Whether you walk through Turlock to get to work, to grab some exercise, or just to get somewhere, a safe trip is always the goal. Unfortunately, almost every pedestrian has to cross a street at some point. That puts us in possible contact with traffic, the biggest threat to any walker.
A resulting accident can leave a pedestrian injured and facing an expensive recovery. Let an experienced local attorney like those at the Maison Law Firm fight for you to get compensation to help cover medical bills and lost wages now and in the future.
A Deadly State for Pedestrians
California residents are increasingly finding danger when they walk. The state’s office of traffic safety reported almost 900 fatal pedestrian accidents in 2018. The office finds that the rate of deaths has risen 26% since 2014. To top it off, US News & World Report ranks California in the top ten for worst states for pedestrians.
Careless Drivers Cause Pedestrian Accidents
A pedestrian is uniquely vulnerable in any encounter with a vehicle. People aren’t born with armor. A collision can cause severe injuries. Most pedestrian fatalities involve head injuries. Chest and abdominal injuries also often factor for victims.
Unfortunately, a pedestrian can take every precaution while crossing a street, but a careless driver can nullify any safety efforts.
Here are some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents.
- Drivers speeding or driving too fast for conditions.
- Drivers failing to monitor crosswalks for pedestrians.
- Drivers failing to yield when making turns.
- Distracted driving while on a phone or texting.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
After an impact, a victim will likely feel overwhelmed and possibly in a lot of pain. Of course, see to your safety first. If you ended up in a spot that puts you in danger of getting hit again, try to get somewhere safe. Call 911.
Then, if able, you’ll need to start collecting details from your accident to build a strong case against the driver that caused it. Try to gather these crucial elements if possible:
- Give a full report to dispatchers and police.
- Take photos. Document the scene, the car that hit you, street signs. Take photos of any injuries that are visible and any damage to clothing.
- Talk to any witnesses.
- Exchange information with everyone involved but don’t make any statements about the accident. Insurance companies can use these statements against you later.
- Get checked out by EMS crews and your own doctor. Get everything documented.
- Keep any damaged clothing and personal items. Don’t throw evidence out.
Comparative Negligence for Pedestrians
What if you were texting while crossing the street when a car hit you? Maybe you didn’t cross at a crosswalk? You may feel like you were partially to blame in a collision with a car. That doesn’t mean you should forget about filing a claim. Pedestrians are required to use due care and caution for their own safety, and sometimes insurance companies will use this fact to weaken your claim.
Fortunately, California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means both the driver and the pedestrian can share the blame in an accident. They can be assigned a percentage of the fault.
For example, a pedestrian may be found to be 25% at fault for an accident, but a driver might be found to be 75% responsible. In that case, a pedestrian could still get compensation for injuries and other losses, but the 25% blame he or she shared would be deducted from the final award.
Deadline for Filing after a Pedestrian Accident
The State of California generally provides victims up to two years to file a claim after an accident. We recommend that victims don’t wait this long though. To build a strong case, evidence and reports will need to be collected. The more time that passes after an accident, the harder it’ll be to gather these details. A quick response is especially important after an accident caused by a hit-and-run or uninsured driver.
Contact a Turlock Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
After a pedestrian accident involving a serious injury in the Central Valley, contact attorney Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice, and personalized attention to detail their case deserves.