When it comes to car accidents, drivers aren’t the only ones who are at risk. Every year, more than 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle-related accidents while another 76,000 suffer injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.
Orange County in particular is notorious for vehicle-pedestrian accidents. In 2015, approximately one pedestrian was killed every six days, according to Orange County coroner data. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to sustaining serious injuries during a wreck because unlike drivers, they travel unprotected.
Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
When a pedestrian is injured in an automobile accident, issues of legality can become increasingly complex. Both drivers and pedestrians are obligated to follow the rules of the road while exercising reasonable care when walking or driving. Failure to do so is considered negligence. When an accident happens due to negligence, the injured person may recover damages in a lawsuit.
A driver may be found negligent for behaviors such as:
• Distracted driving
• Disobeying traffic signs or signals
• Failing to yield to pedestrians
• Failing to signal while turning
• Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
• Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If a pedestrian failed to use caution and was partially to blame for his or her injuries, contributory negligence can be assigned to the pedestrian.
Pedestrian negligence might include:
• Running in front of a vehicle
• Entering traffic and disrupting the flow
• Failing to use marked crosswalks
• Ignoring the “walk” signal at an intersection
Whether your accident was caused by a negligent driver or if you were partially at fault as a pedestrian, an auto accident attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for a lawsuit.
Seeking Legal Help After a Pedestrian Accident
Dealing with the aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be both confusing and overwhelming. An experienced auto accident attorney can help remove that burden while guiding you on the right path to receiving compensation for your injuries. If you were struck by a negligent driver while walking, your pain and suffering should not go uncompensated.
A settlement could help cover your expenses during this difficult time, including:
• Past and future medical bills
• Past and future lost earnings
• Loss of consortium
• Pain and suffering
• Emotional distress
• Cost of therapy
• Other related expenses
Addressing Serious Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Unlike drivers who are safeguarded by their vehicles, pedestrians who travel on roads are highly vulnerable and are no match for oncoming cars. Because of this, pedestrian accidents often end in grave injuries and untold damage.
If you are unsure whether you should hire an attorney, consider the severity of your situation. While bumps and bruises might not warrant a lawsuit, certain injuries can be potentially life-threatening and require immediate medical and legal attention.
It’s important to speak with an auto accident attorney if you or a loved one suffered a serious injury, such as:
• Traumatic brain injury – can lead to life-long disabilities
• Neck injury – including whiplash, soft tissue damage, paralysis
• Spinal cord or back injury – may include incomplete or complete spinal cord injuries where the victim loses function and sensation
• Fractured bones – such as displaced fractures, non-displaced fractures, open fractures and closed fractures
What to Do if You Were Hit by a Car
Accidents often occur too quickly to be avoided. Knowing how to react when a collision does happen can save you from making serious mistakes that could be damaging in the long-run. If you or a loved one were struck by a car while on foot, your next moves should be carefully considered.
After an accident, remember the following:
• Stay calm and keep the driver at the scene.
• Collect the driver’s information and take photos.
• Call the police and make sure your side of the story is heard while filling out a report.
• Seek immediate medical treatment and keep your medical bills safe.
• Call an automobile accident attorney and explain what happened.
• Do not say anything to the other party’s insurance adjuster.
• Stay off social media. Any pre-litigation statements or social media posts could affect your case.
Hodes Milman Liebeck is Here to Help
If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident, the attorneys at Hodes Milman Liebeck want to hear from you. Our firm provides a risk-free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal rights and options. Plus, our experienced staff can guide you through the legal process and help determine if you have a case.
As statutes of limitation vary, your time to file a suit could be running out. Call us today at (949) 640-8222 and take the first step toward reclaiming your life.