Shocking Statistics On Vulnerable Road Users In Alameda County
At first glance, you might view California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) statistics about motor vehicle accidents in Alameda County, CA to be welcome news. Out of a total of 58 cities/counties in the state that are similar in size and other characteristics, the county ranks 20th for collisions that lead to fatalities or injuries to at least one person. However, a look at accidents involving pedestrians, bicycles, and other vulnerable road users in the nine Bay Area counties reveals a different picture:
- Alameda County is 3rd out of 58 for pedestrian accidents, particularly with respect to victims under 15 and older than 65 years old.
- The county ranks 13th for bicycle accidents, and 10th when it comes to incidents involving riders under 15 years old.
These figures are shocking, but not unexpected when you consider that biking and walking are a popular way to get around the region. Fortunately, you do have options if you were injured, and an Oakland pedestrian accident attorney can assist with your remedies. You can also read on for information on the risks and fundamental legal principles.
Extreme Risks for Vulnerable Road Users: People on foot or bicycle are often sharing the road with motorized vehicles, but the threats to their safety are intensified for four key reasons:
- Size: Even compact passenger vehicles are much larger and heavier than pedestrians and bicycles, so the impact of an auto crash will be much more violent. Plus, victims are typically tossed when struck, leading to a secondary impact that can cause additional injuries.
- Protection: Unlike occupants of a car or truck, people walking or biking do not have a solid metal barrier to protect them or lessen the blow of a collision.
- Speed: Motorized vehicles reach speeds far beyond that of a pedestrian or bicyclist, and with faster velocity comes a more violent impact.
- Visibility: People on foot or biking have a lower visibility profile, so other motorists may not see them in time to avoid a crash.
Victims’ Rights After Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents: It may come as a relief to know that your legal remedies are very similar to auto crash claims, even though you were not in a motorized vehicle when hit. To obtain compensation, you need to prove that the accident occurred as a direct result of the at-fault driver’s negligence. Your first step in the legal process will be filing a claim with the motorist’s insurance company and attempting to reach settlement. You may need to go to court if the insurer refuses to pay a reasonable amount. Through either route, you may be entitled to recover for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Contact an Oakland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer About Your Rights
If you were hurt as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or other vulnerable road user in California, please contact the Oakland pedestrian accident attorneys at Venardi Zurada, LLP right away. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation at our offices.