Experienced California Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
As the years have gone by, the average weight of cars has only increased — the average new car weighed 3,221 pounds in 1987 and 4,009 pounds in 2010, for example — but pedestrians remain defenseless when struck by these heavy vehicles. As impact speed increases, the risk for severe injury or death climbs dramatically. Once impact speeds exceed 39 miles per hour, there is a 75% chance of severe injury, and impact speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour lead to a 75% chance of death.
With dire statistics like these, it perhaps should come as little surprise that 4,000 to 5,000 pedestrians are killed in motor vehicle accidents each year, and more than 60,000 pedestrians are injured as well. Worse, the Department of Transportation estimated that pedestrians in 2013 were killed in a motor vehicle accident every two hours and eight minutes in the United States . That same year, pedestrian fatalities accounted for 14% of traffic crash fatalities.
California Pedestrian Accident Facts
Unfortunately, Californians make up a large number of the pedestrian injuries and fatalities nationwide. In fact, California’s 701 pedestrian fatalities in 2013 were more than any other state, although some states had more pedestrian fatalities per capita. 2013 resulted in 76 pedestrian fatalities in Los Angeles alone, while Fresno saw 11 pedestrian fatalities and San Francisco suffered 18 pedestrian fatalities.
Sadly, the number of pedestrian fatalities in both California and across the nation seem to be increasing. In 2015, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in U.S. traffic crashes, which averaged out to one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.6 hours. And, sadly, California once again had more pedestrian fatalities than any other state, with 742 pedestrian traffic fatalities .
The upward trend of serious pedestrian accidents continued in 2016, as findings revealed that nearly 6,000 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2016 traffic accidents.5
Given the propensity and alarming frequency of pedestrian accidents, Californians must know their legal rights should they become the victim of a pedestrian accident.
Who Is At Fault In A Pedestrian Accident?
The California Driver Handbook demonstrates that drivers are to use the utmost caution when driving near pedestrians. As such, drivers are required to respect right-of-way rules and similar traffic laws that promote public safety for pedestrians.
If a driver runs a red light, does not come to a full stop at a stop sign/intersection or speeds, these behaviors can constitute negligence on the part of the driver. Similarly negligent behavior could include not respecting the pedestrian’s right of way at a crosswalk, stopping in a crosswalk or not obeying traffic signs that pertain to pedestrians.
If a driver engages in any of these negligent behaviors, they are likely to be at fault for the accident that occurs. The California Driver Handbook is a helpful resource for understanding California’s right-of-way rules .
What Steps Should I Take After A Pedestrian Accident?
- If the injury is minor enough that you are capable of calling police and reporting the accident, be sure to do so. Once the police arrive, be sure to obtain the officer’s name and report number in case this information is needed at a later date.
- While at the scene, collect the names of all drivers and parties involved in the accident. Addresses, phone numbers and insurance information are additional pieces of information that will prove useful for your case. Collect the same information from any witnesses present at the scene.
- Document all relevant evidence at the scene by taking pictures of the vehicles involved with your cell phone or camera. Also, photograph street names, intersections, crosswalks, traffic signs and traffic signals as well. Photographic evidence of the scene may help provide additional evidence that benefits your case.
- Only provide relevant contact information to drivers at the scene. Any other information given to a driver or an insurance company could be used to undermine your legal claim.
- Last, but far from least, seek medical attention for injuries you may have sustained. Life threatening injuries may not be immediately apparent and immediate symptoms may not exist. Don’t take a risk with your life. Seek medical attention and thoroughly document every pain you are facing. This information will help your case as well.
Once these steps are completed, it is time to contact a reputable California pedestrian accident attorney who will build a strong case that will help you receive the compensation to which you are legally entitled.
Compensation for California Pedestrian Accidents
If you or a loved one was harmed in a California pedestrian accident, the following compensation may be awarded:
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Punitive damages that punish the negligent party’s wrongdoing
- Loss of earning/loss of future earning capacity compensation
- Compensation for medical expenses related to the injuries suffered as well as future medical bills
How the Ledger Law Firm Helps Victims
The most important thing to understand when you are seeking compensation for your pedestrian accident injury is who the insurance company adjusters work for. Whether it’s your insurance company or the insurer of the other driver, the adjuster does not work for you. They work for the insurer, and that’s whose interests they are looking after. That means their goal is to settle the claim for the lowest amount possible.
At the Ledger Law Firm, we work for you, and your interests are our top priority! This is uppermost in our minds and how we approach all our negotiations with the adjusters, insurers and any counsel for the opposing party. While this is a new experience for you and your family, we deal with these legal issues day in and day out. We are familiar with the tactics they use and what they are and aren’t allowed to do. Our experienced team is skilled in negotiation and fully knowledgeable of California pedestrian accident law. All of these things benefit you when we take your case and pursue your claim.
Get A Free Case Review
To speak with on of our attorney about how The Ledger Law Firm can possibly represent you to recover losses as the result of a pedestrian accident please call us toll-free at (800) 300-0001, by email, or send us a message, using the Live Chat feature on our website.