Vallejo Pedestrian Accident Attorney (707) 564-1900
As a pedestrian, you have no physical protection from injury in a collision with a car or other vehicle. Even bicyclists, who are also largely unprotected, wear helmets that can protect their skulls from impact and reduce their chance of suffering from traumatic brain injuries. When you are walking down the sidewalk, in the shoulder of the roadway, or through a crosswalk, the only protections you have from an accident involving a motorist are the rules that govern the roadway and your trust that the motorists will follow these rules.
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, you can suffer severe, even life-threatening, injuries. These injuries can have a significant impact on your financial life, requiring you to miss weeks of work or even stop working altogether, receive expensive medical treatment, and potentially need disability aids or hired in-home help. If your accident was caused by another party's negligence, you should not have to shoulder these financial burdens alone. Consider filing and pursuing a personal injury claim to recover monetary compensation for these damages. As a personal injury attorney, I can discuss the elements of a personal injury claim with you, how each of these elements relates to your specific case, and how applicable California laws can play into your claim as well to give you a better understanding of what you can expect from the personal injury claim process.How You Can be Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident
There are many ways you can be hurt in a pedestrian accident. As discussed above, you do not have the protection of a metal chassis, a seat belt, or even a helmet when you are the pedestrian involved in an accident with a motorist. In 2013 and 2014, California led the nation in accidental pedestrian deaths.
Examples of injuries you can suffer as a result of a pedestrian accident include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputation Injuries
- Nerve damage
- Organ and tissue damage
These injuries can have complications that can cause severe pain or disability. A few examples of these complications include paralysis, paresis, scarring, and brain damage. Mental health complications can also arise following a pedestrian accident, such as depression and anxiety.Seek Immediate Medical Attention for your Pedestrian Injuries
After you are involved in a pedestrian accident, seek medical attention for your injury right away. Not only will prompt medical care improve your chance of making a full, timely recovery, but the record of having received prompt medical care is an important piece of evidence to use to support your personal injury claim.Supporting Your Claim for Damages
Other pieces of evidence you can use to support your claim include the bills for your follow-up treatment, pay stubs demonstrating the work you had to miss to recover, testimonies from witnesses who saw the accident, photographs of the accident and your injury, and the official police report for the accident. In some cases, it can also be beneficial to involve an outside professional, known as an expert witness, to provide testimony to support a personal injury claim. One example of this is having an accident reconstruction specialist create an animated replay of the accident.Elements of your Injury Claim
There are four elements to a personal injury claim:
- The duty to protect the victim. In a pedestrian accident, this is often the duty of a motorist to obey traffic laws and be aware of his or her surroundings;
- A breach of this duty. This is the moment that the motorist's negligence caused the accident to occur;
- The damages. These are the financial losses experienced by the victim as the direct result of the accident; and
- Proving the monetary value of the damages. As a victim, this means working with your lawyer to demonstrate your need for a specific amount of monetary compensation with the evidence you provide.
In California, it is possible for a victim to recover damages even if he or she was partially at fault for the accident. This is known as pure comparative negligence. There is no limit to recovering damages in a case like this – even if you are deemed to be 90 percent at fault for your accident, you can still recover a portion of the compensation that is deemed to be appropriate for your damages.Why You Should Work with an Experienced Pedestrian Injury Attorney to Pursue your Accident Claim
Your lawyer is your advocate. When you are recovering from a significant injury, it can be difficult to adeptly move through each step of the personal injury claim process. In fact, it can be quite easy to settle for a lower compensation amount than you actually need when you attempt to navigate the process on your own because unlike an experienced personal pedestrian injury attorney, you do not have the negotiation skills or leverage to reach a fair, appropriate settlement with the insurance provider involved in your claim.Check Client Testimonials and Ratings
Review any prospective lawyer's client testimonials and ratings on third party websites like Avvo.com, Yelp and Google Plus to determine whether he or she has a good reputation in the community. These rating platforms should not be used as substitutes for in-person meetings with each prospective attorney, though. Take the time to call and speak with each attorney you consider to determine if he or she is the right lawyer to handle your pedestrian injury or wrongful death claim.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury due to the negligence of someone else, please contact me at (707) 564-1900 for free and friendly advice.
Before you call, we invite you to take the time to read what my customers have to report about working with our law office. Check out our reviews here: Yelp, Avvo (an attorney ranking website), and Google Plus.
We are proud to be members in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Million Dollar Advocates are an association of top trial lawyers in the U.S. who have won multiple million dollar case settlements and verdicts for the clients they serve.
See our long track record of success on our past verdicts and settlements page.
Image Attribution: By Richard Drdul (Traffic Calming Flickr Photoset), via Wikimedia Commons