Pedestrians should be able to cross the street without living in fear of getting hit by other motorists. However, pedestrian accidents still happen, and whenever they do, many victims sustain severe injuries. Injuries sustained in pedestrian injuries could range from internal injuries and broken bones to spinal cord damage and traumatic brain injuries.
If you or a loved one was a victim of a pedestrian accident, you are not alone. These kinds of accidents happen quite frequently, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something about it. You could fight for justice and compensation, even if the driver managed to getaway. You don’t have to face the insurance company alone – get an experienced Irvine personal injury lawyer to aggressively protect your rights and advocate for your best interests.
Keep in mind that insurance companies will often work hard to minimize the amount they payout to successful claims. But with an experienced Irvine pedestrian accident lawyer, you will be able to hold these insurance companies and the motorist who injured you accountable for the injuries and damages you incurred. It’s quite unfortunate that far too many people roll over and accept that a pedestrian accident will ruin their physical and financial health, without fighting for the compensation they deserve.
Contact Crockett Law at (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free consultation with an Irvine pedestrian accident lawyer today.
Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Irvine, California include:
- Failure to yield right of way
- Crossing an intersection or roadway improperly
- Standing, working, lying, or playing in a roadway
- Poor visibility
- Being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication
- Running into the road
What Should I do After a Pedestrian Accident?
If you are in a pedestrian accident in Irvine, California, it’s important to take the following steps.
Seek Immediate Medical Assistance
If you have been struck by a motorist and you’re unconscious, it’s beyond your control, and the responsibility lies in the hands of any available witnesses or the driver at fault. However, if you’re conscious, it’s your responsibility to contact the paramedics and ensure you get immediate medical attention.
Document Your Injuries
Once you contact the paramedics, it’s a good idea to take a personal inventory of the injuries. Be sure to note all of the pain and injuries and report them to the paramedics as soon as they arrive.
Contact the Police
While it’s recommended that you make note of the list of events that happened leading up to the accident, the likelihood that you will be able to recall the information is quite low. Even if you can recall the chain of events, you might not have a pen or paper to write them down.
The police will essentially record the details of the accident and generate a report. You can obtain a copy of this report later on for your own records.
Never Admit Fault
No matter what the facts show about the circumstances leading to the accident, it’s wise not to talk about it, especially in a way that reflects admitting fault. You’re most likely not aware of the law when it comes to pedestrian accidents, and anything you say can be used against you should any form of legal proceedings commence after the accident.
As a rule of thumb, you should only talk about your version of the accident to your lawyer, your insurance company, and the medical personnel. These are the only entities that are looking after your best interests.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If you have vehicle insurance, be sure to contact them immediately. Even if you were a pedestrian in the accident, most policies usually do cover these kinds of accidents. This will help make you eligible for medical or disability claims following the accident.
Seek Legal Assistance
When a pedestrian is struck by a car, they will most likely have more severe injuries than the people in the car. These injuries may cause physical, mental, and financial difficulties that could seriously affect the victim’s life. Seeking legal assistance will increase your chances of recovering the full compensation for your current and future damages.
How Is Liability or Fault Determined in a Pedestrian Accident in California?
To prove that the other driver (or motorist) was at fault in the accident, you need to demonstrate that they were negligent. This basically means that you need to show how the defendant acted in a way that was in disregard for their duty to drive safely on the road, which resulted in them injuring you.
Proving negligence to determine liability in pedestrian accident cases usually involves establishing the following.
Duty of Care
Duty of care is present in different kinds of situations. Generally speaking, when someone is in a situation or position where their conduct might cause harm to other people, and the harm can reasonably be foreseen, then a duty of care is imposed to legalize and represent this responsibility.
For instance, all motorists have a duty of care towards all road users. From the perspective of a pedestrian, all other road users, including drivers, cyclists, and motorcyclists, must take reasonable care to ensure they don’t risk the safety of the pedestrian. Likewise, pedestrians have a duty of care towards other road users, and your own conduct at the time of the accident will be relevant in your claim. Not obeying traffic rules, for example, is something that puts all road users at risk.
Breach of Duty
If the behavior of a road user at the time of the accident was below the standard required by their duty of care, then they are in breach of their duty of care. One standard every motorist must meet is being a reasonably competent driver. In case what they did is not something a reasonably competent driver would have done, such as running a red light at a pedestrian crossing, they are in breach of their duty of care.
Causation usually looks at how the injuries and other damages were caused. For your claim to be successful, you must demonstrate that your damages and injuries were directly caused by the other party’s breach of their duty of care, and not from other causes. For instance, if a car that ran a red light hit you while you were at the pedestrian crossing, the driver’s breach of duty is the direct cause of your injuries.
You also need to demonstrate that you actually suffered damages, including injuries, from the accident. This element also considers whether it would be reasonable for the other party to compensate you for the damages you suffered.
If a reasonable motorist would have done something different in order to prevent the accident you got into, the defendant should be held liable for your injuries. Some of the evidence you may need to present to prove negligence in your claim include the police report, photos and videos of the scene, eyewitness statements, expert testimony, and medical records.
Your Irvine pedestrian accident lawyer at Crockett Law can help you collect the necessary evidence following the accident and prepare a strong case on your behalf.
How Will a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help With My Claim?
In pedestrian accident cases, whether you need an attorney or not is totally up to you. However, if you do decide to get a lawyer to help you with your claim, you want to get one as soon as possible after the accident.
An Irvine pedestrian accident lawyer will help you in the following ways:
Your lawyer will essentially conduct a thorough investigation into the different circumstances surrounding your case. While doing so, they will collect all the available evidence that can support your case and then prepare a concrete case. Your lawyer will also work hard to ensure that there is no surprise evidence or defenses from the defendant’s side as they try to deny or devalue your case.
In some cases, this step may involve waiting until you’re fully recovered to ensure that you are fully aware of the full extent of the damages and losses that you incurred in the accident.
Your attorney is also responsible for corresponding with the defendant’s insurance company and their attorneys to confirm what parts of the case they will be willing to accept and which ones they are disputing. In case the defendant was not insured or got away and can’t be traced (in hit-and-run accidents), your lawyer will know who to deal with.
It’s also the responsibility of your attorney to conduct negotiations with the defendant in an attempt to reach a fair settlement amount. So, you can sit back, relax, and focus on making a full recovery while your lawyer handles these details on your behalf.
In case the negotiations didn’t yield, the case will proceed to court. Your attorney will be by your side, providing you with advice and guidance on the available legal options. At Crockett Law, our team of pedestrian lawyers have decades of experience in handling these kinds of claims, and if the case goes to trial, you can be sure that they will be more than ready to represent you and ensure a favorable outcome.
What Time Limits Are There for Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim in California?
In California, pedestrian accident claims fall under civil personal injury lawsuits. According to the Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1, victims of pedestrian accidents have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the negligent party. Failure to file your claim within the 2-year deadline is often in forfeiture of your rights to file the claim in the future.
However, there are situations in which you may qualify for a halting or tolling of the statute, or in other words, the deadline is reduced or extended. For instance, if you were injured by a government entity, like a city transit vehicle, you are only allowed 180 days (6 months) from the time of the accident to file a claim. If you miss this deadline, you won’t be allowed to pursue an injury lawsuit.
Contact us today to learn more about California’s statute of limitations for pedestrian accident cases and how they apply to your case.
How Much Will a Hiring an Irvine Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Cost?
Generally speaking, personal injury lawyers in California usually charge differently compared to other lawyers. Rather than charge you a fixed or hourly rate, they charge what is referred to as a contingency fee.
A contingency fee arrangement simply means that you don’t need to pay any money up front to access the services of a quality lawyer. They will represent you and will only get paid if they are able to recover a settlement award for your pedestrian accident case on your behalf. If they lose the case, they don’t get paid. Usually, the lawyer or the law firm will receive a percentage of the money awarded to you by the jury or court verdict or by an insurance settlement.
To learn more about our contingency fee arrangement at Crockett Law Group, contact us at (800) 900-9393.
Contact Crockett Law Group Today
Pedestrian accidents often result in serious, life-threatening injuries. No one should have to face the consequences of such accidents on their own. The victims and their families should know that they have a legal right to pursue the justice and compensation they suffered as a result of the accident.
If you or a loved one was involved in a pedestrian accident, we know that it’s not easy to deal with the aftermath of a car accident, determine who is at fault for it, and pursue compensation from them. That’s why you should give us a call so that we can handle the legal side of things on your behalf.
At Crockett Law Group, we offer all our clients free consultations with no obligations. We know exactly what it takes to win, and we won’t be afraid to represent the best interests of our clients. Our lawyers will do whatever it takes to win you justice and the compensation you deserve.
Get in touch with us today at (800) 900-9393 or submit our online form to schedule your free consultation at our Irvine, CA office.