Pedestrian Rights in a Crosswalk
In both marked and unmarked crosswalks, California pedestrians have the legal right of way. When a driver approaches a designated crosswalk, they must reduce their speed, take the proper precautions, and watch out for pedestrians. When they fail to do so and a pedestrian accident occurs, the injured pedestrian can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
If you or someone you care about suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, it is imperative that you retain an experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorney to represent you in your case as soon as possible. Your lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine your eligibility for recovering damages. If you are eligible to file a claim, your lawyer can engage the appropriate insurance company, file a claim on your behalf, and begin negotiating a fair settlement offer. If the adjuster refuses to compensate you reasonably, your lawyer may file a lawsuit in the state court system and litigate your case to a conclusion.
Throughout your case, your lawyer can also help you make positive decisions that will increase your chances of recovering favorable monetary compensation.
Causes of Pedestrian Crashes
Pedestrian accidents usually happen when drivers are careless and reckless in their vehicles – especially near crosswalks at busy traffic intersections. In most instances, these crashes happen when drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at the appropriate time. In other instances, they happen when drivers speed and operate their vehicles recklessly. Finally, some pedestrian crashes happen when drivers fail to watch the road or operate their vehicles while intoxicated. An intoxicated driver is usually one who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent.
Common Pedestrian Injuries
In a crosswalk accident, pedestrians are at a severe disadvantage. Unlike motor vehicles occupants, they do not have a thick outer shell surrounding them in the event of a crash. When a car strikes them, the force of impact may cause them to fall to the ground and suffer serious injuries. Some of the most common injuries that pedestrian accident victims suffer include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic head injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
If you suffered any of these injuries after your accident, you should go to a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility right away. The medical provider on duty can order the necessary MRIs, CAT scans, and x-rays, to determine your medical condition. The doctor can also render emergency assistance, and if necessary, make recommendations for future medical care. For example, you may need to follow up with your family doctor – or with a physical therapist, orthopedist, or neurologist, for treatment.
Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim
When a driver violates a rule of the road or some other regulation – and they negligently cause a pedestrian accident – both they and their insurance companies may be responsible for the resulting damages. Therefore, after a pedestrian accident, the victim or their lawyer may file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer.
When filing a claim, the accident victim’s lawyer will typically include copies of all relevant medical records, medical bills, lost wage documents, property damage photographs, injury photographs, and a victim impact statement. The adjuster will review all of this information and decide whether to accept fault for the accident. If the insurance company accepts liability, settlement negotiations may begin between the adjuster and the accident victim’s lawyer.
Most settlement offers from insurance companies are extremely low. Therefore, your lawyer will likely need to negotiate with the adjuster several times. If the adjuster increases their offer and the case eventually settles, a lawsuit will not be necessary. However, if the adjuster refuses to increase their offer appropriately, the accident victim’s lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and begin the litigation process.
Injured pedestrians may be eligible to recover various damages, depending upon the extent of their injuries, their medical treatment, and related medical costs. Since every personal injury case is different, one pedestrian accident victim may recover more or less compensation than another victim. Common damages that pedestrian accident victims recover include compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, humiliation, permanent disability, loss of earning capacity, loss of the ability to use a body part, lost quality of life, and loss of spousal companionship.
Your lawyer can help you maximize your damages by highlighting the strengths of your accident case, while downplaying any weaknesses. Your attorney can also give you a realistic settlement or jury verdict range for your pedestrian accident claim or lawsuit.
Call an Experienced California Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
If you recently suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, it is important that you have knowledgeable legal counsel on your side right away. Your attorney can help you gather the necessary claim documents, file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf, and pursue the monetary damages you deserve for your accident-related injuries.