A family is grieving the loss of a three-year-old boy after he was struck and killed while crossing the street in Los Angeles. According to reports, the boy and his father were in the middle of a crosswalk on Varna Avenue near Chase Street when a car ran a stop sign and struck them. The boy suffered serious injuries and was taken to a hospital for emergency treatment. He died from his injuries shortly thereafter. The father, who was holding his son’s hand at the time of the accident, only sustained minor injuries. The driver of the car who struck the boy was reported to have been distracted by two children of her own in the car.
Los Angeles is Dangerous for Pedestrians
Los Angeles County leads the nation in pedestrian deaths. In the first half of 2017, authorities reported 352 pedestrian fatalities. Despite efforts to reduce traffic and pedestrian accidents, the problem continues to grow. Why is Los Angeles so dangerous for pedestrians?
Increased Traffic in Los Angeles
Many point to the fact that Los Angeles’ roads are busier and more crowded than ever. The economy is doing better than it has in years, which means that more people are working and traveling. Congestion and traffic threaten the safety of pedestrians who walk alongside these busy corridors. When drivers become restless and tired of sitting in traffic, they are more likely to become aggressive and put pedestrians in harm’s way. Since pedestrians have nothing protecting them from the outside world (unlike drivers who are contained in a large steel vehicle), they are vulnerable to injuries.
Cell Phone Use on the Rise
Cell phone use, by both drivers and pedestrians, is a growing problem across the country. In a place like Los Angeles, where streets are jam-packed, this can be a recipe for disaster. Drivers who are texting or talking on the phone are twice as likely to get into an accident than drunk drivers. Pedestrians who have their noses buried in social media or hearing impaired by headphones are more likely to walk in front of traffic and jump out into crosswalks at the wrong moment. Walking and using a cell phone is believed to be so dangerous, in fact, that one Los Angeles-area town has made it illegal to cross the street while using a mobile device.
Liability for Pedestrian Accident Injuries and Deaths
Who is responsible for a pedestrian’s injuries or death after an accident? The answer will vary in each specific case. Generally speaking, however, anyone whose negligence contributes to an accident can be held financially responsible for ham that occurs. Negligence occurs when a person has and breaches a duty of care, causing another person to suffer harm.
In pedestrian accident cases, there are many potentially liable parties:
- Pedestrian: The pedestrians themselves can be liable if they fail to use caution while walking alongside motor vehicles.
- Drivers: Drivers of cars, trucks, and other vehicles have an obligation to drive safely to not cause harm to those around them. Breaking the law or driving recklessly puts pedestrians at risk.
- Government: If sidewalks and/or roads are in dangerous condition, pedestrians are at an increased risk of harm. Government agencies responsible for maintaining roadways can be held liable if they fail to take reasonable steps to fix their infrastructure.
The family of the three-year-old boy who was killed in Los Angeles will likely try to hold the driver of the car who struck him responsible. Reports indicate that the driver rolled through or failed to stop at a stop sign next to the crosswalk. This may have been because the driver was distracted by two children in her own vehicle. The driver had an obligation to drive safely and protect pedestrians from harm, regardless of any distractions that may have been present. The driver may be held responsible for monetary damages in the family’s wrongful death lawsuit.
Experienced Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrians are most vulnerable in traffic accidents. When pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles they are more likely than anyone else to sustain life-changing and/or fatal injuries. Families who have a loved one taken from them in a Los Angeles pedestrian accident may be entitled to recover monetary damages their loss. These damages can help to pay for medical bills, funerals and burials, transportation, and emotional distress. If you have recently lost a loved one in a Los Angeles pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to contact an attorney for help.
At the Los Angeles Accident Center, our personal injury attorneys understand that an unexpected accident can change your life forever. Whether you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one, we can help you fight to recover the compensation to which you are entitled. Call us today to request a free consultation and learn more.