Pedestrians have the right to expect safe access and travel according to the California Vehicle Code section 21949(a). This notion has also been supported by established pedestrian car accidents case law. In Celli v. Sports Car Club Inc. (1972) 29 Cal.App.3d 511, Plaintiffs were viewing the race in the pit area with their “pit passes” when a racer car lost control and injured Plaintiffs. The Court of Appeals in Celli sided with the Plaintiffs that the Plaintiffs were entitled to presume that the race operators conducted examination of the pit area of the pit’s safety to spectators before selling those pit passes.
In Tannyhill v. Pacific Motor Transport Co. (1960) 227 Cal.App.2d 512, 518, a man helping a stranded driver on the side of the road when he was killed by a driver that went off the roadway. The Court held in Tannyhill that the decedent had no reasonable basis to suspect that a vehicle would come off the traveled portion of the highway and run into him.
Do Pedestrians Legally Have to Look Both Ways?
Courts have also ruled that pedestrians do not have an obligation to “look both ways” if the pedestrian is occupying a “position of safety”. In Medlin v. Spazier (1913) 23 Cal.App. 242, 244, the Plaintiff was exiting a street car and stepped in the path of the defendant’s car and was hit. The Court found the Defendant at fault because Plaintiff was in a position of safety and the Defendant violated a city ordinance that required motorists to keep a certain distance from street cars.
Lastly, the pedestrian’s reliance on a motorist’s good conduct must be reasonable because the insurance company may argue that the pedestrian knew or should have known that the motorist would act unsafely.
Legal Obligations Surrounding Pedestrian Car Accidents
In order to show that the pedestrian was acting reasonable, we must confront the Defendant about his actions and obtain statements that will show that the Defendant was negligent and that the Plaintiff was being reasonable. At attorney will be able to take the necessary steps in order to be able to speak with the Defendant and ask the Defendant the right questions to get the right responses to make the Plaintiff’s case.
The law offices of Frank D. Penney specialize in all aspects of automobile and pedestrian car accidents, we have an experienced law staff including five attorneys to deftly represent your case with aggressive professionalism. Contact us today for a free case evaluation