In California, pedestrians are supposed to walk on the sidewalks and only cross streets at intersections or marked crosswalks. Pedestrians who are struck by cars while walking on the sidewalk or while crossing at crosswalks or intersections might be entitled to pursue compensation against the negligent drivers who crashed into them. However, what might happen when obstructions on a sidewalk make it impossible for a pedestrian to walk there and force him or her to walk in the street? Recently, a Los Angeles pedestrian filed a lawsuit against the city after she was struck by a car while walking in the street because a homeless encampment blocked the sidewalks.
Woman sues LA following pedestrian accident
On Oct. 4, 2020, Debra Todd, a 64-year-old woman from Valley Village, walked to the 101 Freeway overpass near Gower Street to hand out sandwiches and water to people living in a homeless encampment located there. The sidewalk was obstructed by tents, furniture, and other belongings. Todd said she had no choice but to walk in the street because of the obstructions on the sidewalks. The median in that area was also filled with tents as another part of the encampment. When Todd attempted to cross Gower Street, she and a homeless man were struck by a Nissan being driven by a woman. The woman stayed at the scene and reported she had been driving at about 20 miles per hour. The car did not have any visible damage to its front end.