The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its fatal vehicle crash statistics and the news for people who use roads while on foot are not good. In 2018, the number of pedestrians killed nationwide rose by 208 to 6,283, which is an increase of 3.4%. The news closer to home was no better. 57 of those 6,283 deaths occurred in the Sacramento region (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo Counties,) with more than 80% of those 57 happening in Sacramento County alone. Additionally, 22 pedestrians have died in San Francisco just in the first eight months of 2019.
There can be many reasons for fatal pedestrian accidents but, many times, driver mistakes are a factor. Maybe the driver was speeding or improperly failed to yield, maybe the driver was distracted, maybe the driver was impaired or… maybe all of the above are true. Whatever the specifics, if you’ve lost a loved one due to a fatal pedestrian accident caused by driver negligence, be sure to contact an experienced San Mateo pedestrian accident attorney to find out what can be done to protect your family.
Urban areas are where the biggest increase in fatal pedestrian accidents have occurred, according to the Sacramento Bee. The report stated that fatal pedestrian accidents have surged by 69% over the last 10 years.
Safely multitasking behind the wheel ‘is a myth’
Distracted drivers are one source of the problem, according to Sacramento Police. Sgt. Sabrina Briggs. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) agreed. A NTSB report pointed out the existence of “a widespread belief by many drivers they can multitask and still operate a vehicle safely.” As the NTSB went on to remind everyone, “multitasking is a myth; humans can only focus cognitive attention on one task at a time. That’s why executing any task other than driving is dangerous and risks a crash.”
So, what can you do if you have been involved in an injury accident as a pedestrian, or you are the loved one of a pedestrian killed by a vehicle? If you can develop the right evidence, you can potentially pursue a negligence lawsuit and obtain significant compensation. This can include a variety of forms of evidence. Eyewitness testimony and photographic evidence are two types. Additionally, police and legal records can be very helpful. If the driver was issued a citation by the police, or was charged and pled (or was found) guilty of some criminal violation, then those records can be highly powerful in demonstrating that the driver was negligent.
Additionally, expert witnesses may be a major help. These can include medical professionals who might testify about a range of things from the long-term impact of non-fatal injuries to the sort of suffering a fatally injured victim underwent before death. An accident reconstruction expert can help a jury understand how and why the accident happened, and how the driver’s conduct played a role in that collision.
Any pedestrian injury or wrongful death case comes with many strategic decisions. Do you need expert witnesses and, if so, what type of experts and how many? What claims should you include in your lawsuit? Should you accept or reject a settlement offer from the defense? Don’t try, in the midst of all the other things you must juggle during this stressful time, to deal with making all these momentous legal decisions on your own. Instead, rely on the experienced San Mateo pedestrian accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. Our diligent attorneys are here to offer you thoughtful and clear advice, aggressive advocacy and effective strategies. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.