Los Angeles pedestrian car accident raises questions | Ellis Injury Law

Los Angeles Pedestrian Car Accident Raises Questions

January 22, 2014

Ellis Law Corporation


In Los Angeles, a pedestrian car accident is making headlines thanks to the involvement of Mayor Eric Garcetti.  The collision led to the hospitalization of a 60-year-old women and has raised questions about who was to blame for the accident and whether the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) followed the proper procedures for investigating the incident.

While it is important to determine how this high-profile accident happened, the reality is that pedestrian crashes happen every day in the city of Los Angeles.  In fact, in 2011, the Los Angeles Times warned that pedestrians accounted for around a third of all traffic deaths in the city, which is nearly three times the national average.

Any pedestrian accident is a tragedy and the victim is always entitled to a thorough investigation and fair compensation for injuries if the crash was caused by the negligence of a motorist.  At Ellis Injury Law, a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can help victims understand their legal options and ensure they obtain the compensation to which they may be entitled.

Los Angeles pedestrian car accident raises questions 

The pedestrian accident involving the Los Angeles mayor occurred in mid-January, when the mayor was traveling in an LAPD Vehicle. The mayor was reportedly on the phone at the time of the collision and did not witness the accident.  The vehicle transporting the mayor was an LAPD sport-utility vehicle and the accident was captured by a Times security camera since it occurred just outside of the Los Angeles Times building.

Early reports of the crash indicate that the 60-year-old accident victim crossed the street against the light; however, the Times video showed only part of the accident scene due to the angle of the camera.  The LA Streets Blog has expressed concerns that the LAPD is completing the investigation even though the car was a police vehicle, especially since the driver appears to have been given special privileges including being permitted to leave the accident scene immediately after the crash and dictating when witnesses to the crash were interviewed.

Questions are also being raised as it appears that the LAPD vehicle was passing a pickup truck that had been stopped in the crosswalk where the woman was walking. Because this other vehicle was stopped, it suggests the possibility that a reasonably prudent driver should have been more cautious before proceeding into the intersection.

Pedestrian car accident victims in LA have legal rights

After a pedestrian accident, Los Angeles police should write an accident report and determine the likely cause of the accident. Victims who were harmed by the negligence of a driver can use the police report as well as witness statements and expert testimony from accident reconstruction specialists to pursue a claim for damages if a driver was found to be negligent.

In some cases, a victim may be partly to blame for a collision. For example, a pedestrian who walks out onto the road between two cars. However, if a reasonable driver would have identified and stopped for the pedestrian, a claim can still be made for partial damages under California’s comparative negligence rules.

The comparative negligence statutes mandate that someone who is partly to blame for his own injuries can still pursue a claim if the other party was at fault as well.  The victim’s compensation for losses and injuries will be reduced by the percent of fault he bears.

Comparative negligence cases are complicated, as are many claims arising out of pedestrian car accidents. The Ellis Injury Law Firm offers skilled legal services to pedestrians who were injured in LA and the surrounding areas. Call 310-641-3335 if you or a loved one was hurt in a pedestrian collision.