Sacramento Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Insurance companies use many tactics to avoid paying out on injury claims. Insurance adjusters will try to deny a pedestrian who has suffered injuries the compensation they are entitled to by law. They may attempt to find evidence to support their narrative that you were to blame for the accident. They may suggest that you were not paying attention to where you were walking or that you carelessly darted between two cars. Dealing with the insurance company while trying to recover from your injuries can be overwhelming and frustrating. They will try to wear you down when you are at your most vulnerable. That is why we advise that you enlist the services of a skilled pedestrian attorney as soon after the accident as possible.Sacramento Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Our pedestrian injury attorneys are familiar with heartless insurance company tactics. You don't have to go through this alone. Let us help by countering their falsehoods with evidence about your case. We have the experience to investigate and prove your case. Additionally, we take the time to get to know you and understand how the injuries you suffered have impacted your life. This helps us to be better advocates in the fight for the compensation that is owed to you. After the proper evidence is gathered, we will file a claim against the negligent driver to recover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The Sacramento injury attorneys at AutoAccident.com have been assisting clients with pedestrian accident cases since 1982. To speak with one of our lawyers today, call (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice on moving forward with a personal injury claim.
We offer a no-obligation consultation. Additionally, you pay no fees upfront. Attorney fees are paid only if we win your case.The Unique Nature of Pedestrian Injury Cases
Pedestrian accidents are some of the most serious traffic incidents that can occur. They often cause catastrophic injuries. Pedestrians lack any protection whatsoever, making them especially vulnerable to major injuries when struck by a motor vehicle. Even a car traveling at a relatively slow speed can cause catastrophic harm to a pedestrian due to the disparity in mass between a human and a vehicle. Leg fractures are pretty common in pedestrian accidents due to the position of the vehicle's bumper at the moment of impact. Internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries are also often seen in these types of accidents.Study on Pedestrian Accidents
An interesting study conducted in Austin, Texas, revealed that by far the most common scenario in which a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle is while crossing a street, both outside of and within a crosswalk. The most frequent driver-related factor was a failure to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian.
These results clearly highlight the importance of taking great care whenever crossing a roadway. It is never safe to assume that merely being in a crosswalk provides protection or to assume that a driver even sees a pedestrian, particularly at night.Pedestrian Accidents are On the Rise
Partly because there are more people in California walking to get around, the number of pedestrian accidents and fatalities grows. The California Office of Traffic Safety keeps track of pedestrian injuries and fatalities on our state’s roadways. The agency has expressed concern that the problem is approaching crisis proportions.
- The number of pedestrians killed on California roads in 2018 (893) was 26% higher than in 2014.
- There were more than 14,000 pedestrians that suffered injuries in road accidents in 2018.
- Between 2009 and 2018, there were close to 7,500 pedestrian fatalities in California.
- The pedestrian death rate in California is nearly 25% higher than the nation's average.
- California leads the country in pedestrian fatalities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides a variety of pedestrian safety information. Due to their tendency to be inattentive to traffic, children are at particular risk of being injured in vehicle versus pedestrian accidents. More pedestrian safety information is available through the U.S. Department of Transportation: Pedestrian Safety Roadshow.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you travel on foot:
- Increase your visibility by wearing bright clothing and carrying a light if you walk at night.
- Whenever possible, stay on the sidewalk.
- Do not walk while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Assume drivers do not see you. Make eye contact with motorists.
- Ditch the distractions - do not look at your phone and listen to loud music with earbuds.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals and look in all directions before you begin to cross a street.
Watch the YouTube video below from AAA for more information on pedestrian safety.California Law on Pedestrian Accidents
Here are the four most common ways in which pedestrians are injured in California:
- The driver is making a left or right turn.
- The driver is reversing/backing up.
- The driver is making a U-turn.
- The driver is distracted by activities such as texting, using cell phones, or putting on makeup.
Every motor vehicle operator must keep a proper lookout and pay attention to the roadway in front of him. This includes looking out for pedestrians. (Johnson v. Johnson (1948) 84 Cal. App. 2nd 271).The Motorist has a Greater Duty of Care Than the Pedestrian
Everyone has a duty of care, but courts in California have long recognized that the danger posed by a 4,000-plus-pound vehicle is much greater than that posed by a pedestrian. As such, a greater duty of care is owed by the driver of the vehicle. Here are some other things a driver should always consider when navigating areas with pedestrians:
- When driving in an area where children are frequently present, a driver has an even greater duty of care.
- A driver must always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
- Even if a pedestrian is outside a crosswalk, a driver has a high duty of care to look out for them.
- Use extra caution when reversing. Pedestrians, and tiny children, can move unseen into your path.
- Drive at a safe speed, and do not use your phone while driving.
- Never drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Use special care to notice pedestrians in conditions of decreased visibility, such as in bad weather or at night.
- If a driver stops to allow a pedestrian to cross at an intersection, no other vehicle can overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
Even when a pedestrian is struck by a hit and run or uninsured driver, if the pedestrian has valid uninsured motorist coverage on his own vehicle or another vehicle owned by a person in the pedestrian’s household, the pedestrian will likely be covered by that insurance policy.Sacramento Pedestrian Accident FAQ
What damages are recoverable in a pedestrian accident claim?
The various damages that can be recoverable in a pedestrian accident claim include:
- Medical expenses for the injuries suffered in the accident, including future medical expenses for additional care ordered by a physician
- Lost income and loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
If applicable, a spouse may be entitled to loss of consortium damages due to the adverse effect the injuries had on the marital relationship.
I was injured in a pedestrian accident, can I sue anyone other than the driver who hit me?
If another party or entity contributed to your accident, then you may be able to bring a lawsuit against that party in addition to the motorist. For example, if the driver who hit you recently had his brakes repaired, but they were not fixed properly, and it could be shown that malfunctioning brakes caused the accident, you could file a claim against the auto shop. If the driver that hit you was on the job at the time of the incident, you could bring a claim against their employer.
Can I still file a personal injury claim if an uninsured motorist hits me?
Yes. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident by an uninsured motorist, you might file a claim with your own insurance company for compensation for your injuries. Additionally, if you were struck by a negligent driver who has paid you the full amount of their policy and it was not enough money to cover your damages, you will be able to make an underinsured motorist claim with your own insured. This is only the case if you have uninsured/underinsured coverage in a greater amount than the negligent driver’s liability coverage.
Insurance issues can often be confusing and frustrating. This is one of the many reasons we always recommend consulting with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer.
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