Twin girls, 11, were seriously injured in a Los Angeles car accident after a vehicle struck them as they were crossing the street. According to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News, the major injury collision occurred the afternoon of March 13, 2012 at the intersection of Colfax Avenue and Moorpark Street in Studio City near Walter Reed Middle School. Police say the driver had a green light at the time and the girls may have been crossing at the intersection against the light. Officials are still interviewing eyewitnesses and proceeding with the investigation to determine precisely how the collision occurred. Both girls were transported to an area hospital. One of the girls is in critical condition and the other victim is said to be in stable condition.
My heart goes out to the injured children and their family for what they are going through at this time. I wish the young victims the very best for a quick and full recovery. Please keep these children and their family members in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 82 fatalities and 2,630 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles. Countywide, pedestrian accidents claimed 179 lives and caused 4,918 injuries, during the same year.
Laws Relating to Pedestrians
Based on this news report, the girls were crossing at an intersection and they may not have had the green light. California law requires motorists to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and to proceed with due caution in areas such as school zones.
California Vehicle Code Section 21954 states: “Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.” The same section also states: “The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”
Protecting Victims’ Rights
In such cases, victims or their families, would be well advised to seek the counsel of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. If a dangerous condition at that intersection contributed to the incident, then, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway can also be held liable. Please remember that any personal injury claim against a California public entity must be properly filed within six months of the incident.