UNION TRIBUNE Staff Writer Karen Kucher reports that an unnamed 30-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son were struck while crossing Fury Lane Wednesday evening at around 6:10 p.m.. The woman was hit by 21-year-old Carolann Rogers of La Mesa, who was travelling westbound on Fury Lane in her 2003 Toyota Camry and was allegedly adjusting her sun visor because the sun was in her eyes when she struck the woman and her child, according to CHP officer Derek Vinyard.
The victims were flown to a hospital by helicopter. The woman was reported to be in stable but serious condition, according to CHP Sgt. Chris Ertzner, and her son’s condition was not released.
Applicable California Law
According to reports Rogers was not driving at an excessive speed however, the fact that her vision was hindered by the sun does not absolve her from liability. As a general rule a pedestrian has the right of way. Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of pedestrians to be cautious and attentive to oncoming traffic. There is no information to indicate that the victim was not paying attention or how far her and her son were into the street when they were hit, which could lead to allegations of comparative fault.
When pedestrians are struck by vehicles they usually sustain serious injuries. In my experience a common confounding factor is the lack of adequate insurance coverage on the vehicle and/or driver. If the victims are fortunate to have adequate first party coverage of their own such as underinsured motorist insurance, it helps to bridge the gap in getting them the compensation they deserve. However, a thorough investigation of the circumstances sometimes leads to the discovery of other potential causes, which could have contributed to the accident. Was there adequate visibility, or did a condition of the location and surroundings affect the drivers ability to see the victim? A property owner’s failure to trim a hedge, maintain a nonconforming structure on their property or a municipality’s failure to provide adequate lighting are only some of the issues that need to be evaluated. When victims sustain serious injury because of an auto accident, premises liability or any other accident caused by the carless acts of another consulting an experienced personal injury attorney is invaluable.