the pedestrian, Jose Malacara, an employee of nearby Penny Lane Pub and Grill, was trying cross San Marcos Blvd. going from south to north and made it to the median. As he stepped out into the westbound lanes, a sheriff who believed he saw an intoxicated driver, accelerated his vehicle, but did not have his patrol lights or siren on, just as Mr. Malacara stepped out into the street, striking him. Mr. Malacara was pronounced dead at the scene, and the deputy suffered a minor injury.

It is, of course, too early to tell who’s at fault for this accident. Pedestrians have a duty to use due care when crossing streets, and to use crosswalks when feasible. Indeed, California Vehicle Code section 21955 states that when crossing between controlled intersections, “pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at anyplace except in a crosswalk.” The law states, however, that even if a pedestrian is crossing outside a crosswalk, it does not relieve the driver of his or her duty to “exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”

The San Diego pedestrian injury attorney at the Walton Law Firm learned that 83 year old Dorothy Stephens of La Mesa, California was struck and killed by a van on Monday. According to CBS 8 News, Stephens was crossing the street in a crosswalk at the 10800 block of Calle Verde in Ranch San Diego with a 77 year old friend around 6:30 in the evening.

Stephens was taken to a nearby park in preparation to be picked up by an air ambulance. Unfortunately, she died before the air ambulance arrived. Her friend was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for serious injuries. The Medical Examiner’s Office and California Highway patrol reported that a 55 year old man from La Mesa was driving the Chevrolet Express 3500 that hit the pair as they crossed the street. According to witnesses he was not speeding. The California Highway Patrol is currently investigating the accident to determine any fault. pedestrian.jpg

Pedestrian Accidents
In an accident involving a pedestrian and an automobile, the incident most often ends with extremely severe consequences for the pedestrian, no matter who was at fault. Sadly, as was the case in the accident described above, it is not uncommon for the injuries to be fatal. However, death is not the only serious consequence for pedestrians. Pedestrians can be left with serious injuries, such as brain trauma, various levels of paralysis, broken bones, cosmetic injury, and more. These types of injuries can not only leave victims with physical pain, but with large medical bills and long term care requirements that can be financially debilitating.

Remedies for Victims
If there are criminal factors at play in an accident between a pedestrian and an automobile, a criminal case will be brought against the party believed to be at fault.

However, whether or not a party violated the law, those injured may have civil remedies available to them. For example, if a serious injury results from an accident, such as paralysis, then the victim can seek money damages as compensation for their losses. These losses can include such items as medical bills, lost income, and payment for any necessary long term care.

At those times it is important for those affected to seek out a legal professional with experience in pedestrian accidents who can help them determine what compensation they may be owed. An attorney can also ensure that various legal standards are met, such as any applicable statute of limitations, in order to successfully proceed with a civil personal injury case.

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Our Southern California injury lawyer knows well the consequences of inadequate upkeep of public transportation spaces. One of the most basic duties that public bodies owe to community members is maintenance of the public areas used by thousands and thousands of residents each day. When those charged with that task fail in their responsibilities the results can be catastrophic. canopy%20collapse.jpg

For example, yesterday a wooden overhead scaffold at the San Ysidro border crossing collapsed, crashing onto unsuspecting motorists, pedestrians, and workers below. Eleven people have been sent to the hospital with varying injuries. One of the San Ysidro canopy accident victims was a pregnant woman, and at least four construction workers were also hurt. One of the workers hurt apparently suffered serious blunt force trauma to his midsection. On top of the physical injuries, rescue workers also indicated that there were concerns about asbestos exposure. Many in the area reported trouble breathing after the extreme exposure to the dangerous dust that blanketed the area after the collapse.

Early reports indicate that the wooden support beams and concrete debris started crashing down on those below shortly before eleven in the morning. Six or seven cars were immediately hit, with significant property damage resulting. A few of the victims were able to get out of the cars on their own while others required the assistance of emergency crews. Engineers were still evaluating the situation to assess the damage and determine the best way to safely remove the debris.

The total area that collapsed was a 50 by 50 foot section of the crossing that was part of a reconstruction project that sits directly over the top of 24 lanes of northbound traffic. The first phase of the project had begun this summer when a Colorado-based firm—Hensel Phelps Construction Co.—began the dismantling process. Investigators have yet to determine exactly what caused the collapse, but clearly some part of the renovation safety effort went awry which resulted in the damaging accident. It will remain important for a full and detailed examination of the area to be conducted to pinpoint the exact problems and to ensure that steps are taken which will prevent any future trouble.

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