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Handling personal injury claims for Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos and beyond.
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to take the best course of action after a serious accident

Attorney Jared Pursley
Carlsbad Personal Injury LawyerBlogPedestrian AccidentIf I Crossed the Street Against the Light, Do I Still Have a Case?

If I Crossed the Street Against the Light, Do I Still Have a Case?


Probably so, although less compensation may be available. California is a pure comparative fault state. So, even if a victim was mostly at fault for an accident, compensation is still available. The court simply reduces the damages award based on the percentage of fault. If Sam’s damages were $100,000 and a jury finds that he was 50 percent responsible for an accident, perhaps because he crossed the street against the light, he’s entitled to $50,000.

Usually, a Carlsbad pedestrian accident lawyer settles these matters out of court. Such resolutions avoid emotional courtroom showdowns that, in the end, usually benefit no one. A settlement is also a final resolution. An insurance company or other defendant could tie up a court verdict in appeals courts for years. But when the insurance company settles out of court, the insurance company immediately writes a check.

Red Light

Most drivers think green means go. But in reality, green means proceed with caution. The duty of care still applies in these situations. Motorists must avoid aggressive driving, like speeding.

Speed is a critical factor in pedestrian accidents. At impact speeds below 20mph, the pedestrian death rate is under 10 percent. When impact speeds exceed 60mph, the pedestrian death rate is over 90 percent.

Excessive velocity also multiplies the risk of a collision. Speeding drivers have less time to react to jaywalking pedestrians and other such everyday hazards. The duty of care requires drivers to anticipate these hazards and avoid them.

An Oceanside personal injury lawyer must accurately set the settlement value of a pedestrian accident claim in these situations. Since the court will most likely reduce the victim’s damages, a lawyer must be sure there’s enough money to pay all accident-related medical and other bills.

Yellow Light

For both drivers and pedestrians, yellow basically means “use your best judgment.” Running across the street to make the light is not a good decision. Neither is accelerating through the intersection to beat the light.

Driver impairment, like alcohol use, impairs judgment. Note we said alcohol use, nor alcohol intoxication. Alcohol’s impairing effects begin at the first drink, long before most people are legally intoxicated.

Fatigue is very similar to alcohol use, from an impairment standpoint. Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for many California drivers.

Other kinds of driver impairment include device and non-device distraction, drug use, and certain medical conditions.

Green Light

The court could still reduce the victim’s compensation in these situations. As mentioned, green means proceed with caution. Pedestrians must still stop and look both ways before they cross the street.

An active virtual crosswalk is like a green light at a permanent crosswalk, legally speaking. When pedestrians activate flashing yellow lights, drivers must stop and yield to pedestrians in the virtual crosswalk.

Frequently, we handle trailing virtual crosswalk accident claims. Bill activates the crosswalk lights and walks slowly across the street. When he gets to the other side, Ted hurries into the virtual crosswalk to make the light, and drivers don’t see him.

Although these accidents are common, it’s important to note that all pedestrians have the same legal rights in all crosswalks at all times.

Contact a Dedicated San Diego County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a confidential consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Oceanside, contact the Pursley Law Firm. We routinely handle matters throughout the Golden State.

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