Every year, pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles or bicyclists on or near the road and seriously harmed. Even slow-moving vehicles can do life-threatening harm to a person who is otherwise unprotected. Cars and trucks are to always be aware of pedestrians, particularly those attempting to cross the street at the appropriate intersection. Pedestrians who have been hurt by motor vehicles deserve fierce representation from a pedestrian accident attorney in Los Angeles who can push for your rights to compensation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 5,000 pedestrians die and 75,000 are injured in vehicle-related accidents yearly. Most of these incidents occur when a pedestrian is walking across a road, walkway, crossing zone, or construction zone. Due to the lack of protective gear, pedestrians who bear the impact of a moving vehicle often sustain severe injuries that render them unable to work for months or even years. A Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer often represents the victim in court by filing a lawsuit in order to recover financial compensation.
Who’s Most at Risk?
Young children and the elderly are usually the demographics most susceptible to pedestrian accidents. Children ages 5 to 9 are most at risk of being hit by a moving vehicle, with boys carrying a greater risk than girls. While senior citizens aren’t significantly more likely to be hit by a vehicle than people in other age groups, they are more prone to be killed or severely injured if involved in a pedestrian accident.
High Risk Locations for Pedestrian Accidents
Like any accident, pedestrian accidents are unpredictable and can happen anytime and anywhere. However, certain situations pose a greater danger than others. For vehicle-related pedestrian accidents, the highest risk is present during the morning and evening rush hours, with the greatest danger falling between the hours of 6pm and 9pm. While the risk of a pedestrian accident decreases slightly after dark, the severity increases due to poor visibility and a higher likelihood of encountering drunk drivers. Drivers are more prone to behave recklessly when fewer vehicles are on the road and may fail to see a pedestrian, increasing the likelihood of a fatal accident. Times of the year when pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur include:
- Weekends and major holidays including Independence Day and New Year’s Eve
- Fall and winter months when days are shortest
- Summertime for children who play outside more frequently
Common locations of pedestrian accidents include:
- Local and city roads
- Crosswalks, intersections, and other crossing zones
- Poorly maintained property
A study by The LA Times examined the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in Los Angeles over the span of 12 years. The three with the highest risk were Slauson Ave. & Western Ave., Hollywood Blvd. & Highland Ave., and MLK Jr. Blvd. & Crenshaw Blvd.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Most pedestrian accidents are vehicle-related. They can occur due to distracted or reckless driving, poor visibility caused by fog or heavy precipitation, slick road conditions, and poor road maintenance. Most pedestrian accident law firms specialize in handling vehicle-related personal injury claims.
Pedestrian accidents can also fall under premise-liability, with slip and fall cases being the most common. If the owner’s failure to maintain safe conditions on the property causes harm to a pedestrian, the victim can hire our Los Angeles personal injury attorney to collect damages.
Pedestrian Hit and Run Accidents
A driver who hits a pedestrian and flees the scene can be made to pay for the victim’s damages including medical costs, lost wages or salary, pain and suffering, and additional injury damages. They can also be prosecuted under criminal law, face jail time, and be forced to pay punitive damages for their actions.
The guilty party’s insurance company will often cover the cost of the victim’s injuries. If the guilty party has no insurance, the victim can likely collect damages from the uninsured motorist clause of their own auto insurance policy.
Our Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Focus on Upholding Your Rights
If you or a loved one was hit by a car, bus, or other motor vehicle, you need to understand your rights and what to do in the aftermath so you have the best chance of recovering the financial compensation you deserve through a personal injury suit. Take the following steps after a pedestrian accident:
Saying the wrong thing or signing a waiver can do serious harm to your chances at recovering what you deserve. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorney can review your case along with any relevant medical documentation to discern fair compensation. You need to speak with the Law Offices of Jacob Emrani as soon as you can to begin working on your claim before the at-fault party has a chance to stall or dispute your account of the accident.
Damages in Pedestrian Accidents
In the state of California, pedestrians injured in an accident can seek financial compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Reduction in earnings due to the accident
- Pain and suffering, including emotional damages
- Salary or other job compensation lost due to the accident
- Punitive damages if the court finds the opposing party’s negligence especially egregious
A Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney can help you collect the compensation you deserve. Our pedestrian accident law firms can also help you avoid falling into the trap of settling early for a lower amount, as this voids your ability to collect further damages.
Typical Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrian Laws & Right of Way
As a general rule of thumb, drivers must always yield the right of way to pedestrians at unmarked crossing zones. They must be cautious when entering or exiting a garage or other parking area, and must not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk, as pedestrians may be crossing ahead.
Pedestrians must also follow traffic laws, or they, too, can be found at fault for an accident. For example, a pedestrian injured in an accident while jaywalking would be held liable and in most cases would not be eligible to receive financial compensation. If the pedestrian admits fault, they will have a hard time finding a Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney to represent their claim.
Who Is Liable for a Pedestrian Accident?
Determining liability is the most important step in winning a personal injury claim. For vehicle-related pedestrian accidents, the driver can be found at fault for speeding, running a red light, failing to obey traffic signs, reckless driving, drunk driving, and texting while driving, to name a few infractions. In premise-liability pedestrian accidents, the owner of the property can be found liable if they neglected to keep the property safe. A Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer can represent you in court and help prove that the opposing party was at fault
How Insurance Works
If you are a pedestrian involved in an accident, it is your right to seek compensation for your injuries from the opposing party’s liability insurance. However, most insurance companies will deny such claims. If this happens, your next step should be to contact a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer to file a lawsuit.
While you wait for your lawsuit to resolve, you should seek medical attention for your injuries. Most medical insurance plans will cover these costs, and your provider may seek reimbursement from the opposing party’s liability insurance. In addition, you may also be eligible for compensation through the bodily injury clause of your auto insurance. However, your personal injury attorney may first have to prove that you were not at fault.
Tips to Help Prevent a Pedestrian Accident
When it comes to pedestrian accidents, prevention is ideal. As a pedestrian, practice these tips to reduce your risk of injury:
Time is running out—call our firm today!
You deserve to have your medical care and lost wages from work compensated if you were hurt through the negligence of a careless automobile driver. Whether you think you may have been partially to blame or not, do not disclose anything about the incident before you call our firm to learn about your right to file a personal injury claim. The Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys at Law Offices of Jacob Emrani are here to protect your rights and fight on your behalf.