Oakland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Walking is healthy for you and for the environment. When you choose to walk to work, to perform errands, and simply as a way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, you are choosing to exercise your body and to avoid burning fuel and contributing to the pollution in the air that cannot be avoided when you drive your car. There are downsides to walking, too. One of these is the risk of being injured in a pedestrian accident.
As a pedestrian, you have the least amount of physical protection out of everybody on the roadway. You are not safe inside a metal chassis like a motorist and you are not wearing a helmet like a motorcyclist or bicyclist. You can only get out of the way of an impending collision as quickly as your legs can take you, and when a vehicle collides with you, it collides directly with your body. As a pedestrian, you face the highest chance of being seriously injured in an accident with a vehicle.
California Pedestrian Rights and Accident Statistics
Under California law, pedestrians have the right of way in marked and unmarked crosswalks. This does not relieve pedestrians of the duty to look both ways before crossing the road and to exercise caution while walking in a crosswalk. Pedestrians must not suddenly leave curbs or other safe areas in a manner that creates an immediate hazard to oncoming motorists. They must also avoid stopping suddenly or moving unnecessarily slowly through a crosswalk.
Approximately 22 percent of California traffic fatalities result in pedestrian deaths.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
A motorist’s failure to respect the pedestrian rights listed above can cause an accident. A motorist might not see a pedestrian in time to avoid an accident because he or she was distracted while driving or because he or she disregarded other traffic laws, such as the posted speed limit. In a similar vein, a pedestrian can cause an accident by failing to take the proper caution to safely cross the roadway.
Other ways a driver’s negligence can cause a pedestrian accident include:
- Driving drunk or while under the influence of another drug, including prescription drugs;
- Driving in an aggressive, careless, or reckless manner;
- Driving while too tired to drive safely; and
- Failing to use his or her headlights or otherwise exercise the extra caution necessary when driving at night.
Not all pedestrian accidents are caused by driver negligence. Sometimes, uneven pavement and other hazards in the pedestrian’s environment cause the pedestrian to suffer an injury. For example, a pothole in the roadway can be a tripping hazard for pedestrians. Confusing signage and poorly maintained roadways can also put pedestrians at risk of collisions with motorists and bicyclists.
How you can be Injured in a Pedestrian Accident
There are many different ways you can be injured in a pedestrian accident. How you are injured and the injury’s severity depend on a variety of factors, such as the speed at which the collision occurred and the part of your body that suffered the impact.
Injuries you can suffer include:
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Bone fractures;
- Cuts; and
These injuries can have long-term and in some cases, permanent complications for you. A traumatic brain injury can lead to a permanent disability and disfigurement can cause depression and anxiety that require mental healthcare treatment to overcome.
Seeking Compensation for your Pedestrian Accident Damages
As an injured victim, you should focus on your physical recovery. Seek medical attention for the injury as soon as you can after the accident and follow your doctor’s instructions for a timely recovery. Let your lawyer handle your personal injury claim.
Through your claim, you can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Your medical expenses;
- Your lost wages; and
- Your pain and suffering damages.
To recover compensation for your damages, your lawyer will need to use evidence to demonstrate how the other party involved in the collision caused the accident through negligence. This evidence can include photographs of the accident, the official police report for the accident, and testimonies from witnesses to the accident.
If you decide to file a personal injury claim to pursue compensation for your pedestrian accident damages, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Please be advised that your potential case is governed by a statute of limitations (a limited time period in which you must begin a lawsuit). Statutes of limitations differ depending on the type of case involved. Some of these time periods may be as short as six months, while others can be as long as two years. We do not have enough information to identify which statute of limitations applies in your case. You should consult with a lawyer, the California Code of Civil Procedure, internet resources, and/or visit your law library to identify the applicable statute of limitations for your matter. If you decide to file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance provider first, make sure you give yourself time to take the claim to court if necessary – from the moment you are in a collision, the clock starts ticking down on your time to recover compensation. If your claim is against a government entity, which could be the case when your accident was the result of a poorly maintained roadway, you only have six months to file your claim.
Another thing to keep in mind is the doctrine of pure comparative negligence. In California, you can still recover compensation for your damages if you were partially at fault for your accident, but the total amount of compensation you can recover is reduced according to the percentage of the fault you hold. So if you are deemed to be 40 percent at fault for your accident, you can only recover 60 percent of the claim’s total value.
Work with an Experienced Oakland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
A pedestrian accident can leave you suffering from severe injuries and the high expenses that often accompany them. When you are facing these damages, work with an experienced personal injury lawyer to pursue appropriate compensation for them. Contact our team at Dolan Law Firm today to set up your initial consultation with us, during which we can go over all of your case’s details and determine the right step to take next.