The lawyers at Rahman Law are committed advocates of pedestrian rights, which means we represent pedestrians who have been hit by cars in California, particularly in urban areas on the central coast like San Francisco. But you don’t have to be in an urban area to find yourself the victim in need of a pedestrian accident lawyer. We are all pedestrians. Think about it: 100% of our commutes involve walking, even if it’s just to and from our car.
Yet we don’t normally associate ourselves as pedestrians and this mindset has led to a tragic “blame the victim” social stigma. Honestly, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear someone was struck by a vehicle? Right now, you’re probably wondering if they were playing Pokémon Go with their eyes glued on their smartphone and not traffic, but we shouldn’t jump to conclusions that the victim was at fault – EVER. Both sides have a story, and in a situation where tonnage rules, the pedestrian is the one to sustain the more serious injuries.
Shaana Rahman, a pedestrian accident lawyer and the principal and founder of Rahman Law PC, was published last month in Plaintiff Magazine regarding her viewpoint as a pedestrian accident lawyer representing the family of a child hit in a crosswalk on his way to school. The local media immediately fell to whispering about the possibility that the child was not paying enough attention to his surroundings and locals wanted to know if the boy was even in a crosswalk or had been jaywalking. This struck Ms. Rahman as yet another case where blame was immediately thrown onto the victim falsely. Where has our empathy for pedestrian accident victims gone?
Here is an excerpt from the magazine about her insight as a pedestrian accident lawyer in this instance:
The fact is one case in particular has stuck with me over the years and caused me to re-examine pedestrian cases. It was a case in which I represented the family of a 13-year-old child hit in a crosswalk on his way to school. The boy, hit by a young driver coming off a late shift at a Krispy Kreme, lived but suffered irreparable brain damage that left him in a persistent vegetative state. The first thing that struck me were the initial whispers in the media and from locals speculating that the child was wearing headphones, or may have been a foot or so outside the crosswalk, or perhaps darted out into the street. None of those things were true, of course, but it was interesting to witness the subtle bias we have in urban areas against pedestrians, despite the fact we are all pedestrians at some point or another. For a long time, we have had a very “blame-the-victim” mentality when it comes to pedestrian collisions.
Also, despite the clear responsibility of the driver for the collision, my clients insisted that their son wouldn’t have been hit if there had been a stop sign at the intersection, like the residents of the neighborhood had been demanding. This led me down a road of many, many public records act requests and fights with the City Attorneys’ office. The evidence I uncovered was really astounding.