Pedestrian Injury Lawyers in Santa Barbara
Legal Representation for Pedestrians, Scooter and Skateboard Riders
Even the most cautious, law-abiding pedestrian cannot avoid all accidents. When struck by the inattentive driver of a car, truck, or motorcycle, a pedestrian will rarely escape injury. The same is true for the rider of a scooter or skateboard.
NordstrandBlack PC may be able to help you recover substantial compensation for your accident-related losses. When pedestrians are struck by vehicles, they often require extensive medical care for injuries like broken bones, brain trauma, spinal cord damage, and amputations. You may not be able to predict all of the expenses that will arise after an accident. What about future lost wages due to losing a promotion? How will your injuries affect your marriage? These factors can be included when calculating damages after a pedestrian accident, which is why you need an experienced lawyer on your side.
Before settling a claim with an insurance company or driver, you should know your legal rights as well as the full extent of your injuries and damages. Call (866) 298-2041 to discuss your case with a legal professional in a free consultation.
What Types of Cases Have We Handled?
Our personal injury attorneys have represented pedestrians who were seriously injured in a variety of accidents, including those caused by:
- negligent drivers;
- drivers talking on a cell phone;
- those driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
- elderly drivers; and
- drivers who fail to yield to a pedestrian crossing the street and sidewalk
In one case, we represented two injured sisters who were struck in a crosswalk by a negligent driver who refused to stop. Using our years of experience and knowledge, we successfully recovered compensation for the girls and their family.
At the end of the day, drivers should respect pedestrians’ right-of-way and do everything possible to keep them safe. There is no excuse for hitting a pedestrian.
If a negligent driver caused your injuries, NordstrandBlack PC will advocate for you to receive full compensation. With over 40 years of experience among our attorneys, we will thoroughly investigate your accident and hold the driver who injured you accountable.
Pedestrian Accident Case Results
- $1,000,000.00 Settlement - Auto vs. Pedestrian - Multiple Injuries
- $700,000.00 Settlement - Auto vs. Pedestrian - Hip Fracture
- $375,785.00 Settlement - Auto vs. Pedestrian - Hip Fracture
- $335,750.00 Arbitration Award - Pedestrian Accident - Bone Fractures
- $250,000.00 Settlement Policy Limit - Pedestrian Injury - Bone Fractures
∗ Selected cases listed. Every case is different. Past case results are not a guarantee, and similar results may not be obtained in your case. View more case results here.
Pedestrian Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I file a claim if I was injured in a crosswalk?
- What if I was hit while riding a scooter?
- What if I was riding a skateboard or roller skating?
- What should I do after a hit-and-run?
- What can I do if my loved one died in a pedestrian accident?
- How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
1. Can I file a claim if I was injured in a crosswalk?
You are allowed to file a claim if a driver hit you while you were in a crosswalk, but there are certain standards that can impact your case. Both drivers and pedestrians are expected to act reasonably and responsibly at crosswalks. According to California Vehicle Code Section 21950 (a) "The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk." Based on this statute, pedestrians can trust that drivers will not injure them when they are in a crosswalk.
However, Section (b) provides, "This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard." Simply put, pedestrians should enter a crosswalk when it is safe to do so and should always pay attention to the flow of traffic, such as speeding cars or drivers who are turning left at an intersection. If a pedestrian walks into oncoming traffic while crossing the street, he or she can be considered partially liable for his or her own injuries.
But section (c) adds, "The 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… to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian." This statute further reinforces that drivers should take great care when driving through crosswalks and should act responsibly to avoid a pedestrian accident.
How is Vehicle Code Section 21950 interpreted by the courts? Basically, the pedestrian and driver are both expected to be aware of what is happening and act reasonably. California law leaves a lot of room for interpretation based on the facts of each situation. This is why you need an experienced lawyer on your side to demonstrate that the negligence of the driver makes him or her liable for your injuries and damages and to argue against the inevitable defense claim that you were at least partially at fault for not using due care.
2. What if I was hit while riding a scooter?
Scooter riders are just as exposed and unprotected as pedestrians, and the impact of a motor vehicle can cause them serious injuries. Scooter riders need to follow the same rules as bicyclists in terms of moving with traffic, not obstructing vehicles, and staying off sidewalks. Anyone operating a motorized scooter on the sidewalk in Santa Barbara can be stopped and fined.
State laws require anyone under 18 riding on a motorized scooter to wear a helmet. A collision with a car can leave a motorized scooter rider seriously injured – and the lack of a helmet can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries. These accidents are especially dangerous for young children who ride unmotorized scooters and do not understand local traffic laws. However, California courts do not hold children to the same standards when it comes to negligence, and you may be able to pursue a claim on your child’s behalf even if they were not wearing a helmet or riding where they shouldn’t have been.
If a motorist does not pay attention and strikes a person on a scooter who has the right-of-way, the motorist is likely at fault and liable for the accident. But that will come as little comfort to a scooter rider who suffered a lifelong disability due to a traumatic brain injury. Regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet, if a motorist hits you on a scooter, you have grounds for a personal injury claim in Santa Barbara.
3. What if I was riding a skateboard or roller skating?
If you were hit by a negligent driver while skateboarding or roller skating, then you can file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. However, it is important to remember that Santa Barbara has specific laws for skateboarders and roller skaters that prohibit where they are legally allowed to travel. According to Santa Barbara Municipal Code 10.06.010, skateboarders and roller skaters are considered pedestrians by law, so they must stay off of public streets, but they are also not allowed to ride on certain sidewalks. These areas include:
- The downtown area surrounded by Sola Street, Chapala Street, Santa Barbara Street, and Cabrillo Boulevard
- The south sidewalk of Cabrillo Boulevard from Santa Barbara Street to Milpas Street
- The sidewalks on either side of and along the entire length of Coast Village Road
- The sidewalks directly adjacent to the Harbor seawall, including the area between the public launching ramps and Harbor Way
- The breakwater, docks, floats, and ramps in the Santa Barbara Harbor
- Public parking facilities, public parking lots, or other public areas where the entrances to which are posted with signs prohibiting skateboarding and roller skating
- Other areas where “prohibited” signs are posted
If you are injured while roller skating or skateboarding in one of these areas, you may have a hard time pursuing a claim without an attorney. Insurance companies often blame accident victims for causing their own injuries, especially if they were not wearing protective pads or a helmet. However, this attempt to shift the blame does not decrease the at-fault driver’s liability for causing the crash, and the attorneys at NordstrandBlack PC can still advocate for your right to compensation.
4. What should I do after a hit-and-run?
The first thing you should do after a hit-and-run incident is call for immediate medical attention, if necessary, as well as the Santa Barbara Police or Sheriff’s Office. A prompt police response can help you gather information regarding witnesses, evidence, and give the officer a head start on locating a suspect after the accident. While all of these efforts are used in a criminal investigation, this information may also be helpful in a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
If law enforcement or your insurance company does not find the driver who fled the scene, you will need to rely on your own or your family’s insurance policy. While it is not legally required in California, your auto insurance policy may include uninsured motorist coverage (UM). UM insurance provides coverage when you are injured by either a driver who does not have insurance or in a hit-and-run accident. This coverage allows you to file a claim against your own insurance company to recover the costs of your injuries and damages. It is important to review this policy with an attorney after an accident to ensure that you proceed correctly to preserve your claim and receive proper compensation for your damages and trauma.
5. What can I do if my loved one died in a pedestrian accident?
After a loved one is killed in a vehicle collision, it can be difficult to consider practical matters like filing a lawsuit against the responsible party. But filing a wrongful death claim can help you in more ways than one. Not only can it help with your financial peace of mind, giving you one less concern while grieving for a loved one, but it can also help with emotional closure. Knowing that those responsible must pay for their negligence can be an important part of healing after losing a loved one.
In California, there are laws in place for filing a wrongful death claim and a survival action. The details of your situation will dictate which is appropriate; each type of claim has its own particular benefits and process for filing. Do not try to figure out everything on your own. An experienced wrongful death attorney can answer questions you might not think of asking and make sure your rights are protected.
6. How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
The longer you wait, the more difficult your situation may become. California sets a limit on the amount of time a person has to file and pursue a personal injury claim after an accident. This time limit, called the "statute of limitations," will expire if you wait too long, forever preventing you from seeking rightful compensation owed to you by negligent parties. Even if you don't plan on filing a claim, it will be beneficial to speak with a skilled Santa Barbara pedestrian accident lawyer.
Why Should I Call a Lawyer?
Santa Barbara County has several complex laws surrounding pedestrians that can make it difficult for you to know if you have a claim. Pedestrians, whether on foot, scooters, skateboards, or roller skates, are only allowed to walk on certain parts of the road, and there are even restrictions on which sidewalks they can legally travel on. If you are injured in a prohibited area, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely try to deny your claim or at least minimize the amount of money it pays you.
However, if a negligent driver injured you, you do have a right to hold them accountable in a personal injury claim. Our attorneys at NordstrandBlack PC have handled many types of pedestrian accident claims in California and locally around Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo. We thoroughly understand how local and state laws impact accident victims and can explain how to move forward with a claim if a negligent driver injured you.
At NordstrandBlack PC, our Santa Barbara personal injury attorneys provide clients with aggressive representation so they can obtain full compensation. Contact our Santa Barbara law firm today at (866) 298-2041 for a free initial consultation. We’ll explain your rights and options and show you how we can help after an injury.
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