Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in California
If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident, call Wilshire Law Firm immediately at 1-800-522-7274.
Being struck by a reckless or distracted driver can result in severe injuries and even death. Dealing with the aftermath can be overwhelming.
The legal team at Wilshire law firm is here to help. We’re available 24/7,365 days a year. And our consultations are always FREE.
The Best Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in California
California’s major cities have seen an alarming increase in pedestrian accidents and deaths in recent years. Smartphones, speeding and ever more cars, trucks, motorcylces and people sharing the road are all contributing factors for this unfortunate spike.
Unlike car accidents, pedestrian accidents are almost always catastrophic or even deadly. Along with devastating injuries, victims are burdened with steep medical bills, lost income and long recovery periods. And that’s without considering the mental toll that such a serious accident can have.
Most pedestrian accident victims have no idea of what to do in the aftermath of an accident. At Wilshire Law Firm, we want to make sure that you have all the information you need to help you take the right steps towards recovery and resolution.
California Pedestrian Accident Risk Factors
Among the most common reasons why pedestrian accidents occur are:
- Time of Day: Many pedestrian accidents occur at night. Poor visibility and an increase in the number of motorists driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol make can make for dangerous conditions. On a side note, dawn and dusk also see a spike in accidents as both pedestrians and drivers have to deal with low sun and the accompanying glare.
- Distracted Driving: The number of pedestrian accidents caused by texting while driving has skyrocketed in recent years. In spite of wide-scale public service campaigns and laws against this dangerously bad habit, motorists continue to hit pedestrians simply because they had their eyes on their phone screen instead of the road.
- Reckless Driving: Speeding, drunk driving and fatigue all put pedestrians in danger. Studies show that there isn’t much of a difference between the reflexes of a drunk driver and one who is sleepy behind the wheel. On the flip side, impatient and aggressive drivers also pose a threat to pedestrians.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in California:
A majority of pedestrian accidents are caused by the following factors:
- Distracted driving: Using mobile phone (texting) and electronic gadgets, talking to passengers, and doing other activities that take the driver’s attention away from the road.
- Alcohol and substance abuse: Driving while under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and drugs is a major cause of traffic accidents.
- Speeding: Driving over the speed limit is another cause of pedestrian accidents.
- Failure to respect pedestrian’s right-of-way: Failure by motor vehicle drivers to respect pedestrians’ right-of-way when they are crossing an intersection. A majority of pedestrians who are killed in traffic accidents are mowed down at the intersections.
- Failure to signal before turning: Failure by motor vehicle drivers to signal when turning is also a major cause of pedestrian accidents. When drivers fail to give signals, pedestrians crossing the road have no warning and could walk right into the vehicle’s path.
Common Type of Injuries in California Pedestrian Accidents
The most common injuries in pedestrian accidents have been found to be:
- Spinal cord injury, which can lead to paralysis and death
- Brain injury, which can lead to paralysis and death
- Internal organ injuries, which can lead to death
- Torn and sprained ligaments, which are usually non-fatal
- Fractures of the legs, arms, hips, ribs and pelvis, which are usually non-fatal
- Scalp lacerations, contusions, and abrasions, which are usually non-fatal
- Contusions, abrasions, and lacerations of the face and hands, which are usually non-fatal
Determining Fault in a California Pedestrian Accident
In most cases, the motorist is to blame when a pedestrian accident occurs. However, the police will still work to determine how events unfolded and question everyone involved. For example, if there is a discrepancy as to whether anyone was on their cellphone, that person’s cellphone records can be subpoenaed to clarify the situation. If the accident occurred in a busy intersection, more than likely there were witnesses as well.
Fault can be more difficult to determine when there are special circumstances involved such as:
- Unmarked or poorly marked crosswalks: Sometimes there are doubts as to whether the pedestrian hit was in a legal crosswalk or not. But keep in mind, even if someone is guilty of jaywalking, that doesn’t give a motorist the right to hit them.
- Construction areas: If a pedestrian is forced to walk in the street due to construction or a blocked public sidewalk, other entities besides the motorist who hit them may also be held liable for the accident.
When Children are Involved
It’s a sad fact that children are often the victims of pedestrian accidents. Questions of liability (fault) are different if a child is involved. For example, a toddler who darts out in front of an oncoming car cannot be held to the same standard of behavior as an adult. In California, there are laws which address this very fact. The toddler would not be considered at fault for an accident even though they clearly caused it.
It is the responsibility of all adults present to exercise extra caution when children are nearby. And according to California state law, if the child is under the age of five, then they absolutely cannot be held liable for any accident, no matter what their actions might have been.
The Intricacies of a Pedestrian Accident Claim
Medical bills, police reports and calls from insurance company adjustors can be overwhelming to deal with, especially if you’ve suffered serious injuries. That’s why it’s important to seek proper representation for your pedestrian accident claim as soon as possible.
As the wronged party, you may think you have a slam dunk case and that you don’t need a pedestrian accident attorney. But a lot can go wrong. The motorist who hit you may dispute the sequence of events leading up to the accident and try to pin the blame on you. In addition, the insurance companies involved may try to pay out less than what you feel you deserve and pressure you into accepting their offer. Or you may not be sure what a fair settlement amount should be.
Wilshire Law Firm has helped many pedestrian accident victims obtain justice and the maximum compensation possible over the years. Remember, insurance adjustors negotiate settlements for a living. Most pedestrian accident victims do not. The settlement figure they present you with may sound adequate, but is it really? Does it factor in all lost income? Does it take possible long-term medical care and therapy into account? What seemed like a generous settlement amount for medical bills can quickly become inadequate if those bills pile up due to unforeseen complications or a slower than expected recovery time.
Time Is of the Essence in a California Pedestrian Accident Case
Of course, it’s normal to be stunned and shaken by what has happened, but waiting to contact a pedestrian accident attorney will only hurt your case. Frankly, not seeking out legal help immediately is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Wilshire Law Firm can help you manage the situation. We’ll handle all of the paperwork and deal with the insurance companies so you can concentrate on your recovery and getting your life back in order. We’ll also schedule medical appointments with top specialists for you. We’ll provide you with the finest legal representation and support you every step of the way. Reach out to the expert lawyers of Wilshire Law Firm today. All consultations are free.
Unlike drivers, pedestrians do not have the protection of metal barriers and safety equipment in a collision. They are vulnerable to serious injury and even death. Unfortunately, children are at particularly higher risk of pedestrian accidents. During the fall and winter seasons, the danger of pedestrian accidents increases because there is less daylight. Pedestrian accidents become more common and so do pedestrian accident claims, as any pedestrian accident lawyer will tell you.
Pedestrian Injury Lawyer in California
Generally, pedestrian accidents occur in one of three ways: the pedestrian crosses the street illegally and gets hit; a negligent driver fails to yield to the pedestrian and strikes him or her; or another circumstance, such as bad roadway design, contributes to the collision.
In most cases, the driver is the primary culprit. Common causes of pedestrian accidents include speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fatigued driving, or distracted driving (such as texting while driving).
Below is an overview of all the important elements of pedestrian accident cases and most importantly how to win them.
What to do in a California Pedestrian Accident Alaim
Whether you have a pedestrian accident lawyer or conduct the case on your own, the most important thing you can do to win a pedestrian accident case is to prove the accident wasn’t your fault.
A pedestrian accident victim can claim the damages for their injuries if someone else’s negligence caused them. The elements of negligence are as follows:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached that legal duty by failing to act as any reasonable person would in similar circumstances;
- The plaintiff was injured as a direct result of the defendant’s breach of duty.
Negligence in a California Pedestrian Accident Claim
To determine whether there was negligence in a pedestrian accident, the injured person has to prove that the defendant either did not follow the rules of the road or did not exercise his duty of care. If the pedestrian crossed the road while texting and did not show reasonable care on his part, then it was his negligence that caused the accident. Even then, he may be able to get partial compensation for his damages.
There is another term you need to understand in order to know how to win a pedestrian accident claim. It is the aforementioned “duty of care.” It involves adherence to certain standards of reasonable care when doing things that could harm others. As to the driver’s duty of care, here are some factors which contribute to the driver negligence:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks
- Failing to signal while turning
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
These Cases Often Require an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Thousands of accidents involving motor vehicles and pedestrians occur on America’s streets and highways every year. A lot of these accidents result in severe injuries and fatalities, and the victims are almost always are pedestrians. Many of these accidents are categorized as hit-and-run cases. Talk with an experience pedestrian accident lawyer if you were injured by a car while walking.
The meaning of a hit-and-run accident
When a traffic accident occurs, both parties involved in the crash are required to remain at the scene of the crash and wait for the police to arrive. But not all drivers are law-abiding citizens; some of them leave the scene without stopping. This makes it a hit-and-run accident. Hit-and-run is a serious offence and carries severe penalties for the guilty party.
In most states, the simple act of leaving the scene after colliding with another vehicle or hitting a pedestrian makes one guilty of hit-and-run regardless of who caused the accident. The driver can, however, leave the scene temporarily to get emergency assistance, such as to seek medical attention. But he/she must return immediately.
It’s not necessary for a hit-and-run accident to happen on a street or highway. If a driver backs into another car in a parking lot or a private road and leaves the scene, then it is considered a hit-and-run. But if the other car is unoccupied and the driver leaves a notes with his name and contact number, then it won’t be considered a hit-and-run accident.
Here are the five important facts you should know about hit-and-run:
- The driver who leaves the scene of the crash can be charged with hit-and-run even if the accident was not his fault.
- A hit-and-run driver can be charged with felony hit-and-run even if the only person injured or killed was his passenger.
- A driver involved in a crash may temporarily leave the scene of the accident to seek necessary medical attention for himself or anyone injured in the crash. But he/she must return immediately.
- A hit-and-run driver can be charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run even if there was no damage to another vehicle.
- A misdemeanor hit-and-run case may be resolved with a civil compromise.
Penalties for a hit-and-run accident in California
There are three types of penalties for a hit-and-run offense: criminal, administrative and civil penalties.
- Criminal penalties: In most states, a hit-and-run accident is classified as either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the circumstance. Misdemeanor hit-and-run carries a fine of up to $5,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year. Felony hit-and-run carries a fine of between $5,000 and $20,000 and a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
- Administrative penalties: In almost every state, administrative penalties for a hit-and-run offense result in an automatic suspension or revocation of the guilty party’s driver’s license for a period of six months, regardless of whether it was classified as a felony or a misdemeanor. The revocation could be for as long as three years in some states. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the offense, it could even be for a lifetime.
- Civil penalties: If a driver is charged with felony or misdemeanor hit-and-run on top of causing the accident, he/she will have to pay compensation for all damages. Some states may impose ‘treble damages’ on him/her, which means that any damages awarded to the plaintiff will be automatically tripled as punishment for bad behavior.
In addition to the penalties discussed here, the insurance company of the hit-and-run driver may cancel his/her insurance policy.
California Hit and Run Pedestrian Accident Lawyer: Suspect Never Found
All is not lost if the hit-and-run driver is never found. You may seek financial compensation through your own auto insurance if you have uninsured motorist coverage. If the hit-and-run driver is found but does not have sufficient insurance coverage, then you can seek compensation from your own insurance through an underinsured motorist claim (UIM).
What to do (and not to do) if you are injured in a hit-and-run accident
If you are injured or if your loved one is killed in a hit-and-run accident while walking, then you should do the following:
- Call 911 and wait for the police.
- Ask someone to take pictures of your injuries as well as the scene of the accident.
- Talk to witness and write down their name, address and phone number.
- Seek medical treatment for your injuries immediately.
- Call a reputed pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as you can.
- Do not talk to any insurance company before talking to your lawyer.
- Do not sign any documents sent to you by any insurance company without showing it to your lawyer.
- Do not refuse medical treatment for your injuries.
California Pedestrian Accident Facts and Statistics
Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Provide the Numbers
America’s streets and highways are dangerous for pedestrians. In the first half of 2015, the last period for which statistics are available, 2,368 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles. In other words, an average of 13.15 people were killed every day for six months. Many more thousand pedestrians were injured in the same period. Currently, the national average pedestrian fatality rate is 1.53 per 100,000 people.
Here are some facts and statistics on pedestrian accidents that pedestrian accident lawyers may tell you:
California Pedestrian Accident Statistics:
Here are some pedestrian accidents statistics for 2014, the last year for which complete statistics are available.
- A total of 4,884 pedestrians were killed, which is 15% of all the people killed in the year in all types of traffic accidents (32,675).
- 65,000 pedestrians were injured by motor vehicles (not including those who died).
- 78% of all pedestrian accidents occurred in urban areas compared to 22% in rural areas.
- 71% of all pedestrian accidents occurred at non-intersections, 19% occurred at intersections and 10% in other areas such as parking zones and sidewalks.
- 72% of all pedestrian accidents occurred in the dark, 24% in daylight, 2% at dawn and 2% at dusk.
- The average age of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents was 47. There has been no increase in the last years.
- The average age of pedestrians injured in traffic accidents was 37. There has been a slight increase in the last ten years (from 32 to 37).
- 19% of all children of aged 14 and younger killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians.
- Of all the pedestrian injured in traffic accidents, 5% were children aged between 5 and 9 years and 5% were children aged between 10 and 14 years.
- 20% of all pedestrians killed in traffic accidents were aged between 60 and 64 years.
- 20% of all pedestrians killed in traffic accidents and 11% of those injured were 65 years or older.
- 70% of all pedestrians killed in traffic accidents were men.
- The male pedestrian fatality rate was 2.17 per 100,000 men while the female pedestrian injury rate was only 0.91 per 100,000 women.
- The male pedestrian injury rate was 22 per 100,000 men while the female pedestrian injury rate was only 19 per 100,000 women.
- The total fatality rate for pedestrians of 65 years or older was 2.12 per 100,000 people.
- The age groups most at risk of pedestrian accidents were 15-19, 20-24, 25-19 and 55-59.
- Alcohol (consumed by both drivers and pedestrians) accounted for 48% of all pedestrian fatalities in traffic accidents.
- 90% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in traffic accidents involving single vehicles while 10% in multivehicle crashes.
- Pedestrians who were killed were mostly struck by the front of the vehicles
Contact our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in California Now
If you need a good pedestrian accident lawyer in California, our highly qualified attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm have experience in handling compensation claims for all kinds of pedestrian accidents. We have successfully recovered full compensation for clients with all types of injuries ranging from minor to severe, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation injury, internal organ damage, and more.
What distinguishes us from other personal injury law firms is our client-first approach. From the moment you call us to the day your case reaches a resolution, our dedicated legal team gives you the VIP treatment. This means keeping an open line so you can bring your concerns and questions to us whenever you want. This means providing you frequent updates on the status of your case, so you know exactly where you stand. This means catering our services to your unique needs and wants, because not all cases are the same and every single client deserves our utmost attention.
To find out what the Wilshire Law Firm difference is for yourself, call us at 1-800-52-CRASH. We offer FREE case reviews.
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