“Right-of-way rules, together with courtesy and common sense, help to promote traffic safety. It is important to respect the right-of-way of others, especially pedestrians, motorcycle riders, and bicycle riders. Never assume other drivers will give you the right-of-way. Yield your right-of-way when it helps to prevent collisions.”
Those words are taken from the California Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Handbook. Right-of-way rules are important to keeping our streets safe and the traffic flowing smoothly, addressing a number of common situations drivers encounter on the state’s roadways, including merging into traffic, crossing through intersections, pedestrians and cyclists on the roads, inoperative traffic signals, and passing other vehicles, just to name a few. If you think the California traffic is already a nightmare, just imagine for a moment the chaos and mayhem that would reign if it weren’t for the state’s right-of-way laws.
Serious accidents can occur when drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians fail to follow the right-of-way rules, resulting in costly property damage and severe injuries. If you were injured in an accident caused by someone failing to yield the right-of-way, California state law gives you the right to seek compensation for the damages caused by your injuries by filing a personal injury claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to pay for all of your losses, which occurs regularly, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Right-of-Way Pedestrian Accidents in California
One of the most common types of right-of-way accidents involves pedestrians being struck by motorists while walking along the road or crossing a street or driveway. According to California Vehicle Code 21950, the driver of a vehicle must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. In addition, when approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk, the driver of the vehicle shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.
Ignorance, speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, and poor visibility (particularly at night) are a few of the reasons why drivers may fail to observe right-of-way laws.
It’s important to remember that pedestrians don’t always have the right-of-way under California traffic laws. Pedestrians have a duty to use due care to protect their safety; for instance, they can’t suddenly walk into the path of a vehicle that’s so close it poses an immediate danger. State law also forbids pedestrians from unnecessarily stopping or delaying traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Only under certain circumstances can a pedestrian walk in the road. However, drivers of cars must exercise due care to avoid hitting a pedestrian even in cases where the pedestrian does not have the right-of-way.
Contact the Law Office of Scott Dinsmore If You’ve Been Inured in a Manhattan Beach Right-of-Way Accident
Have you been injured in an accident that happened because a motorist failed to yield the right-of-way? If so, it’s important that you take immediate steps to protect your rights. Don’t agree to a settlement with an insurance company until after you’ve had a chance to speak with the Manhattan Beach personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore. We’ve been protecting the rights of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers who have been injured in right-of-way accidents in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Torrance, Hawthorne, Gardena, Redondo Beach, and other South LA communities for over 30 years. Some of our victories include a $1,220,771 settlement for a 14-year-old girl who suffered a significant brain injury after being hit by a car while walking across a hard-to-see crosswalk and $550,000 for a defendant who suffered a fractured hip after being struck in case where it was disputed as to whether he was in a crosswalk.
Contact the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. We handle most personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no up-front costs for our services and we only collect a fee after we’ve secured your settlement or a verdict at trial.