Accidents involving pedestrians differ from other types of accidents because pedestrians have no protection in the event of an accident.
As seasoned pedestrian accident attorneys in California, we know how to obtain the maximum compensation permitted under California law for injuries and deaths to pedestrians caused by negligent drivers, truck drivers, bikers, or motorcyclists. Pedestrians are more susceptible to injury than those in motor cars or even on bicycles, a fact that is sadly especially prevalent in California.
Our professional personal injury attorneys have vast skills and knowledge in defending injured or deceased California pedestrians in pedestrian accident claims. We have an in-depth understanding of the applicable laws in such situations, and we take the time to become intimately acquainted with our clients and their cases, which helps us to obtain the most beneficial settlements or jury judgments for our clients.
Accidents involving pedestrians differ from other types of accidents because pedestrians have no protection in the event of an accident. Those riding in cars are in vehicles that weigh at least 4,000 pounds on average and have not only seat belts but also airbags to protect them. Even bicyclists typically wear protective helmets. In contrast, pedestrians are entirely unprotected and defenseless in most pedestrian accident scenarios due to the negligence of others.
Those unfortunate enough to be involved in a pedestrian collision frequently sustain life-threatening injuries or even die. Head trauma, such as concussions or brain bleeds, traumatic brain injuries, and a variety of other incapacitating injuries are frequently sustained in pedestrian accidents. Many pedestrian accidents can result in long-term disabilities or functional limitations.
When comparing the weight of the average passenger vehicle to that of a pedestrian, this statistic is not surprising. Vehicles have significantly greater mass and force than pedestrians, hence in the event of a collision, it is the pedestrian who will sustain severe injuries. Bicyclists have higher protection than pedestrians, if they are wearing a helmet, because at the very least they have that protection. In the event of an accident, pedestrians have no protection, regardless of who or what is involved.
Statistics indicate that California is the most dangerous state for pedestrians compared to other states. According to the most recent official statistics on pedestrian safety, Los Angeles County is the deadliest county in the country for pedestrians, with nearly twice as many pedestrian skilled as the next highest county.
Children and the elderly have the highest risk of experiencing a serious injury or death while walking in California. In 2012,4,000 senior Americans were injured in pedestrian accidents, resulting in over700 deaths nationwide. 39 percent of all pedestrian accidents included children under the age of 15, with approximately 10 percent resulting in fatalities.
A driver rushing through a red light is more dangerous for individuals who have a short attention span or lack the reflexes to get out of the way in time, such as an elderly person or a young child.
In accordance with the legal doctrine of comparative negligence, both an injured pedestrian and a careless motorist or other tortfeasor may be held liable for the same pedestrian accident. After all, there is no rule stating that a pedestrian did not contribute in some manner to the development of a car collision, even though the driver carries most of the blame.
For instance, if a pedestrian disregards a Don't Walk signal and crosses a street when a car is driving twice the speed limit, both the pedestrian and the tortfeasor (the legal term for the individual causing injury to another) can be held liable for the accident's consequences.
In such a scenario, the jury would be required to assign fault to both the pedestrian and the driver who struck the pedestrian. The pedestrian's recovery would then be reduced by the degree of fault attributed to the pedestrian in relation to the accident.
Therefore, if the pedestrian is found to be 50 percent at fault in an accident in which he or she is injured and the negligent driver is also found to be 50 percent at fault, and if the jury awards the pedestrian $100,000 in damages, the pedestrian will only recover $50,000 because he or she was found to be 50 percent at fault for half of the damages suffered.
If a jury determines that the pedestrian is solely liable for the accident, comparative negligence would not apply since the pedestrian would be judged wholly at blame and would be unable to obtain damages from the driver or cyclist who struck the pedestrian.
Every state in the United States, including California, has a legal principle known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations, which is frequently established in state statutes, establishes a deadline for filing a lawsuit in personal injury cases, including pedestrian accident cases.
The statute of limitations for a pedestrian accident lawsuit in California is two (2) years from the date of the incident. Under certain circumstances, when a government entity may be liable, then the California Tort Claims Act requires the injured party to present its claim of damage within six (6) months of the date of the incident giving rise to damages. If you miss the deadline, you are completely barred from filing a case to obtain compensation for pedestrian accident-related injuries. Even if your injuries are severe, you will be prohibited from filing a case for compensation.
Additionally, a California wrongful death case must be filed within two (2) years (or 6-months if a government entity, city, county and/or municipality is involved) after the accident date. A family member is excluded from filing a lawsuit for wrongful death if the suit is not filed within the specified time frame. Pedestrian accidents involving City buses fall within the California Tort Claims Act limitations.
The injuries caused in pedestrian accidents can be devastating, and the costs associated with medical care and missed income can be exorbitant. To minimize their liability, the insurance company or defendant may attempt to compel you into giving a recorded statement that can later be used against you to contest liability or damages.
You may believe that you must comply with all they request of you. However, do not accept the insurer's word for it. You need someone who will be on your corner, counseling you and advocating for you.
A pedestrian accident lawyer from our firm will assist you in staying one step ahead of the insurance company or at-fault party and avoiding errors that could compromise your claim.
In addition, our attorneys will conduct a quick investigation to collect evidence while it is still accessible. We can also handle communications with the insurance company, calculate your damages, and employ tried-and-true legal techniques during settlement negotiations and possible litigation.
We have vast experience with complex lawsuits for personal injury and wrongful death originating from pedestrian accidents. We handle a number of claims involving pedestrian accidents, including:
· Pedestrian collisions resulting from a distracted driver
· Accidents involving pedestrians caused by faulty road signals and signage
· Pedestrian accidents involving drunk drivers
· Accidents with pedestrians involving buses
· Train-involved pedestrian accidents
· Pedestrian collisions involving ridesharing vehicles such as Uber and Lyft
· Accidents involving motorcyclists and pedestrians
· Accidents involving commercial trucks or tractor-trailers and pedestrians
· Accidents involving pedestrians and resulting in injury to the brain, spinal cord, or other organs
Call us to speak with a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer who will provide you with a FREE consultation.
You can reach out to our law firm at any time of the day or night, every single day of the year, and speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can provide you with expert legal guidance and answer any questions you may have. You can reach us online by filling out our contact form or giving us a call at (949)258-6859 right now to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.