In recent years, there has been an alarming increase in pedestrian-vehicle accidents and fatalities in California’s major cities. Smartphones, speeding, and an increase in the number of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and people sharing the road all contribute to this unfortunate increase.
As the number of pedestrian accidents rises, so does the demand for a pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA. Unlike vehicle collisions, pedestrian accidents are almost always fatal and catastrophic. In addition to suffering debilitating injuries, victims must contend with expensive medical bills, income loss, and lengthy recovery periods. And that’s not even taking into account the mental toll a serious accident can have.
At Conlogue Law LLP, we want to provide you with all the information you need to take the appropriate steps toward recovery and resolution. If the accident and subsequent injuries were caused by the negligence of another party, you are entitled to compensation. Our Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer is available to discuss your case and explain your legal rights.
Why Do I Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in California?
You are entitled to compensation if you were involved in a car accident as a pedestrian and sustained serious bodily injuries. Without proper representation, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to recover compensation.
Because compensation for damages is crucial for a victim’s recovery, you should immediately consider hiring our Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer. Listed below are some of the reasons why you should retain our legal service:
- We can help establish fault and establish liability
- We have the tools and resources to calculate monetary damages, ensuring you receive the compensation you require and deserve
- We can act as a go-between with insurance companies
- We can advise you on the next steps to take
What Are the California Pedestrian Laws?
Each road user is responsible for abiding by California’s pedestrian laws. According to Section 21950 of the California Vehicle Code, pedestrians do not always have the right-of-way when crossing the street. Drivers must be aware of and adhere to pedestrian laws, maintain a proper lookout, and yield the right-of-way when required.
- Pedestrians must also be aware of and abide by the rules to reduce the likelihood of accidents.
- At a crosswalk, motorists are required to yield to pedestrians. A crosswalk may be marked with white lines or unmarked but still present at an intersection. A driver must slow down or stop to ensure the safety of a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
- If a pedestrian has not yet entered the crosswalk, he or she cannot abruptly step from the curb into the path of an oncoming vehicle. In addition, the pedestrian cannot impede traffic flow by stopping in the middle of a crosswalk.
- At an intersection with a traffic control signal, a pedestrian may only cross when the pedestrian signal is activated. At an intersection with a red light or “Don’t Walk” signal, pedestrians must yield to drivers who are passing through.
- A pedestrian is not permitted to cross the street between two marked intersections in California. It is known as jaywalking. It is a risky practice that increases the possibility of pedestrian accidents and can lead to a corresponding fine.
A driver or pedestrian’s possession of the right-of-way does not exempt them from the duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others. To avoid accidents, motorists must exercise caution and prudence. If a driver violates one of California’s pedestrian laws and causes an accident, he or she is liable for the resulting damages.
For more information on California’s pedestrian laws, consult with our pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in California?
Frequent causes of pedestrian accidents in California are motorist negligence or recklessness. Although the driver may not always be at fault, the most frequent causes of accidents are:
Failing to Yield the Right-of-Way to a Pedestrian
These types of accidents most often happen when a pedestrian is in the middle of a crosswalk. Infrequently is it the pedestrian’s responsibility to yield, as is commonly believed by many drivers. According to California law, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Failure to do so may render the driver liable for the pedestrian’s injuries and damages resulting from the collision.
The prevalence of distracted driving is on the rise, which may be attributed to the proliferation of smartphones and other devices that are inappropriately used by drivers. Driving while distracted exponentially increases the likelihood of collisions. Distracted drivers usually overestimate their ability to drive safely.
Any driver who gets behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol or without adequate rest increases the risk of accidents, injuries, and fatalities for all other road users, including pedestrians. It is no coincidence that the majority of pedestrian accidents occur at night when the rate of fatigued and impaired driving is highest and visibility is lowest.
Failure to Signal a Turn
A driver who fails to signal a turn may mislead a pedestrian into thinking it is safe to cross the street at an intersection when it is not. Never assume pedestrians are aware of their impending actions.
Acceleration and Careless Driving
Drivers who exceed the speed limit or recklessly pass other vehicles, particularly in urban areas, have insufficient time to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk or on the shoulder.
Sometimes a driver does everything right, but tragedy still occurs due to the carelessness of another. This may occur if, for example, one of the driver’s vehicle’s components, such as the tire or brake system, malfunctions. When a defectively designed or manufactured auto part causes a driver to lose control, the product’s manufacturer, distributor, and retailer put everyone, including pedestrians at risk.
Poor Road Construction and Maintenance
All road users, including pedestrians, rely on the local government and its contractors to design and maintain pedestrian-friendly roads. Pedestrian accidents can easily occur when road engineers place a crosswalk in an unexpected location, permit visual obstructions to enter a roadway, or fail to maintain adequate sidewalks and shoulders.
What Are the Most Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
When a vehicle collides with a pedestrian in Los Angeles, the pedestrian may sustain severe injuries to the legs, pelvis, torso, chest, or head. Typically, the vehicle strikes the lower extremities first, followed by injuries to other areas of the body in subsequent collisions with the vehicle or the road.
Our Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer has assisted accident victims with their claims process. We are familiar with the most common types of injuries sustained in accidents of this nature.
- Broken bones
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash and back injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Cutaneous wounds and road rash
- Fatal injuries
If we believe that a trial will yield better compensation, we do not stop at insurance negotiations. Our skilled pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA has no qualms about taking powerful corporations to court in pursuit of superior results.
What Are the Steps to Take Following a Pedestrian Accident in California?
It’s difficult to think clearly after being struck by a vehicle, let alone if you’ve been injured. But what you say and do at the crash scene can significantly impact the outcome of your claim against the negligent party. The following tips may assist you in avoiding actions that may diminish the value of your personal injury claim:
- Contact the police immediately after the accident and ensure that an officer creates an accident report.
- Take pictures of your injuries, the accident scene, the property damage, the weather, the road, and the vehicle that hit you.
- Take photographs of the license, insurance card, and license plate of the driver at fault.
- Obtain the names and contact information of all eyewitnesses and other individuals who may have witnessed something.
- Consult a physician or other healthcare professional immediately and describe every affected area of your body.
- Keep a journal detailing your injuries and the recovery process, including how you feel, the treatment you receive, and the costs incurred.
- Avoid posting on social media, especially about your accident or the circumstances surrounding it.
- Before speaking with the insurance adjuster or accepting a settlement offer, consult with a personal injury attorney.
Who Can Be Held Legally Liable for Pedestrian Accidents?
Liability in personal injury law refers to both legal and monetary responsibility for a victim’s damages. Damages encompass both monetary and nonmonetary losses sustained by a victim. To determine liability in a pedestrian accident case in California, it is necessary to identify who or what caused the collision.
California is a fault-based state for vehicle accidents. After a pedestrian collision, the injured party should seek compensation from the party at fault. Almost certainly, the driver who struck the pedestrian will be held liable for damages. Based on the facts at hand, our pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA can help you build a case against the driver or another party.
Common causes of pedestrian collisions include texting while driving, failing to yield the right-of-way, speeding, and driving under the influence. If a driver is responsible for an accident, his or her auto insurance company is liable for damages.
When defective sidewalks, crosswalks, or traffic signals contribute to a collision, the City of Los Angeles may be held liable. If the city government failed to identify the road danger and remedy it, it can be held liable.
If a UPS, USPS, Uber, Lyft, pizza delivery or other company driver struck you while on duty, the company may be liable. Generally, employers are vicariously liable for the errors of their employees.
To hold a driver or other party accountable, a law firm may need to conduct a thorough investigation. Our Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer can return to the scene of your accident, assist you in gathering evidence, obtain copies of police reports, and take other steps to build a case against one or more parties to seek fair compensation for your injuries.
How to Prove Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
Most pedestrian accident lawsuits are based on negligence. If someone’s negligence causes a collision with a pedestrian, that person is responsible for the resulting injuries and damages. However, the burden of proof lies with the injured party against the defendant.
The evidentiary standard in a personal injury case is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the defendant negligently caused the accident. The elements of negligence in a pedestrian accident claim are as follows:
- Duty of Care Owed. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, which is the legal obligation to act as a reasonable and prudent individual would.
- Duty of Care Breached. Due to a careless action or omission, the defendant disregarded his or her duty of care.
- Causation for the Accident. The pedestrian accident was proximately caused by the defendant’s breach of duty.
- Damages Suffered. Due to the collision, the pedestrian sustained compensable losses, such as physical injuries and lost wages.
If a reasonable person would have acted differently to avoid the pedestrian collision, the defendant will have been held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. A pedestrian accident claim may require a police report, witness statements, photographs, videos, medical records, and expert testimony to prove negligence.
After a pedestrian accident in California, a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer from Conlogue Law LLP can help you collect evidence.
Can a Driver Hold a Pedestrian Responsible for the Accident?
Under the legal doctrine of comparative negligence, both an injured pedestrian and a negligent motorist or another tortfeasor (the legal term for the party causing injury to another) may be held liable for the same pedestrian accident. After all, there is no rule stating that a pedestrian did not contribute in some way to the occurrence of a car accident, even if the driver bears the majority of the blame.
If a pedestrian disregards a “Don’t Walk” signal and crosses a street while a car is driving twice the speed limit, both the pedestrian and the tortfeasor can be held liable for the accident. In such a scenario, the jury would be required to assign fault to both the pedestrian and the driver. The pedestrian’s recovery would then be reduced by the proportion of fault attributed to the accident.
Therefore, if the pedestrian is found to be 50 percent at fault in an accident and the negligent driver is also found to be 50 percent at fault, the pedestrian would only recover half of the damages because he or she was found to be 50 percent at fault for the accident.
If a jury determines that the pedestrian is solely responsible for the accident, comparative negligence would not apply because the pedestrian would be deemed wholly at fault and would be unable to recover damages from the driver or cyclist who struck the pedestrian.
What Are the Recoverable Damages for Pedestrian Accident Claims?
Pedestrian accident victims frequently face a difficult road to recovery. Your injuries or the injury or wrongful death of a loved one may result in physical and emotional pain and suffering as well as severe financial hardship.
When a pedestrian accident has affected a victim’s life, he or she frequently wishes to know what types of damages may be recoverable. Among the most frequent damages are, but are not limited to, the following:
All of the costs associated with emergency transportation, hospitalization, radiology, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, assistive devices, and ongoing care may be covered.
Loss of Wages and Capacity to Earn
Anyone who is injured in a pedestrian accident may miss work due to their injuries, resulting in wage loss. In the worst cases, a victim may sustain long-term or permanent injuries that prevent them from working or prevent them from working in the same capacity as before the accident. These victims may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
Pain and Suffering
Recovering from a debilitating injury or the grief resulting from a wrongful death may involve significant physical and emotional trauma. The value of a client’s pain and suffering is recoverable and an essential element of any personal injury claim.
Loss of Consortium
When a pedestrian accident renders a victim incapable of fully participating in their own life, the victim’s spouse or partner may seek damages to compensate them for the impact the accident had on their relationship.
Loss of Life’s Pleasure
Accident-injured pedestrians may never regain their full physical and mental capacities, resulting in a permanent loss of life enjoyment.
Punitive damages are intended to both punish a negligent or reckless party and deter others from engaging in similar behavior. In the most extreme cases, punitive damages may be sought if the evidence demonstrates that the defendant acted with malice, oppression, or fraud.
Consult with our pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA about the true worth of your claim before accepting an insurance company’s settlement offer. Our evaluation may place the value of your claim above the insurer’s settlement offer.
How Does a Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claim Process Work?
To recover compensation after a pedestrian accident, you must take specific actions. Among the most significant are:
Filing a Claim
After an accident caused by another party, the first step in recovering compensation is to file a claim with their insurance company. The majority of pedestrian accident cases are settled out of court when the insurance company agrees to pay the plaintiff a sum to drop the case.
Importantly, you should never settle a case without consulting a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer, and it is best to do so before you begin the claims process. You only have one chance.
After submitting a claim with supporting documentation and a demand letter with your personal injury attorney, the insurance company will attempt to negotiate a settlement. Not surprisingly, insurance companies do everything possible to settle claims for the lowest possible amount.
Fortunately, by retaining our pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA, you can protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive any compensation to which you are legally entitled.
Reaching an Agreement of Settlement
If you reach a settlement agreement that you believe adequately compensates you for your losses, you will sign a contract releasing the party at fault from further liability in exchange for a payment. The settlement check will be sent directly to your Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer, who will then deduct their previously agreed-upon fee and return the balance to you.
Suit Filing and Going to Trial
In certain instances, the insurance company may refuse to provide a satisfactory settlement. If this occurs, your personal injury attorney will likely file a claim for damages in the appropriate court. Settlement negotiations will likely continue while your lawsuit is pending, and you can always settle before going to trial.
If you do not reach a settlement while your case is pending, ensure that your lawyer has the courage and ability to try your case in front of a judge and jury.
What is California’s Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accident Lawsuits?
Every state in the United States, including California, has a legal concept known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations 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 years from the date of the incident. If you miss the deadline, you are forever barred from filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for pedestrian accident-related injuries. Even if your injuries are severe, you will be prohibited from filing a lawsuit for compensation.
Additionally, a California wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the accident date. A family member is precluded from filing a lawsuit for wrongful death if the suit is not filed within the specified time frame.
How Can Our Experienced Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help?
Hiring a personal injury attorney may appear to be a significant expense, and long-term litigation can incur costly legal fees. But a legal consultation will aid a pedestrian in understanding the value of his or her claim and the available recovery options.
In certain cases involving personal injury, plaintiffs may be able to recover their legal fees as damages. After a pedestrian accident, an average person may lack the experience, time, resources, and energy to handle an intense legal battle without assistance. In addition, pedestrian accident lawsuits have strict filing deadlines, so it is critical to contact us at Conlogue Law LLP immediately.
Our competent Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer will:
- Investigate your accident
- Collect all evidence
- File your legal case
- Consult with any required experts to determine the monetary and medical losses
- Communicate with your creditors
- Discuss terms with insurance adjusters
- If necessary, litigate your case
Our compassion and integrity set us apart from others. At Conlogue Law LLP, we want you to receive the legal representation, medical care, and compensation that you are entitled to.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm Today
You must select a pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA with the required experience and credentials to obtain the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses and pain and suffering. Our law firm in Los Angeles has successfully handled accident-related litigation claims for years.
When you are injured, you have enough on your mind. We recognize that this is a very difficult time for you, as you worry about your ability to work and rising medical expenses. We anticipate assisting you in your time of need. You require a personal injury attorney who will represent you throughout the entire litigation process. If your case must go to court, our Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer is not afraid to take on the insurance provider.
Call our office to schedule an initial consultation and case evaluation with one of our personal injury lawyers. We will gladly explain your legal rights and options.