Last week a man in his 70s died in a pedestrian accident in Northeast Fresno according to the Fresno Police Department. According to ABC30 Action News, the gentleman was crossing the road at Shepard Avenue and Chestnut Avenue around 7:00 p.m. The driver of the vehicle remained at the accident scene while police investigated. It was unknown whether the pedestrian or the driver had the right of way at the time of the collision.
When Does A Pedestrian Have the Right of Way in California?
In some cases, a pedestrian has the right of way while crossing the road. California Vehicle Code Section 21950 states:
“The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.”
The code also states that a pedestrian cannot “suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle” when the vehicle is close enough to create a hazard. The pedestrian has a duty to protect himself or herself.
However, the code then states that a “driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
Are you thoroughly confused yet about pedestrian rights of way?
Let’s look at another section of the California Vehicle Code. CVC Section 21954 states:
“Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.”
This portion of the code appears to place the duty on the pedestrian to prevent an accident. However, the second portion of this code section states that this does “not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.” In other words, drivers should still stop if they approach a pedestrian in the road.
Who Is at Fault?
As you can see from the above code sections, it can be extremely complicated to determine fault in a California pedestrian accident. The code is clear about a driver’s duty to prevent pedestrian accidents. However, because of California’s comparative fault laws, a pedestrian can be held partially liable for damages in an accident. Therefore, the driver may not be responsible for 100 percent of the damages.
Whether you are the driver or the pedestrian, it is crucial that you seek advice from an experienced Fresno pedestrian accident attorney. The compensation you may be entitled to receive in a pedestrian accident could be reduced under California’s comparative fault laws. You need an attorney who understands pedestrian laws and comparative fault laws to protect your right to recover full compensation for your damages.
Call A Fresno Pedestrian Accident Attorney Now!
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, call our office now to request a free consultation with a Fresno pedestrian accident attorney. Call Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444 or use our online contact form to request more information.
Don’t trust the insurance adjuster for the other driver to protect your rights — he works for the insurance company. You need someone you can trust on your side to protect your best interests — our attorney is that person.