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Deadly Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accidents Are On the Rise in California

We’re all pedestrians at some point in the day, whether it’s walking to the car, walking children to school, or walking across the street to work. During a time when health experts are promoting more exercise and movement, many Californians are choosing walking over driving when they can. But just because walking is the healthier option – it doesn’t always mean that it’s the safer option. Deadly pedestrian accidents are on the rise in California. Here’s what you need to know.

Pedestrian Accidents: By the Numbers

Over the past decade, fatal pedestrian accidents in the US have increased by 46%. California has the fifth-highest pedestrian fatality rate in the US, with about1,100 pedestrian fatalities every year. More specifically, the city of Bakersfield, California is considered the seventh most dangerous city in the entire country for pedestrian fatalities. Stockton, Fresno, and San Bernardino are also listed as dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 1 in 4 pedestrians who are killed in traffic accidents are struck by hit-and-run drivers. Of the pedestrians killed in hit-and-run crashes, about 91% were in single-vehicle accidents. Pedestrians are more likely to be struck by the front of passenger vehicles and light trucks. In hit-and-run accidents involving other vehicles like large trucks and commercial vans, there are higher occurrences of right-side, left-side, and rear-impact accidents.

Filing a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim After a Pedestrian Accident

In California, pedestrians share some of the same legal rights as other motorists. This includes the ability to file a claim after a serious or deadly accident. With the potential for causing serious injuries, permanent disability, and death, pedestrian accidents are serious matters for which responsible parties must be held accountable. Ensuring you have qualified legal representation as you seek justice and recompense for your losses can make all the difference.

If your loved one was killed by a negligent driver, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death claim is a cause of action for the death of one person, caused by the wrongful actions or negligence of another person(s). This type of lawsuit seeks compensation for the survivors’ loss, including funeral expenses, loss of companionship, loss of household contributions, and the lost income that the victim would have earned.

The victim’s family members can bring a wrongful death claim for the hit-and-run driver’s negligence, recklessness, and deliberate acts. Under California law, the dependants who can bring a wrongful death claim are:

  • The victim’s spouse or registered domestic partner
  • The victim’s children
  • The victim’s grandchildren (if the children are deceased)
  • Those dependent on the victim, their spouse, children, or parents
  • A minor who was dependent on the victim for 50% or more of their support
  • Anyone who is entitled to the victim’s property under California’s intestate succession laws

The individual who brings the wrongful death case will have to show the court that the driver was negligent or reckless at the time of the accident, that the driver’s actions caused the pedestrian’s death, and that the surviving family members have suffered financially and emotionally.

When to Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one was injured in a hit-and-run pedestrian accident, you can seek justice and receive compensation for your loss. At Bostwick & Peterson, our attorneys can help you file an injury claim and build a strong case. Let us make this difficult time a little easier by holding the at-fault driver responsible and advocating for what you deserve. Contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers today by filling out this online form or calling 888-831-8448. We offer free initial consultations at our San Francisco-based offices.