Sometimes, traveling on foot can be more convenient than driving. However, walking can pose risks of pedestrian accidents even if you just need to walk a few blocks to your destination. Most pedestrian accidents happen out of the blue. Oftentimes, pedestrians who follow traffic rules become fatalities in this type of accident.
Here are some basic information about pedestrian accidents and how you can deal with them:
Table of Contents
What Is A Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian accident happens when any type of vehicle hits a person or pedestrian. This can happen with any vehicle type, such as cars, trucks, SUVs, or even motorcycles. This type of accident tends to cause fatalities and severe injuries because pedestrians are totally exposed to the vehicular impact. Whether or not a vehicle is going at high speeds, injuries to the victim are still inevitable. When it comes to pedestrian accidents, even the lowest speeds can cause major injuries.
How To Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?
Preventing pedestrian accidents can be difficult because of how unpredictable they are. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that we can reduce the risks of pedestrian accidents by maintaining safe speeds and making safe driving habits or decisions. Also, the NHTSA provided a list of basic walking safety tips for pedestrians:
- Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
- Embrace walking as a healthy form of transportation – get up, get out and get moving.
What Are The Main Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents?
The NHTSA constantly advocates for safer roads to benefit both pedestrians and drivers. Both parties can take measures to prevent accidents. Here are the most common main causes of pedestrian accidents:
- Traffic violations in terms of yielding right of way
- Failing to follow roadway crossing rules
- Lingering in roadways
- Poor or obstructed visibility of the road
- Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other intoxicating substances
- Distracted or rushing pedestrians and/or drivers
Many factors can contribute to pedestrian accidents, including the environment, time of day, and other distracting elements. Whether you’re walking or driving, you must always focus on the road and follow traffic rules to prevent accidents.
When Is A Pedestrian At Fault For A Car Accident?
Drivers have to watch their behavior on the road to keep roads safe for other people. However, pedestrians also have the duty of care for drivers. Similar to drivers, pedestrians must also follow traffic rules. Pedestrians who fail to comply with their duty of care can become at fault for the accident. Even if they sustain more severe injuries than the other party, they can still be at fault for damages based on the circumstances.
However, most road laws put more responsibility on the driver. Usually, these laws make it difficult to pin the fault on pedestrians during an accident. Oftentimes, pedestrians minimally contribute to accidents, so they’re compensated using the driver’s liability insurance. Sometimes, both the driver and pedestrian have faults in the accident. In this case, both parties can share liability depending on the state’s negligence system.
What Happens If A Pedestrian Caused An Accident?
At-fault pedestrians might need to use medical insurance or other resources for their medical costs. If a pedestrian seems to have caused an accident, get a thorough investigation to determine if other parties are also liable for the accident. This can include landowners or agencies who failed to implement standard safety measures in the property. Properties with no markings and signs can make the area unsafe, especially if it has heavy foot traffic. If that is the case, you can file a case against these liable parties. This is where a personal injury lawyers can help you. Experts can assist in identifying other parties that might be liable for an accident aside from the pedestrian who is claimed to be at-fault.
What To Do After A Pedestrian Accident in California?
Any pedestrian accident lawyer at Jacoby and Meyers will tell victims to seek medical treatment immediately. If your injuries are severe, call 911 and request an ambulance. Also, ask for an officer to take a report. Your health and safety must always come first. Never delay immediate care because this can have lasting effects on your wellness.
In addition, seeing a doctor right away can give your pedestrian accident attorney access to medical reports, which can help build your case. The police report is also important. For instance, the driver’s liability can significantly increase if there’s proof of intoxication, license suspension, or operation of an unregistered vehicle.
After receiving medical care, call Jacoby and Meyers’ personal injury attorneys. They can connect you with experienced car and pedestrian accident lawyers who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect from a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Partner with a pedestrian accident lawyer after your injury. Then, you’ll learn that there are two main legal standings that can serve as the foundation of a pedestrian accident in California: battery and negligence. Battery involves someone intentionally trying to harm a pedestrian while behind the wheel of a vehicle. On the other hand, negligence is very common and usually includes careless driving rather than a premeditated act of violence. Pedestrian accident lawyers can define negligence as the failure to act with caution and care that any reasonable person would conduct themselves.
Five Elements of a Negligence Claim
A negligence claim has five elements that include the following:
- Duty – The defendant is directed by law to act in a specific way towards the injured pedestrian. Generally there is a duty for a driver to demonstrate reasonable care towards a pedestrian by the roadside.
- Breach of duty – When the defendant fails to respond to an injured pedestrian as required by law, a breach of duty has occurred. For example, if a driver runs a red traffic light and strikes a pedestrian in the crosswalk, the court may automatically conclude that the driver breached duty under a legal theory known as “negligence per se.”
- Cause-in-fact – The pedestrian accident attorney must prove that their injured client’s pain and suffering was caused by the driver.
- Proximate cause – The driver involved in a pedestrian accident will only be liable for the damage that was foreseeable as a result of his actions. In most California pedestrian accident cases, catastrophic injuries are deemed as foreseeable consequences resulting from negligent driving.
- Damages – A pedestrian accident lawyer must show that the accident caused his or her client to suffer damage that’s legally recognized. This is almost always seen in the form of bodily injury, property damage, or financial losses.
Your legal team will fight to prove the existence of one or more of the above points. Once your attorney has created a solid case, they’ll begin an aggressive pursuit. Your pedestrian accident attorney can ensure the maximum settlement you deserve.
How Will a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help Me Manage My Medical Bills?
Many pedestrian accidents cause major injuries, which means immediate medical treatment is important. However, expensive medical costs can become overwhelming, even for people who have health insurance. After you have been treated, you must communicate with your pedestrian accident lawyer. Getting a lawyer can help you evaluate all of your options for managing your medical expenses.
Your pedestrian accident attorney might propose these common options to help you cover medical costs:
- Auto Insurance – Your car insurance policy might have optional medical payments that cover you in the event you were struck by a car as a pedestrian. This kind of coverage could pay for your medical bills. (But what about when the at-fault party does not have insurance? Read here to learn )
- Health Insurance – If you have a health insurance policy, it will likely cover a portion of your medical treatment. However, you may be required to pay the remaining balance out-of-pocket.
- Medical Liens – Pedestrian lawyers can help you receive medical treatment from hospitals and doctors on a “lien” basis. This is where an injured person pays nothing upfront and instead agrees to pay for medical bills after receiving settlement from a case. This is the same system we use in Jacoby & Meyers. The client does not shell out any amount,even during treatment, until they receive their compensation from the at-fauly party.
Where Can I Find The Best Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
Pedestrian accidents can cause lasting and severe injuries. These can also become extremely expensive. However, insurance companies are almost certainly going to refuse paying the full amount of your expected damages. Having a skilled pedestrian accident attorney can help you get a rightful compensation.
In fact, the best pedestrian accident attorneys are always ready to step in and ensure a fair settlement. They will fight to ensure you get the highest dollar amount possible to cover medical expenses, lost wages from work, long-term disability care, and rehabilitation treatments. Your lawyer can also pursue pain and suffering compensation, as well as any other types of damages that may have resulted from the pedestrian accident.
If you’re looking for the best pedestrian accident lawyers, look no further than Jacoby and Meyers. We have a team of the best personal injury, auto accident, or pedestrian accident lawyers in California, including Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, and Sacramento. Hire one of our car accident lawyers to help you get justice. Also, they can help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve, including car accident settlements and more. In addition, they can help you:
- Prove negligence
- Define the Cost of Damages
- Build a strong claim
- Negotiate a Settlement
- Proceed with important deadlines in mind
Give us a call today at 888-960-0480 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you.