Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?Pedestrian accidents most often happen on residential streets where some drivers go well above the speed limit. They may run red lights and stop signs and hit pedestrians who are at crosswalks or are in the street. It is up to the drivers on the road to ensure that they do not hurt any pedestrians. Often, drivers find themselves in accidents with pedestrians because of some kind of negligent action. For instance, many accidents occur because of alcohol. Both drivers and pedestrians alike are usually found to have an excessive blood alcohol level. Drivers may not see pedestrians or they may have lowered reflexes; they can fall asleep or not have control over their limbs. Driving under the influence causes thousands of crashes each year. Pedestrians under the influence may stumble into the street, fall over, lie down in dangerous areas, and more. Other causes of pedestrian accidents include jaywalking, turning into crosswalks, ignoring the right of way of pedestrians, speeding in parking lots, pulling out of driveways without properly looking around, low visibility in rain and fog, and more. If you were hurt in such an accident, you could sue for compensation for your damages. You may have suffered a number of injuries, including concussions, broken bones, internal organ damage, crushing injuries, fractures, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and more.
What Should I Do After Getting Hit By A Car?If you were struck by a car while you were on foot, you should immediately get medical attention to ensure that you were not severely injured. Paramedics can treat you at the scene or take you to the hospital for treatment. It is crucial that you get medical treatment as quickly as possible, for two reasons: one, your health is of paramount importance, and two, your lawsuit will be stronger if there is no gap between the accident and the treatment. The insurance company could look at such a gap and claim that you were hurt elsewhere if you were able to avoid going to the doctor right away. Next, you should gather as much evidence as you can at the scene of the accident. You should take photos of the injuries you suffered, the damage to the other vehicle, the scene of the accident, and more. You should record eyewitness statements and request a copy of the police report. The driver who hit you should provide his insurance information and contact details so our lawyers know the proper entity to sue and who to negotiate with. A lawyer can help you prove that you were injured as a result of negligence. We will show that you were owed a duty of care that was breached by the driver, resulting in an accident that caused you physical injuries. If you were not physically harmed, though, you will not be able to pursue a personal injury claim. Your damages would be related to lost wages and broken or lost property. If you were not harmed, you can expect a settlement with little negotiation. However, if there were medical bills involved, you should expect a longer process with more argument and proof required. Regardless, you should hire a qualified pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles.
How Long After An Accident Can I Sue?In the State of California, victims of pedestrian accidents have two years from the date of the injury to take legal action against the responsible party. You should pay attention to the date of the injury more than the date of the accident; although the two are very often the same date, there could be a gap of days or weeks if the damage was slow-moving or not immediately noticeable. This two-year statute of limitations is in place to ensure that claims are swiftly handled and that they do not sit around for a long time while evidence gets lost and memories fade. The sooner your claim is filed, the better your chances of winning. You may be eligible for an extension to the statute of limitations for a number of reasons. For example, if you were underage when you were hit by a car, your statute would not legally be enacted until you turned 18 years old. Further, you may have been sufficiently injured in the accident, preventing you from filing a lawsuit, whether mentally or physically. An attorney can prove that you were not in functioning health until a certain point. The defendant who hit you could also leave the state, preventing you from suing him at all; the statute would thus resume when he returned, no matter if it’s a few months or a few years later.
How Much Money Can You Get From A Pedestrian Accident Settlement?A pedestrian accident settlement can land you a fair amount of money for your damages, especially if you were severely hurt and had your life impacted or changed. Our team of attorneys will see to it that you are wholly covered for the incident and that you will receive the maximum compensation under the law. We will make sure you receive coverage for the following:
- Medical expenses (surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy sessions, future medical procedures)
- Property damage
- Lost wages (from the past and future)
- Pain and suffering (emotional trauma, psychological stress, PTSD, fear, anxiety)
- Wrongful death expenses if a loved one passed away (funeral costs, pre-death medical bills and pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and more)
What Is The Value Of My Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?Often, clients will call us and ask about the possible value of their cases. Truthfully, the only way to get the value is to have an insurance agent make an offer. We can only give you estimates on what the value could be, but the numbers will always change based on numerous factors. For example, your age will play a small role in the offer, as will your type of occupation. The more important factors, though, are your injuries, the severity and permanence of those injuries, and the effects of those injuries on your life and career. We have provided some sample settlements for you to consider. These cases show what you pedestrian accidents have yielded in the past.
- $2,000,000 Settlement: An older woman was walking down the street, minding her own business. A driver operating a truck had his hands full while behind the wheel – he was drinking a hot cup of coffee and eating a donut. He suddenly lost control of the vehicle, causing it to leave its lane, ride up the sidewalk, and strike the woman. She died at the scene of the accident, and her family pursued wrongful death expenses.
- $500,000 Settlement: A family of four was hit by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. The family was on a sidewalk next to a parkway when the man swerved and hit them. The children suffered the most injuries, including soft tissue damage, broken bones, and more.
- $150,000 Verdict: A woman was crossing at an intersection when an SUV hit her. She was primarily clipped by the fender, which was sticking out. As a result of the crash, she suffered various bruises and sprains, namely to her elbow and hip. She complained of neck pain and went through months of treatment and procedures before finally receiving a discectomy to cure it. The accident had exacerbated a pre-existing condition she was unaware of and had deteriorated her neck muscles even more.
- $900,000 Settlement: An elderly man was crossing the street when he was suddenly hit by a vehicle in a crowded traffic area. He suffered fractures in his legs and ribs. According to the plaintiff, he knew he was outside of the crosswalk, but due to the nature of the traffic, the driver should have stopped. He was also found to be partially intoxicated during the accident. Even though his injuries worsened over time, he was deemed partially responsible.
- $220,000 Verdict: An elderly woman was on the sidewalk when an SUV backed out of a driveway and ran her over. She suffered a broken ankle, fractures in her leg, and other damages. She needed a brace that was kept on for months due to her age and the severity of her injuries. Months later, she fell as a result of her damages from the accident and suffered additional injuries that would eventually take her life. The lawsuit showed that the chain of events contributed to her untimely death, even though she was deemed partially at fault for not seeing the SUV back out of the driveway.
- $200,000 Settlement: An older man parked his car and intended to cross the street. As he did so, he was hit by a car and died from his injuries. It was night time at the time of the accident, and the driver claimed that the man was wearing dark clothing and simply walked into the middle of the street. His family sued for wrongful death expenses, even though it was difficult to show the level of negligence given the lack of evidence.