Do You Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
Pedestrians in Victorville and the rest of California face constant dangers while out walking, jogging, or running. According to one news source, 504 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2022 – a 10% increase since 2019. The fatality rate among pedestrians is higher in California than anywhere else in the country.
All pedestrians have the right to feel safe on the road. If you or a loved one was hit by a car while walking, our pedestrian accident attorney will fight for justice and fair compensation. Call our Victorville law firm for a free consultation at (760) 628-0818.
Pedestrian Accident Causes and Injuries
No two pedestrian accidents are the same. However, two of the top denominators in a pedestrian-car accident are speeding and driving under the influence. Driver negligence plays a huge role in pedestrian accidents and pedestrian fatalities in California, where cars remain the dominant mode of transportation. Adults over the age of 65 and children under 5 are the groups with the highest risk of suffering serious and fatal injuries.
According to the NHTSA, speeding was involved in 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2020. When it comes to pedestrian accidents, the higher the speed of the vehicle, the more serious injuries for the pedestrian. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents are:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Bad weather
- Vehicles making left turns
- Poor visibility
- Failure to yield
Pedestrians can also cause harm to themselves if they cross in the middle of a busy road, jaywalk, or wear dark clothes at night.
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users and suffer the most serious injuries. Some of the most common pedestrian accident injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial and dental injuries
In the case of a wrongful death, the surviving family members of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. Speak to our personal injury lawyer in Victorville to learn more.
Who Is At Fault: the Driver or the Pedestrian?
A driver, a pedestrian, or both parties could be at fault in a pedestrian accident. In cases where multiple parties are at fault, victims may recover compensation under California’s pure comparative negligence law.
The law allows victims to pursue a claim even if they are 99% at fault, although their compensation will be reduced according to the percentage of fault. So, if a pedestrian was 30% at fault and suffered $300,000 in damages, they could recover $210,000 in damages.
To have a valid pedestrian accident case, you must be able to prove negligence, which can be proven in the following elements:
- The defendant (the driver or other party that hit you) had a duty of care to you. All drivers in California owe a duty of care to pedestrians to avoid an accident.
- The defendant breached their duty of care. The negligent driver was speeding, drunk driving, etc.
- The breach directly caused the accident and the injury.
- The victim suffered financial and non-financial losses because of the accident, such as lost wages and medical bills.
To successfully prove fault in a personal injury claim, you will need an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who can investigate the accident scene, provide evidence and witness statements, and support your claim.
Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Victims
Obtaining compensation a pedestrian accident claim can be challenging, especially if the other party tries to place blame on the pedestrian. The insurance company will also try to offer you a lowball settlement. This is why it is important to not accept an offer without consulting an attorney first.
Only experienced pedestrian accident lawyers know exactly what damages to pursue to make their clients “whole” again. Some of the types of damages injured pedestrians may qualify for are:
- Past and future medical expenses: Your claim can include compensation for hospital and emergency room visits, medication, surgery, physical therapy, and other medical bills.
- Lost wages: If you missed work because of your injury, your claim can include your past and future lost income.
- Loss of earning capacity: If you suffered a permanent injury and are unable to return to work, you may be able to recover damages for the loss of your earning potential.
- Pain and suffering: If your injury caused you physical and emotional pain, you may receive compensation.
- Property damage: This includes coverage for any personal property damaged in the accident, like a cell phone.
- Emotional distress: If you are experiencing PTSD, anxiety, stress, or other emotional injuries, you may be compensated.
Keep in mind there is a statute of limitations for pedestrian accident claims, which is the time limit to file a claim. In California, injured accident victims must file a claim within two years from the date of their accident. If you are considering filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit, do not wait or you run the risk of missing the deadline. You will not be able to obtain compensation if the statute of limitations runs out.
Safety Tips for Drivers and Pedestrians
Both pedestrians and drivers have a duty to keep themselves and others safe on the road. As long as everyone respects the rules of the road, most accidents can be prevented. To avoid serious accidents, follow these driver and pedestrian safety tips:
- Observe the speed limit and slow down, especially in school zones and parking lots.
- Always yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections.
- Wear bright or reflective clothing at night to make sure motorists can see you.
- Obey all traffic signals and signs, including walk signs and stop signs.
- Do not walk or drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Always cross at designated crosswalks and never in the middle of a busy street.
- Walk on the sidewalk when there is one available. If not, walk facing oncoming traffic.
- Avoid all distractions such as texting and talking.
Get Help From a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Victorville
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer at Rockview Accident Lawyers today. Our experienced personal injury lawyer works day and night to help our clients wrongfully injured while driving, walking, or cycling. We pride ourselves on our top-tier legal representation and tough negotiation skills with the insurance company to get the outcome our clients deserve.