San Jose is known for its many walkable business and entertainment districts, and with warm weather year-round, many people choose to move about the city on foot rather than by car. This, unfortunately, makes pedestrian safety an unavoidable issue. In fact, out of 52 traffic fatalities in 2018 in San Jose, 24 were pedestrian accidents.
The San Jose Police Department notes that there has been a significantly higher number of pedestrian traffic fatalities in San Jose in recent years. Even if a pedestrian isn’t killed in an accident with a car, there’s a chance that they could sustain severe, even life-changing injuries.
Pedestrian accidents occur due to negligent drivers as well as negligent pedestrians. It is a risk people face on a daily basis in highly congested areas when they cross streets at intersections without designated sidewalks and crosswalks. For pedestrian accidents San Jose residents, seeking the services of an accident lawyer may be able to help you file a claim for damages to cover your medical care expenses.
Pedestrians Are Vulnerable to Injury
People traveling afoot don’t have the metal barrier cage of protection that a car or truck driver has; therefore, they can get hurt pretty badly in the event of a collision with a vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on pedestrian safety, there were an estimated 76,000 pedestrian injuries and 6205 pedestrian fatalities in 2019.
Even though San Jose is friendly to pedestrians, with plenty of well-marked crosswalks and walkways for those on foot, pedestrians are still more vulnerable than other travelers to injuries from a driver.
Pedestrian accidents aren’t limited to those walking to work, going on a run to workout, or simply traveling by foot. They can also include someone who was hit while on a skateboard or in a wheelchair. If you are hit by a car, a San Jose personal injury lawyer can advocate for your claim against the driver.
Both drivers and pedestrians share some responsibility for avoiding traffic crashes. However, even if a pedestrian is partly to blame for the collision, it is best to discuss the case with a pedestrian accident lawyer.
What Are the Primary Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
The most common causes of pedestrian accidents are negligence or distraction on the part of a driver. Typical instances of driver negligence include:
- Failure to obey the speed limit in residential areas
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence (1/3 of fatal pedestrian crashes involved alcohol)
- Texting or using a phone while driving
- Not paying attention around intersections or crosswalks
While pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere, they’re more likely to occur in an urban area or at periods of the day when pedestrians are harder to see. However, pedestrians may also share responsibility for an accident in the following ways:
- Not staying alert or aware of their surroundings
- Jaywalking or failing to use posted crossings and crosswalks
- Impairing judgment while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
No matter the cause of your accident, a skilled pedestrian accident attorney may be able to help. Our law firm represents both drivers and pedestrians and has legal expertise with many pedestrian accident cases. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation.
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How Can I Stay Safe as a Pedestrian in San Jose?
The San Jose Police Department offers several tips to improve pedestrian safety while traveling around San Jose:
- Always use the sidewalk when one is available
- Adhere to traffic rules and be aware of oncoming motor vehicles
- If there is no sidewalk, then walk facing traffic
- Always cross using a designated crosswalk
- Make yourself visible to motorists, especially at night. Some safety tips include wearing light-colored or reflective clothing as well as carrying a flashlight around
- Stay aware of your surroundings; don’t wear headphones or use your phone
- Cross safely by looking at both sides of the road before crossing.
The police department also offers tips for drivers to help them be more aware of pedestrians in the area:
- Always look out for pedestrians even when the streets appear empty
- Slow down when approaching school zones, crosswalks, and other areas where pedestrians may be present to let other vehicles know of crossing pedestrians
- Always yield to pedestrians, regardless of whether you have the right of way or not
- Be careful when backing out of parking spots
These habits can protect pedestrians from various pedestrian traffic fatalities. By following these safety tips, your chances of getting involved in a pedestrian accident may be lowered significantly.
How Can a San Jose Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
If you’ve been struck by a negligent driver while walking, jogging, or riding your bike, first seek medical attention. Soft tissue damage to your tendons and ligaments, along with neck, back, and spine injuries, are very common in these kinds of accidents and may not show up right away.
Call the police, too, to file an accident report and to make sure that the driver doesn’t leave the scene of the accident. Your San Jose personal injury lawyer can use the police report and medical report to make a case for the responsible party to reimburse your medical costs.
In nearly all situations, drivers carry the burden of preventing pedestrian accidents. If you’ve been injured because of a driver’s error, then you may be entitled to financial compensation in addition to covering your medical care. A San Jose personal injury lawyer can help you receive expenses that may cover the following:
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Lost income or diminished earning capacity due to your injuries
- Long-term disability support
- Loss of life enjoyment and emotional trauma
- Possible punitive damages if the driver was negligent or under the influence
Contact Us Today
Have you been injured by a motor vehicle while walking in San Jose? Call the personal injury lawyers at Valley Accident Attorneys today for a free consultation about your case. We will work hard towards your full compensation and provide you with the necessary legal guidance you may need.Call Us