Pedestrian accidents are some of the worst accidents. When a pedestrian is struck by a driver, it almost always results in serious injuries, some of which are even life-threatening.
These accidents can be especially tragic when it involves the loss of a loved one. However, while no amount of money can replace losing someone you love, a wrongful death claim can make dealing with the aftermath of the death easier.
If you have lost a loved one who was injured and killed as a pedestrian, you can file a wrongful death claim if the loss was the result of someone else’s negligence. These claims can then compensate you or other loved ones for financial and even emotional losses, such as the cost of the funeral and compensation for the loss of companionship.
Filing wrongful death claims, however, is not an easy process. While a family member or loved one may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit; there is no guarantee that they will get the full and fair amount of compensation they deserve.
For this reason, it is beneficial to work with an attorney in these cases. An experienced California wrongful death attorney will be able to guide you through the process, protect the rights of you or the other family members involved, and ensure you are awarded the high-value settlement you both need and deserve.
Pedestrian Accidents in California
While California might be a beautiful state to live in, it is also becoming one of the most dangerous for pedestrians. As a whole, California is notorious for terrible traffic and traffic fatalities, but recent news reports indicate that fatal pedestrian accidents are becoming a particular problem in the state.
In 2021, pedestrian deaths hit an all-time high in the US, with California recording the most fatalities at 958. And as of 2022, those numbers continue to climb, especially in certain California cities, such as San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, where foot traffic is prevalent, as is traffic congestion.
While these cities have all committed to increasing efforts to reduce pedestrian accidents, it will likely take some time for initiatives to roll out and for numbers to drop. So it’s important that drivers and pedestrians alike still take every precaution necessary to avoid these tragic accidents.
Common Causes of Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
So what’s the cause of so many fatal pedestrian accidents in California?
Well, the amount of foot and car traffic in the state compared to others doesn’t help. Many cities in California are simply heavily populated, which means there are just more people on the roads and walking in the streets. California cities also attract a high number of tourists, which increases foot traffic. It’s also a state that sees a lot of sunshine and beautiful weather, which means more people are inclined to go outside and walk around.
However, some specific driving behaviors also tend to contribute to higher rates of pedestrian fatalities, which include:
- Road rage
- Distracted driving (i.e. talking or texting while driving)
- Intoxicated driving
- Fatigued driving
- Failing to check blind spots
- Failing to yield the right of way
Wrongful Death Actions for Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
In California, if a negligent party, such as another driver, causes the death of a loved one, certain parties connected to the deceased are entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. This compensation is intended to help loved ones recover after the loss, such as by helping them pay for funeral expenses or other losses and costs that arise as a result of losing a loved one.
However, before these loved ones can collect compensation, they must first be able to prove that another party was negligent and thus liable for what happened. In this specific case, they must be able to prove that another party is liable for the fatal pedestrian accident. And proving fault in these cases is easier achieved with the help of a California pedestrian accident attorney or a wrongful death attorney.
An attorney can help you establish that another party, such as a driver, had a duty of care, that they breached their duty of care by acting negligently, and that these negligent actions are what caused the accident and the death of your loved one.
Once liability has been established for the fatal pedestrian accident, an attorney can then get to work determining who is eligible for compensation and what kind of compensation they are owed due to the damages they have suffered as a result of the loss.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim for a Fatal Pedestrian Accident in California?
Every state has its own set of laws governing who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim and who can recover compensation for the loss of a loved one. In California, the wrongful death statute lists the following as eligible parties:
- Surviving spouse or domestic partner
- Surviving children
- Surviving step-children
- Surviving parents
- Surviving minor dependents
What Kind of Compensation is Awarded in Wrongful Death Lawsuits for Fatal Pedestrian Accidents?
After a car accident with a pedestrian results in death, the compensation that a loved one can recover can vary depending on numerous factors, such as who died, how much money they made, and who the person is that is filing the claim. However, the general list of damages that loved ones are usually compensated for includes:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses from the treatment of the deceased before they died
- Lost financial support
- Loss of household services
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of childcare
Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers: California Pedestrian and Wrongful Death Attorneys
If you have lost a loved one in California due to a fatal pedestrian accident, our team can assist you in filing your claim. We understand how devastating the loss of a loved one can be and are here to help.
Call our San Francisco wrongful death and pedestrian accident lawyers at 877-380-8852 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.