Although the state is home to many wonderful hiking trails that offer incomparable vistas, California is not known as a pedestrian paradise. Los Angeles and other highly urbanized areas make car travel a requirement for most commuters and travelers. But this does not mean that drivers and passengers alone bear the injury risk of being near motor vehicles.
Pedestrians are struck by cars, trucks and buses often enough for many municipalities to enact laws and create public works to protect them from accidents. Although most incidents that affect pedestrians are unintentional, the victims of these accidents may successfully sue for financial damages if a driver was shown to be negligent or otherwise liable for the consequences.
One common type of negligence while driving is doing so under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A 27-year-old driver will spend almost 10 years in prison after he was convicted of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence causing injury. Civil suits are separate from criminal charges, although a conviction may help a plaintiff in a civil suit.
The driver was going faster than 80 miles per hour when his pickup truck ran off a bridge in San Diego and onto a park, killing four people and seriously injuring another seven. Prosecutors argued he had been drinking alcohol and arguing with a romantic partner just before he lost control while merging into traffic.
Pedestrians struck by motor vehicles and the survivors of people killed in collisions may claim reimbursement for related expenses and compensation for the distress caused by unexpected tragedies. An attorney can help victims and their families deal with these possibilities.