Pedestrians have the right-of-way in California. According to California Vehicle Code 21950, drivers “shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection”. So long as a pedestrian is walking in a marked crosswalk or crossing at an intersection that may or may not have a marked crosswalk, they have the right-of-way.
The vehicle code also states, “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”. The ambiguity of this phrasing is what prompts insurance companies to contest these types of cases. What constitutes “an immediate hazard”, how far away does the vehicle need to be, and what counts as “suddenly” are all questions that can prompt a dispute.
What this means is that pedestrians do not always have the right-of-way, as they have to yield to vehicles when they cross in areas outside of a crosswalk. However, the vehicle code later reads, “[T]he provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway”. Drivers are not completely blameless in accidents where they strike a pedestrian outside of a crosswalk. If a pedestrian is crossing illegally and a driver has enough time to slow down or stop, they must do so.
Pedestrian accidents can often result in serious injury or fatality, depending on the type of vehicle that strikes the pedestrian and the speed of that vehicle at impact. If you have been injured while crossing the street, the Imburg Law Firm is here to help.
Call Mr. Imburg today at (209) 577-6666 for a free consultation. Mr. Imburg is an experience Modesto motorcycle accident attorney who has a detailed knowledge of insurance company practices, and he can help make sure you can focus on recovery and not on how to pay for it.