Your Rights If You Are Hit by a Car

There is an alarming rate of accidents in Southern California due to cars, trucks, buses and utility vehicles hitting people walking across the street, or walking on a sidewalk. This is referred to as a pedestrian accident in California. People generally have the right of way when they are walking and vehicles are required to stop for them. This applies to cross walks, or even to give them plenty of space when walking. Unfortunately, the trend in Los Angeles has been for car and other vehicle drivers to ignore pedestrian rights and actually hit pedestrians. Drivers don’t pay attention in increasing numbers due to cell phones, texting, or just plain negligence and ineptitude. This gross abdication of responsibility many times causes severe traumatic injury, or even death. The incidence of pedestrian injury in Los Angeles County has been further compounded by the increase in drunk drivers, or drivers under the influence of drugs. If you have been injured by a car or other vehicle while you were walking, or had a loved one killed or injured in a similar accident, you probably need representation by a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles.

What is categorized as a Pedestrian?

California defines anyone that is walking, riding a skateboard, scooter, roller skates, roller blades or any other type of non-motorized conveyance, except for bicycles. A person who is using a wheelchair, a motorized wheel chair, or a “motorized chair” also falls under this classification. California takes a very tough stance on pedestrian safety and imposes heavy fines and penalties on the offending driver. The victim of a pedestrian accident who is injure has the possibility of a very large settlement depending on the injuries sustained.

Pedestrian safety laws go beyond just requiring that a vehicle stop for pedestrians that are waiting. This applies where there is a crosswalk and also where there is not a crosswalk. Cars are required to stop when other cars have already stopped at a crosswalk to make sure that there is not a pedestrian crossing. California law states that vehicles must give the right of way to pedestrians and to exercise all due care.

The frequency of pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles County has increased simply because drivers do not respect the pedestrians right to cross. Suprisingly, there have been more than a few reported cases where drivers actually sped up when seeing a pedestrian cross the road. You have rights in these situations. If you have been hit by a car or other vehicle in Los Angeles, it is imperative that you seek the help of a competent personal injury attorney like Frank Ariel.

Motor Vehicle Assault Defense Help

A motor vehicle assault charge will be given to an individual who caused an injury with the use of a motor vehicle. There are several different degrees of this crime. Second-degree charges will be given to those who have caused minor injuries and may not have intended harm to another. First-degree charges may be given when intent is involved. In this case, the charges will be more severe.

Vehicles such as cars and trucks can cause a tremendous amount of damage when they come into contact with another vehicle or a person. This sometimes occurs to a driver having “road rage.” Motor vehicle assault may also entail a person using a weapon within a motor vehicle. This can include drive-by shootings. Sometimes this assault can result in death. In the event that the assault is deadly, it will be considered a homicide by the courts.

Due to the possible severity of injuries, harsh sentences are often times given to individuals who are convicted. This can include years of jail time and large amounts of fines. Suspension and revocation of a driver’s license can be required of those with even the most minor motor vehicle assault charges. In addition to these legal consequences, a person’s reputation may also be at risk.

Hiring a defense attorney will often times help a person accused of a crime lessen his or her sentence or even be cleared of charges. An attorney can help a judge, jury, or prosecutor understand that rehabilitation may be more effective than jail time or that the fines are too harsh for the crime.