Walking is an excellent form of exercise, is good for the environment, and is a wonderful way to enjoy the sights and weather of California. However, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, nearly 700 pedestrians died in vehicular accidents in California in 2016.
This means that despite all the benefits of walking, pedestrians are particularly at risk for injuries if they are involved in an accident with a motor vehicle.
If you have been involved in an accident with a car, truck, motorcycle, or van while walking down the street or crossing a crosswalk, a California pedestrian accident lawyer can help you recover financial compensation for your injuries. To learn more or get started on the road to recovery consult with an injury lawyer in California today.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians are at a severe disadvantage if they are involved in an accident with a vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers have diligently been improving safety features on their vehicles by developing seat belts, safer airbags, and crash avoidance systems.
However, a pedestrian is exposed and unprotected from an impact with a car or other motor vehicle. Therefore, in an accident between a vehicle and a pedestrian, the pedestrian often sustains significant injuries including:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Leg and knee injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Torn ligaments
- Nerve damage
- Severe cuts and lacerations
Unfortunately, accidents between a pedestrian and a vehicle often result in serious injuries. The severity of any of the injuries explained above depends on a variety of factors including the vehicle’s speed, the angle of impact, the part of the body that is struck, the vehicle’s design, and even where the accident occurs.
Liability for a Pedestrian Injury
In any accident between a pedestrian and a vehicle, it is critical to determine who is at fault and to what degree. California, as well as the rest of California, has several right-of-way laws that are largely designed to protect pedestrians and may serve to show that a driver is liable for an accident. California Vehicle Code 21950(a) provides:
The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
Pedestrian accident cases are classic personal injury cases. An injured pedestrian seeking compensation for their injuries will have to show that the vehicle’s driver was negligent. Other examples of driver negligence that may warrant attention from a California pedestrian accident lawyer include:
- Drivers exceeding the speed limit
- Driving while fatigued
- Operating a vehicle while using a cellphone or other device
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Reckless driving behavior
In any accident between a pedestrian and a vehicle, it will be critical to utilize a California pedestrian accident lawyer to help gather evidence and establish who is liable.
A lawyer can help an injured victim gather witness statements, photographs of the scene, information from other drivers, and in certain cases, video evidence of an accident.
A California pedestrian accident attorney who has handled numerous pedestrian accident claims knows that drivers often try to shift blame to a pedestrian. However, an experienced lawyer will also be able to help an injured pedestrian gather the crucial evidence to prove liability.
In the World Report of Road Traffic Injury Prevention, published by the World Health Organization, accidents between pedestrians and vehicles result in $500 billion of damages globally.
It can be difficult to place an exact value and worth of a pedestrian accident case, which is why it is important to contact an experienced California pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. A lawyer can evaluate the facts and circumstances of a case and help victims recover for:
- Past and present medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Missed time from work
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
All of these factors need to be closely examined to determine the value of any pedestrian case. In addition, a California pedestrian accident lawyer can help determine liability.
Time to File a Pedestrian Accident Claim
After an accident, an injured pedestrian should immediately seek medical attention even if they think their injuries are minor. However, it is critical that an injured pedestrian also consults with a California pedestrian accident lawyer.
California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1 provides that an injured pedestrian has two years to file a claim against those who may be liable for their accident. It is critical that a lawsuit is filed within this timeframe or a case may be dismissed because it is outside of the statute of limitations.
In numerous pedestrian accidents, a dangerous or defective roadway leads to an accident. In these cases, the city or government agency that is responsible for maintaining the roadway may be held responsible for maintaining the roadway and can be held accountable for the victim’s injuries.
Any personal injury claim filed against a public entity must be filed within six months of the incident according to the California Government Code Section 911.2
Contact A California Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Accidents between pedestrians and vehicles result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage every year. If you have been injured by a vehicle while walking down a sidewalk, street, across a crosswalk, or another roadway, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced California pedestrian accident lawyer today.