For a small place, Merced covers a big area, and yet many people still do just fine traveling the city by foot. Pedestrians can be on their way to class at Merced College or Golden Valley High School. They may walk across Olive Avenue for some dining or shopping. They may be walking to work. And we can’t forget that when we park in downtown Merced and get out of our cars, we all become pedestrians.
Unfortunately, crosswalks and traffic lights in Merced can’t guarantee protection from careless drivers. A motorist may glance at a cellphone screen or look down to find the straw on an iced coffee and miss a defenseless pedestrian trying to navigate a crosswalk. Once the driver has looked up again it may be too late to prevent a devastating Merced pedestrian accident.
Contact a Merced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Merced drivers owe pedestrians a legal duty of care. They are required to monitor streets and crosswalks for people on foot at all times and must slow down to prevent an accident. When they fail in this duty, drivers and their car insurance providers can be held fully accountable for the costs of recovery. They are also responsible for the toll a traumatic injury takes on someone’s life.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a careless driver, talk to a real Merced pedestrian accident lawyer about your case. Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, offers a free case evaluation for all victims. It’s a no-risk way to find out about every benefit available to your family. Contact Mr. Gasparian to schedule a confidential consultation today.
Pedestrian Accident Dangers in Merced
Anyone walking in the busier sections of Merced will notice the worn white lines marking off crosswalks. These lines seem to be slowly disappearing and leaving pedestrians more vulnerable. Pedestrians also discover many intersections in the city that give only a few seconds to cross six and seven lanes of traffic. Once the “Don’t Walk” sign starts flashing, pedestrians have only a few moments before a wall of traffic gets a green light.
Of course, the true threat to motorists comes in the form of reckless drivers. They may be looking at a map on their phones or hitting the gas a little too hard. Distraction and speed, and turns without taking the time to scope out all lanes account for many of the pedestrian collisions in Merced.
California’s Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) documented 90 pedestrian accidents across Merced County in 2021. Those collisions left 88 victims injured and claimed a tragic 17 lives. Six of those fatal accidents occurred in the city of Merced.
These accidents greatly disrupt the lives of injured victims, and the costs of recovery could leave their families in financial turmoil. That’s why it’s so important to allow a Merced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer to work to maximize any insurance settlement victims receive.
What To Do After a Merced Pedestrian Accident
Right after you’ve been struck by a careless driver, you’ll want to make sure you are out of the way of more danger and then you’ll want to make sure help is on the way.
If there’s time and you are able, you’ll also want to collect the evidence of what happened that’s all around you. This will enable you to hold an insurance company fully accountable for your injuries.
Try to secure these details:
- Dial 911. Give a full report to Merced police officers or the California Highway Patrol once they arrive. They’ll be constructing a collision report that will provide valuable proof of the driver’s fault in the accident.
- Get checked out by ambulance crews. Go to the hospital if necessary. In the days after your accident, see your own physician. You may wake up the next day with injuries you didn’t know you had. Get any new pain documented and follow your doctor’s orders.
- Take photos of the scene. Show the damage to the vehicle your pedestrian collision caused such as broken glass, a dent, or mirror damage. Show crosswalk signs and markings and any black marks left by screeching tires. Take pictures of any injuries that are visible and any damage to clothing or shoes.
- Note any businesses or homes that might have security cameras mounted where they could record your accident.
- Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information so that your Merced personal injury lawyer can contact them later for testimony.
- Exchange information with everyone involved but don’t make any statements about the accident to those involved. Don’t talk about who was at fault or how bad your injuries are. Insurance companies can use these statements against you later.
- Keep any damaged clothing, shoes, and personal items. Don’t throw evidence out that can strengthen your case against insurance companies unwilling to provide a fair settlement to you.
Common Injuries After a Pedestrian Collision
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people using Merced streets and sidewalks. They generally wear no safety equipment, like a helmet, and they don’t have any protection from metal and plastic frames like car occupants do.
Traumatic injuries are more likely for pedestrians than any other car accident victim. Those on foot can absorb damage in an initial strike. Then they might absorb an impact with the pavement. They could also end up under the car or underneath other vehicles.
These are just some of the most common injuries that emergency room doctors at Mercy Medical Center treat after pedestrian accidents:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) – Pedestrians will strike their heads on vehicles and on the ground. A traumatic brain injury could cause a mild concussion or something more serious like seizures, numbness in extremities, and even amnesia. Skulls can even fracture in impacts and send bone fragments into the brain to cause brain injuries.
- Bone Fractures – The arms, wrists, legs, and ankle bones are commonly broken in major pedestrian accidents. Clavicles (collarbone) and the sternum (breastbone) are also at risk of painful breaks.
- Amputation – Pedestrians might lose limbs in the force of an impact, or have limbs crushed under the weight of a tire. A limb might have to be removed through surgery.
- Paralysis – An accident may result in a permanent disability. This would include the loss of the ability to control your own body after a spine or brain injury.
- fracturing. Ribs might also be broken or dislodged and can puncture the lungs and other internal organs.
- Facial and Dental Injury – Pedestrians hit from any angle can land face-first on a car hood or on the ground. The nose might suffer a fracture. Teeth will get loosened or knocked loose. A permanent and very visible disfigurement may be the result.
What Can I Get Compensation for After a Merced Pedestrian Accident?
With the traumatic injuries that are possible, medical care and rehabilitation will be extremely expensive for victims and their families. The costs of recovery may continue for longer than a few weeks or months. Victims with long-term injuries or a permanent disability could require care for years or over a lifetime.
An experienced Merced pedestrian accident attorney works to make sure your current bills and your estimated bills for future care are all listed in your injury insurance claim. This list includes your economic damages and all of your non-economic damages:
- Past and future medical care expenses.
- Physical therapy and medical equipment expenses.
- Estimates on costs for any permanent disfigurement or disability resulting from your pedestrian accident.
- Pain and suffering. This includes the pain you endure in a crash and during recovery. It also factors in compensation for the emotional trauma you’ve experienced in recovery and in the changes an injury has brought to your life.
- Past and future lost income while you are unable to work.
- Personal property replacement.
- Wrongful death benefits for families. Benefits for families who have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident. This will include help for funeral and burial costs and reimbursement for the income the deceased can no longer provide the family in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do pedestrian accident victims have to file an injury claim?
Two years. California grants accident victims and their families 24 months to file a claim over their accident. Victims should act quickly in order to give their attorneys a head start on collecting fresh evidence.
Should I talk to the driver’s car insurance company after a pedestrian injury?
No. Insurance representatives will call asking for a recorded statement about what happened. Tell them no. These statements can be used against you later. Give them only basic information and refer them to your lawyer.
Can I receive accident compensation if I wasn’t in a Merced crosswalk?
Yes. Drivers and pedestrians can share blame in an accident. You could be assigned a smaller percentage of blame for jaywalking when you were hit, but the driver might still be responsible for providing you with compensation.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Serving Merced Victims
If you were struck by a careless driver, don’t trust insurance companies to treat you and your family fairly. Speaking to a Merced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer is the best way to stay informed of the tactics insurance companies use to rob pedestrian accident victims and their families of support.
Martin Gasparian offers a free, no-obligation case evaluation to all victims. It’s a no-risk way to find out about every benefit available to your family. Contact Mr. Gasparian to schedule a confidential consultation today.