Pedestrian accidents occur when you are hit by a moving vehicle while on the road or sidewalk. In California, pedestrian accidents have been on the rise in recent years. Pedestrians have almost no protection during a collision. As a result, these accidents produce severe bodily injury or even death. Distracted drivers and those operating while under the influence of alcohol contribute significantly to a pedestrian accident. If you are hit by a vehicle while on the road and suffer significant injuries, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. By filing a personal injury claim against the person liable for the accident, you have the chance to recover damages. Navigating a personal injury claim can be quite complicated. Therefore, it would be wise to consult a competent attorney from The LA Personal Injury Law Firm.
Overview of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are a common occurrence in California. These accidents could occur when an overspeeding vehicle hits you as you cross the road or on the sidewalk. Also, when other types of accidents occur, vehicles may roll over and hit you as you walk on the road. Most pedestrian accidents happen in major urban centers. This is because, in these areas, there is a large number of pedestrians and vehicle traffic.
Pedestrian accidents are one of the significant contributing factors of fatalities on the roads. The injuries you suffer from such an accident are catastrophic and may even lead to death. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Drunk driving - California makes it an offense to drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. When a driver is intoxicated, it is likely that they will not follow traffic rules and may end up hitting a pedestrian as they try to cross the road. Age, a drunk driver, cannot correctly gauge the speed of the vehicle and distance between them and other road users.
- Distracted driving - A driver is considered to be distracted when their attention is away from the road. With the increased use of mobile technology, a significant number of pedestrian accidents result from drivers who text while driving. Also, a driver who is reaching out to pick up something could end up hitting a pedestrian. If you get injured in a pedestrian accident resulting from distracted driving, you can file a lawsuit against the driver.
- Poor visibility - A lack of visibility on the road is a common cause of pedestrian accidents. There is often poor visibility when the weather is not favorable. When there is fog or heavy rain, it will be difficult for a driver to see the pedestrian. This increased the risk of a pedestrian accident.
- Failure to yield to pedestrians - In certain sections of the road, the driver is expected to allow a way for the pedestrians. When drivers fail to obey this rule, they may end up hitting people who are crossing the road.
- Over speeding - When a driver is over speeding, it can be difficult to stop when an emergency occurs. A pedestrian trying to cross the road is an occurrence that requires a driver to make a stop. An over speeding vehicle may not stop on time and could end up hitting the pedestrians.
- Pedestrian negligence - Most safety rules, such as crosswalk signs, are designed to guide drivers and pedestrians on-road use. When pedestrians enter the road without using a crosswalk, they put themselves and other road users at the risk of an accident.
- Road layouts - Left-hand turns could cause a pedestrian accident. This is because pedestrians and drivers focus on different directions. Also, arterial roads that are stopping points for buses pose an increased risk of accidents that involve pedestrians.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accident
Collisions that involve pedestrians are some of the most catastrophic accidents in California. If you get involved in such an accident, you will likely suffer severe injuries or even death. By filing a compensation lawsuit against the liable parties, you can get compensation to cover expenses incurred from the injuries. Some of the most common injuries you may suffer in a pedestrian accident include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBI is the sudden damage of the brain caused by a jolt or blow to the head. You will likely receive a heavy impact from the vehicle when you are involved in a pedestrian accident. The impact could cause a breakage of the skull and even brain injury in extreme cases. The brain is a crucial part of the body, and damage to this part can significantly affect the body function.
A traumatic brain injury could be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the amount of force applied to your skull. Immediately after an accident, you may not realize that you have suffered a brain injury. Therefore, you need to look out for the following symptoms:
- Disorientation and confusion
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of memory
- Poor vision
- Difficulty concentrating
- Seizures and vomiting
Immediately after the accident, it would be wise to seek medical attention. This will help in the early detection and treatment of a possible incidence of brain injury.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating injuries you can suffer from a pedestrian accident. The spinal cord is a vital organ that supports nerves and facilitates other body functions. When your spinal cord suffers an injury, you may be paralyzed below the point of damage. The spine can get damaged if blunt trauma is applied to your back. Also, when a sharp object penetrates your body, the area could get injured.
Also, bladder and reproductive functions are significantly affected by an abnormality in the spine. Spinal cord injury is not known to resolve, and you may end up with a permanent disability. This will affect your ability to do simple tasks making you dependent on others. Some of the symptoms that may indicate spinal cord damage include;
- Severe and radiating back pains
- Loss of sensation and ability to feel
- Changes in ability to function sexually
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Loss of movement
Pedestrians do not have a shield when involved in an accident. When you are hit by a vehicle moving at high speed, you may suffer broken bones. There are numerous ones in the body, and the accident’s heavy impact can cause a breakage of the strongest bones such as the femur. Due to the nature of the treatment, broken bones could take a long time to heal. This may cause you to spend a significant amount of time in the hospital. Also, you are likely to incur hefty medical bills from these injuries.
In cases where your bone is severely damaged, especially on the limbs, you may end up with an amputation. This could prevent you from returning to your job after the accident. Some broken bones, especially those of the limbs, can cause damage to the internal organs.
Sometimes when an accident occurs, the vehicles may catch fire. If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, you likely have severe injuries. In this case, you may be unable to get away to safety when a fire breaks out. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and an injury to this art causes immense pain and suffering.
Depending on the severity of the burns, the wounds may take a long time to heal. This will cause you some financial constraints as you try to recover. When the burns are on your face, you may suffer disfiguration, which creates psychological trauma. When you suffer significant burns in a pedestrian accident, the person responsible for the accident can be sued for compensation.
The impact on your body when you get hit by a vehicle is very high. Even when no physical injury is present, you could suffer an injury of the internal organs. Some of the most commonly damaged organs are the spleen, liver, and kidneys. Also, you could suffer internal bleeding, which is fatal. Immediately after an accident, you need to seek medical care. This will help detect an incident of internal injury and treat it. After treatment for these injuries, ensure that the records are properly kept for use in your compensation claim.
Bruises and Lacerations
Major collisions have the potential to cause severe bruises, scrapes, and lacerations. Although these injuries are not life-threatening, they can significantly impact your life and wellbeing. Sometimes deep lacerations will leave permanent scars on your body and can cause psychological pain. If you have suffered scrape or bruises in a negligent pedestrian accident, you can recover compensation in a civil lawsuit.
Accidents that involve pedestrians and vehicles are often very fatal. Death is a likely occurrence after a pedestrian accident. If your loved one dies from a negligent pedestrian accident, you can file a wrongful death claim against the liable party. However, such a claim could be complicated. Thus, you will require legal representation.
Liability for Pedestrian Accident Injuries
If you suffer any of the above injuries in a pedestrian accident, you are entitled to compensation. Also, if your loved one dies as a result of the crash, you can file a wrongful death claim against the party liable for the accident. Before you receive compensation in a personal injury claim, you need to find the liable parties and contribute to your injuries.
When claiming that another person caused your injuries, you should prove that they were negligent. The important elements of negligence that are important in a personal injury claim include:
- Duty of care - Before you get compensation for injuries you suffered in a pedestrian accident, it must be clear that the defendant owed you a duty of care. The duty of care is the responsibility that each individual has to ensure they don’t harm others. This includes following or traffic and safety rules.
- Breach of duty - People breach their duty of care towards you by acting in a way that puts you in danger. When proving that the defendant was negligent, you must show that they breached the duty of care they had towards you and others. A driver breaches the duty of care by driving while under drug influence, distracted driving, or failure to follow the traffic rules.
- Causation - When you want to hold another person liable for your injuries, their negligence must have been a cause of your injuries. Even though these actions do not have to be the only factor, they must be a significant contributing factor to pedestrian accidents.
- Damages - When you file a personal injury claim, you will want to receive compensation for the loss you incurred from the accident injuries. Therefore, you are required to show the injuries you suffered and the extent to which they impacted your life. When you are navigating a pedestrian accident compensation claim, it is crucial to have competent legal guidance.
The following are parties who could be held liable in a pedestrian accident compensation claim:
Pedestrian accidents in California are often caused by drunk driving or distracted driving. Also, the failure of drivers to follow traffic rules could contribute to these accidents. If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, you can file a compensation lawsuit against the driver. However, you are required to show that the driver’s actions contributed to the accident and injuries.
After the accident, you should call the police to assess the situation. The driver’s blood alcohol content may be taken, and if it exceeds the legal limit, you can use the results to file a lawsuit against the driver.
Sometimes, a poorly maintained road with potholes or lack of street lights could contribute to a pedestrian accident. When a vehicle hits a pothole, the driver could lose control and hit a pedestrian. Also, the vehicle may roll over and hit people who are on the sidewalks. If you get involved in such an accident, you can file a lawsuit against the authorities responsible for maintaining the roads. However, it is crucial to understand that suing the government could be quite complicated and should be done within a stipulated amount of time. Therefore, it is crucial to seek guidance from a competent personal injury Attorney.
Most people assume that the pedestrian has the right of way. However, this is not the case in California. There is a possibility that a pedestrian could be held liable for an accident in which they were injured. If you happened to appear in front of a vehicle and the driver is unable to stop, you can be held liable for the accident. However, it is crucial to understand that even when you are partially at fault for the accident, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
After the accidents, you should avoid accepting liability for the accident. Also, you should not communicate with insurance companies or other parties until you get an attorney. In California, compensation for an accident is based on comparative negligence. You will get compensation depending on the percentage of fault for each party involved.
Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrian accidents are always fatal, and the injuries resulting from the collision may significantly impact your personal and financial life. When you file a personal injury claim, you have a chance to seek compensation for the injuries. Success in a California personal injury claim can accrue the following benefits:
When another person breached their duty of care and caused an accident, they were responsible for their medical bills. However, immediately after an accident, the party may not be quick to accept fault for the accident. When you consult for medical care, you will be required to cover your medical bills. After an accident, there are several methods through which you can cover the medical bills, including the use of medical insurance coverage. The medical care providers cannot charge you more than your medical coverage.
If you lack medical coverage, the government will negotiate an appropriate discount for you. Also, you can seek medical care from practitioners who operate on a lien basis. These doctors get paid with the proceeds of the claim. However, it is crucial to understand that if your bills exceed the amount you receive as compensation, you will have to cover the bills from your pocket.
Before you get compensation for the medical bills you incurred, you are expected to provide evidence of the injuries and costs. Some of the most crucial pieces of evidence in this case include:
- A doctors report indicating your injuries and type of treatment you received
- Your medical history may be necessary to indicate any past injuries. If you have a past injury that was worsened by a pedestrian accident, you are also entitled to compensation.
When you are seeking compensation for medical bills, it is crucial to seek legal guidance from a personal injury attorney.
Most pedestrian accident injuries cannot allow you to return to work immediately. You may spend a significant amount of time in hospital nursing the wounds. Lost wages are the amount of income you lose as a result of the injuries.
There are several ways through which you can prove that you lost a significant amount of wages, including:
- A letter from your employer — If you have a regular job, you can obtain a lost wages letter from your employer. This indicates the important aspects of your working contract and your regular earnings
- Pay stubs and tax returns — Sometimes it may be possible to obtain a letter from your employer or be self-employed. In this case, you can establish lost wages through past pay stubs and tax returns.
Lost Future Earning Capacity
Some of the injuries that arise from a pedestrian accident take a long time to heal while others could leave a permanent disability. If the injuries you suffer affect your ability to work and earn money in the future, you are eligible for lost earning capacity benefits. However, there are several factors that the court will consider when awarding these benefits, including:
- The severity of your injuries
- The expected healing time for the injuries
- The nature of your job
- The amount you earn per hour
- The status of your health before the accident
Pain and Suffering
Injuries that result from pedestrian accidents are likely to cause you immense pain. Sometimes you may be left with a permanent disability. When you file a personal injury claim, you can receive compensation for the pain. Even when you do not suffer significant bodily injury, a pedestrian accident could cause you psychological pain and distress.
There is no specific measure of pain after an accident, but compensation can be made depending on the court’s assessment of your situation. Getting benefits for pain and suffering could be complicated. Therefore, it would be wise to consult and seek the guidance of an attorney.
Wrongful Death Compensation
If your loved one succumbs to death as a result of pedestrian accident injuries, you can claim compensation for the wrongful death. In such situations, the case could be complicated since the victim cannot testify. For wrongful death, you can get compensation to cover death and funeral expenses. Also, you can get benefits for the lost consortium.
Pedestrian accidents are often very fatal. This is because of the amount of impact exerted on your body by the vehicle. Involvement in such a collision is likely to produce serious injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord damage, among others. Fortunately, if you or your loved one is involved in such a crash, you can get compensation in a personal injury claim. For maximum compensation in your lawsuit, competent legal guidance goes a long way for you. At The LA Personal Injury Law Firm, we work hard to ensure the best possible outcome for all our clients. Contact us today from any location in Los Angeles, CA, at 310-935-0089, and allow us to guide you through the case.