Representing Modesto Accident Victims
J&Y Law Firm Modesto
3430 Tully Road, Suite 20-408
Modesto, CA 95350
Modesto, California is well-known as a city that values lush greenery as well as healthful agricultural products. Not only a center of rich farmland, the city has also been honored as a Tree City USA on numerous occasions. Modesto produces a plentiful supply of milk, almonds, chickens, walnuts, and corn, and its residents pride themselves on being committed to the farm-to-table movement that helps to keep our country thriving. In addition, Modesto is home to the Gallo Family Winery, the largest privately owned winery in the world.Modesto is not only renowned for its agricultural production. The city is also renowned for its art and architecture, hosting an annual Architectural Festival to honor the city’s proud history of innovative structures designed during the creative boom of the 1940s and ‘50s, and for its ongoing exuberant music festivals. An all-around healthy and comfortable place to live, Modesto has been ranked high by Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index and Forbes’ “Best Bang-for-the-Buck Cities” in the U.S.Still, no city, no matter how pleasant, is immune to accidents and injuries, and Modesto has its share of personal injury claims. Fortunately, for those in need of legal services of this type, J&Y Law, one of the finest personal injury law firms in the country, has one of its 21 California offices conveniently located at 3430 Tully Road, Suite 20-408.
Why J&Y Law Is a Wise Choice
If you have suffered a personal injury due to the negligence or malice of another person or entity (such as a business, school, or nursing facility), you are legally entitled to compensation to cover your medical costs, lost earnings, and suffering. J&Y Law in Modesto is dedicated to obtaining the highest possible compensation for you and your loved ones.
Because our law firm focuses exclusively on personal injury cases, our attorneys know all the ins and outs of dealing with such claims and are completely up-to-date with local laws involving liability. Also, since we work only on personal injury cases, we are able to be comprehensive in this area. We have had success in winning tens of millions of dollars in negotiated settlements and courtroom decisions in all kinds of personal injury cases, including:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Sexual assaults
- Wrongful Death
As an illustration of our work, we have chosen to focus here on one specific area of our practice: pedestrian accidents. The reason we have chosen this particular category is that The National Highway Traffic Safety Association NHTSA) has reported that California had, for the last two years of released statistics, 2014 and 2015, the country’s highest number of pedestrian fatalities. Perhaps even more alarming, recent records show that pedestrian accidents in California are increasing.
Types of Pedestrian Injuries
There are two basic types of pedestrian injuries: those that occur when a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle and those that result from poor roadway or sidewalk maintenance, defects in parking lots, or debris left on surfaces or falling from buildings.
Who is most at risk of being injured in a pedestrian accident?
While anyone can be injured as a pedestrian, you are most likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident if you are:
- Age 65 or older
- Under the age of 14
- Impaired by alcohol or other drugs
- Traveling at night
- Traveling in an urban area
- Crossing at a non-intersection location
As a matter of fact, almost 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths occur in elderly individuals and one in five children killed in traffic accidents are pedestrians. Significantly, almost 50 percent of all traffic accidents in which a pedestrian is injured involve excessive alcohol consumption, either by the driver or pedestrian. It should also be noted that driving at high speed increases the chance both of hitting a pedestrian and of causing that person severe injury.
Circumstances under which You, the Injured Pedestrian, May Claim Damages
Whether you have been injured by a vehicle, broken pavement, or debris in the roadway, if someone’s negligence contributed to the accident, you may be able to receive compensatory damages. In order to do so, however, your lawyer has to prove the following:
- The plaintiff owed you a legal duty
- The plaintiff breached (failed to fulfill) that duty
- The plaintiff’s action, or inaction, caused the accident
- You were injured as a result of that accident
Before filing a claim for a pedestrian personal injury, it must be determined who is at fault. The law tends to favor the pedestrian in such situations, simply because the driver of the vehicle is usually moving much more quickly and the pedestrian is much more vulnerable to harm. The following safety and traffic rules apply:
- Drivers must yield right-of-way to pedestrians in marked crosswalks
- Drivers must yield right-of-way to pedestrians in unmarked crosswalks at intersections
- Pedestrians are expected to safeguard their own well-being during crossing the street
- Drivers are expected to use caution, reducing speed when a pedestrian is in sight
- Drivers must exercise care even when pedestrians are walking outside a crosswalk
Generally speaking, although pedestrians are expected to be careful by staying within designated crosswalks, in the end drivers are responsible for exercising even greater caution since their vehicles are capable of causing major injury to the unprotected bodies of pedestrians.
In California, as in many other states, it may be determined that more than one party bears legal responsibility for the accident, meaning that liability may be shared. This is known as comparative negligence. In such cases, the compensation received by the injured party may be decreased by the percentage of liability attributed to him or her. In allocating responsibility, the court may find, depending on the circumstances, one or more of the following parties potentially liable for pedestrian injuries:
- The driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian
- The party responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, road, or parking lot
- The pedestrian himself or herself
The Driver’s Responsibility
Drivers are required to exercise reasonable care while on the road; if they do not, they are considered negligent. Examples of negligence under California law include driving recklessly or while:
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Being distracted (e.g. texting, reading, grooming, interacting with passengers)
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Overly fatigued
- Failing to signal while turning
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks
Drivers are also expected to take special care where children are concerned because  children are smaller and less visible than adults and  children are more unpredictable than adults. Drivers are required to exercise extra caution when they drive near areas where children play, such as schools, camps, parks, playgrounds, and residential communities.
The Pedestrian’s Responsibility
Adult pedestrians are also expected to take reasonable care to protect themselves. They may be considered contributors to the accident if they:
- Stepped into traffic, disturbing its flow
- Crossed against a traffic light or ignored a “don’t walk” signal (jaywalking)
- Failed to use marked crosswalks
- Darted in front of a vehicle
The Caretaker’s Responsibility
Parents and other caretakers (babysitters, nannies, grandparents, neighbors) who fail to provide adequate supervision for young children can be held liable for injuries to a pedestrian child. Depending on the age of the child, the adult charged with taking care of that child is expected to hold the child’s hand when crossing the street, prevent the child from running into the street, and keep the child out of danger from traffic. If the child is injured as a result of the adult in charge not behaving as a reasonable person would, that adult can be held responsible for the child’s personal injuries.
Other Parties Responsible for Pedestrian Accidents
As mentioned earlier, the owner of the property on which the pedestrian accident occurred, such as the government agency responsible for road maintenance, may also be held liable in non-vehicular accidents. Such a party is considered to have the legal responsibility to maintain its land and warn people of potential hazards. This means that if you are injured in a pedestrian accident due to falling into a pothole in the walkway, your city, town, or county may be held responsible for your injuries.
Call on J&Y Law for Help with a Personal Injury Claim
If you are located in or around Modesto, and have suffered a serious personal injury in a pedestrian or other type of accident, be smart and consult with the talented and compassionate attorneys at J&Y Law. Our practice is committed to working hard to get you the highest possible settlement while you concentrate on recovering from your physical injuries and emotional trauma. We can be reached through the contact form on our website or by calling 209.292.2617.