It's easy for motorists to ignore pedestrians and dismiss the rights individuals have to share Los Angeles streets with motorized vehicles. Pedestrians may be hard to see unless drivers make a conscious effort to look for them. The collision of two vehicles can be a non-injury fender bender but when a vehicle as big as a tractor-trailer strikes a person, the victim's injuries may be severe or life-threatening.
One of two victims of a recent Hollywood truck crash died. A woman and 9-year-old girl were hit by a semi-truck, as the mother accompanied her daughter to the Citizens of the World Charter School. The victims were in a crosswalk when the accident occurred.
The woman was critically injured. She and the girl were hospitalized immediately. The child suffered slight injuries, but the mother did not survive.
Police heard conflicting stories about what happened that morning at the three-way intersection. Authorities dismissed some witness claims that a second vehicle was involved. The truck driver was not cited, but the investigation hasn't been closed.
Residents reported drivers through the neighborhood often exceeded the speed limit, despite the nearby presence of a school. The busy intersection also concerned the Los Angeles Unified School District. Just over a year ago, school officials asked the city transportation department to provide a crossing guard there, a request that was denied.
Pedestrians are the most exposed to harm among all people who use California roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported more than 4,700 pedestrian deaths in 2012 traffic accidents. The fatalities made up 14 percent of all traffic deaths nationwide.
People injured in California motor vehicle accidents have the right to file civil court claims for compensation. Legal rights are the same for injured pedestrians as they are for harmed occupants of vehicles. Eligible plaintiffs include the injured party or, in a wrongful death case, the victim's immediate family.
Source: KABC-TV, "Semi hits mother, child walking in crosswalk in Hollywood" Hanna Chu and Melissa MacBride, Feb. 11, 201