San Jose traffic levels have made driving quite a frustrating task in recent years. Walking to where you need to be is a cheaper and generally less anxiety-inducing solution, but there are always safety concerns that come along with being a pedestrian.
Unfortunately, people on foot often have very little control over their own well-being. They can be as safe as possible, but poorly designed intersections and a lack of footpaths in San Jose always leave pedestrians to confront the flow of vehicle traffic. But it’s the careless drivers approaching those intersections that present the real danger.
Drivers can give little attention to the road and the person trying to cross the street in front of them. This lack of focus leads to thousands of pedestrian impacts in San Jose and can leave victims with severe injuries. Victims and their families must know how to seek injury compensation after a San Jose pedestrian accident.
A Free Case Consultation in San Jose
Pedestrian accident victims deserved better protection before they got hurt, and once they’ve been injured, they should demand full compensation from careless drivers. The costs of healthcare and the lost wages while missing work should never fall to an injured pedestrian. The car insurance provider for the careless driver should cover every cost of hospital care and much more.
Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, offers all victims and their families a free, no-obligation consultation. Victims should know about all of the benefits available to them. These are benefits and rights that an insurance company won’t likely mention. Contact Maison Law of San Jose to schedule your free case evaluation today.
San Jose Pedestrian Dangers
San Jose doesn’t have a great record for protecting pedestrians, especially in the southern portion of the city. Hundreds of people on foot suffer serious injuries each year.
The intersection of McLaughlin Avenue and Story Road is an especially dangerous spot that can leave walkers crossing ten lanes of traffic during the duration of a single walk signal. Blossom Hill Road’s intersection with Winfield Boulevard and Monterey Road are also extremely dangerous spots for pedestrians.
The California Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) tracks accidents across San Jose each week. In 2020, they found that San Jose saw 786 pedestrian accidents. 835 people were reported injured in those collisions with a tragic 24 people killed.
These accidents change the course of lives for victims and their families. It’s absolutely critical that victims and families receive the compensation they need to make a full recovery physically and financially. A skilled San Jose Personal Injury Lawyer can make sure insurance companies are held accountable. A victim’s lawyer will secure an injury settlement while removing the worry and stress for victims so they can focus on healing.
What to Do to Strengthen Your San Jose Pedestrian Accident Case
We must remember that we all become pedestrians once we reach our destinations and get out of our cars. A collision in a parking lot could leave you just as hurt as if you were hit in a crosswalk.
After a San Jose pedestrian collision, it’s critical to make sure you leave the scene with as much evidence as possible. Having strong proof that shows a driver is at fault is the best way to prevent a car insurance provider from rejecting your claim.
If you’re physically strong enough, try to collect this evidence in the moments after an accident:
- Call 911. Give a full report to the responding officer. Tell ambulance crews about every pain you have.
- Take photos of the scene. Show the cars involved. Show any visible injuries. Get shots of traffic signs, crosswalk markings, and skid marks.
- Get contact information from witnesses. Get a name and phone number for anyone who stopped to assist you, even if they didn’t see the accident occur.
- Scan the area for the potential of any security cameras. Alert your San Jose personal injury lawyer to these cameras.
- Keep all evidence. Don’t wash any bloody clothing. Preserve your clothes and your shoes.
- Get yourself checked out by your own doctor. Save all medical invoices.
What Can I Earn Compensation for After a Pedestrian Accident
After an accident, your San Jose pedestrian accident lawyer will be working with you to create a list of the financial damages and hardships you’ve endured. Every damage must be on this list when submitted to an insurance company in an injury claim. Anything not included will come out of your pocket.
Your San Jose attorney will know to include some losses you may not have thought of. These are just a few of the things that will factor into your pedestrian accident injury claim settlement check:
- Medical bills–The bills already sent to your mailbox and the cost of any care you’re expected to need in the years to come.
- Permanent disability or disfigurement — Money for the long-term physical therapy and medical equipment needed. Compensation for career training if you can’t go back to your old job. House renovations. Plastic surgery costs to restore your appearance.
- Wrongful Death – After the tragic loss of life, the family should receive support for funeral and burial costs. The guidance and income the deceased can no longer provide in the coming years must also factor into a settlement check for loved ones.
- Physical pain and emotional trauma – Enduring extreme pain after an injury factors into compensation. Emotional trauma in the crash or in recovery also must be considered when negotiating a personal injury settlement with insurance companies.
- Loss of income: The wages you’ve given up by having to miss work hours over your injuries.
- Travel costs: The expense of travel to see doctors and specialists. The added cost if you are temporarily off your feet and require shuttle service for medical care.
Common Injuries After a San Jose Pedestrian Collision
The compensation you earn is incredibly important when you consider the devastating injuries that may occur when you get struck by a car.
These injuries can rob you of your enjoyment of life. They can leave you unable to participate in family activities. You may have to give up traveling and your hobbies for weeks or months.
These are just a few of the most common and serious injuries pedestrian accident victims suffer:
- Musculoskeletal injuries: These are the most common type of injuries for adult victims. They involve strains, sprains, and dislocations in bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Healing can take weeks and patients can develop chronic pain.
- Head Injuries: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) leads to memory loss, sensitivity to light, sleeplessness. Concussions can be light to severe. A skull fracture can lead to brain bleeding.
- Neck injuries: Whiplash is seen when victims have their heads quickly thrown forward and backward. The head may need to be immobilized as healing takes place. Things like moving the head and sneezing will be extremely painful. Full recovery usually takes over a month or more.
- Spine Injury: A cervical spine dislocation is another common injury, especially for older pedestrian victims. The ligaments in the spine are damaged. This may include a spine fracture or dislocation. It happens when blunt forces leave adjoining spine bones abnormally separated, causing instability.
- Back injuries: The stretching of muscles, tendons, and ligaments, leaves microscopic tears in back muscles. These difficult-to-treat injuries can cause life-long back pain.
- Broken bones: Fractures in legs and arms are most common in accident victims. Some breaks can be very difficult to heal. Bones can even heal in the wrong position and may need to be broken again and reset through surgery.
Statute of Limitations for Santa Clara County Pedestrian Accident Victims
Pedestrian traffic accident victims in California have up to two years from the date of the accident to file a claim over their injuries. Once this two-year deadline has come and gone, victims give up their right to ask for injury support unless there are extenuating circumstances.
It’s critical to get your case in the hands of a San Jose Pedestrian Accident Lawyer as soon as you can. Lawyers begin an investigation into your case as soon as you hire them. When you wait for more than a few weeks evidence becomes harder to track down. Witnesses can also move and be harder to locate. Your lawyer can still earn you a fair settlement, but getting your case started early gives you the best chance to secure the maximum compensation available.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a San Jose Pedestrian Accident?
If the injuries involved in your pedestrian accident were more than just a few scrapes and bruises, you’d probably greatly benefit from having a San Jose Pedestrian Accident Attorney. Your attorney handles the communications with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. This shields you and your family from frustrating contact with insurance adjusters so that healing can be the focus.
If your lawyer is skilled and experienced, you won’t be vulnerable to the tactics insurance companies use on unrepresented victims. They can delay responding to your claim, simply to wait until you are in a financial jam with your medical bills. They want to get you desperate for any help at all.
Then they extend a “lowball offer” that may only cover your trip to the emergency room. Any other recovery costs and lost time at work would be your responsibility. Your lawyer sends these types of offers back and demands what’s fair.
Your lawyer also puts together a strong case for you so you’re protected if you are being unfairly blamed for what happened. That proof is sent to insurance adjusters to make sure they realize there’s no way to escape paying what’s fair.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I receive compensation if I wasn’t in a crosswalk when I was hit?
Yes. Drivers owe pedestrians a special “duty of care” no matter where they may encounter them. Pedestrians can earn compensation from the driver even if they were outside a crosswalk, though any award may be reduced.
Can I get receive compensation if I’m found partly to blame for my pedestrian accident?
Yes. You may be crossing the street outside a crosswalk, but the driver who hits you can still be liable. In California, you can both be assigned a percentage of the blame. You would still earn injury compensation but your percentage of fault would be deducted.
Should I talk to the at-fault driver’s insurance representative?
No. Insurance adjusters for the driver will be calling you. They’ll ask you to make a statement about what happened while they record you. Decline. They hope you’ll say something they can later twist to hurt your case. Refer them to your lawyer.
Contact a San Jose Attorney Representing Pedestrian Accident Victims
Pedestrian accident victims and their families should be supported through recovery, but, unfortunately, fair and compassionate treatment isn’t guaranteed. Instead of supporting you, insurance companies work harder to try to limit the amount of help you receive.
Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law of San Jose, has spent a career giving a voice to victims when their accidents bring them in contact with giant insurance companies. Insurance tactics steal compensation from accident victims each day. Make sure your interests are safeguarded by a skilled San Jose Personal Injury Attorney.
Contact Maison Law for a free and confidential case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian will listen to you and help you determine the best path to earning the maximum in financial support for what you and your family have been through.