Legal Options for Victims of Pedestrian Accidents
For a pedestrian, a few things can be as dangerous as getting hit by a car. The risk of sustaining mortal injuries is extremely high in such accidents. In 2017, the total number of pedestrian deaths in California was 858, accounting for nearly 24% of all traffic-related fatalities.
Even if you manage to escape with non-fatal injuries from such an accident, you still might have to take time off work and spend a lot of money on treatment and rehabilitation, which can take a toll on you physically, emotionally, and financially.
In this blog, we take a look at the legal options available for the victims of pedestrian accidents.
Filing a Claim
You can seek compensation for the economic and non-economic losses caused by the accident by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Once you do, the insurance company will look into your claim, verify the authenticity of your documents (medical reports, medical bills, police reports, and so on), and decide if you deserve to be compensated.
In most cases, the insurance company will decide to pay some or most of your claim, depending on the extent of the injuries you suffered. In some cases – if they believe that your injuries are not severe or if there is a problem with the authenticity of the reports you submit – they might deny your claim altogether.
If you are represented by an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer, your attorney can negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf and ensure a fair and satisfactory settlement.
What You Need to Prove in Court
You also have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to seek compensation for your injuries and other losses resulting from the accident. To obtain a favorable outcome in a personal injury lawsuit, you need to prove the following things.
- The at-fault party was legally obligated to exercise reasonable care while driving on the roadway.
- The at-fault party failed in their duty to exercise reasonable care.
- The at-fault party’s breach of duty resulted in the accident. This is commonly referred to as the ‘but-for’ causation, as it establishes the point that but for the recklessness of the at-fault driver, the accident would not have happened.
- You suffered physically, emotionally, and financially as a result of the accident.
Remember – all these claims need to be backed with evidence. For instance, if you claim that the defendant failed in their duty to exercise reasonable care while driving their vehicle, you need to prove how it happened.
Some of the common examples of driver negligence include:
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
Generally, in a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek compensation to cover the following expenses.
- Expenses associated with your treatment and rehabilitation (past and future)
- Lost earnings as a result of not being able to work (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
It should be noted that the concept of loss of enjoyment of life is applicable only if you have had to drastically change your lifestyle as a result of your injuries or disabilities and are not able to enjoy life like you used to before.
In California, you are required to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party within two years from the date of the accident.
Dealing With Medical Expenses After a Pedestrian Accident
If you sustain severe injuries that require extensive medical care, you might struggle to meet the expenses associated with your treatment, even if you have a health insurance plan. In these types of cases, your attorney might be able to help you out by negotiating with the hospital and asking the doctors to treat you on a ‘medical lien’ basis.
A medical lien is an arrangement wherein the doctor treats you without charging you any money upfront. Once you win your personal injury case, the doctor will recover the total cost of your treatment from your insurance settlement or award.
Watch YouTube Video: Safe Steps Road Safety: Pedestrians. This video provides some safety pedestrian tips to help you stay safe on the road.
Sacramento Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Pedestrian Accident Lawyer. Pedestrians in California can suffer devastating consequences if they are involved in an accident with a negligent motorist. You have a right to seek damages if you suffered injuries as a pedestrian because of another’s fault. Call me for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
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