In a city with notoriously congested streets, a thriving bike culture, and large numbers of people walking to their destinations, there are bound to be more than a few issues between cars and pedestrians. Unfortunately, when these two parties collide, pedestrians are almost always on the losing end.
Injuries caused by a vehicle-on-pedestrian accident can be quite extensive, debilitating victims long after the scene has been cleared and the medical bills tallied and mailed. These injuries often include brain and spine trauma that requires years of physical rehabilitation. Even with medical insurance, the cost for years of physical therapy can drain a bank account and leave the victim with a diminished quality of life, not to mention lifelong pain.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, then contact the attorneys at Los Angeles City Law to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Our pedestrian accident lawyers will work to help you obtain compensation for any damages to which you may be entitled.
Who Is at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrian accidents have been growing in number in the Los Angeles area and can occur on sidewalks, roadways, crosswalks, and other public areas. Los Angeles has become notorious for its high rate of pedestrian accidents, and distracted or negligent drivers are often at fault.
Legally determining who is at fault in an accident is often more complex than our clients anticipate. California law has several laws designed to protect pedestrians and assist in proving liability in an accident. As California Vehicle Code 21950(a) states:
- “(a) The 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, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
- (b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
- (c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.
- (d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”
Gathering evidence in your favor will be a key component of your case. In order to prove that a driver is at fault, your pedestrian accident attorney will need to prove that the driver was guilty of negligence. Violating one of California’s right-of-way laws, or any of the clauses above, is just one way in which a driver can be guilty of negligence. Other examples of negligent driving include, but are not limited to:
- Exceeding the marked speed limit in an area.
- Driving while fatigued.
- Distracted driving (cell phone use, eating, drinking, adjusting the stereo, and more).
- Driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Reckless behavior that endangers the lives of other motorists (racing, running red lights and stop signs, passing over a double-yellow line, and more).
You may be unconscious or too injured to document the scene immediately after an accident occurs, making it crucial to contact a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you gather statements from nearby witnesses, compile photographs of the accident, collect information about your initial injuries and medical bills, and find other important information that can help you seek damages. Drivers and insurance companies will often try to blame injured pedestrians for an accident, making it even more important to have competent legal representation in your corner.
Have You Been Injured as a Pedestrian in Los Angeles?
For those involved in pedestrian accidents, we have proven experience in obtaining justice and compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills: It is no secret that medical bills can bankrupt and saddle families with a lifetime of debt. At Los Angeles City Law, we believe that you should not have to pay for the negligence of another person. Request copies of any bills you have incurred as a result of the accident, as this will make it easier for your pedestrian accident lawyer to pursue compensation.
- Lost wages: You may not be able to return to work following an accident, depending on the nature of your work and the extent of your injuries. If you are unable to work due to an accident, then let our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers help you stay financially secure. You may also find that your productivity decreases as a result of your injuries, so thoroughly document any changes in your abilities and/or income. Pay stubs, written statements from co-workers and your supervisor, and your personal testimony can all make it easier to show that your injuries have compromised your ability to work.
- Pain and suffering: Your injuries may cause you to suffer for years, or even for the rest of your life. Pain and suffering can often be pursued as a non-monetary damage, and the damages do not have to be limited to physical pain. Many pedestrian accident victims experience ongoing emotional trauma in the weeks, months, and years following an accident. In addition to any required psychological care you seek during your recovery, your pedestrian accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation for any emotional anguish you experience as a result of the incident.
- Loss or change in your quality of life: You may not be able to return to your former hobbies and lifestyle in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident. Just as pain and suffering can be pursued as a non-monetary damage, so too can a change in your quality of life. Carefully document any changes that occur in your day-to-day life as a result of the accident, as this will help your lawyer prove that the accident caused these changes.
If you or someone you know has been struck by a moving vehicle while walking, then we invite you to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers. We know that insurance companies will often sacrifice a victim’s well-being in order to protect their financial interests, but as experienced personal injury lawyers, we have made it our mission to fight for and protect the interests of victims.
We promise a no-obligation, no-cost assessment of your case that is comprehensive and backed by experience. With a record of winning 98 percent of the cases we take on, you can trust us to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.