Modesto Pedestrian Accident Lawyer


In 2013, approximately 4,735 pedestrians died, and another 66,000 injured were injured, in automobile accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This means that 14 percent of all traffic deaths and 3 percent of auto accident injuries involved pedestrians.

Those are startling statistics, especially when you consider that pedestrian accidents often involve catastrophic injuries for the person hit by a car, pickup truck, or SUV. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are becoming more frequent. For example, pedestrian deaths skyrocketed by roughly 10 percent in 2015, according to U.S. News & World Report. Some analysts attribute the increase in pedestrian accidents to the proliferation of cellphone use distracting both drivers and pedestrians. Four states — California, Florida, Texas, and New York — accounted for 42 percent of the pedestrian deaths in the first six months of 2015. California actually leads the nation in the number of pedestrian fatalities, according to the LA Times. This means that potentially hundreds of people in and around Modesto are suffering serious, permanent injuries or are losing their lives due to a pedestrian accident.

If you or a loved one was hit by a motor vehicle and suffered serious injuries, you need to contact a Modesto pedestrian accident lawyer sooner rather than later to discuss your legal options.

Filing a Pedestrian Accident Wrongful Death Claim

Only specific individuals listed in the California Code of Civil Procedure can file a wrongful death legal action in a Modesto civil court. The California Code lists the following as eligible people who may take this type of legal action on behalf of a deceased loved one:

  • The decedent’s surviving spouse or domestic partner;
  • The decedent’s child, or children;
  • If there is no living spouse or child, then the decedent’s parents (if living) may file a claim; or
  • The executor of the decedent’s estate.
Financial Restitution for Your Harms and Losses

In personal injury and wrongful death claims, two types of monetary damages can be recovered: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include medical bills stemming from the accident (both incurred and future medical expenses) and lost wages due to time missed from work due to the accident. If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident and are pursuing a wrongful death claim, economic damages would include funeral and burial costs and the value of the financial support lost by your loved one’s death (both current financial support and expected future financial support).

Noneconomic damages constitute pain and suffering damages. They are those harms and losses that do not fit neatly onto an Excel spreadsheet or billing invoice. Instead, they are those intangible harms such as waking up at night with throbbing headaches or other physical aches from your injury, missing out on family events and outings, not being to play ball with your child because you are unable to walk, or now have significant knee pain, and so forth.

Do Not Delay - Time Limit for Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim

Every state, including California, limits the amount of time an injured party (or the survivor of a decedent in a death case) has to file a civil claim in court against the reckless party. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case is two years from the date of your injury, according to California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1.

Basically, this means that if you do not file a lawsuit within this two-year period, a California court will likely throw your case out of court, and you will lose your right to pursue financial restitution from the at-fault party.

For a pedestrian accident wrongful death case, the statute of limitations is the same as a personal injury claim. You need to bring a wrongful death claim within two years from the date of your loved one’s death.

Burden of Proof in a Modesto Pedestrian Accident Case

Once your Modesto personal injury attorney files a lawsuit, you need to understand that the burden is on you (i.e., the plaintiff) to prove your case and show that the defendant was responsible for your injuries or your loved one’s death. There are specific legal elements that must be proven in court to prevail in your personal injury or wrongful death case. These elements include:

  • Duty of Care – You bear the burden of showing the defendant owed a duty of care to you or your deceased loved one. For example, if you were seriously injured while crossing the street and were hit by a car, you must show that the defendant had an obligation to obey certain rules of the road while operating their vehicle. For example, they were obligated to yielding at the crosswalk or stop at a stop sign. In most cases, this is a fairly easy element to satisfy since there are established regulations that all drivers must follow when operating a vehicle in California;
  • Breach of the Duty – You must show that the defendant breached the above-described duty of care. For example, there may be evidence that the driver was texting while driving in the case of an auto accident, which caused them not to see you or your loved one in the crosswalk. Or, they may have been intoxicated or driving at a high rate of speed. This evidence can be established through accident scene photographs, deposition testimony, accident reports, eyewitnesses, and so forth;
  • Causation – You must show that the breach of the duty by the defendant directly caused (i.e., proximately caused) your injuries or the death of your loved one.
Speak to a Modesto Pedestrian Accident Injury Lawyer Today

As you can see, multiple hurdles must be overcome to prevail in a pedestrian accident injury or wrongful death case. This is why you need an experienced and skilled Modesto personal injury lawyer to represent you. I am here to help you, and I have the litigation experience to get the compensation you and your family rightly deserve.

Modesto Pedestrian Accident Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto pedestrian accident lawyer. If you’ve been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, call us today at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 to schedule a free consultation at our Modesto office:

1015 12th Street, STE 7
Modesto, CA 95354

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See a list of our past cases on our verdicts and settlements page and our client reviews on AvvoYelp, Google.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 5.20.21]

Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

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Client Reviews
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.