In the state of California, statistics show drivers are at fault in pedestrian-related accidents in more than half of all reported incidents. If the accident occurs in a crosswalk, the vehicle is always at fault. Personal injury laws in the state of California state anyone injured in a pedestrian accident is allowed to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for injuries. Compensation would be for:
- Medical bills to cover treatments needed to treat injuries
- Lost wages because injured pedestrian cannot work
- Pain and suffering
If you’ve been knocked down by an auto while on a public walkway or road, you may have a personal injury claim. You will be allowed under California’s laws to seek compensation for your injuries. Suppose you’re a resident of Bakersfield, CA, for instance, and have sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident. In that case, you must talk to a Bakersfield pedestrian accident attorney to learn what your rights are and how to seek compensation for this accident.
Can I Sue If Involved in a Pedestrian Knock-Down
If you have been knocked down while on a roadway or in a crosswalk because of any of these situations:
- A vehicle did not yield the right of way
- Bicycles were on the sidewalk
- An automobile was driving on the sidewalk
- An uncontrolled dog
- Electric scooter
- Another pedestrian
- The walkway was not maintained, which created trip hazards
If your fall was a result of a vehicle striking you, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. This claim will allow you to seek compensation for your injuries by filing a lawsuit. Compensation would include recovering damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer if you are unsure who is to blame for your accident. The recklessness or negligence of a property owner or another person may mean they are responsible for your injuries. A lawyer can provide advice and help you find compensation for your injuries.
Pain and suffering are considered “non-economic damage” as it can be challenging to determine an exact dollar amount that needs to be compensated for. However, medical bills and lost wages are considered “economic damages” as these are easy to calculate a dollar amount using past pay stubs and medical bills.
What to do If Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
California negligence laws protect you if you are involved in a pedestrian accident, especially if the accident occurs in a crosswalk. These state laws also include accidents that occur in parking lots and even on roadways. You are allowed to seek compensation for your injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Recovering damages from a pedestrian accident in California typically requires you to prove the driver was negligent. This involves:
- Showing the driver of the automobile owes you a “duty of care.”
- Proving the driver breached “duty of care” through negligence.
- Proving the driver’s negligence was a significant factor in causing your injuries or death.
The driver of an automobile owes a “duty of care” to any pedestrian. They also owe a duty to other cyclists and drivers on the roads. Negligence on the automobile driver’s part can be proven if they have/were:
- Violated traffic laws
- Driving while distracted
- Performed negligent driving actions
One of the primary reasons for pedestrian/vehicle accidents involves auto drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian. California Vehicle Code 21960 VC states automobile drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at intersections and when in marked crosswalks. This vehicle code under California law makes it illegal for auto drivers to drive inside safety zones.
Safety zones are set aside for pedestrians where there is not supposed to be any vehicle traffic. If a motorist violates VC 21709 and strikes you as a pedestrian, they can be held responsible. Even if, as a pedestrian, you are not using a crosswalk, a motorist may still be held responsible if they strike you with their vehicle.
Any type of negligence on the driver’s part that contributed to the accident can make them responsible for your injuries. If you’ve been struck by an automobile in a crosswalk or on a street, you need to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer. Do not talk to the insurance company until you have received legal counsel. These companies typically try to get you to settle a claim for as little as possible.
Pedestrian Accident Victims Should Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Being struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian can be devastating. This life-altering event needs the support of a pedestrian accident lawyer to ensure your rights and future are protected. Don’t let an insurance company minimize your compensation; talk to a lawyer and receive the restitution you deserve.
This story originally appeared on Upscalelivingmag