Martinez Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Walking is an excellent exercise as it can maintain or improve your overall health and well-being. The greater the distance, frequency, and pace you walk, the higher the benefits you will receive. However, walking may be dangerous as careless or reckless drivers have made car vs. pedestrian accidents more common across California. People walking around the city of Martinez may face the risk of getting hurt by a negligent driver and find themselves in a world of physical pain and emotional anguish. The unfortunate reality is that such crashes often involve young children and the elderly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fortunately for anyone who might find themselves in such a situation in the future, there may be legal recourse available.
If you have suffered injuries in a crash while walking, an experienced Martinez pedestrian accident lawyer from our law firm can help you seek the compensation you need to put the situation behind you. Get started today with free, friendly case advice by calling (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400.
In a motor vehicle collision, a pedestrian is vulnerable as they do not have a car frame, airbags, and seatbelts to protect them from harm’s way. This is the reason why most pedestrian accidents result in serious injuries or even death to those involved. No injured party or family of a decedent should be left to deal with the aftermath of the traumatic incident caused by someone else’s negligence. At AutoAccident.com, we have represented injured parties and families throughout California since 1982. We understand the physical pain and emotional suffering that comes with accident-related injuries and will do everything we can to recover the fair compensation you need to move forward. If you were a pedestrian, who was recently struck by a vehicle in Martinez or elsewhere in Contra Costa County, contact our legal team for free, friendly advice on your case.What are the Common Reasons for Car vs. Pedestrian Crashes?
Driver negligence is often the root cause of accidents between motor vehicles and pedestrians. Following is a list of the common types of reckless driving behaviors that may impose dangers to those walking:
- Driving above the posted speed limit or too fast for weather and traffic conditions
- Taking turns at high speeds without watching for people on foot
- Failure to come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
- Not stopping at a marked crosswalk
- Texting and talking on a cell phone
Most crashes are preventable, and those responsible for the incident may be held liable for their wrongdoing through a civil case. Discuss your options for financial recovery with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Martinez.Importance of Evidence in a Pedestrian Accident Case
A bodily injury claim or wrongful death action will only be strong as the evidence that is provided. Through an independent investigation of the incident, a Martinez pedestrian accident attorney will gather and preserve evidence that is crucial to connecting the accident with the resulting trauma and damages. Clear and compelling evidence is key to the successful outcome of a case in insurance negotiations or in the courtroom. Evidence in a pedestrian accident case may include but is not limited to:
- Traffic incident reports and photos of the damage to the vehicle from the crash
- Video surveillance of the incident from buildings in the area
- Medical records and treatment costs
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Images of physical injuries
- Expert witness testimony
When liability is disputed in a case, an injury lawyer may work with an accident reconstruction expert to determine the sequence of events leading up to the collision and identify who was responsible for the crash. A skilled expert will also work to determine whether a road defect may have played a role in the pedestrian accident.Is There Enough Insurance to Cover Accident-Related Injuries?
In California, all motorists must carry bodily injury liability coverage limits of at least $15,000 per individual and $30,000 per collision. Drivers are also expected to have at least $5,000 in liability coverage for property damage. Given the severity of injuries from pedestrian crashes, medical expenses alone may exceed the state minimum auto insurance limits if that is what the at-fault party carries. This may put a pedestrian in a financial predicament, especially when dealing with serious injuries.
Fortunately, injured parties may have recourse through underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). This type of benefit may come into effect and pay for losses not fully covered by the other side’s policy up to the limits of the plan. The best part about UM and UIM coverage is that it may extend protection to other members of a household. This is possible so long as the claimant is not excluded from the policy. For more information on this type of auto insurance coverage and how it may apply to your case, reach out to an experienced Martinez pedestrian accident lawyer today.Does Insurance Cover Pedestrians Injured in Hit-and-Run Accidents?
The driver responsible for causing bodily injury to a pedestrian is generally liable for resulting losses. Their insurance company typically pays for economic and non-economic damages. In a situation where the motorist fled the scene, the pedestrian may be unsure if they will be compensated for their traumatic injuries and losses, particularly if the suspect driver is never located. UM coverage is beneficial to carry as it not only covers damages caused by a driver without liability insurance but also extends protection to those injured in a hit-and-run accident. Remember that substantial evidence must be gathered and presented in an uninsured motorist claim to establish that the other party’s vehicle made contact with the claimant and that their injuries were a direct result of the hit-and-run.What is the Time Limit for a Pedestrian Accident Case?
A wide array of laws governs personal injury cases in California, and the statute of limitations is one of many of them. This refers to the filing deadline that must be met if a settlement has not been accepted within the specified time period. Failure to comply with the statute of limitations that applies to the claim may result in the court dismissing the case. This may result in the loss of the right to take legal action against the other side for damages incurred.
Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, a claimant only has two years to file a case in civil court. This also applies to wrongful death claims arising from accidents caused by negligence. This means that an investigation of the incident, collection of evidence to support the case, and filing of the lawsuit in civil court must be done within two years of the crash date.
Some rare circumstances may have a considerable impact on the statute of limitations, one of which includes the involvement of government entities. In such situations, a claimant is required to file a notice of claim within six months of the date of loss, as stated in the California Government Code Section 911.2. Once the public agency has received the notice, the government entity has 45 days to respond to the claim in writing. If a claimant receives a letter of rejection, they have six months from the date of the denial letter being mailed to file in court.
Another circumstance that would affect the statute of limitations in a case would be one involving a minor child. It may be suspended or tolled in these situations until the injured party turns 18-years-old. From the date of their 18th birthday, a claimant has two years to file a lawsuit in civil court if a settlement agreement is not reached with the other side within that period. The statute of limitations applicable to an injury case is one of the many reasons why you should not delay in retaining legal counsel. For information on how to select the best accident attorney in your area to discuss your case, watch this video.Do You Need a Lawyer After a Car vs. Pedestrian Collision?
Retaining legal counsel is essential after getting injured in a traffic collision while walking. The insurance company representing the other side may resort to defense tactics to get out of providing fair compensation to the injured pedestrian. Since California follows a system of comparative fault, it is a good idea to have an injury lawyer protecting you and looking out for your best interests.
Using evidence gathered at the scene, medical records, and testimony from expert witnesses, a top Martinez pedestrian accident lawyer can help determine fault in the incident. This way, liability is not unfairly split among all involved parties. To put this into perspective, if a pedestrian was deemed 30 percent liable for a crash, they would only be entitled to 70 percent of the total amount of compensation awarded. To prevent the other side from unfairly shifting fault onto you and protect your right to a fair financial recovery, it is best to work with the best attorney in your area who can make that possible.Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Martinez, CA Today
A crash between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian has the potential to result in some of the most catastrophic injuries on the spectrum. As an injured pedestrian, you should not be left behind to bear the emotional, financial, and physical consequences resulting from the incident. At AutoAccident.com, our team of experienced injury lawyers is here to help you understand your rights as a claimant, potential challenges that may arise during the legal process, and what to expect from your case moving forward. Unlike the other side, we want to make sure that you are fairly compensated for your accident-related injuries and damages incurred. Get started on your case today by scheduling a meeting for free, friendly advice at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400.
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