Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Like all major cities in California, Los Angeles has seen a troubling increase in pedestrian accidents and deaths in recent years. Speeding, smartphones, and more vehicles on the road are just a few reasons for this spike in pedestrian injuries. When pedestrians are involved in an accident, they will typically suffer catastrophic injuries. In many cases, these accidents are fatal. These serious injuries require extensive medical treatment, lost income, and a long recovery time for accident victims. All of these losses do not even take into consideration the mental toll an accident will take on a pedestrian.
Pedestrian accidents always have the potential to be devastating, and people do not always know what to do afterward. If you have been injured, you likely have the right to file a claim against the negligent, or careless, party who hurt you. At Personal Injury Legal Group, our skilled attorneys can help you receive the fair settlement you are entitled to.
What Laws Protect Pedestrians in California?
Fortunately, there are many laws in California that protect pedestrians. Under state law, drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when they are crossing a road within any marked crosswalk, regardless of whether the crosswalk is situated at an intersection or not. The law also states that pedestrians cannot suddenly leave a place of safety, such as a curb, and walk into the path of a vehicle that is close enough to constitute an immediate risk.
Although the law may seem fairly straightforward, that is not always the case. For example, insurance companies may argue that a pedestrian darted out in front of a vehicle, and partly caused an accident. Given that the law prohibits this, it could make it more difficult for accident victims to claim compensation, even when it is not true.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents in Los Angeles?
There are many different causes of pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles. The most common of these are as follows:
- Distracted driving: When a driver is looking down at a phone, they may not see a pedestrian in their path until it is too late. While most people think oftexting while driving as distracted driving, anything that takes a motorist’s eyes off the road, or hands off the wheel, can be considered a distraction. Eating, drinking, personal grooming, and even rowdy passengers are just a few of the most common distractions drivers face.
- Impaired driving: Impaired driving is against the law due to the fact that it poses such a risk to everyone else on the road, including pedestrians. Impaired drivers exhibit poor judgment, have perception issues, and are more prone to driving recklessly. All of this places pedestrians at risk, particularly when they are crossing the road in front of an impaired driver.
- Speeding: When motorists speed, they may not see a pedestrian in time to stop their vehicle, or they may not have enough distance to come to a complete stop. Speeding not only causes accidents, but also increases the severity of injuries a pedestrian will sustain.
- Failing to yield the right-of-way: Drivers sometimes become aggressive towards pedestrians, even when those on foot are exercising their right to use a crosswalk. Many fatal pedestrian accidents occur at intersections.
- Improper turns: An improper turn usually occurs when a driver fails to signal that they are going to turn. A pedestrian may look both ways to ensure the roadway is clear and, without knowing a driver is turning, walk right into their path.
- Reckless driving: Road rage, weaving in and out of lanes, and failing to follow traffic laws are all examples of reckless driving that place pedestrians at risk.
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our skilled attorneys can determine the cause of your accident so you know who to hold liable for paying damages.
Immediate Steps To Take if You Have Been Hit by a Car
Walking in mild sunny California can be an enjoyable, healthy activity unless you’ve been struck by a vehicle due to no fault of your own. Pedestrians are entitled to the same full compensation rights for injuries as any other victim of a traffic accident. If a driver is negligent and harms a pedestrian, the driver should be held liable.
If you were hit as a pedestrian in the state of California, it’s extremely important that you work with a qualified attorney who knows the rules of the road. Kosnett Personal Injury has experienced attorneys that are knowledgeable about those rules. Whether you’re strolling along the Golden Gate Bridge or preparing for the Los Angeles Marathon on La Cienega Boulevard, you should feel safe on California streets. If you have been hurt, please allow us to help you recover the full injuries and damages that you are entitled to receive.
Between medical appointments, healthcare bills, and prolonged absences from work, not to mention the headache of contacting insurance companies, we know how stressful getting hit by a car can be—it can literally turn your life upside down. Kosnett Personal Injury pedestrian attorneys have the experience and deep understanding to handle all aspects of your case. And, we will work alongside you every step of the way. As experienced trial attorneys, we are prepared to hold an at-fault driver accountable for causing you bodily harm.
We have also helped many of our clients find excellent, skillful, and compassionate doctors, get their medical bills paid, and secure the right compensation for the pain, suffering, and financial troubles endured while they were unable to work. We also hold those who are accountable for negligent or harmful actions responsible by securing fair property damage settlements. Our legal team has helped clients who were seriously injured recoup significant compensation for their injuries involving cars, trains, or motorcycles. We have a record of success representing family members who tragically lost loved ones who were simply walking in their own neighborhoods. And we will fight to help you.
Common Injuries Sustained in Pedestrian Accidents
Unlike drivers, who have the protection of an entire vehicle, pedestrians are incredibly exposed and vulnerable when they are out on the roads. As such, they typically sustain some of the worst injuries when they are involved in an accident. The most common of these are as follows:
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Brain injuries, including concussions and skull fractures
- Injuries to internal organs, such as lacerations and perforations
- Sprained and torn ligaments
- Broken arms, legs, ribs, hips, and pelvis
- Abrasions, contusions, and lacerations of the hands and face
Determining Liability After a Pedestrian Accident
One of the most important and challenging aspects of a pedestrian accident is to determine who was liable, or at fault, for the crash. In the majority of cases, the motorist who hit the pedestrian is at fault for the accident. There are many ways to prove a driver was at fault for a pedestrian accident. For example, if there is suspicion that the driver was texting at the time of the crash, their cell phone records can be subpoenaed to determine if they had just received or sent a text.
However, there are times when the driver may not be the only person at fault for a pedestrian accident. For example, if a person had to walk into the street due to a blocked public sidewalk or construction project, a government entity or construction company may also be partly liable for causing a pedestrian accident. Additionally, whether or not the pedestrian was in a legal crosswalk is also sometimes called into question. It is critical to understand that even when a pedestrian was not in a legal crosswalk, it does not give any motorist the right to hit them.
Many people think that after a pedestrian accident, it is always the person on foot who is liable. This is not true. There is no law that automatically places the blame on motorists after a pedestrian accident. It is for this reason that it is so important to work with a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer who can defend against arguments that you were to blame and who can advise on what constitutes a fair settlement offer.
Proving Liability After a Pedestrian Accident
Unfortunately, while you may have the right to file a claim against a negligent driver or other entity, simply stating someone else was at fault is not enough. You must prove your case. To do this, you must prove the following four elements:
- Duty: Everyone has a duty to act in a reasonable manner to keep others around them safe. Drivers, for example, have a duty to operate their vehicles in a manner that does not place others in harm. Due to the fact that everyone has this duty, proving this part of a case is usually fairly straightforward.
- Breach: A breach of duty is a negligent action. Speeding, reckless driving, and impaired driving are all common examples of breaches of duty. When a driver violated a traffic law and that caused an accident, the driver is considered negligent per se. This means that pedestrians do not have to prove negligence because the violation of the law is enough to constitute a breach.
- Causation: A negligent act is not enough to file a personal injury claim against a driver. For example, a driver may speed through a crosswalk. If this breach of duty does not cause an accident, there is no reason to file a claim. On the other hand, if the negligent act caused a crash, injured individuals have a legal right to file a claim.
- Damages: The purpose of pedestrian accident claims is to restore victims as wholly as possible to the same condition they were in before the accident. If you were not injured and did not sustain any other losses, there is no reason to file a claim. However, due to the severity of pedestrian accidents, victims almost never walk away unscathed.
Proving the above elements is rarely easy. A Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer will know how to prove these different elements so you recover the full and fair settlement you deserve.
How Long Does a Pedestrian Accident Case Take?
You need compensation for your injuries, but receiving a fair verdict or settlement offer can take some time. There is no way to determine just how long your case will take without first fully reviewing the facts. This is because the timeline of a case depends on the severity of your injuries, how many liable parties are involved, and more. While you may receive a settlement offer before your case goes to trial, it may not be fair. A lawyer can advise on whether a settlement offer fully reflects the nature of your losses. If your case does go to trial, it will take longer to receive the fair compensation you deserve, but it will also take longer.
Crosswalk Laws and Pedestrian Rules in California
California has extensive laws that are meant to protect the safety and welfare of pedestrians. These laws specify where it is legal for pedestrians to walk without creating hazards to vehicle traffic. Pursuant to Vehicle Code 21960, all drivers “shall yield to the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any marked crosswalk at an intersection.”
While this code may seem straightforward at first glance, there is some ambiguous language. For example, “no pedestrian may…run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard,” it is unclear what constitutes “so close.” When you consider the vagueness of the vehicle code and the congestion of California’s major metro urban areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, it is not unheard of for insurance companies to deny pedestrian claims. This is why it may be beneficial for a pedestrian accident victim to obtain legal counsel, particularly if injured by a car while entering the street at a curb or crosswalk
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys Also Focus on the Following Practice Areas:
- Car Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Slip & Falls
- Product Liability
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Uber & Lyft
- Wrongful Death
- Trucking Accidents
- Sports Injury
- Cruise Ship Accidents
Personal Injury Legal Group headquarters are located in Los Angeles with additional offices throughout California. Since 1999, we have been serving clients nationwide, with a concentration in Southern California counties including Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, San Diego, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial. We also serve Northern California counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Sacramento, San Mateo, Solano, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Napa, Yolo, and Sonoma.
Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles Can Protect Your Rights
If you have been injured, our Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyers at Personal Injury Legal Group can assist with your case and make sure your rights are always. protected. Call us now at 310-388-4306 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.
Frequently Asked Questions for Los Angeles Pedestrian Accidents
What is considered a pedestrian accident?
A pedestrian accident is any incident where a pedestrian is hit or struck by a vehicle, such as a car, truck, or bicycle.
Who is responsible for a pedestrian accident in Los Angeles?
The responsibility for a pedestrian accident depends on the circumstances of the accident. The driver may be at fault if they were speeding, driving under the influence, or not paying attention to the road.
Can I file a lawsuit if I was hit by a car while walking in Los Angeles?
Yes, you may be able to file a lawsuit if you were hit by a car while walking. You should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.
What damages can I recover in a pedestrian accident case?
If you were hit by a car while walking in Los Angeles, you may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.
What if I was partially at fault for the pedestrian accident in Los Angeles?
If you were partially at fault for the pedestrian accident in Los Angeles, your damages may be reduced to reflect your level of fault. California follows the doctrine of comparative negligence.
What should I do if the driver who hit me fled the scene of the accident?
If the driver who hit you fled the scene of the accident, call 911 immediately and report the incident. Also, try to gather as much information as possible about the vehicle, such as the license plate number, make and model of the car, and any other identifying information.
Can I still file a lawsuit if the driver who hit me in a pedestrian accident was uninsured or underinsured?
Yes, you may still be able to file a lawsuit if the driver who hit you in a pedestrian accident was uninsured or underinsured. You should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Can I file a lawsuit if I was hit by a bicycle while walking?
Yes, you may be able to file a lawsuit if you were hit by a bicycle while walking in Los Angeles. The same legal principles that apply to pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles also apply to accidents involving bicycles.
What can I do to prevent pedestrian accidents?
To prevent pedestrian accidents, always use designated crosswalks and sidewalks when walking, be aware of your surroundings, and avoid distractions like texting or talking on the phone while walking.
What should I do if I witness a pedestrian accident?
If you witness a pedestrian accident, call 911 immediately and stay at the scene to provide any assistance you can until medical professionals arrive.
Personal Injury Legal Group
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