The sense of community in many California towns is strengthened by the fact that many neighborhoods offer great walkability. Residents are happy to set out on foot to complete many errands like a trip to the market or to visit a neighborhood restaurant or library. However, the downside to this choice to walk rather than drive is that not everyone follows suit. There are more cars and trucks on city streets than ever before. And that can result in backed-up traffic, angry drivers, and impatient drivers. Sadly, the result all too often is a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle.
In just a fraction of a second, someone’s life can be forever altered or even abruptly ended. From catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord damage, or a traumatic brain injury to shattered bones, the human body has little defense when struck by a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds and moving at a much higher rate of speed. The result is often tragic for the pedestrian and their loved ones.
If you and your family have lost a loved one due to a California car versus pedestrian accident, you are certain to be flooded with emotions including sorrow, grief, loss, and anger. It can be hard to think clearly, make wise and well-informed decisions, and handle the tasks at hand. Planning a funeral is bad enough, but when you begin to understand the costs involved in preparing for a funeral, celebration of life, or memorial service for a loved one, you discover a whole new set of problems. How will you pay the cost of this service? And how can you possibly think about saving money, being thrifty, or cutting costs when it is the last thing you will ever do to show your love for this lost family member?
If you are battling these dilemmas, please know that the team at DTLA Law Group is here to offer our expertise and guidance 24/7. We know that you are facing choices and selections that can have a financial impact on your family for years to come. And we are prepared to provide a free consultation to answer your questions and assist you in any way we can. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office today to schedule your free consultation with a California wrongful death lawyer to understand your rights and how to begin the process to secure the compensation that is owed to you, your family, and your lost loved one.
The Common Causes Of A Pedestrian Accident
Sadly, the most common reason a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle has nothing to do with the pedestrian. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were following the laws, paying attention, and being as safe as possible in an environment where they were the smallest and slowest. The blame for the accident typically falls on the driver and their negligence. According to California DMV laws, pedestrians always have the right of way, even when crossing the street at an unmarked area, such as in the case of jaywalking. So there is no reason a driver can use to avoid owning the responsibility of hitting a pedestrian.
The most common examples of driver negligence involving a pedestrian accident include:
The final accounting for any car versus pedestrian accident is that the driver of the vehicle must always be in control of the car and able to stop or avoid hitting a pedestrian.
Negligence And Liability
When evaluating an accident to determine negligence, four common factors or elements are taken into consideration. These factors are:
Duty of care is simply defined as all drivers having a responsibility to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. Therefore, when a driver fails to operate a vehicle safely, they are in breach of duty of care. In addition, the driver’s unsafe actions must be the cause of the accident. And the accident must result in harm, or in this case, the death, of the pedestrian. When all of these criteria are met, the car’s driver is negligent and is financially responsible for the damage they have caused. And in the case of a fatality, the driver of the car can be sued for the cost of the pedestrian’s funeral and other expenses incurred due to the accident.
Who Has The Right To Sue For Wrongful Death?
In California, there is a specific list of family members who have the right to sue for wrongful death. The list includes the victim’s spouse, domestic partner, and children, as well as anyone financially dependent on the victim. If the victim has no living relatives, there are several exceptions that the team at DTLA Law Group is happy to explain to anyone who has lost a loved one in a fatal pedestrian accident.
How The Family Recovers The Cost Of The Funeral
In most cases, the deceased pedestrian’s family will sue the car’s driver in a wrongful death lawsuit. This is the legal process of presenting the costs incurred due to the negligence of the driver and the loss of the victim. Many families do not plan to file a lawsuit until they discover that the cost of a basic funeral can quickly exceed $10,000 dollars. And the cost of the memorial service and other items they wish to have for their loved one can easily reach $25,000. Some of the expenses associated with any funeral include:
Then there are added costs for some of the upgraded features that you and your family might want, including:
Determining The Amount Of The Lawsuit
The staff at DTLA Law Group will assist you in compiling all of the items and amounts that can be included in a wrongful death lawsuit. Some of the common expenses can consist of the following:
These are just a few of the losses your legal team will help you evaluate to determine the amount of the wrongful death lawsuit.
How Long Will The Lawsuit Take?
There is no way to accurately determine how long any legal action will take to reach completion. So it is always advised that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible after losing a loved one in a pedestrian accident. The staff at DTLA Law Group will work with you to ensure your lawsuit is filed with the court system as quickly as possible to allow you to move past the loss and settle all the bills. But it is also vital to understand that you have only two years from the date of your loved one to file the claim with the court system. If you wait more than two years, you will have lost your right to seek compensation.
No Fees Until You Get Paid
The staff at DTLA Law Group realizes that you are suffering a great deal due to the loss of your loved one and the financial challenges it has created. We pledge never to add to that stress with out of pocket legal fees or upfront payments required to handle your case. Instead, we only get paid after we have successfully secured the settlement or verdict you deserve for the loss of your loved one. And if, for some reason, we do not win your case, then you owe us nothing.
We believe in the legal system, justice for injury victims and the loved ones of wrongful death victims, and integrity in every aspect of how we run our law firm. The priority is always the best interest of our clients and securing their financial stability so they can begin rebuilding their lives. And we stand behind our promise with hard work, dedication to each client, and never asking for any fees until we have completed our job and won your case. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with the DTLA Law Group today to learn more about your rights to sue for wrongful death in a pedestrian accident and how our team will commit to fighting to protect your rights and the rights of your lost loved one.
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