Rancho Cordova Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
In cities, towns, and rural communities throughout California, pedestrians walk around, enjoying the temperate climate and beautiful scenery. In addition, there are joggers, runners, hikers, and other people enjoying the outdoors or simply choosing a healthy alternative to get where they are going. This volume of pedestrians means there are bound to be negative incidents involving vehicles and individuals, especially when more people are distracted driving. Some of these accidents lead to serious injuries or fatalities. These accidents between cars and pedestrians may occur in a crosswalk, while a person is moving through an intersection or crossing a street outside a designated area, and even on the sidewalk. Children and adults over the age of 65 years frequently are harmed in pedestrian accidents.Why Pedestrian Accidents Happen
There are many reasons why these accidents happen, including:
- Distracted driving, where the driver was talking or texting on a cell phone, dealing with children in the backseat, or engaging in other actions that took their focus off the road
- Distracted walking
- Negligent or reckless driving that led to the driver failing to stop at a stop sign or red light
- Fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Under California law, a pedestrian has the right-of-way in designated crosswalks and other unmarked walking areas in an intersection. Hence, cars need to yield under these circumstances. See California Vehicle Code 21950(a). This means most or all of the fault usually will lie with the vehicle's driver that hits the pedestrian in an intersection.Types of Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident
A person who has been injured by a vehicle while on foot often suffers from severe injuries, which may include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal injuries, including severe injuries that result in paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Broken or fractured bones
- Internal organ damage and severe nerve damage
- Amputated limbs
- Permanent disfigurement
It is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible quickly as it becomes difficult to track down witnesses and document the elements of negligence with the passing time. Due to the severity of injuries in many cases, it is essential to build a solid case to recover the following damages:
- Funds to cover past, present, and future medical expenses – It is crucial to document all medical care from the accident to demonstrate the likelihood of future medical needs. Many people settle for what seems to be a reasonable amount, only to discover that the money does not even come close to covering associated medical expenses over many years.
- Payment for lost wages and the loss of future earnings and benefits – An injured person lost not just the money he would have earned for the accident but also the anticipated trajectory of their career and the benefits that would come with that progression.
- Compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other general damages.
- Punitive damages, but only in the rare cases where the defendant's actions were especially egregious.
In those tragic cases where a family has lost a loved one, a wrongful death case may be brought, through which the family may seek additional damages.
The video below explains the rules of the road and what pedestrians need to do to stay safe.Rancho Cordova Pedestrian Accident FAQ
Can I file a wrongful death claim if my loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident?
Yes. California law allows the decedent's surviving family members to pursue a wrongful death claim for damages such as medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of companionship. This applies to immediate family members like spouses, children, or parents. The rule states that if the decedent could have brought a claim against the negligent party had they survived the accident, then the next of kin are allowed to bring a wrongful death claim for the trauma that caused their death.
What should I do if the negligent driver does not have auto insurance?
If you are hurt in a pedestrian accident with a driver who does not have car insurance, you may file a claim under your own insurance if you have an uninsured motorist (UM) policy. You can recover the same damages as if you were pursuing a case against the negligent party. However, there are some requirements with UM claims, so it is best to talk to an experienced lawyer who can review your auto insurance policy and advise the best course of action.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Rancho Cordova, CA
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from an accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle, call our experienced Rancho Cordova pedestrian accident lawyers now at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
The Rancho Cordova pedestrian injury lawyers at the Edward A Smith Law Offices are ready to work for you immediately.
Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.28.22]