Pedestrian Accident

All About Pedestrian Accidents - Why You Need an Accident Lawyer

Pedestrian lying in the ground shoeless after an accident.

Pedestrian accidents can and tend to be devastating, causing serious injuries and even fatalities. If you or someone you know has been involved in a pedestrian accident, it's crucial to understand your rights and seek legal representation. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about pedestrian accidents and why hiring an accident lawyer is essential.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Understanding Pedestrian Accidents

III. The Importance of Seeking Legal Help

IV. Types of Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents

V. How to Choose an Accident Lawyer

VI. Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident

VII. Building a Strong Pedestrian Accident Case

VIII. Conclusion

IX. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Introduction

Couple using crosswalk in a gloomy day while holding an umbrella.
Image by Horacio Lozada from Pixabay

Pedestrian accidents occur when a vehicle collides with a person who is walking, running, or standing on the side of the road. These accidents often result in severe injuries due to the lack of protection for pedestrians. Understanding the causes, legal aspects, and the importance of hiring an accident lawyer is crucial for victims of pedestrian accidents.

Alarming Statistics

Here are some statistics on pedestrian accidents in the United States and California based on data available up until my knowledge cutoff in September 2021:

In the United States:

- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, there were 6,205 pedestrian fatalities, accounting for 17% of all traffic fatalities in the country. [Source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts - Pedestrians, 2019]

- The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reported that pedestrian fatalities increased by 50% from 2010 to 2019. [Source: GHSA Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, 2020]

- Factors such as distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, and failure to yield contribute to pedestrian accidents.

- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were approximately 76,000 nonfatal pedestrian injuries in 2019. [Source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts - Pedestrians, 2019]

In California:

- California consistently has one of the highest numbers of pedestrian fatalities in the United States.

- According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), in 2019, there were 1,053 pedestrian fatalities in the state. [Source: California Office of Traffic Safety - Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities, 2019]

- The California Department of Public Health reported that pedestrian deaths increased by 12% from 2018 to 2019. [Source: California Department of Public Health - Pedestrian Death Data, 2019]

- Cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego have higher rates of pedestrian accidents compared to other cities in the state.

Understanding Pedestrian Accidents

What are pedestrian accidents?

Pedestrian accidents involve a collision between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian. These accidents can occur in various settings, such as crosswalks, intersections, parking lots, or residential areas. Pedestrian accidents can have severe consequences, leading to injuries like broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and even fatalities.

Some examples might become a bit complex, like in this scenario:

Imagine a busy street during rush hour. A pedestrian, let's call him Alex, is walking on the sidewalk beside the road. Suddenly, a car door opens abruptly, and Alex's clothing gets caught on the door handle. Unaware of the situation, the driver of the vehicle starts driving away, dragging Alex along with them.

As the vehicle gains speed, Alex struggles to free themselves from their trapped clothing. Passersby witness the incident and rush to help. Finally, with their combined efforts, they manage to get the driver's attention and stop the vehicle. Alex, though shaken and injured, is fortunately rescued from further harm.

In this scenario, although Alex is not walking on their feet during the accident, it is still considered a pedestrian accident. The incident involves a collision between a person (Alex) and a motor vehicle, where the person's clothing became trapped on the vehicle's door. Despite being dragged rather than walking, Alex falls under the category of a pedestrian because they were not inside a vehicle at the time of the accident.

Close up of a pedestrian feet while laying down in the pavement after an accident.
Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

Common causes of pedestrian accidents

Pedestrian accidents can happen due to various factors, including:

  • Distracted driving: When drivers are distracted by their phones, GPS devices, or other activities, they may fail to notice pedestrians.
  • Speeding: Vehicles traveling at high speeds have less time to react to pedestrians.
  • Failure to yield: Drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or at intersections increase the risk of accidents.
  • Drunk driving: Impaired drivers may not have the coordination or judgment to avoid hitting pedestrians.
  • Poor visibility: Low light conditions or obstructed views can make it challenging for drivers to see pedestrians.

The Importance of Seeking Legal Help

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Image by Jackson David from Pixabay

Why hire an accident lawyer?

Hiring an accident lawyer is essential for several reasons. Firstly, an experienced lawyer can navigate the legal complexities and advocate for your rights. They will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation. Secondly, an accident lawyer understands the specific laws and regulations related to pedestrian accidents, which can vary from state to state. Finally, having legal representation gives you the peace of mind and support you need during this challenging time.

Role of an accident lawyer in pedestrian accident cases

An accident lawyer plays a crucial role in pedestrian accident cases. They will:

  • Investigate the accident thoroughly, gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and surveillance footage.
  • Determine liability by assessing the driver's negligence, any traffic violations, or potential defects in the roadway.
  • Calculate damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to secure a fair settlement.
  • Represent you in court if a trial becomes necessary.

Types of Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents

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Image by NikolayF.com from Pixabay

Pedestrian accident victims may be entitled to various types of compensation, which refers to the financial recovery or reimbursement they can seek for the damages and losses suffered due to the accident. Compensation is a form of monetary award provided to help victims recover and cope with the physical, emotional, and financial impact of the incident.

These types of compensation may include:

Medical expenses

Medical expenses are a crucial aspect of compensation for pedestrian accident victims. The compensation should encompass a wide range of medical costs directly linked to the accident. This includes expenses incurred for hospitalization, emergency room visits, surgeries, diagnostic tests, medications, rehabilitation, physical therapy, follow-up appointments, and any ongoing treatment required for the victim's recovery. By covering these medical expenses, the aim of the compensation is to alleviate the financial burden placed on the victim and ensure they receive the necessary medical care without incurring substantial out-of-pocket costs. It is important for accident victims to document and provide evidence of their medical expenses to strengthen their claim for compensation.

Lost wages

Lost wages can have a significant impact on pedestrian accident victims, especially if their injuries result in the inability to work during the recovery period. Compensation for lost wages aims to address this financial setback by providing reimbursement for the income that was lost due to missed work. Additionally, lost wage compensation may also account for potential future earning capacity if the injuries have long-term or permanent effects on the victim's ability to work. By including compensation for lost wages, the goal is to ensure that the victim is not burdened with the financial consequences of the accident and can maintain their financial stability while focusing on their recovery. It is crucial for accident victims to keep track of their missed workdays, gather documentation from employers, and provide evidence to support their claim for lost wage compensation.

Pain and suffering

Pain and suffering are significant aspects of a pedestrian accident that encompass both physical and emotional effects experienced by the victim. Physical pain refers to the discomfort, agony, and suffering endured as a direct result of the injuries sustained in the accident. Emotional distress includes the psychological impact, such as anxiety, depression, fear, and trauma that can result from the accident and its aftermath. Compensation for pain and suffering recognizes the intangible damages and seeks to provide financial relief to the victim. It acknowledges that the victim's quality of life may be negatively affected, and compensation aims to assist in their recovery and help restore a sense of well-being. Calculating compensation for pain and suffering can be complex and varies based on various factors, including the severity of injuries, duration of recovery, impact on daily activities, and expert opinions. It often involves considering medical records, testimonies, psychological evaluations, and the guidance of an accident lawyer who can assess the value of the pain and suffering endured by the victim.

How to Choose an Accident Lawyer

Female browsing the web on a couch with her laptop.
Photo by Vlada Karpovich

When selecting an accident lawyer for your pedestrian accident case, consider the following factors:

Experience and expertise

Look for a lawyer with extensive experience in personal injury law, specifically handling pedestrian accident cases. They should have a track record of successful settlements and verdicts.

Reputation and track record

Research the lawyer's reputation by reading client reviews and testimonials. Additionally, find out if they have any disciplinary actions or complaints against them.

Communication and accessibility

Choose a lawyer who communicates effectively and keeps you informed throughout the legal process. Accessibility and prompt responses to your queries are essential.

**We offer a comprehensive and detailed guide that provides valuable insights on selecting the right personal injury attorney. This guide is designed to assist individuals in making informed decisions when choosing legal representation for their personal injury case. To access this in-depth guide, please follow the link provided here.**

Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident

If you find yourself involved in a pedestrian accident, follow these steps:

1. Seek immediate medical attention

Prioritize your health and well-being, even if you believe your injuries are minor, it's crucial to get a medical evaluation to identify any hidden injuries or underlying conditions, this will also allow trained medical professionals to diagnose, treat and recommend procedures that will restore your health back to 100%. This will also produce medical documents and testimony that will back your claim against the defendant and insurance.

2. Document the accident scene

If possible, gather evidence at the accident scene, such as taking photographs, noting the weather conditions, and documenting any visible injuries or damages. Take video if you can as well make sure to have as much photos as you deem necessary as these are crucial to build a strong case. It's better to have abundance of evidence than lack of it.

3. Gather witness information

Collect the names and contact information of any witnesses present at the scene. Their testimonies may be crucial in establishing liability and supporting your case. Keep in mind this might get controversial so also be respectful and cooperative with them.

4. Contact the authorities

Report the accident to the local police or law enforcement agency. They will create an official accident report, which can serve as valuable evidence. Police reports are a huge deal in personal injury cases, make sure to document the accident because peace officer reports will back up the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Building a Strong Pedestrian Accident Case

Man searching for documents in a documents organizer.
Photo by Anete Lusina

To build a robust pedestrian accident case, follow these steps:

Collecting evidence & Store it

Gather all relevant evidence, including accident reports, medical records, photographs, surveillance footage, and any other documentation that supports your claim, make sure to organize it and store it appropriately so you can have all necessary documents when needed, a good lawyer can help you achieve this. Digital and physical copies of all documents is always a good tip to follow.

Interviewing witnesses

Contact the witnesses identified at the accident scene and record their statements. Their accounts can strengthen your case and provide valuable insight. In this stage you have to find out all the information the witness can provide for your case, it's always important to have your attorney conducting all interviews.

Consulting experts

Consult with experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals, to assess the accident dynamics and determine the extent of your injuries. A good personal injury attorney has access to all of these contacts that can provide an expert side of things.

Calculating damages

Work with your accident lawyer to accurately calculate the damages you have incurred, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other associated costs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, pedestrian accidents can have devastating consequences, resulting in severe injuries and causing emotional distress for the victims. To navigate the aftermath of such accidents effectively, it is crucial to seek legal assistance from experienced professionals. At Mendez & Sanchez Law, a trusted personal injury law firm located in Los Angeles, California, we specialize in providing dedicated legal representation to victims of pedestrian accidents.

Our team of skilled accident lawyers understands the complexities involved in these cases and is committed to protecting the rights of our clients. We strive to ensure that you receive fair compensation for the damages and losses you have endured. By leveraging our expertise and knowledge of the legal process, we guide you through the necessary steps, including the proper documentation of the accident and the building of a strong case on your behalf.

With a deep understanding of the emotional and physical toll that pedestrian accidents can take, we approach each case with compassion, empathy, and professionalism. We recognize the importance of obtaining the maximum compensation possible to help you recover and move forward with your life. Rest assured, we will tirelessly advocate for your best interests and work towards securing the justice and compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, we invite you to contact us at Mendez & Sanchez Law. Our dedicated team is here to provide you with the support and legal guidance you need during this challenging time. Trust us to fight for your rights and navigate the complexities of your pedestrian accident claim, so you can focus on healing and rebuilding your life.

Remember, when it comes to pedestrian accidents, you don't have to face the challenges alone. Let Mendez & Sanchez Law be your trusted legal partner. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how our services can assist you in your journey to recovery.

FAQ's

‍If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, prioritize your health and safety. Seek medical attention, document the accident scene, gather witness information, and report the incident to the authorities.

‍Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation costs.

‍An accident lawyer can navigate the legal process, gather evidence, determine liability, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if needed.

‍Yes, you can still file a claim if a pedestrian accident occurs on private property. The liability may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident.

‍Drivers have a responsibility to be attentive and aware of their surroundings, including pedestrians. Even if the driver claims not to have seen you, they may still be held liable for the accident. Remember, consulting with an accident lawyer is crucial to understand the unique aspects of your pedestrian accident case and protect your rights.

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