If you live in an area where you are able to walk from place to place easily, it can be a nice way to get out of the house and avoid the cost of gas. Walking can also improve your physical health by increasing your cardio capacity and boosting your mental clarity. These benefits and more make walking regularly a worthwhile endeavor, but walking in and around Los Angeles can be dangerous.
Even the most careful pedestrians can be at risk. For instance, if you are walking where you legally should be but a driver is going fast and not paying attention, you run the risk of getting hit by a car at a high speed. Likewise, a cyclist who is not paying attention when making a turn could not see you until it is too late and knock you over. These incidents may leave you with a concussion or other serious injuries.
If you are injured by a vehicle or bike while walking, you may be entitled to compensation. Filing a personal injury claim against the person who hit you can help with medical bills and time away from work. A skilled personal injury attorney from Belgum, Fry & Van Allen can help you understand what your personal injury claim entails and how you can get your settlement.
Any time a person is injured because of the actions or neglect of someone else, it can be legally classified as a personal injury. This may include getting bitten by a venomous snake because your neighbor did not secure their reptile enclosure correctly, and their pet escaped. Someone who is at work and gets burned by their machine because the company did not perform the correct maintenance could also file a personal injury claim, classified as workers’ compensation.
Some of the most common personal injury cases involve car accidents. If you are leaving work and get t-boned by a drunk driver, you may have a personal injury claim if you were injured as a result of the accident. These accidents can also involve a vehicle and a pedestrian, which are accidents that are more likely to cause injuries because of the size imbalance between a car and a person. Any car accident can be serious, no matter what causes it to happen.
Pedestrians are classified as anyone who is walking beside a road, whether they are in a large city with busy sidewalks or walking down a country lane. While the risk of injury while walking beside a road is relatively low, there is always the possibility that you could be hit by someone passing by. A cyclist may be illegally riding on the sidewalk and hit you, or a car may run over your foot if you get too close to the roadway. These situations are all considered pedestrian accidents because they involve someone walking beside a road and getting injured by a driver.
Many people also enjoy walking because they are environmentally conscious and walking puts fewer pollutants into the environment. Some people simply want to spend some time outdoors. They should be able to do so without fear of collision from a car or cyclist.
There are many reasons why such accidents can occur. Some pedestrian accidents happen because:
Many car accidents that involve pedestrians are purely accidental, but California has still put regulations in place because they want to prevent as many pedestrian accidents as possible.
It is easy to assume that because they are smaller or less powerful, pedestrians always have the right of way on the road. Most people believe that if a driver sees someone about to step onto the road and cross, they are required to slow down or stop so the pedestrian is able to cross safely. This is not the case. There are strict guidelines in place that dictate when and where you are able to cross the road when you are a pedestrian so you can avoid a possible accident.
There is a single law dictating how drivers should interact with pedestrians. It states that any driver who comes across a crosswalk that is clearly marked, often with large white lines across the road, is required to yield to any pedestrians that may be crossing. All other pedestrian laws outline how those walking should behave to ensure their own safety.
If you are walking home from the store and reach a marked crosswalk, you should not cross if it will cause an immediate problem. For example, if a car coming toward the intersection shows no signs of slowing down, you should cross after they pass. Also, if the crosswalk has a signal to indicate when it is safe to cross, you cannot step into the road if the signal says to wait. For those times when you need to cross the street quickly and there is not a crosswalk nearby, you are required to yield to any oncoming traffic before you cross.
It is important to be familiar with your rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian so that you do not get hurt or cause a larger accident. Unfortunately, not everyone follows these laws because they either are not familiar with them or think they are frivolous. This mindset causes pedestrian accidents, and depending on the circumstances of the accident, a personal injury claim can be filed against the driver. Once a claim is filed, you will have to determine who was at fault for the incident before any settlement can be reached.
If you are walking through town with your family, get clipped by a car that is moving too quickly around a corner, and get a large gash on your leg that needs stitches, you will likely want to file a personal injury claim. This process requires getting evidence together explaining or showing what happened during the incident, documenting all of your losses and expenses to calculate a settlement, and then negotiating the final settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney can make this process easier, but one of the most important things you have to do is determine who is at fault for the accident.
In most pedestrian accident cases in California, the person driving or riding the bike is found responsible for the accident, but that is not always the case. When a person does not look both ways before they cross the street because they are texting, then they could be partially responsible if a cyclist runs into them. A drunk pedestrian who is wandering in the street or is not steady on their feet may fall into the road and get hit by a car. They could also potentially be at fault for their accident.
California is an at-fault state when it comes to car accidents, which means that the person who is found responsible for an accident must pay any damages, including lost wages for missing work, medical bills to treat any injuries, vehicle repairs, and more.
Determining who caused the accident is important for two reasons. First, if you are found to be at fault, even if you are the one who was injured, you will likely take a significant financial hit to pay the damages for your case. Second, if you were injured during a pedestrian accident and it is determined that you were partially at fault for the accident, your settlement will be reduced based on how much of the blame you share. If, for example, your settlement is $35,000 and you shared 10% of the fault, your settlement could be reduced to $31,500.
If you are driving and someone steps into the road while you are not paying attention, you may hit them if you cannot stop in time. They may walk away with only a few minor injuries, like bruises where your car hit them, or they could break bones or get a concussion. If you are at fault for the accident, then they could file a personal injury claim against you, and you will have to pay damages, including covering the cost of their medical bills and lost wages.
Any car accident can be scary, but especially for pedestrians because they are essentially defenseless. In some cases, though, a pedestrian may be directly or at least partially responsible for the accident. Walking down the road after you have had several drinks with friends may put you partially at fault if you are hit by a cyclist going by because you may stumble or step onto the road. Since California is an at-fault state, you will be required to pay for any expenses or damages if you caused the accident in some way.
Working with an attorney may seem like an unnecessary hassle while you are also dealing with the stresses of recovery following an accident. In California, you are free to bypass legal counsel because there is no requirement to work with an attorney on a personal injury case. That is often not optimal, though, because you would be solely responsible for everything, including negotiating your settlement with insurance. A skilled personal injury lawyer will know how to gather the right evidence and approach those negotiations with a clear plan to get you the settlement you deserve.
When you are recovering from a pedestrian accident, the thought of paying for legal services so you can file a personal injury claim can be daunting. Your medical bills may be piling up, especially if you need extended treatment for a broken bone. Fortunately, many personal injury lawyers in California charge a contingency fee rather than an hourly or flat rate, which means you only pay your lawyer if you win your settlement. The average contingency fee is between 30%-40% off your settlement, so if you receive a settlement of $100,000, you could pay your attorney up to $40,000 from that money.
When you are hit by a car or involved in an accident with a cyclist, it can take weeks or even months for your body to fully heal. If you experience a herniated disc from the force of the impact, you may need physical therapy to correct the problem, which can take weeks and be expensive. Missing work, especially if you work a physical job like construction because you broke your hand during a pedestrian accident, could mean you lose wages for the time you are out or get reduced pay from a temporary disability. No matter the circumstances, if you are injured as a result of a pedestrian accident, it is important that you get the compensation and support you need.
It can be daunting to face any legal process on your own, especially when you are also navigating the stress of medical bills and your own physical recovery. You are likely concerned about your finances if you are missing work, so adding the additional burden of attempting to file a personal injury claim may feel impossible. A personal injury lawyer from Belgum, Fry & Van Allen has the skills and experience to make the filing process easy because they have helped thousands of other clients get their settlements. Contact our office for assistance if you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident.