Pedestrian Incidents

We walk the walk

With our partners having lived car-free in San Francisco, Coopers LLP knows how frightening and vulnerable it can feel to be a pedestrian. Imagine crossing one of San Francisco’s most dangerous six-way Market Street intersections every morning with two children under the age of two as cars, trucks, and buses jockey to get through yellow-turning-red lights.

Our dismay at the pedestrian landscape and avoidable traffic violence drives our relentless advocacy for change and for those pedestrians hurt while simply walking about.

With two decades’ experience, we highlight a few of our results below. If you have questions about your incident and how we can help you, call us now at (415) 434-2111 or Contact us.

  • Case Type: Personal Injury / Auto / Pedestrian
  • Case Description: Men crushed against wall by out of control car.
  • Result: $5.5 Million Settlement

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Two men were at walk-up windows in San Francisco. An Errant Delivery Co. delivery car left the roadway, went up the wheelchair ramp at that corner, across the sidewalk, and into the walk-up windows. The two men, Juan Diaz and John Doe, were crushed between the car and the building. Diaz, then 27 years old, sustained a severe crush injury to his left leg. The Errant Delivery Co. driver contended that the car's brakes had failed and that the only place for him to go was into the building. Witnesses, including a passenger in the car, contradicted his statement and said that he appeared to lose consciousness and veered into the building. A subsequent inspection of the vehicle determined that there was no vehicle malfunction. The impact speed was approximately 25 miles per hour.

In early 2005, Errant Delivery Co.'s counsel contacted plaintiffs' counsel to say that Errant Delivery Co. acknowledged responsibility for the incident but that it was too early to put a value on the case. Errant Delivery Co. wanted to make a pre-resolution partial Settlement payment to provide plaintiffs with the financial resources they would need to get by until the case was resolved. Errant Delivery Co. provided plaintiffs with over $1 Million at that point. This early display of good faith allowed the parties to continue discussions and eventually reach a resolution that provided plaintiffs with sufficient compensation without forcing Errant Delivery Co. into bankruptcy. As a result, the plaintiffs were justly compensated and over 1,000 employees at Errant Delivery Co. were able to keep their jobs.

  • Case Type: Personal Injury / Auto / Pedestrian
  • Case Description: Pedestrian struck by car pushed onto sidewalk by driver making illegal left turn.
  • Result: $3 Million Settlement

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Jane Doe was a pedestrian waiting to cross the street in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. A car, driven by someone unfamiliar with San Francisco, was in the far right lane of a one-way street. The car was the first car at the light. The driver realized that he needed to make a left turn. As the light turned green, the car driver made an illegal left turn in front of the other two lanes to his left. A Jeep, who was headed in the same direction as the car, was timing the lights and going between 25-40 miles per hour. The Jeep driver noticed that there were no cars in the far left lane. He anticipated that the light would turn green just as he crossed the intersection and did not slow down at all for the intersection. As the light turned green, the car turned left from the right lane, directly in front of the Jeep. The Jeep struck the left rear quarter panel of the car, propelling the car sideways and up onto the curb. The car pinned Jane Doe against a streetlight. She sustained severe crush injuries to her legs. One leg was subsequently amputated. The matter settled before trial.

  • Case Type: Personal Injury / Trucking Incident / Pedestrian
  • Case Description: Pedestrian run over and killed by truck making right turn.
  • Result: $1.75 Million Settlement

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Michael Hoffman, husband and father of two young children, was crossing the street in San Francisco. A Feely Trucking Company big rig made a right turn and struck and crushed Hoffman. The truck cab crossed in front of Hoffman, cutting him off in the crosswalk. The trailer struck Hoffman, knocked him to the ground, and crushed him with the rear right tires. Hoffman died from the severe crush injuries two hours after the incident. The matter settled before trial.

  • Case Type: Personal Injury / Auto / Pedestrian
  • Case Description: Pedestrian struck by right turning driver.
  • Result: $1.2 Million Settlement

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Sarah Student, 28 years old, was walking her regular route to take MUNI home from San Francisco State University where she was a junior. After waiting for the pedestrian signal permitting her to walk, Student began to cross the busy intersection on the outer edge of a group of other pedestrians. Nina Nanny, driving a late-model Volvo, failed to stop at the light. The Volvo struck Student on the left side of her body throwing Student onto the hood of the car, which she dented with her body. Student then fell to the ground striking her head on the pavement. Nanny, who was driving her employer's car with permission, was late to her class at San Francisco State University where she had an exam. Although Nanny saw that the light at the intersection was yellow, she tried to make in through to avoid waiting for a red light.

Student suffered a C5-6 herniation causing chronic pain in her neck radiating into her right shoulder, requiring an anterior cervical disk fusion. Student also suffered a mild traumatic brain injury which caused significant cognitive deficits including diminishment in Student's short-term memory, concentration, and mental stamina. Student met the criteria for mild traumatic brain injury even without a definite loss of conscious due to her period of posttraumatic amnesia followed by confusion, and cognitive, emotional, and physical symptoms which persisted beyond one-year post incident. While Student may benefit from learning compensation strategies, she will not improve organically to recover her pre-incident status. The matter settled before trial.