Pedestrians face a lot of unnecessary dangers as they travel across crosswalks, parking lots, and sidewalks. Those hazards most commonly come from careless and inattentive drivers who don’t slow down as they are legally required to when around pedestrians.
Pedestrians are the least protected people using California roads, and in a collision, the injuries suffered can go far beyond a few bumps and bruises. Pedestrians are at a higher risk of a fatal accident. Once a life is taken, it’s the families left behind who must cope with their grief and consider how to avoid paying the financial consequences of a tragedy.
A Free Consultation for Families After a Fatal Pedestrian Accident in California
Families who have lost a loved one in a tragic pedestrian accident should be informed of the benefits they have available to them. An insurance company won’t be mentioning these benefits, but California allows victimized families to file a wrongful death claim to protect themselves from financial harm.
To make sure the insurance providers for at-fault drivers are held accountable for your loss, take advantage of a free case consultation from a skilled California Personal Injury Attorney. Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, offers families a confidential way to find out how they can seek support while still being allowed time to grieve.
The Driver’s Responsibility of Care for California Pedestrians
All drivers in California are legally required to show pedestrians a special “duty of care.” This legal duty means they must constantly monitor the roads for anyone around traveling on foot. They must also slow down so that a collision with a defenseless pedestrian is impossible.
This duty is a requirement even if a pedestrian isn’t in a crosswalk or is crossing in the middle of the street. Drivers can still be held liable for a tragic collision. This special duty is in place because of the unprotected nature of all pedestrians as they walk. They have no vehicle walls surrounding them to offer protection and don’t walk with helmets on.
When drivers neglect this duty by looking at a cellphone text instead of the road, or drive too fast or recklessly and strike someone, they are liable. This liability extends to paying for victims’ recoveries if they survive and paying to support family members left behind if a life is ended.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Pedestrian Accident Claim?
In California, only specific close relatives are allowed to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the entire family.
- A spouse or domestic partner of the victim.
- Children of the victim.
- Grandchildren of the victim.
In the event that the victim did not have a spouse or children. The parents of the victim or siblings might be allowed to bring a wrongful death claim forward. The family would have up to two years from the date of the victim’s death to file this claim.
A California Wrongful Death Lawyer can also file a wrongful death claim on behalf of eligible family members. The lawyer’s goal would be to earn family members the maximum compensation available while preventing insurance companies from disturbing them at such a difficult time.
What Kind of Compensation Can be Awarded After a Fatal California Pedestrian Accident?
Families won’t want to consider financial matters after such a tragedy has occurred, but unfortunately, they must act quickly to secure the financial protection of those left behind.
Close relatives will find unexpected bills arriving in the mailbox after a pedestrian accident. They may also suddenly be without the weekly income a loved one had always supported the family with. This lack of income makes the consequences of a careless driver’s mistake that much more damaging.
These are just a few of the hardships a driver’s car insurance provider can be responsible for:
- Support to pay for a funeral.
- Support to pay for a burial.
- Support for medical bills and ambulance fees the victim accumulated before passing on.
- Support for the guidance the loved one can no longer provide in the future.
- Support for the wages the loved one can no longer provide in the future through a weekly paycheck.
What Happens If My Loved One Was Killed in a Pedestrian Accident Involving a Hit-And-Run Driver?
For some reason, many drivers who hit pedestrians are tempted to flee the scene in hopes of escaping responsibility. It’s a thoughtless act that is all too common on California streets and boulevards. This heartbreaking decision makes a pedestrian accident all the more tragic.
When at-fault drivers leave the scene and don’t call for help, victims can wait longer for medical care and may even be struck again by approaching vehicles.
Families may still earn financial support after a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run accident through a couple of paths. If a hit-and-run driver is eventually apprehended, a claim against the suspect can be immediately filed. The driver would be facing criminal charges, but the family’s civil claim would be decided separately.
If a hit-and-run driver is never located, a family still has an option for earning monetary support. A claim could be filed against the victim’s own car insurance policy. Specifically, the claim would seek help from the policy’s uninsured motorist coverage. If the deceased did not carry car insurance, the victim may have been covered by a family member’s policy.
In either case, a wrongful death lawyer can help families earn fair treatment and fair financial support after a California pedestrian accident. Insurance representatives are taught to limit the amount families see on settlement checks in any way possible.
Families are targets of this practice even when working with their own insurance agents. A wrongful death lawyer makes sure the family isn’t put through additional stress simply to secure what’s fair.
What Happens If My Loved One Was Killed in a Pedestrian Accident Involving a DUI Driver?
Pedestrians are far too often the victims of drunk drivers and drivers who are under the influence of a drug. Impaired drivers will have difficulty keeping track of the cars around them, and they can much more easily miss spotting the smaller figure of someone on foot.
DUI drivers will have to answer for their crimes in criminal court, but that won’t affect the family’s attempt to secure financial support through a civil claim.
The two cases will be separate. The family may immediately file a claim against the at-fault driver and seek fair support to protect the family in the coming years.
What Happens if My Loved One Was Killed by a Driver Without Insurance?
Unfortunately, far too many people ignore California law and drive without car liability insurance. An uninsured driver could strike a pedestrian and leave a family with no way to seek justice for what’s happened. The driver may face criminal charges, but that will be of no real comfort for grieving relatives.
The victim’s own car insurer could be called upon in this instance. The deceased’s car insurance protection from uninsured/underinsured motorists could safeguard the family. And when the victim did not carry insurance, it should be determined if perhaps a family member’s policy protection extended to covering the lost loved one.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving California Families
Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, wants to protect the rights of families who have already been put through so much. Families will have suffered through the tremendous shock of suddenly losing a loved one in a pedestrian accident. They should never be expected to pay for the financial consequences of a careless driver’s mistake.
Contact Maison Law for a free case consultation. Mr. Gasparian has an extensive background in taking on insurance companies to see that families aren’t subjected to their tactics and robbed of fair financial support. Families need time to grieve and proper support to begin rebuilding their lives.