El Dorado Hills Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian vs. auto accidents occurs with unfortunate frequency in El Dorado Hills and in California in general. According to the Los Angeles Times, California ranked highest in the country for the number of pedestrian fatalities. According to findings from the Governors Highway Safety Association, approximately 700 pedestrians passed away in motor vehicle incidents in California in the year 2014.
Nationally, the data is not much better. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 5,000 pedestrians died in traffic collisions in 2015, and over 100,000 victims were treated at hospitals for injuries. If that was not bad enough, pedestrians were over 50 percent more likely to be killed in a collision than in an accident involving two vehicles.
In a pedestrian collision, extensive injuries can occur even where the offending vehicle was moving at a low speed. The simple reality is that as resilient as the human body can be, it cannot withstand the full force of impact from a vehicle weighing more than five thousand pounds.Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
In many instances, the cause of a collision between a driver and a pedestrian is some form of negligent action, or inaction, by the driver. Sidewalk and crosswalk accidents can happen easily if, for example, a driver is texting or not watching the road. Even taking a relaxing early-morning jog or walking in a designated crosswalk can expose you to harm by a reckless driver. Common causes of car versus pedestrian accidents include:
- The driver was distracted (e.g., texting and driving)
- The driver was drunk or on drugs (e.g., opioids, meth, etc.)
- The driver failed to yield to you at a designated crosswalk
- The driver ran a red light
In some instances, the driver mistakenly believes that a pedestrian needs to yield to them. This is not accurate at all. In fact, according to California Vehicle Code § 21950, a driver of a vehicle is legally obligated to yield the right-of-way to someone who is attempting to cross a roadway within a designated crosswalk. Drivers also have a duty to exercise due care and reduce their speed or take other necessary precautions to ensure they do not collide with the pedestrian. Basically, this means if you or a loved one was hit by a car while you were crossing at a designated crosswalk, the driver could probably be held liable for your harm and losses.
The following video discusses how drivers and pedestrians can work together to make the roads safer.High Medical Bills
As mentioned, in roughly half the accidents where a car hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian dies. That does not mean the other half walks away unscathed. In fact, many pedestrians suffer serious, debilitating injuries such as fractured bones, a traumatic brain injury or related head trauma, paralysis, nerve damage, and loss of limbs. The treatment for these injuries can be quite expensive since you will likely require months of rehabilitative care, surgeries, medication, and so forth.
The medical bills stemming from your pedestrian accident can be recovered through a personal injury claim filed against the reckless driver’s auto insurance policy. Future anticipated medical expenses are also recoverable. In addition, the other types of harms and losses that qualify for financial recovery through a personal injury claim include the following:
Loss of Income and Earning Capacity: Permanent or temporary disability after an accident can result in you having to miss work. Sometimes you may be unable to return to your type of profession due to your pedestrian accident injuries.
Pain and Suffering: Injuries from accidents hurt. Thankfully, California Law allows injured individuals to recover damages associated with the difficulty and hardship of surviving a pedestrian accident.
Emotional Distress: Pedestrian versus car accidents can be very traumatic incidents. Sometimes people experience loss of sleep, psychiatric trauma, and recurrent nightmares. Damages for emotional injuries can be obtained.
Punitive Damages: In extreme pedestrian accident cases where an incident happened because of an intentional act or through gross negligence, it may even be possible to recover additional damages.
In some cases, liability is contested, and the irresponsible driver points the finger back at you, claiming you were also negligent. If you find yourself in this situation, do not worry. California adheres to a comparative negligence standard for personal injury cases. Basically, comparative negligence is a legal standard for assessing situations where there is evidence that both the plaintiff and defendant were partially at fault for the accident.