A 50-year old pedestrian was struck and killed by an SUV while he was attempting to cross the street in the Midway District of San Diego. According to San Diego Police Officer Dino Delimitros‚ the elderly man was struck by a southbound Jeep Grand Cherokee when he the accident occurred. Officer Delimitros stated that he believed the pedestrian was crossing against the street light.
The San Diego pedestrian accident happened at the intersection of Rosecrans Street and Kurtz Street around 8:45 p.m. on September 19‚ 2010‚ when the pedestrian was crossing southbound across Rosecrans. The fatally injured man was later pronounced dead at a local San Diego hospital. The SUV driver was not cited immediately.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the deceased pedestrian. From the facts set forth in the news story‚ it appears that the man was at fault for causing the accident because he was crossing against the traffic signal. However‚ legally speaking‚ it is not quite so clear cut. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950(a)‚ “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….” Subdivision (b) then relates to the duty of care a pedestian has for his or her own safety: “The provisions of this section shall not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard…” Finally‚ subdivision (c) states that even if the pedestrian is crossing the street “against a light” or “illegally”‚ it is up to the driver to avoid an accident or collision if he or she can. “The provisions of subdivision (b) shall not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”
Based upon a reading of Section 21950‚ it is quite possible that both the driver and pedestrian may be responsible for this deadly pedestrian accident if the driver saw or could have seen the pedestrian crossing against the light and avoided the accident by stopping or swerving. Further‚ because the pedestrian may not be 100% at fault and the driver 100% fault-free under their responsibilities set forth by California law‚ the family of the pedestrian may still be able to recover damages for the loss of their loved one in this accident. Of course‚ any recovery would be diminished by the pedestrian’s own carelessness and fault for causing the accident. But his “contributory negligence” does not bar his family from recovery. They would be well-served to consult with an experienced San Diego personal injury attorney about their rights.
Ross Jurewitz is a San Diego personal injury lawyer and the managing attorney of the Jurewitz Law Group‚ a California wrongful death law firm dedicated to representing families of people killed in pedestrian accidents. If you or a loved one has been killed or injured in a car accident in San Diego‚ please order your free copy of Mr. Jurewitz’s book‚ The Ten Biggest Mistakes that can Destroy Your California Accident Case. It is full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and it is free to all California residents.
Ross Jurewitz is the founder and managing lawyer of the Jurewitz Law Group, a San Diego personal injury attorney law firm. These San Diego injury accident lawyers specialize in helping people seriously injured in a variety of accidents throughout San Diego County and California.
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