Galt Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Galt pedestrian accident lawyer. Many of us love walking for exercise and pleasure. However, no matter how careful we are as pedestrians, there is always the risk of an accident. Any collision with a motor vehicle can result in catastrophic injuries for a walker due to their lack of physical protection. Some of these may include cervical sprain, bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries, chest trauma, spinal cord injuries, and dental damage. Regaining motor skill and other faculties after suffering a pedestrian injury can result in extended hospital stays and prolonged periods of recovery.Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Severe accidents between pedestrians and motorists occur frequently. Pedestrian accident deaths account for 16 percent of traffic collision fatalities and have increased nearly 50 percent since reaching their low point in 2009. The rate of deaths among pedestrians in motor vehicle accidents is highest among those over the age of 70. Conversely, most pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas.Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian and road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Walkers and drivers must exercise due caution both on and off the road. However, not all drivers respect a pedestrian’s right-of-way. When a pedestrian crash occurs due to driver error, the motorist may be held financially responsible for the incident. Some of the ways a driver may be found negligent in a collision include:
- Aggressive driving can include a number of reckless driving behaviors such as disobeying traffic laws, speeding and weaving in and out of traffic
- Any distractions that take the driver’s attention from the road such as texting or talking on a cell phone, adjusting the radio, or applying makeup
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can adversely affect a driver's judgment and reaction time
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian at a designated crosswalk
- Failure to watch for pedestrians in the road, parking lots, and driveways
- Fatigued driving is not commonly involved in a pedestrian collision but occurs when the driver dozes off or falls asleep at the wheel due to insufficient rest
- Not looking for walkers when making left, right or U-turns
- Passing a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk for a pedestrian
- Poor weather conditions
- Running a traffic sign or red light
- Speeding or driving too fast for weather or road conditions
Accidents with motor vehicles may sometimes be attributable to pedestrian behavior. Like drivers, pedestrians have a duty of care while walking to avoid traffic collisions. Some pedestrian safety tips include:
- Avoid using earbuds to talk on a cell phone or listen to music
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times
- Before crossing, make sure you are not hidden by buses, hedges or parked vehicles
- Carry a flashlight when walking at night
- Do not walk while impaired
- Follow the rules of the road
- Keep an eye out for a car that is backing up or turning as some drivers may not be paying attention
- Look both ways before crossing, even if a crosswalk light indicates you can cross
- Walk facing traffic and as far from the road as possible when a sidewalk is not available
- Wear bright-colored or reflective clothing
- When waiting for a bus, stand as far away from the curb as possible
Watch YouTube Video: For more useful tips on how to stay safe on the road, watch the following video.Determining Liability for a Pedestrian Injury
As with any pedestrian injury case, it is critical to determine who is to blame for the accident and to what degree. This can be done by gathering photographs of the scene, witness statements, and video evidence of a pedestrian collision. An injury lawyer who is experienced in handling pedestrian accident cases knows that drivers often attempt to shift fault to a walker. In a comparative fault state like California, the extent of fault assigned to the pedestrian can significantly reduce the amount of compensation they would be entitled to otherwise. For instance, if a walker is 20 percent at fault for an accident, he or she would be only able to recover 80 percent of the compensation awarded. Since there may be other factors involved in an accident such as road defects, contacting an experienced pedestrian injury lawyer in Galt is essential. An injury attorney can evaluate your case to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve and prevent liable parties from falsely pinpointing fault to you.Recoverable Damages in a Pedestrian Injury Claim
As a pedestrian hit by a negligent driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages. Some of the damages you may be able to recover are as follows:
- Disfigurement: Pedestrian accidents are among the many different incidences that can result in permanent disfigurement or scarring. It can serve as a constant reminder of the collision for the injured party. This can lead to significant emotional suffering and mental anguish. An injured pedestrian may be able to recover damages for the humiliation and embarrassment related to that disfigurement as well as costs of cosmetic surgery.
- Emotional Distress: Car versus pedestrian accidents can be traumatic for all involved. Sometimes people experience psychiatric trauma, lack of sleep, and recurrent nightmares.
- Loss of Consortium: A debilitating injury from an accident can cause damage to a marital relationship. When this happens, the injured party and/or his or her spouse may recover for the inability to conceive children, sexual dysfunction or impairment, and loss of love, companionship, and affection.
- Medical Expenses: The treatment for pedestrian injuries can be quite expensive. This is due to the months of rehabilitation, medication, surgeries, and so forth. The past and future medical bills resulting from a pedestrian crash are recoverable.
- Pain and Suffering: Noneconomic damages are those due to pain and suffering. These vary largely on how the accident impacted the injured party. There is no concrete way of calculating the value and proving the degree of pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney can help prove the effects of pain and suffering by presenting medical expert witness testimonies that show the physical and emotional impact of the injury.
- Punitive Damages: When a pedestrian occurs through gross negligence or due to an intentional act, it may be possible to seek additional damages from the at-fault party.
- Wage Loss: A pedestrian is entitled to recover the loss of earnings suffered by his or her injuries. All wages, bonuses, commissions, and other earnings may be recovered. If the pedestrian injury causes permanent limitations on a person's ability to earn wages, he or she may be able to recover the value of future wage loss. An economist is often needed to calculate the amount of lost earning power for an injured pedestrian over the remainder of his or her working years.
- Wrongful Death: When a loved one is lost in a pedestrian crash, the surviving family members of the decedent may be entitled to damages for the wrongful death of their loved one. By filing a wrongful death claim, this can provide financial relief for a family in their time of loss. This includes covering a family member's end-of-life medical expenses, costs of a funeral and burial, loss of benefits, household services, and income for the household, and other related losses.
Time is of the essence in a pedestrian accident case. An injured pedestrian only has two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim. This also applies to wrongful death cases. If government negligence is involved, this deadline is reduced to six months or 180 days from the date of loss. If you wait to file after the deadline, it is likely that your case will be dismissed by the court.Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Galt Pedestrian Accident Attorney
No matter how careful a pedestrian is, the road is full of uncertainty. Anyone suffering a pedestrian injury or wrongful death following an accident should contact an experienced attorney. The sooner a law firm is contacted, the sooner the investigators and team of attorneys can start building a strong case for resulting damages. This way, the attorney can protect the pedestrian's right to fair compensation.Pedestrian Injury FAQs
Q: Who will pay for my medical bills?
Medical bills from a pedestrian accident should be covered by the insurance policy of the responsible driver. However, these may not be paid until the case is resolved. Since this can take months or years, it may be best to go through your own health insurance. However, most health insurance plans have co-pays and deductibles. Your medical payments coverage under your automobile insurance policy may be used to cover these expenses until the policy limits are exhausted and/or exceeds the time limit. If you do not have either of these coverages, it is essential to consult with an experienced pedestrian injury attorney in Galt to see what your options are.
Q: I was injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a hit and run driver? What are my options for recovering compensation for my damages?
Payment for pedestrian injury damages incurred in a hit and run accident may be received through your own car insurance policy. This is only possible if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist protection or live with someone who does so long as you are not excluded from the policy. This type of coverage protects those injured in a car wreck caused by a motorist who leaves the scene, has insufficient insurance policy limits, or no liability insurance.
Q: How do I pay for a personal injury lawyer in a pedestrian accident case?
Most injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that no fees will be required to be paid upfront. A fee is only due if you receive a favorable outcome on your case.Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Galt
I’m Ed Smith, a pedestrian accident attorney in Galt. Pedestrian accidents can cause serious injuries to those involved. In other cases, they may claim the life of someone you love. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident caused by the fault of a negligent driver or entity, please call me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 to receive my free, friendly advice.
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