If you live in California, chances are high that part of your commute involves traveling by foot. In cities like Los Angeles, it is common for people to drive to a parking garage and walk a few blocks to their office. Many people also prioritize their home’s location based on its proximity to work so they can walk as opposed to being stuck in traffic.
Unfortunately, being a pedestrian in California (especially in busy cities) poses a great degree of risk. While most auto accidents don’t result in fatalities, hundreds of pedestrians are killed every year. Although the annual rate of pedestrian fatalities have slightly declined in California, fatalities for seniors are on the rise.
If you were seriously injured due to driver negligence, you need to understand your legal rights as they pertain to pedestrian accident law in California. You also need to get immediate medical treatment, and not be stuck with expensive bills when you were at no fault.
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What to Do After Being Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
Any pedestrian accident lawyer at Jacoby and Meyers will tell victims to seek medical treatment before doing anything else. If your injuries are severe, call 911 and request an ambulance, as well as an officer to take a report.
Your health and safety should always come first, and delaying immediate care can have lasting effects on your wellness. In addition to protecting your health, seeing a doctor right away will give your pedestrian accident lawyer access to medical reports so they can quickly build your case.
The police report is equally important. For example, if the driver was found to be intoxicated, driving on a suspended license, or operating a car that wasn’t registered, then the driver’s liability can significantly increase.
Once you have been treated by a doctor, call Jacoby and Meyers personal injury attorneys, and speak to one of the experienced car accident lawyers who can fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Actions can One Expect from a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
When you partner with a pedestrian accident lawyer after an injury, you will learn that there are two main legal standings that can serve as the foundation of a pedestrian accident in California: battery and negligence. Battery is not nearly as common as negligence, and 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 define negligence as the failure to act with caution and care that any reasonable person would conduct themselves under. 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 lawyer 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.
When you call Jacoby and Meyers, our legal team will fight to prove the existence of one or more of the above points. Once your attorney has created an ironclad case, they will begin an aggressive pursuit to ensure you get the maximum settlement you deserve.
How Will a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help Me Manage my Medical Bills?
As many pedestrian accidents cause major injuries, the need to seek immediate medical treatment is paramount. That said, expensive medical costs can be overwhelming, even for people who have health insurance. After you have been treated in the ER / had your initial hospital visit, you should communicate with our Jacoby and Meyers pedestrian accident lawyers. Once you retain our services, our team will help you evaluate all of your options for managing your medical expenses.
Here are some of the options your pedestrian accident lawyer could propose to help you manage medical expenses:
Auto Insurance – Your car insurance policy may 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. Also, the driver’s car insurance may cover your medical bills. Just be sure to speak with a pedestrian accident lawyer at Jacoby and Meyers before signing and accepting any offer to pay your bills.
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. Call our pedestrian accident lawyers to learn how any proceeds from a personal injury lawsuit will work with your insurance.
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 their case settles.
How a Jacoby and Meyers Pedestrian Accident Lawyer can Help You Get a Bigger Settlement
Pedestrian accident lawyers at Jacoby and Meyers help their clients get more money to cover medical bills, lost wages from work, compensation for pain and suffering, and other misfortunes that resulted from the accident. Sometimes insurance companies will refuse to pay the full amount of expected compensation. This is where your personal injury lawyer at Jacoby and Meyers steps in and ensures a fair settlement is awarded.
If the insurance company doesn’t agree to the terms of the proposed settlement, a lawsuit can be filed. Your Jacoby and Meyers pedestrian accident lawyer will fight to ensure you get the highest dollar amount possible. This is critical because it will enable you to cover medical expenses, lost wages from work, long-term disability care, and rehabilitation treatment that is needed. Your personal injury lawyer will also pursue pain and suffering compensation, as well as any other types of damages that may have resulted from the accident.
California Pedestrian Accident Injuries VS Car Accidents
Many wrongful death lawsuits are filed in California by the surviving family of a pedestrian struck and killed by a vehicle. When a devastating event like this occurs, the victim’s family will call a pedestrian accident lawyer to file a lawsuit of wrongful death action against the liable third-party driver–the defendant in a litigation case of this nature.
Additionally, catastrophic injuries are sustained by pedestrians crossing the road on a daily basis. These victims have legal recourse to partner with a personal injury attorney and seek a claim or file a lawsuit against the negligent driver’s insurance company. Having a pedestrian accident lawyer represent you when facing serious injuries is critical, as you will have a team of experts who can guide you towards getting the right kind of medical treatment you need, in a timely manner, while pursuing the driver and his insurance company to get you the highest maximum settlement.
What are Common Injuries Experienced in Pedestrian Accidents?
As a pedestrian, you are not seated in a car within a perimeter of metal to take on some of the impact. Insteads, your body usually takes all of it, and as a result, these injuries can range from minor (based on the speed of the vehicle and how it strikes a person) to life-threatening damages. Some of the more common injuries that pedestrian accident lawyers see in their cases include:
- Broken bones – Shattered bones and fractures that can be life-changing.
- Neck and back injuries – Some can have dire consequences on one’s mobility for life.
- Amputations – Damage can be so catastrophic that a limb must be amputated.
- Head and brain injuries – Some can cause severe trauma impacting one’s mobility, ability to think and function, and even wipe away memory.
- Paralysis – Some pedestrian injuries, especially those to the spine, rob one of their ability to talk, or have any sensation below the waist or neck.
Based on the severity of one’s injuries, the proven negligence on behalf of the driver, and the injured person’s losses, pain, and suffering, pedestrian accident lawyers can build comprehensive cases to ensure their client gets the maximum compensation they deserve.
Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident News
12-Year-Old Abraham Trejo Struck and Killed While Walking to School
LOS ANGELES, CA (March 10, 2020) – Abraham Trejo, 12, was struck by a car and killed at the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Main Street while walking to school around 7:30 a.m.
Weather conditions were rainy at the time but it is unclear if that contributed to the fatal collision. The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators.
Bystanders initially performed CPR on the young boy before first responders arrived and took over. Trejo was unfortunately pronounced dead at the scene.
Police are still investigating factors that may have contributed to the deadly crash, including distracted driving. Trejo’s family has since set up a GoFundMe to raise money for his funeral costs.
Pedestrian Motorist Accidents
You’re walking along, minding your business, humming the tune of a Natalie Cole song. When… flash! Blam! Alakazam! Some driver pulls too far into the crosswalk, throwing you head over heels. Luckily the nice old lady stops her car to ask if you’re okay. Aside from the throbbing pain in your arm, you feel like an El Camino just hit you. As she helps you to your feet, she confesses she doesn’t have insurance. Times are tough she says. “No kidding,” you think. “But someone’s going to pay for my medical bills, and I sure hope it’s not me.” Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are becoming more common and with them oftentimes comes severe and life-long injuries. Motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents can involve a drunk driver under the influence.
As you might suspect, not all auto accidents involve other motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in its 2009 Traffic Safety Facts Research Note (Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes, August 2010), over 2 million motor vehicle accidents took place nationally in 2009; but out of this number, 51,000 involved bicyclists, while 59,000 involved pedestrians. The fact is pedestrians and moving vehicles just don’t mix. As long as vehicles are on the road, the possibility remains that anyone could be the victim of a negligent motorist.
Recouping your Losses
It’s been three weeks since the nice old lady who wasn’t paying attention to the crosswalk hit you. Your broken arm is feeling a little better, your bruises have almost disappeared… but the bills from your trip to the ER are starting to pile up. Luckily for you, you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. Such coverage protects you when the party at fault does not have insurance coverage and you have medical expenses and bodily injury treatment to pay for.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage for Pedestrians
Uninsured Motorist coverage can be a broad and complex; sorting through all your rights and benefits may be too overwhelming for the average someone who is not versed in the law. Often, insurance companies, seeking to minimize their liability, will gloss over the UM benefits to which a client is entitled, leaving them to cover medical expenses and time missed from work on their own. Speaking with a professional attorney is the best way to access all the benefits and services for which you have been paying.
Medical Treatment and Medical Bills
Great news! You just got off the phone with your lawyer, and you’ve been assured your UM coverage does in fact apply to your crosswalk accident. Looks like your medical bills will be reduced, and you’ll be compensated for that time you missed from work. You’ve even learned that your UM insurance would have covered you had you been riding a bicycle, or had the driver fled the scene. Good to know for any future accident, but you’re going to keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen again. In the meantime, you can sleep easier knowing we are looking out for you and your best interests.
Call a Jacoby and Meyers Pedestrian Accident for a Free Consultation
Before you sign anything or agree to terms provided by the insurance company, have a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You deserve justice for your injuries, and in order to get the right amount of compensation, let the experts at Jacoby and Meyers analyze your accident, and present a case model for your consideration. We work around the clock for our clients to make sure they are protected in all facets of their injury, and without legal representation you could be missing out on the right medical treatment, and a fair settlement.