Get The Compensation You Deserve After Being Injured As A Pedestrian In California
If you were injured or a loved one was killed while walking or running outdoors, you are not alone. Sources, including USA Today and the Los Angeles Daily News, have reported a significant rise in pedestrian accidents, injuries and deaths in the last few years. As a result, our state also has a substantial number of pedestrian accident claims as well. These claims include traumatic brain injuries, fractured bones or a distracted driver who was not paying attention.
Pedestrian accidents can be particularly dangerous due to the fact that an individual who is traveling on foot is essentially defenseless against an accident. Victims of car accidents have more protection due to the vehicle being enclosed, and bicyclists typically are afforded some security by wearing a helmet.
Trying to get a handle on the trend and turn things around, experts find that certain areas of Los Angeles (and other regions) have more pedestrian accidents than others. For example, factors like the number of lanes, the number of driveway entrances, and average speeds appear to directly influence the frequency of pedestrian accidents involving vehicles at certain intersections.
Additionally, many other aspects of both motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic contribute to the rise in pedestrian injuries and deaths. Discovering what caused your pedestrian accident (or your family member’s fatality) will be a key part of a personal injury claim or lawsuit aimed at getting compensation for you.
If you have been injured or have experienced the death of a loved one due to a pedestrian accident, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney in Torrance, California. You may be able to recover financial compensation for the injuries sustained during the accident.
KRA Legal, PC, understands that victims of pedestrian accidents often sustain catastrophic injuries that have negative life-altering consequences for both them and their families. The stakes are even higher for families who have experienced a pedestrian fatality.
As well-rounded legal professionals, we use our knowledge as personal injury lawyers and dedicate our efforts to recovering compensation for accident victims. If you work with any of our talented personal injury lawyers, we will leave no stone unturned while zeroing in on the following elements to build a solid case for your benefit.
- Proving that another motorist or another person or entity was negligent and thus caused your accident.
- Verifying the dollar amount needed to provide you with full and fair financial compensation, including paying for medical care, compensating for pain and suffering, and/or for the loss of a valued family member.
- Convincing a claims adjuster, judge or jury to order a settlement or verdict that is appropriate and robust enough to cover your expenses and losses, possibly including the effects of a catastrophic injury such as a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury.
From our law offices in Torrance, we represent clients throughout the Los Angeles region.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents In The Los Angeles Area?
When it comes to examining the common causes of most pedestrian accident cases, it frequently comes down to driver negligence. Most pedestrian accidents occur at a pedestrian crossing or at an intersection due to the fact that the driver was distracted and did not look properly before proceeding. Cellphone use or texting and driving is the most commonly cited factor in distracted driving in the Los Angeles area. Even though texting and driving and using a cellphone are prohibited unless using a hands-free device, distracted driver pedestrian accidents are sharply rising. This is especially true of urban sectors such as the Los Angeles area.
Some other persistent factors contributing to pedestrian accident injuries include traffic accidents with drivers failing to stop at traffic lights or stop signs. In addition, pedestrian fatalities can frequently be attributed to the driver being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Another disturbing factor in the common causes of accidents is the fact that many pedestrian accident victims are small children. Often these children do not think anything of chasing a ball or pet into the street and end up being struck. Be that as it may, drivers exceed the posted speed limit.
At times, pedestrians are partially at fault if they are struck by a vehicle when they are jaywalking. The law states that individuals must use pedestrian crosswalks when crossing the street. This is especially important to remember if attempting to cross at busy intersections. However, drivers have a legal obligation to use duty of care when they observe a pedestrian attempting to cross the street and remember that the individual on foot always has the right of way.
No matter the initial cause of your pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim for your injuries or other damages that you have suffered due to a distracted or negligent driver.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, there are certain steps that you should take immediately in order to safeguard your well-being. They are as follows:
- Check yourself for injuries and remain at the crash scene.
- Call 911 to report the accident.
- Make certain that you request a copy of the accident report from the police after they have finished their investigation.
- Gather evidence by taking photos of where the accident occurred, road and weather conditions, and any damage that may be present on the driver’s vehicle. Even though this information should be included in the police report, be certain to take photos of the driver’s license and insurance card as well as the car’s license plate.
- Collect information such as the names and phone numbers of bystanders who witnessed the accident.
- Even if you do not think that you have any serious injuries, you still need to be examined by a medical professional. You want to be certain that you do not have internal injuries that may not manifest themselves immediately.
- Speak with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer. Do not speak with the driver’s insurance company. After you have been involved in a pedestrian accident case, the driver’s insurance company will tempt you with an offer that, upon the surface, seems to be fair but, in reality, may not be sufficient to cover your medical bills and lost income, and pain and suffering.
If you have been severely injured in a pedestrian accident, you need a highly skilled personal injury attorney who can stand up to the insurance company on your behalf. Contact our law firm and ask to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights and legal options.
Common Injuries Resulting From Pedestrian Accidents
As mentioned previously, an individual who is walking is not afforded the safety that a person in a car experiences when involved in a pedestrian accident. As a result, accident victims typically sustain injuries that are considered to be catastrophic in nature, such as the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and lacerations
- Internal bleeding
- Dislocations and sprains
- Pelvic injuries
Unfortunately, for pedestrian accident victims, one of the first portions of their body to come into contact with a motor vehicle is the lower body. This can include significant injuries to muscles and ligaments as well as damage to leg bones. They may also be thrown over the vehicle by the sheer force of the impact, which causes extensive injuries to their pelvic area. Injuries of this nature often cause the injured pedestrian to require extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation services.
Another area of the body that is prone to significant injury is the upper extremities. A pedestrian accident victim frequently experiences serious injuries to the chest and abdomen as well as their wrists, hands and arms.
Finally, the face, neck, and head also sustain critical injuries due to the body striking the windshield or hood of the vehicle. Some common injuries include jaw fractures, skull damage, concussions, as well as neck injuries. One particularly tragic statistic is that most pedestrian accident fatalities are caused by head injuries.
If you have sustained injuries after being hit by a car, you may be eligible to file a pedestrian accident claim. It is imperative that you speak with a qualified pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible so that they may begin pursuing your claim soon as possible. Medical bills and other expenses will begin to pile up quickly and can become quite expensive, even with health insurance. You may quickly find yourself in a serious financial situation due to not being able to work and pay all the other expenses to live your life.
Contact KRA Legal, PC, and ask to schedule a free consultation as quickly as possible to protect your financial future.
What Type Of Damages Can You Recover After Being Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?
If you are out for a morning walk or jog, you most likely never think that you will become a pedestrian accident victim. If you have sustained a personal injury after being hit by a car, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation.
Many pedestrian accidents involve cars traveling at a high rate of speed and can cause the injured pedestrian to sustain significant negative life-changing injuries. Under California law, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages you have suffered.
The state of California allows pedestrian accident victims to recover both economic and noneconomic damages. Please keep in mind that every personal injury case is unique, and there is no one size fits all package when it comes to the types and amount of damages that your particular case may warrant.
Economic damages are the out-of-pocket expenses you have to pay due to your injuries.
Medical expenses are by far the biggest concern for most pedestrian accident victims. In most cases, pedestrian accident victims need a considerable amount of medical care in order to recover from their injuries.
Lost wages and future income are also a major concern for injury victims in pedestrian accident cases. Due to the severity of their injuries, victims miss a great deal of work and may be uncertain when, if ever, they can go back.
Loss of earning capacity occurs when the injured victim is unable to return to work in the same capacity as before the accident. The effects of the accident may make it difficult or impossible to work in the same position that they enjoyed previously or advance in their chosen career.
When seeking economic damages, a pedestrian accident attorney will ask that you be able to recover compensation for your past, present and future medical expenses. Your attorney may also pursue damages relating to past and future lost wages, including vacation and sick days. If applicable in your case, your attorney may also request that you be compensated for bonuses and other special incentives that you may have missed due to not being able to work.
Noneconomic damages are subjective in nature, meaning that the amount you may be entitled to receive is typically based on the individual facts and circumstances that surround your pedestrian accident case.
Pain and suffering are also sometimes referred to as emotional distress. Damages related to pain and suffering are meant to compensate pedestrian accident victims for the physical pain they have suffered, along with the mental anguish they have had to endure as a result of their injuries.
Loss of enjoyment of life is a frequently awarded damage in pedestrian accident lawsuits. This type of damage is meant to compensate victims who are no longer able to enjoy the same activities that they were able to participate in before the accident.
Loss of consortium applies primarily to losses impacting the spouse of the pedestrian accident victim. The noninjured spouse may file their own personal injury lawsuit when the injured victim can no longer provide them with companionship, support or sexual relations due to the lasting effects of the accident.
A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer can examine your individual case and make a legal determination as to what damages would be appropriate for your individual situation. If you would like more information regarding damages and financial compensation for pedestrian accident injuries, contact KRA Legal, PC, and ask to schedule a free consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have, as well as explain your legal rights.
Can You File A Claim If Your Loved One Was Killed In A Pedestrian Accident?
Due to the busy nature and high volume of motor vehicle traffic that Los Angeles is well known for, pedestrian deaths occur at an alarming rate in our area. It is alarming to note that a majority of pedestrian deaths do not occur in pedestrian crosswalks but when individuals step out from around cars or when walking close to the edge of the roadway.
If your loved one was killed as a result of a pedestrian fatality, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit for financial compensation in the form of a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is, in essence, you file a personal injury claim on behalf of the victim for the injuries they sustained because they cannot do so for themselves.
In California, wrongful death claims allow family members of the decedent to file a lawsuit on their behalf to cover the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost earnings the accident victim would have earned had they survived
- Compensation for the loss of support and companionship for the surviving family members
It should be stated that even if your loved one passed away as the result of a pedestrian accident, this does not automatically entitle you to file a pedestrian accident claim on their behalf. A wrongful death claim can only be filed by the following individuals:
- A spouse
- Domestic partner
- Children of the deceased
- Grandchildren (only if the victim’s children are also deceased)
- Members of the family who would legally be entitled to inherit the property of the victim under California intestate laws
Eligible family members should also be aware that California has strict laws regarding the statute of limitations when it comes to wrongful death cases involving pedestrian deaths. Under state law, family members have two years from the date of death in which to file a claim. The law stipulates that the time starts running from the date of death rather than the date of the pedestrian accident, as the victim may have lived for a period of time following the accident before eventually succumbing to their injuries.
If you need more information on filing a wrongful death claim for a loved one who was killed as a result of a pedestrian accident, you need to contact an experienced law firm that has experience in handling cases involving pedestrian deaths. We are pedestrian accident lawyers with the skill and knowledge necessary for all manner of personal injury claims.
Should You Wait To Get Legal Advice After Being Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?
If you are the victim of a pedestrian accident, it is vital that you do not hesitate to obtain legal representation for your injuries. Pedestrian accident claims must be filed in a timely manner as witnesses can often move away, or their memories of the accident can fade. Evidence that is essential to your case may also be hard to come by as time goes on.
When choosing a pedestrian accident lawyer, you want to be certain that you choose a law firm and attorney with the skill and resources necessary to resolve your pedestrian accident claim successfully. A pedestrian accident lawyer can also ensure that there is photographic evidence of your injuries and that the necessary documentation is gathered to support your personal injury lawsuit.
Often insurance companies will do all that they can to undervalue or even deny your claim if you do not have the paperwork filled out correctly or are missing pertinent information. Not all pedestrian accident lawyers have the ability to provide the essential legal services necessary for your pedestrian accident lawsuit. When choosing from the wide selection of personal injury attorneys available, you want to be certain that they are able to go up against the insurance companies to fight for just compensation for your injuries.
After being hit by a car or truck in a serious pedestrian accident, you can expect insurance representatives (from your own insurer or a liable party’s insurer) to try to settle your personal injury claim quickly and with the lowest costs to their companies. No matter how friendly they seem, remember that limiting the payout of benefits is their job. On the other hand, you, your family and your attorney will focus on obtaining the compensation you need to recover as fully as possible.
It is in your best interest not to speak with the driver’s insurance company for any reason. The best action to take is to allow your pedestrian accident attorney to handle all of the legal matters that pertain to your case.
Get Your Compensation Case Going After Being Injured On Foot
Level the playing field with a skillful advocate on your side. We will be happy to sit down with you and review all the facts surrounding your case. We can advise you of your rights and legal options and determine what solution is best for your case.