Berkeley Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Berkeley personal injury attorney. Pedestrian accidents can be horrific, causing serious injury and death. Such an accident happened recently in Berkeley on Friday, February 17 at about 7:57 p.m. when a pedestrian was hit and killed on Interstate 80.
The male pedestrian, as yet unidentified by authorities, was struck by a blue Honda on the eastbound stretch of I-80 between Buchanan and Gilman Streets. According to the California Highway Patrol, the man was found in the innermost lane of the highway, lying face down. Paramedics and Berkeley Fire Department responders were called to the scene where the man was pronounced dead. Anyone with information about the accident is urged to contact the Oakland CHP office at 510-450-3821.
Cooperation With Law Enforcement
Authorities said that the Honda remained at the crash site, and the driver was cooperative with law enforcement. The passenger in the Honda was only described as female with no further details. A SigAlert was issued for the fifth and sixth lanes shortly after the accident at 8:08 p.m. and was canceled at 8:58 p.m.
The cause of the accident is being investigated, and the possibility of drug or alcohol use has not been ruled out. No further information was provided at the time of this post.
Incidence and Severity of Pedestrian Accidents in and Around Berkeley
According to the Transportation Injury Mapping System for Berkeley, roughly 16 percent of all accidents in the area involve pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of pedestrians killed in the United States increased in 2015 by almost 10 percent, which is the highest it has been since 1996. The number injured likewise increased by 5,000 individuals.
Pedestrian accidents usually occur when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian trying to cross a roadway. However, as in this accident, the pedestrian may be walking along the highway. Since a pedestrian has little protection when an accident happens, severe injury or death often results.
Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents
Liability in a pedestrian accident is built on the negligence of either the driver or the pedestrian. Since California follows the rule of pure comparative negligence, proving fault is an important part of a pedestrian accident lawsuit. Contributory negligence means that the injured party may be entitled to collect the portion of damages equal to what is left after the person’s percentage of fault is subtracted. For instance, if the driver was 99 percent responsible for the accident, the injured party could recover 99 percent of the damages.
Reasons Why Pedestrian Accidents Happen
Both motorists and pedestrians have specific safety responsibilities. A driver should:
- Drive without being distracted
- Take heed to honor traffic signs
- Pay attention to weather conditions
- Not drive while inebriated or under the influence of drugs
- Always make sure to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
- Drive within the speed limit
- Make turns carefully and use a signal appropriately
Pedestrians must follow the rules of the road also to avoid accidents and, if one occurs, contributory negligence. These safeguards are:
- Following the signal to walk at intersections
- Using a crosswalk if it is available
- Not entering traffic at unauthorized areas
Wrongful Death in a Pedestrian Accident
When someone is killed in a pedestrian accident, the decedent’s family suffers both emotional and financial loss. Aside from the help the deceased may have provided in terms of household expenses, burial and funeral costs as well as possible end-of-life medical care can be stressful for the family.
In some cases, where the defendant was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and acted in an extremely reckless manner, a criminal charge of vehicular manslaughter may be levied. The addition of criminal charges can act as proof in a wrongful death claim since criminal charges meet a higher level of scrutiny than those in a civil case.
Berkeley Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
I am Ed Smith, a Berkeley personal injury lawyer. When serious injuries or death occur due to a pedestrian accident, I am here to help. Please call me at (805) 372-0200 or our toll-free number at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.
I began my California practice in 1982. I work to get maximum damages for all clients with personal injury claims, including wrongful death. When you call, we provide you with a free case evaluation. There is never a fee, unless we win your case.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This group is limited to those trial attorneys who have won $1 million or more in settlements or verdicts.
You might want to visit my Verdicts and Settlements page to view how previous cases were won.
Please, take a look at my main web page at www.autoaccidents.com. As founder of this site, I am proud to serve those in Berkeley in personal injury cases.
Photo Attribution: Berkeley Pedestrian Accident Lawyer, Edward A. Smith