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Pedestrian Accident

Young Santa Rosa Girl Struck By Car, Critically Injured

By Kelly Balamuth on March 10, 2015

A 6-year-old girl was severely injured after a vehicle hit her as she was crossing the street with her family in Santa Rosa Sunday night around 9:20 p.m. The girl was walking east across Petaluma Hill Road at Breeze Way in a marked crosswalk when struck by a 67-year-old Santa Rosa man driving a 2001 Ford Focus.

The driver immediately pulled over and is cooperating with police. At this time, it is unclear what caused the accident.

The vast majority of fatal pedestrian/motor vehicle collisions occur on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in later evening hours. Unfortunately, based on population, children under the age of 16 are more likely to be struck by motor vehicles. Pedestrian accidents leave their victims in terrible pain and often with permanent physical disabilities. Read the rest »

Posted in: Pedestrian Accident

Man Seriously Injured after Stockton, California Hit and Run

By Kelly Balamuth on February 1, 2013

When a pedestrian is injured in a vehicle accident, the injuries suffered are often serious, if not fatal, ones. Oftentimes, the driver is at fault, but insurance companies may also try to blame the pedestrian’s own actions for the crash. A Northern California pedestrian car accident lawyer would examine multiple sources in order to determine who was to blame including statements from witnesses, police reports, relevant traffic laws, etc.

As reported by ABC News 10, a SUV struck and injured a man on the 300 block of North Sierra Nevada Street. The incident occurred at approximately 10:00 p.m. Friday, January 18th, 2013. According to Stockton police, after striking the pedestrian, the driver of the SUV fled the scene.

When EMT’s arrived at the scene of the hit and run, they discovered a Hispanic male approximately 40 years of age unconscious and with severe injuries. Police report that the man was transported to a medical center for treatment.

The vehicle which struck the pedestrian was reported by police to have resembled an older model Ford Bronco or Chevy Tahoe. The vehicle was red in color, and it was last spotted going east on Lindsay Street.

Possible reasons for vehicle/pedestrian incidents such as this one include failing to maintain the vehicle in its traffic lane (veering off the street or road), speeding, driving while distracted, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian car accident, at Balamuth Law we represent those who have been hurt due to someone else’s negligent actions. Please call the East Bay personal injury attorneys at Balamuth Law at (888) 254-1234.

City of Atherton Aims to Improve Crosswalk Safety, Prevent Accidents

By Kelly Balamuth on December 14, 2012

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) told the Atherton City Council that the El Camino-Selby Lane intersection, a hazardous intersection in the town, meets the criteria for the installation of a traffic signal. However, as city officials understand the urgent need for safer crosswalks, council enthusiasm was limited as members hoped that the state agency would present more information and options for the handful of Atherton crosswalks at non-signalized intersections that have been the scene of many bicycle and pedestrian accidents.

Bay Area Pedestrian Accident PreventionTown officials are wondering if Caltrans, as well as the town, may be able to finance other crosswalk improvements in addition to the traffic signal.

A Caltrans traffic operations division chief told the City Council that the agency is prepared to begin the process to signalize El Camino and Selby, but will also meet with town staff to create a plan to address crosswalk dangers. As a number of pedestrians have been injured at several non-signalized crosswalks in 1.6 mile stretch of roadway, the staff is also working with agency to determine the best location for what will likely be a pedestrian-activated overhead system at one intersection.

The City of Atherton has been studying the pedestrian and bicycle safety problems on El Camino for years, but efforts were increased earlier this year when two women were struck and severely injured in the crosswalk of El Camino and Isabella Ave. Studies are being conducted on additional safety options, such as narrowing the roadway from six lanes to four.

Caltrans estimates that the cost of the new traffic signal would be between $450,000 and $600,000 and would be split between the state agency and the town, with Atherton and San Mateo County each paying 25 percent.

The San Mateo County pedestrian accident lawyers of Balamuth Law applaud local and state efforts to improve pedestrian safety, but the negligent actions of another motorist are always the biggest threat to the safety of those on two wheels and two feet. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident caused by the carelessness of another party, call (888) 254-1234 to discuss your case with a member of our legal team and see how we can help you on the road to recovery.

Number of Pedestrian Deaths in San Francisco on Pace to Exceed Last Year’s Total

By Kelly Balamuth on August 15, 2012

According to a BayCitizen.org news report, the number of pedestrians killed this year in San Francisco is on pace to surpass the death toll from the previous two years despite the city’s attempt to improve pedestrian safety. The San Francisco Police Department reports that there have been 10 pedestrian fatalities this year alone, which is high considering the total number in the last two years; specifically, there were 17 deaths in 2011 and 15 in 2010. San Francisco has averaged 17 pedestrian fatalities per year since 2008. For the past two years, there have been more than 800 pedestrian collisions each year.

SF Pedestrian Car CollisionThough complete data is not available yet as to who is responsible for this year’s pedestrian fatalities, reports indicate a majority of this year’s fatalities occurred as a result of collisions between pedestrians and vehicles. In 2010, the previous mayor of San Francisco issued an executive order setting goals to reduce pedestrian-related deaths and injuries, including lowering speed limits in various parts of the city. However, pedestrian advocates say the “renewed attention has not resulted in enough action.”

A department of health epidemiologist states the impact of the changes has yet to be seen because a number of the city’s coordinated efforts began at the start of this year. She also adds that the injuries to pedestrians cost the public $15 million and accounts for a quarter of the trauma injuries treated at San Francisco General Hospital, stressing that this is a “real public health issue.”

The San Francisco metropolitan area had a higher rate of pedestrian fatalities than 24 other major metro regions, including Seattle, Chicago, and Boston. However, San Francisco was still ranked as the 12th safest region for pedestrians among the 52 metro areas in the nation with more than 1 million residents.

Although these pedestrian accident statistics are alarming, both pedestrians and motorists can do their part to prevent a dangerous accident by being alert and distraction free. The negligence of another party, however, may still cause a dangerous collision to occur. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you deserve proper legal representation to help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact a skilled San Francisco pedestrian accident attorney at Balamuth Law for help. We can be reached by calling (888) 254-1234.

Fatal San Francisco Pedestrian-Bicyclist Accident Raises Concerns about Roadway Safety

By Kelly Balamuth on June 20, 2012

A 71-year-old San Francisco pedestrian lost his life recently when he was struck by a speeding bicyclist while crossing Market Street, according to a recent article in The Los Angeles Times.

The pedestrian was using the crosswalk along with several other people when he was hit. The 36-year-old bicyclist was riding quickly, and had already disregarded several other red lights and stop signs. As he approached the busy crosswalk, he decided he was going too fast to stop, so he kept going – knocking down the elderly pedestrian.

The man was taken to the hospital, but he was unable to recover from his injuries and died a few days later. The bicyclist was not hurt in the accident, but he is facing criminal charges, according to the Times article.

The accident and similar accidents in other states have rekindled the debate over the need for city streets, walking areas, and bike paths that both accommodate non-motor-vehicle traffic and control it. The need to enforce vehicle laws on bicyclists as well as on cars has also come back into the spotlight. California bicyclists are allowed to share the roads with cars as long as they follow motor vehicle laws, but police units do not always make enforcing bicycle safety a priority.

Those who aren’t in a vehicle have certain rights to share the roads with motorists. However, dated infrastructure, distractions, and other problems can lead to accidents – and when these happen, serious injuries may result. If you’ve been injured while walking or biking, an experienced Northern California pedestrian accident lawyer at Balamuth Law can help. Call us today at (888) 254-1234 for a free, confidential consultation.

Milpitas Police Sting Enforces Crosswalk Laws, Pedestrian Safety

By Kelly Balamuth on October 6, 2011

The rules regarding pedestrian cross walks are commonly misunderstood by drivers. Section 21950 (a) of the California Vehicle Code states: “a driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” The code also provides in section 21951(a) that all other vehicles approaching a car stopped at a designated or non designated cross walk must stop as well, and never pass the vehicle yielding to pedestrians.

In response to the dangers presented by this issue and to the numerous pedestrian deaths resulting from crosswalk violations in Northern California this year, a Traffic Safety Unit in the town of Milpitas conducted a police sting to combat the problem and heighten awareness. The sting was conducted in two regions that have distinctly signed crosswalks in the road. The officer who was posing as a pedestrian for the sting was clothed in a bright shirt, according to The Mercury News, and always crossed a liberal distance from approaching vehicles to ensure adequate reaction time.

A whopping total of 55 tickets were given out for violations during the initiative, which was carried out at a morning and an afternoon location (the afternoon spot was in close proximity to a school). Have you or a family member been injured as a pedestrian by a vehicle in an accident you believe resulted from negligent or reckless behavior? Contact the Northern California pedestrian accident lawyers with Balamuth Harrington at 1-888-254-1234 for a complimentary case consultation.

An Overview of Pedestrian Accidents During 2008-2009

By Kelly Balamuth on August 22, 2011

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2009, 4,092 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States, marking a seven percent drop from 4,414 in 2008.

Pedestrians are defined by the NHTSA as individuals on foot (walking, jogging, hiking, running, sitting, and lying down). Along with the 4,092 fatal pedestrian accidents, about 59,000 pedestrians were injured in vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2009. That translates to a pedestrian killed every two hours and injured every nine minutes due to traffic-related accidents.

Nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of pedestrian deaths took place in an urban setting versus a rural setting. In addition, three-fourths (76 percent) of pedestrian fatalities happened at non-intersections versus at intersections. Close to 90 percent of pedestrian deaths transpired during normal weather conditions (no rain, snow, fog, or to detract from awareness), while a large portion (about 70 percent) took place at night.

Alcohol use, by the vehicle driver or the pedestrian, was reported in 48 percent of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities. Thirty-five percent of impaired pedestrians involved in traffic accidents exhibited a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, while 13 percent of drivers had a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher (under two-thirds the rate for the pedestrians). This data suggests that pedestrians feel a false sense of security when drinking a large amount of alcohol while on foot; and motorists exhibit a false sense of security when consuming moderate amounts of alcohol while driving.

Pedestrian fatalities made up 12 percent of all traffic deaths, and represented three percent of all individuals harmed in traffic incidents. More than 90 percent of pedestrian deaths resulted from single-vehicle accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian in a traffic accident, call 1-888-254-1234 for a free consultation with the Northern California pedestrian accident lawyers at Balamuth Harrington.

Young Boy Severely Injured After Hit-And-Run Pedestrian Accident in San Francisco

By Kelly Balamuth on August 17, 2011

A nine-year-old boy was severely injured in a hit-and-run pedestrian accident in downtown San Francisco following the Giants vs. Phillies game on August 4.

The boy and his family, on summer vacation in Northern California from Philadelphia, were walking back to their hotel from the AT&T Park when he and his aunt were struck by a Toyota Tundra truck near the intersection of New Montgomery Street and Mission. The boy’s father told KRON-TV: “A car came screeching out of the street, hit one car, careened over into the second car, and that was where my son was.” The boy was taken to a local hospital and treated for life-threatening injuries, while his aunt was treated for a foot injury. As of August 8, a hospital spokesperson listed him in critical condition and has been making slow, incremental health improvements.

The car’s driver, a 21-year-old graduate of Cal State East Bay, fled the scene after the accident, officials said, but was located and apprehended later that evening by police. His blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent proved that he had been drinking. Department of Motor Vehicles data shows the driver held a clean record prior to this incident. He is charged with driving under the influence (DUI), driving with an open container, and a hit-and-run felony. The day following the car accident, he was imprisoned at San Francisco County Jail, and bail was set at $64,100.

Pedestrians are always at risk among motor vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian in an accident involving recklessness or impaired driving on the driver’s behalf, you may be eligible to pursue damages. Call 1-888-254-1234 for a free consultation with the Northern California pedestrian accident attorneys at Balamuth Harrington.

San Francisco Residents Pay a High Price for Pedestrian Accident Injuries

By Kelly Balamuth on April 21, 2011

San Francisco’s Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) recently advised that the high rate of pedestrian-car accidents in the city was costing residents millions of dollars in medical costs. The PSAC estimates that 800 pedestrians are hit by vehicles in San Francisco each year, which averages to two or three pedestrians each day. In a year, these injured pedestrians rack up over $76 million in costs, with medical bills alone accounting to $15 million.

The PSAC notes that the cost of admitting just one injured pedestrian to the hospital for treatment can be as much as $80,000. When the injured person is very young, old, poor, or disabled, the public ends up paying for up to three-quarters of the injured person’s medical care. Even among city residents who have health insurance or the means to pay their bills, the high risk of severe injuries resulting from a San Francisco pedestrian accident put many families on financially uncertain ground, as one unfortunate mistake could change their lives forever.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) estimates that improvements to make roads safer for pedestrians range from $10,000 to improve crosswalks to $1 million to overhaul an entire street. Although these numbers are small compared to the costs of the injuries they would prevent, the MTA’s low budget makes it difficult for the agency to carry out these projects.

Motorists have a responsibility to be on the lookout for pedestrians, but unfortunately many drive distracted or are not paying adequate attention when behind the wheel and do not see a person on foot until it’s too late, leaving the pedestrian to pay the price. If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident in San Francisco, please don’t hesitate to call the experienced Northern California pedestrian accident attorneys at Balamuth Harrington today at 888-254-1234.

Elderly San Francisco Woman Hospitalized After Getting Hit by Truck

By Kelly Balamuth on February 9, 2011

An 81-year-old San Francisco woman was hospitalized with critical injuries after getting struck by a pickup truck in the Mission District of the city on February 1, according to The San Francisco Examiner.

The woman was walking in a crosswalk when a Dodge Ram turned left on a green light and struck her, causing the woman to suffer serious head injuries, for which she was hospitalized. The driver of the truck stopped immediately and called 911 on his cell phone. The driver was not arrested for the pedestrian accident, and authorities have said that neither drugs nor alcohol were factors in the accident.

There are steps that both pedestrians and motorists can take to avoid collisions between pedestrians and motor vehicles. Pedestrians should always be aware of traffic and their surroundings. Don’t text and walk or engage in any other distracting behaviors while walking on or near roads. Try not to walk in the dark for long periods of time, but if you must, wear light or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight. If you are walking through areas with a lot of traffic congestion, stick to only clearly marked paths for pedestrians. Also, be aware of any factors such as trees or bushes that may make it difficult for drivers to see you.

For drivers, the best way to avoid hitting pedestrians is to be aware of your surroundings while driving. You should not use your cell phone while you drive, whether you are texting or talking on the phone, or do anything else that takes your attention away from the road. Be particularly aware of pedestrians near cross walks or other areas where pedestrians are likely to be present.

When someone is injured in a pedestrian accident in Northern California, they may be able to file a claim against a negligent driver. Drivers have a duty to exercise caution while driving, and if they fail to do so, they may be held legally responsible for an accident and the resulting injuries and expenses. Contact the Northern California pedestrian accident attorneys at Balamuth Harrington at 1-888-254-1234 for a free consultation.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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