Compensation for Pedestrian Injuries
Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in car accidents than passengers of cars, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. And pedestrian survivors of car accidents are far more likely to suffer serious injuries than passengers. Broken bones, serious head trauma, internal bleeding—these and other severe injuries make rehabilitation a long, arduous road that requires a great deal of care and support.
Pedestrians are vulnerable on our streets. They’re out walking for exercise, getting to and from work, minding their own business. Then, out of nowhere, a distracted motorist hits them. There’s nothing protecting pedestrians from the thousands of pound of metal of the car that hits them. There’s no accelerating to swerve out of harm’s way. And there’s no horn they can blow to alert that motorist of their presence. If you’ve been hit by a car and suffered severe injuries, you can feel lucky to be alive yet also angry about your injuries and frustrated about the road that lies ahead. The mix of emotions you’re experiencing is difficult to navigate, but getting compensation for a pedestrian accident will be a huge help in putting the accident behind you in order to move forward with your recovery. The most important factors in getting compensation for pedestrian accident injury are doing your homework and choosing the right lawyer—someone who understands your needs, knows how to navigate your state’s laws, and places your rightful compensation at the top of their agenda. You have questions that need to be answered—but first, learn the right questions to ask.
What to Do After You Are Hit by a Car
After a serious pedestrian accident, aside from the most important job you have, which is to recover from your injuries, there are steps you’ll need to take in order to move your accident claim forward. First, if you or a loved one has not already done so, report the accident to authorities as well as to your insurance carrier.
According to California’s statute of limitations, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim in order to receive compensation as a pedestrian hit by a car. Of course, most people in your situation have no idea what to do next, in which case a knowledgeable and experienced California pedestrian accident lawyer will help you navigate these uncertain waters.
Who is considered ‘at fault’ for my accident?
Though pedestrians are more vulnerable than cars, and pedestrians almost always have the right of way, motorists are not necessarily always at fault. Whoever is at fault for your accident is determined by whoever was negligent. Negligence is considered conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. Under the law, a person who fails to exercise a ‘reasonable standard of care’ under the given circumstances is considered negligent. In many traffic accidents, fault is easily determined.
However, if this is not clear, the fault of your pedestrian accident will need to be determined by authorities conducting an investigation. If you are found to be not at fault, you likely have a case and you should contact a California pedestrian accident lawyer to receive compensation due. California is a ‘pure comparative negligence’ jurisdiction, which means each defendant is liable for their own percentage of fault in the accident. If the investigation finds comparative negligence, you each will be liable for your attributable percentage of the medical bills and pain and suffering you sustained. If you disagree with the findings, there are a number of factors you will need to prove in your case, in which case, it’s best to contact a lawyer. But it’s important to know that this is not the only reason to contact a lawyer. Because fighting for your rightful compensation for a pedestrian accident can be a daunting task.
Should I file a pedestrian accident claim?
If you suffered serious injuries, you will need to file a pedestrian accident claim. But, navigating such an undertaking can be overwhelming, especially for an accident victim whose top priority is getting back to life. A pedestrian accident lawyer knows which questions to ask in order to get to the bottom of the situation.
In order to the fair compensation in your pedestrian accident, you will need a lawyer in your corner who knows how to present the strongest claim possible to the insurance company. The driver’s insurance company’s objective is to give you the least amount possible. Get experienced legal help to file your pedestrian accident claim.
How will my compensation for pedestrian accident injury be calculated?
The amount you receive as compensation as a pedestrian hit by a car and pain and suffering will be determined by a number of questions. These include:
- What is the extent of your injuries?
- What is the extent of your lost wages?
- Can you, the pedestrian, be apportioned any fault at all, and if so, how much?
- What types of assets does the driver hold?
- What types of insurance do both parties involved carry?
Despite how severe your injuries and expensive your medical treatment is, the types of insurance held by both parties is a big factor when determining compensation. If the driver’s insurance is inadequate to cover your medical bills, let alone compensate you for pain, suffering, and loss of work, you will want to be sure you have investigated all possible avenues of financial recovery. Your pedestrian lawyer should be able to do this for you. Even if the only money available is limited insurance coverage, your attorney should be able to help you negotiate your medical bills so you can get through your pedestrian accident claim without owing any money.
Do I need a California pedestrian accident lawyer?
For any lawsuit, it’s best to contact a lawyer who specializes in the type of case being presented. Laws regarding traffic accidents are extensive and intricate, and so finding a good pedestrian accident lawyer is beneficial, especially if you’re recovering from serious injuries. Medical bills need to be paid. Lost wages need to be recovered in order to keep your head above water. And pain and suffering should be compensated. A lawyer whose specialty includes pedestrian accidents, particularly one who has worked with clients just like you, is the most valuable to your case.
How do I find a California pedestrian accident lawyer?
You already know the answer to this question—do your research. Ask around to friends, family, and colleagues. Do you know anyone who has been involved in a personal injury case like yours, particularly one that involved a pedestrian who was hit by a car? If you don’t know anyone who has been in this situation, online reviews on sites such as Yelp or Google can be helpful. There, you can find pedestrian accident lawyers such as Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers who are educated in California law and possess the experience and knowledge of cases involving pedestrians who were hit by cars.
Yes, accidents happen, but knowing that doesn’t make you feel better that it happened to you. Your injuries and the negative emotions that accompany them are a serious matter for which no amount of money can fully compensate. However, knowing you’ll be receiving the most compensation the law says you’re due will help you get on with the business of recovering.
Worrying about money is the last thing you and your family need at this difficult time in your life. What you need now is the support of a caring and knowledgeable attorney who not only can win your case but get you the compensation you deserve. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, traffic accidents are all we do, and our experience as pedestrian accident lawyers spans decades.