Can the pedestrian still prevail against driver even if he was not walking on crosswalk?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

Pedestrian was hit by vehicle in residential neighborhood. Pedestrian did not use a crosswalk and the vehicle was driving the speed limit. Can the driver still be found at-fault?

Additional information

Pedestrian crossed the road at the intersection but there was no marked crosswalk. The driver did not have any stop signs or red lights. For instance, the intersection of Street A and Street B only has stop signs placed at Street A. Driver was driving on Street B and Pedestrian was walking on Street A. Pedestrian was hit near the middle of the street.

Attorney answers (11)

  1. S. David Rosenthal Esquire

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . California is a pure comparative fault state, so that means that fault or "liability" can be apportioned between more than one person for an incident causing damage. It sounds like the pedestrian has some facts working against him, but all of the facts and circumstances need to be considered. For instance, a motorist cannot observe a pedestrian in the roadway and not stop just because he/she is not in a crosswalk. He must take reasonable action to avoid a collision with the pedestrian. So its possible for the driver to be partially or even completely at fault in such a situation. More information would need to be known - as they say "the devil is in the details."

    Good luck.

  2. Matthew P. Blair

    Contributor Level 11

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The short answer to your question is yes. However, more facts are needed for a full case analysis. I suggest you contact an attorney for a free consultation to see if in fact you have a case.

    Matthew Blair
    www.chakmakislaw.com

    Contact me for a FREE case consultation 310-550-1555, email: mblair@chakmakislaw.com. I am licensed in California... more
  3. Sean Michael Patrick

    Contributor Level 17

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Typically yes. Although this may be a case of comparative negligence.

    I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which... more
  4. Josh P Tolin

    Contributor Level 19

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Drivers are required to use the highest degree of car while operating a vehicle. I am not familiar with CA law, but the other attorneys have indicated that since they are a pure comparative case, if you filed suit and it went to a jury the jury would then apportion fault and whatever damage you have would be reduced by your percentage of fault. You should get a CA attorney asap.

  5. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Short answer YES. the pedestrian is not required to cross in the crosswalk - except between to traffic signal controlled intersections. A pedestrian does have the duty to look out for their own safety and the driver of the needs to be on the look out.

  6. Scott J. Corwin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Based on the facts presented in the case, I would have to say that the pedestrian may have a case. The only way to know for sure would be to review the incident report and pertinent medical records. For more information, feel free to use the links below. Best of luck.

  7. Matthew C Simon

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Im not familiar with California law, but in NY and NJ... absolutely. Also, based on the limited facts knowns, there may be some comparative negligence/fault on the pedestrian, but the person in a car never has the right to go through or hit a pedestrian. A jury could find it was an "accident" and no fault on the driver, but thats rare in my experience. Seek a local personal injury attorney who gives free consultations and get legal advice. Good luck.

    The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-... more
  8. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. A local personal injury lawyer should investigate this fully.

  9. Paul J Molinaro

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No one should handle any claim (involving a motor vehicle accident with bodily injury) against any insurance company without a lawyer. Claims should be handled by a lawyer - one who will be able to understand and explain the physical damages and injuries from accident. The victim of a car accident really needs to worry about one thing - getting better. That means attending doctor's appointments, attending physical therapy (if appropriate), and taking his or her medication. All of the rest can be handled by a personal injury attorney. We earn our fees (contingent by the way) by taking on the stress and hassle of fighting for money - I dare say some of us actually enjoy the fight, but I realize that most people do not enjoy conflict.

    As for getting recovery – even if the at fault drive did a hit and run – the attorney will be the one to know how to go after anyone and everyone plus their insurance companies who has even a hint of liability... while making absolutely sure not to cross the line into frivolous lawsuits or extortion, we will use all legal means to recover for our injured client(s). In a motor vehicle accident, most personal injuries immediately target the driver, the owner, and the employer of the driver as potential defendants. If the defendants want to argue among themselves, so be it, but if the accident is the fault of the driver, at least one of them will be found liable when the jury gives the verdict.

    As for determining who is at fault - whether a car to car accident or car versus pedestrian, determining who is at fault or partially at fault in a motor vehicle accident can be easy (as in the rear-ender) or more commonly not so easy as it requires witness interviews, drivers' statements, accident scene photos and reports, police reports, etc. If a determination is made that a drive is not at fault, then there is no legal liability. In the case of disputes over how to interpret all of the evidence, a court will determine fault.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
    Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
    980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
    Corona, CA 92879
    (951)520-9684
    www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com

    "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."

    * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
    ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito... more
  10. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes.You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
  11. Philip Clark Alexander

    Contributor Level 3

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The answer to this question will depend on many facts that are unknown from your question. A good starting point is CVC 21950 which discusses the right of way at crosswalks. While you state that the pedestrian did not use a crosswalk, your other facts indicated that there was no crosswalk but that the pedestrian was at an intersection, and perhaps crossing within an unmarked crosswalk. Pedestrians must use care and cannot leave a curb and walk in front of a vehicle that is so close as to cause an immediate hazard. At the same time, drivers are also required to exercise due care. In California, comparative negligence is used and each individual in this situation can be assessed with a percentage of fault. Therefore, the pedestrian could be partially at fault but still recover from the driver. There also could be liability against other entities, such as a city if it knew a certain intersection was dangerous. You should consult with an attorney to discuss these specific facts as well as the statute of limitations, which differs if you are suing a governmental entity. Depending on the facts of this case, you should also refer to CVC 21954 which deals with pedestrians outside of crosswalks.

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Personal injury

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