Roseville Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Despite its sunshine and abundance of parks like Roseville’s own Maidu Park and Olympus Park, being a pedestrian in California is dangerous. According to 2020 statistical data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), California is the 11th state with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities with 986 deaths.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries from getting hit by a vehicle while walking in Placer County, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call our pedestrian injury attorneys from Roseville at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for a free consultation.National Statistics on Car vs. Pedestrian Accidents
A report by the Governors Highway Safety Association stated that 700 pedestrians killed by motor vehicles in 2014. This number is essentially unchanged from 2013, in which there were 701 pedestrians killed. About 4,735 pedestrians nationwide died in 2013, and approximately the same number were killed in 2014. About 11 percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide are pedestrians, but that number is 23 percent in California.
Even if a collision between a pedestrian and a car does not kill the pedestrian, the walker can be left with catastrophic injuries that can affect the pedestrian for the rest of their life. Medical payments and other expenses can easily reach thousands of dollars throughout the pedestrian’s lifetime. This makes it essential that injured parties seek compensation for losses through a personal injury lawsuit.Pedestrian Accidents and Resulting Injuries
There is no single “type” of a pedestrian collision, and, hence, injuries sustained in one car vs. pedestrian crash can differ markedly from those suffered in another accident. To make matters worse, if the pedestrian suffers a traumatic brain injury, they may be unable to recall precisely how they were struck – or even that they were struck – making it challenging to establish fault and hold the party responsible for hitting the pedestrian accountable their actions.
Fortunately, the best pedestrian accident attorney from Roseville can examine the claimant’s injuries and the damage to the motor vehicle involved. The injury lawyer will use this information to help prove their client’s case. Most pedestrian collisions will damage the pedestrian’s hips and/or legs as this is usually the first point of impact in any pedestrian collision (the location of the damage may be able to tell the angle at which the pedestrian was struck).
After the initial impact, a pedestrian may be:
- Projected or thrown forward in front of the car. This usually occurs when the motorist slams on their brakes but still hits the pedestrian. The vehicle's momentum is transferred to the pedestrian, sent “flying” several feet in front of the car. The speed at which the pedestrian is struck will dictate the pedestrian's projected distance. In addition to the hip/leg injuries previously mentioned, this type of pedestrian strike can cause traumatic brain injury, spine and neck injuries, internal injuries, and road rash/severe abrasions if the pedestrian slides or skids across the pavement. Damage to the striking vehicle is usually limited to the point of the first impact.
- Rolled under the vehicle. This type of pedestrian strike typically happens because the motorist did not slow down or slow down sufficiently before striking the pedestrian. Instead of being projected forward after impact, the pedestrian is caught and rolled underneath the car. This can be fatal to the pedestrian, depending on the facts and circumstances of the strike. This type of collision can result in crushing injuries and internal injuries to the pedestrian. The undercarriage of the car may also be damaged, and blood or organic matter may be found near the vehicle's bumper.
- Thrown over the car. In this third type of pedestrian collision, the pedestrian is initially struck by the vehicle and then is rolled over the top of the car, landing someplace behind the vehicle. Like “roll-under” crashes, these collisions typically occur when the striking vehicle moves too fast. The pedestrian is then thrown onto the car's hood (or the trunk if the car is moving in reverse) and rolls onto the opposite end of the vehicle. This can cause cuts and lacerations to the pedestrian if they are cut by the windshield and can result in broken bones, spine and neck injuries, and/or traumatic brain injuries depending on how they land after being hit. One expects to find damage to the car’s bumper, hood, and windshield, with the more severe damage being on the same end that first hit the pedestrian.
The National Geographic video below shows what happens during a pedestrian vs. car accident by experimenting with a crash test dummy.Leading Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Despite massive efforts by state and national government agencies to bring awareness to pedestrian accident issues, the rate at which they are occurring has not diminished much in recent years. Risky and careless behaviors by motorists can be blamed for some of these collisions. Such behavior includes:
- Driving while distracted by a phone call, text message, the radio, other passengers, or any other distraction causes the driver to take their attention and focus off the road.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impair the senses and result in the driver needing more time to notice hazards like pedestrians and take steps to avoid a collision.
- Speeding too fast for road or weather conditions (not slowing down in heavy traffic, night, or poor visibility).
- Disobeying traffic control signs or signals, such as running red lights or stop signs.
- Other careless behavior.
What are punitive damages in a pedestrian accident case?
Punitive damages are meant to punish a driver for reprehensible behavior and dissuade other individuals from engaging in similar conduct. Punitive damages are one way that injured pedestrians, and their families may feel that “justice is served” after a pedestrian crash.
Your Roseville pedestrian accident lawyer can advise you regarding the nature of the compensation you might be able to recover through a personal injury lawsuit, including whether punitive damages are likely available in your case.
Why do I need an attorney for my pedestrian injury case?
Conventional wisdom might tell you that a pedestrian always has the right of way. This is not always true, as a pedestrian can be found to have contributed to their own injuries through careless or negligent conduct (such as disobeying a crosswalk control signal or crossing the street at a place other than a marked crosswalk). This can result in a reduction of the damages awarded to the pedestrian.
Can I file an injury claim without an attorney?
Yes, you can file a lawsuit on your own, and without a lawyer, however, it is not recommended. Your best chance of successfully recovering maximum compensation for your damages is to work with an experienced accident attorney. If you handle your own case, you will be held to the same standards and must follow the same formalities as an attorney.
Any mistakes you make or deadlines you miss could completely unravel your case, even if you think it is an open and shut case. It is important to have an experienced Roseville pedestrian injury attorney guide you through the legal process. If your case happens to go to court in Placer County, your attorney can help prepare your personal injury lawsuit.
An experienced Roseville pedestrian injury lawyer could help you seek maximum compensation for your losses if you were hit by a car while walking. To learn more, call our law firm to receive free, friendly advice from one of our attorneys at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 today.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 10.20.22]
Photo by sunnivalode97 on pixabay [cs 1308]