Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable when traveling along a busy roadway as most are walking with little to no protection from sudden, violent impacts. If a driver is inattentive or reckless and hits a pedestrian, the results can be disastrous. California continues to lead the United States with the highest number of deaths from pedestrians hit by cars (701 in 2013, up from 653 the year before). If you or a loved one suffered injuries after being hit by a car, talk to a Temecula pedestrian accident lawyer from The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers. Let our Temecula personal injury attorneys help you establish liability and get the compensation you need.
Pursuing a Pedestrian Injury Claim
California’s negligence laws exist to help protect victims and family members from the financial burdens of a personal injury accident. Pedestrian injury claims fall under the laws of negligence, which assign liability to individuals having injured another person due to careless or reckless behavior.
Under the law, there are four parts to a negligence claim: duty, negligence, causation, and damages. The first part pertains to the fact that – at the time of the collision – the motorist had a duty toward the pedestrian to drive in a reasonably safe manner. The law requires all drivers to operate a vehicle in a safe manner.
From there, the analysis begs the question of whether at the time the pedestrian was injured the motorist was engaging in some sort of behavior that breached this duty. A motorist may breach a duty of care to a pedestrian in any of the following ways. A Temecula pedestrian accident attorney may be able to assist with accidents caused for the following reasons:
- Driving too fast adjacent to a pedestrian
- Failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk (marked or unmarked)
- Failing to properly scan the area for pedestrians before changing lanes or making a turn
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to obey traffic laws and posted regulations
- Using a cell phone at the time of the accident or otherwise driving while distracted
Of course, this is just a small sampling of ways in which a motorist can breach the duty of care; however, these examples are some of the more common scenarios leading to pedestrian injury or death.
From there, once it is clear the motorist breached a duty of care, the inquiry shifts to whether the breach actually caused the pedestrian’s resulting injuries. In many cases, the causation element is clearly met. However, there are instances of competing forces that may call into question whether it was actually the defendant’s breach – or some other unforeseen event (e.g., weather) – that actually caused the injury.
Lastly, the pedestrian or their Temecula pedestrian accident lawyer must be able to prove damages. In other words, the claimant must have been injured in some way and through those injuries, the victim must have suffered damages, e.g., medical bills, lost wages, etc.
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How a Temecula Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can help
If you recently suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the motorist responsible for the harm. An attorney from The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers can help you pursue the best possible outcome for your case – particularly if you sustained substantial injuries.
For help with your pedestrian accident case, call a Temecula pedestrian accident attorney today or fill out our online contact form. The initial consultation is free.