California is home to some of the world’s greatest hiking trails, but the state is not generally known as a pedestrian paradise. This is especially true near the main thoroughfares and freeways, where the proximity of drivers and pedestrians can cause serious problems.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, when police and other authorities remind drivers to focus on the road when they are in motion. Drivers using their cellphones or other electronic devices can cause major accidents. Pedestrians are always at greater risk, as they have no protection against cars, trucks and other motor vehicles.
A woman was critically injured on Airport Boulevard in Watsonville when she was struck by a car while crossing the road. Police believe the driver of the car was using his cellphone for navigation and did not see the victim until after the collision.
Watsonville law enforcement officers are conducting an investigation before they present the case to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney. Criminal charges may result from the incident, as well as possible civil charges by the victim and her family. Local police are also planning greater enforcement of distracted driving laws after the crash.
Victims of distracted driving, especially pedestrians struck by vehicles, may have a civil case for financial damages independent of any criminal charges. Damages may include reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages during recovery, as well as compensation for pain and emotional suffering.
An attorney may help victims and their loved ones understand the process of a civil lawsuit. Legal counsel can be invaluable in forwarding and concluding a successful suit against a distracted driver.
Source: Watsonville Patch, “Distracted Driver Blamed For Hitting Pedestrian: Watsonville PD,” Susan C. Schena, April 04, 2018