California weather makes going for walks in the neighborhood an everyday activity among residents. The state also has plenty of pedestrian walking throughout the many cities. However, anyone walking must always be aware of their surroundings. Unfortunately, it is all too common for drivers to strike walkers. If this happens to you, consider contacting a California pedestrian accident attorney. They can guide you through the process of obtaining financial compensation for your damages.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in California
Vehicles are one of the top causes of pedestrian accidents in California. Vehicle Code 21960 states that drivers must give the right-of-way to pedestrians in marked crosswalks and intersections. If a driver fails to yield and hits someone, they might be liable. Additionally, Vehicle Code 21709 makes it illegal for vehicles to drive in safety zones. Lawmakers set these zones aside for pedestrians with no motor vehicle traffic to reduce accidents.
However, even if the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk or a safety zone, drivers may still be liable if they acted negligently. Some examples include:
- Going around a school bus
- Running a stop sign
- Texting and driving
- Driving under the influence
Keep in mind that there might be instances where something other than a vehicle might be liable for a pedestrian accident. It may include another pedestrian, bicyclists, or unleashed animals.
What Should I Do If I’m in a Pedestrian Accident
The most important thing to do if someone knocks you over as a pedestrian is call 911, if necessary. Even if you feel fine, you should always seek medical attention. Similar to those in car accidents, injuries from a pedestrian accident might not show up until a few days, and some might not show any physical symptoms at all. Doctors can also diagnose any internal injuries. Ultimately, it is better to be safe than sorry.
You will want to obtain the name and contact information of the person who hit you at the accident scene. If it was a driver, make sure you also get their license plate number and insurance information.
One thing you should never do is admit fault. Out of habit, many people apologize immediately after an accident. Even saying “I’m sorry” can hurt your chances of obtaining a proper settlement.
Am I Able to Receive Compensation for My Losses?
You might have a personal injury claim if you were injured because of another person’s negligence. However, to recover damages, your attorney must prove that the other was negligent. There are three elements to negligence, and they are:
- The other party owed a duty of care to the pedestrian.
- They breached that duty through negligence.
- Their negligence was a substantial factor in causing the pedestrian’s injuries.
Generally, everyone owes a reasonable duty of care to others. Since pedestrians are more prone to severe injuries in an accident, drivers have a higher duty of care to keep them safe.
What Compensation Can I Receive for My Injuries?
The compensation you receive for a pedestrian accident will depend on your injuries and the facts surrounding the case. After thoroughly reviewing your case, a personal injury attorney might be able to recover the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy
- In-home rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
In some rare cases, a court may award you punitive damages. Judges use these when the amount of compensation is not enough to punish the defendant and as a way to deter similar behavior in the future.
Speak to a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved suffer injuries from a driver or another pedestrian, do not hesitate to contact Setareh Law. Our pedestrian injury attorneys are committed to seeking justice for those injured because of another’s negligence. We believe that every accident victim deserves the highest level of legal representation, which is why we sit one-on-one with all our clients to understand the accident better. Call (310) 659-1826 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.