Two 13-year-old girls suffered serious injuries in a San Francisco car accident after they were struck while walking to school the morning of September 30, 2009. According to a news report in the Contra Costa Times, the girls, both eighth graders, were crossing Oak Park Boulevard in Pleasant Hill when they were hit by an eastbound Chrysler PT Cruiser. Both girls were transported to an area hospital with serious injuries, but are expected to survive. Police say the girls were walking in a crosswalk, but that the crosswalk was not protected by a stop light or a stop sign. There was also no crossing guard posted at that particular crosswalk.
My heart goes out to these two young girls who did nothing wrong and yet sustained major injuries in this pedestrian accident. While I’m relieved that their injuries were not life-threatening, I hope and pray that these girls are not left with lifelong disabilities or debilitating injuries. I wish them both the very best for a quick and complete recovery. These injured victims will certainly be in my prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 12 injuries involving pedestrian accidents reported in Pleasant Hill, California. In Contra Costa County as a whole, 11 deaths and 243 injuries were reported as a result of pedestrian accidents in 2007.
Based on this newspaper report, it seems to me that the girls did exactly what they were supposed to do. They crossed the street in a marked crosswalk. It appears that the driver of the PT Cruiser did not see the girls for some reason. We don’t know why. Was he or she distracted, impaired or otherwise negligent?
California Car Accident Law
California law requires motorists to yield right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks. California Vehicle Code Section 21950 states: “The 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 same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk “shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
The families of these two young girls would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of this accident, identify the negligent parties and hold them accountable. The other question here is whether this was a dangerous roadway. Was there a need here for a stop sign, a stop light, a crossing guard or other safety features that were overlooked by the city and/or the school district? Did the city allow a dangerous condition to exist on this roadway? If that was the case, the city or the governmental agencies responsible for maintaining that roadway could be held liable as well. Please remember that any claim against a governmental agency in California must be filed within 180 days of the accident or injury.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.