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A Knowledgeable Pedestrian Accident Attorney Will Work Hard to Secure the Just Compensation You Deserve. 

Approximately 100,000 pedestrians are killed or injured by a negligent driver in the United States each year, and these accidents often irrevocably alter a person’s life. A pedestrian is any person walking or crossing streets, sidewalks or crosswalks. Drivers are instructed to exercise extreme caution around pedestrians, particularly in areas with heavy foot traffic. A driver who strikes a pedestrian as they are walking or crossing the street may, in some cases, be deemed negligent and held liable--especially if the driver were intoxicated or texting and driving. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s imperative to seek medical treatment immediately and consult an experienced pedestrian accident attorney. Your attorney will help you navigate any legal claims resulting from the accident.

Fact & Statistics Applicable to Pedestrian Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the following are true statements about pedestrian accidents in the United States:

  • In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes, which is 1 death every 88 minutes
  • In 2017, approximately 137,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash-related injuries
  • Per trip, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car crash than motor vehicle passengers
  • 47% of crashes that resulted in a pedestrian fatality involved alcohol consumption by either the pedestrian or driver of the motor vehicle 
  • 20% of children under the age of 15 killed in car crashes in 2017 were pedestrians
  • 20% of all pedestrians that died in a traffic crash in 2017 were aged 65 or older 
  • 10% of all pedestrian injuries in traffic crashes in 2017 were sustained by persons aged 65 or older

How Your Pedestrian Accident Attorney Will Work to Prove Fault

A number of safety measures and traffic laws are designed to protect pedestrians from motorists. Unfortunately, negligent drivers can sometimes fail to obey these crucial regulations, resulting in life-changing accidents. While pedestrians are instructed to be mindful when walking or crossing busy thoroughfares, a driver who fails to pay attention may not see the pedestrian until it’s too late to avoid an accident. 

It is important to note that fault is assessed by determining the facts around the accident. Such a determination will rely on key witness testimony and additional evidence signaling how and why the accident occurred. A pedestrian accident attorney can assist you in gathering evidence and building your case.

California Laws Applicable to Pedestrian Accidents

There are statutes that apply to the interaction of pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers, including those addressed below. For further explanation of these statutes, please speak with a skilled pedestrian accident attorney.

  • California Vehicle Code §21954(a) states that “every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.” This means that a pedestrian must yield the right-of-way in areas, not in a crosswalk. However, it must be read in conjunction with part (b).
  • California Vehicle Code §21954(b) states, in pertinent part, that “the provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.” In other words, even if a pedestrian is crossing a roadway in violation of the law, a motor vehicle driver is not allowed to hit the pedestrian if they can avoid doing so. Further explanation of this statute and whether it is applicable to a particular case can be addressed by a pedestrian accident attorney.
  • California Vehicle Code §21950 states that a “driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” This statute clearly gives pedestrians the right-of-way at crosswalks.

Damages in California Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents often result in physical and emotional trauma, staggering medical bills and lost wages. The severity of injuries can range from minor cuts, bruises or broken bones to serious medical issues that could impact the rest of your life. Victims of pedestrian accidents are entitled to seek damages to cover the costs incurred. Some potential claims include:

  • Lost wages and income
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Past and future medical bills
  • Future medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Wrongful death

Car approaches pedestrian crosswalk

What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident in California

If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s critical to seek medical attention immediately. A paramedic team should be called to the scene to avoid any unnecessary movement that may make your injuries worse. If you don’t need to visit the emergency room, you should at least schedule a visit with your primary care physician or visit Urgent Care to ensure that you don’t have any latent injuries like a concussion. It’s also crucial to call law enforcement who can assess the damage on the scene while speaking with anyone who witnessed the crash. Taking these steps will ensure that the facts of the accident are properly recorded so accident victims can easily recover for their losses. 

FAQs: Recovering Your Losses After a Pedestrian Accident

When Can You Seek Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident?

The laws that apply to pedestrian accidents are the same laws that apply to accidents between motor vehicles. If someone else (i.e. a negligent driver) is to blame for your injuries, you are entitled to seek just compensation under California law. From speeding to distracted driving, there are numerous forms of driver negligence, and a thorough investigation will reveal if you have a claim for damages.

Does Auto Insurance Cover Pedestrian Accidents?

Yes, auto insurance covers pedestrian accidents. If you were hit by a negligent driver, his or her policy should cover your accident-related losses. If the driver who hit you fled the scene, is uninsured, or only has minimal auto insurance coverage, then you may be able to file a claim under your auto insurance policy as well. Depending on the circumstances involved in your accident, the extent of your injuries, and the coverage available, you may be able to file a claim for medical payments(Med-Pay), uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, or both. You are covered under the UIM provisions of your policy even if you were no in your car at the time of an accident, including when you are a pedestrian. (In California, an insurance company cannot raise your rate or deem you uninsurable in the future for utilizing your UIM benefits and obtaining compensation from your UIM.)

Do You Need to Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?

Yes, if you were hit by a car, truck, van, SUV, motorcycle or scooter, it will be important for you to speak with a pedestrian accident attorney about your legal rights. Even if you are clearly entitled to insurance coverage, recovering your losses could still prove challenging. By working with an experienced attorney, you can make sure that you seek and secure the full compensation you deserve.

How Much Can You Recover for a Pedestrian Accident?

The amount you can recover after a pedestrian accident depends on the extent and effects of your injuries. Generally speaking, if the driver was at fault in your accident, you can seek full compensation for all of your accident-related losses. This includes both financial losses (i.e. medical bills and lost wages) and non-financial losses (i.e. pain and emotional trauma). At Banafshe Law Firm, we can use our experience to determine how much you are entitled to recover and fight for full compensation on your behalf.

What Can You Do to Maximize Your Financial Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident?

The best way to maximize your financial compensation is to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney right away. Not only is it important to investigate your accident promptly, but it will also be important for you to avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your recovery. Our attorneys can get to work on your case right away, and we can help you understand what mistakes you need to avoid.

What if the Insurance Company Says I Was At Fault?

Frequently, the insurance companies will attempt to deny coverage for pedestrian accidents by blaming victims for their own injuries. If the insurance companies accuse you of being at fault, you will need to rely on the advice and representation of an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to secure maximum compensation.  An experienced personal injury attorney will review the facts of your case, obtain evidence, locate witnesses and video of the collision to prove the adverse driver was at fault. 

Work With a Pedestrian Accident Attorney to Recover Compensation

An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can help recover compensation for any harm you’ve experienced after an accident. If you’ve been involved in an accident, reach out to an attorney to begin the process. A quick and efficient resolution will depend on having the right team in place. Reach out to us on our contact page or by calling toll free 1-800-789-8840.