We have covered many serious pedestrian accidents in our prior posts. Pedestrian crashes are a common occurrence in the Bay Area in part because this is one of the most walkable parts of the country. The amount of locals and tourists on the streets combined with distracted drivers makes some of our sidewalks highly dangerous.
Negligent drivers are often not held accountable for causing pedestrian crashes. A recent report by the non-profit Center for Investigative Reporting indicates that drivers are charged with crimes in less than half of all California pedestrian accidents, even when they are at fault.
Prosecutors say that this is because it is hard to get juries to convict negligent drivers especially when there is no alcohol involved in the crash.
“In my three-and-a-half decades as a prosecutor, I’ve seen that time and time again,” one prosecutor said. “Is this the sort of one where a jury may say, ‘But for the grace of God, that’s me, I don’t want to call this person a criminal.'”
This is one of many reasons why civil litigation remains a vital part of the recovery process for many Bay Area families. Negligence lawsuits are a way to compensate a pedestrian accident victim or their family when the criminal justice system refuses to hold negligent drivers accountable.
Source: KGO-TV, “Bay Area drivers rarely charged for fatal pedestrian accidents,” April 29, 2013