Pedestrian injury lawyer in Orange County, California
Injured in Hit and Run Pedestrian Accident? Contact Us Today
The greater L.A. area, including Newport Beach, is one of the most populous in the nation. It is a place in which many people commute from place to place. It is also a place where the persistent sun and warmth make it just as easy and pleasant to walk from one place to another. If you have been struck by a vehicle and injured as a result, then you should seek legal advice.
Pedestrian Safety in California
Despite the many interventions made by the state government, pedestrian accidents continue to rise in California. There was a 16% increase in 2016, and the state is on track for 2.43 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 persons in 2017. Nearly 60% of accidents in the state of California involve pedestrians—the highest rate in the country. Many of these accidents take place at night and are hit-and-run incidents. If you or a loved one were struck crossing the road, consult with an attorney to determine fault.
The government strongly encourages drivers and pedestrians to work together – look out for each other – on the road, urging for safety. As a shared responsibility, everyone on the road should follow the rules of the road.
Safety Tips – Drivers
- Avoid speeding
- Monitor your surroundings, especially at night
- Do not engage in drunk driving, or use drugs while driving
- Look out for pedestrians in all weather conditions, especially at night
- Keep in mind, pedestrians have the right of way at the crosswalk and intersection
- Yield when needed for pedestrians like the crosswalk
- Be mindful of toys or balls that bounce out – a child may be running behind it
Safety Tips – Pedestrians
- When it is dark outside, wear bright colors and take a flashlight with you
- Try to walk on the sidewalk
- Avoid walking under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Cell phone use can be distracting. Refrain from frequent use
- Monitor your surroundings, especially before crossing the street
- Although drivers will yield for you, make sure to obey traffic signals
- Look out for vehicles making a turn
- No jaywalking
Age plays a significant role in pedestrian accidents from children to older and elderly adults. Children often impulsively run out into the road if their ball bounces out into the road. Younger kids lack judgement to determine how to avoid not looking both ways before crossing the street or requesting help from an adult. Paired with a child’s actions due to lack of judgement, are adults engaging in poor driving behavior. Reckless driving can result in a terrible pedestrian collision.
Older adult pedestrians over the age of 65 are also more susceptible to getting hurt in a pedestrian collision. They may be impacted with vision loss, hearing loss, or health conditions that impact how they cross the street or navigate when walking. When an older person is struck by a motor vehicle, the rate of disability and death are drastically higher than younger adults. They can experience more time at the hospital and long-term complications. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, accidents that happen to the elderly occur frequently during the day, at the end of the street before crossing.
What to do If You Are Hit by a Car
Being hit by a motor vehicle is a sudden, violent, and jarring event. It can leave you confused and unsettled. The force of the impact will knock you down and cause you to feel dizziness and pain. If you are still conscious after the accident, you should take the following actions:
Get the license plate number of the car
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are not uncommon in California. If the car that hit you does not stop, you should try to take down its license plate. This can be done by punching the letters and numbers onto your cell phone.
Do not assume that the people who witness the accident will call emergency services. They will send rescue vehicles to your location. In the meantime, while you wait, take time to assess the situation if you can. As the pedestrian you may be too injured to gather evidence. Nearby witnesses may be able to do so on your behalf.
If you were the at-fault driver, it can help your case if you also take photographic evidence of videos of the scene. In most cases the driver is liable in a pedestrian-car accident. It is not always likely depending on the circumstances of what happened. A few examples of negligent pedestrian behavior are:
- Walking directly into oncoming traffic
- Crossing highways and busy roads without traffic lights or other controls
- Choosing to walk alongside prohibited areas from bridges to highways
- Jaywalking across the street, and not using a nearby crosswalk
- When walking across the street is going against traffic signals
- Making the choice to not look both ways before crossing the street on a busy road
Get information from the driver
If the driver does stop and checks to see if you are alright, you should simply describe your state of feeling at that time. If you have aches and pains, tell them so. However, you should avoid saying anything that absolves them of fault or admits it on your part. You should then exchange personal contact details such as:
- Telephone number
- Insurance policy number
- Insurance company name
- The name, address, and telephone number of an insurance representative if available
- License plate number
Go to the emergency room
When you are offered the option to receive medical treatment, do not refuse it. We understand contributing factors such as: not having insurance, the cost of an ambulance, costly hospital bills to name a few. However, you will need to be thoroughly examined at the hospital to provide urgent documentation when you file a claim.
The doctors will need to determine the extent and severity of your injuries. Some injuries can go undiagnosed, with common symptoms. You should photograph all scrapes, cuts, and bruises before they are treated and bandaged. The medical staff will show you how to do so safely. Similarly, to trying to avoid admitting to fault, refrain from saying that you feel “fine,” after the collision. The at fault-driver, or pedestrian can use it against you to drop the case against him/her.
After your release from the hospital, the only thing on your mind might be the bills piling up, if you are able to return to work or take care of your family. In fact, it may not be enough to just take a trip to the emergency room. Not everything can be solved from one visit. Follow ups with your primary physician may be needed, days if not weeks after an accident. Showing that you are still going to get treated will work in you and your lawyer’s favor. It shows your insurance company, as well as the at-fault person(s) insurance company that you are doing everything you can to get well. It also proves that the motor vehicle accident had a serious effect on your livelihood.
Pedestrian accident attorney Orange County, California
The Long-Term Impact of a Pedestrian Accident
When and where a collision happens has a major impact when you consider hiring a lawyer. Pedestrian accidents normally happen at night when there is less visibility. Alcohol happens to be a recurring factor that impacts a high percentage of pedestrians, resulting in serious fatalities. Pedestrian accidents can produce very severe to life threatening injuries. You are at your most unprotected and vulnerable state when walking down the street. Taking on the full force of a vehicle will leave you with serious bruising, scars, and broken limbs.
The more forceful the impact, the more likely you will have to spend a long time in the hospital. Your medical expenses will continue to pile up while you are recovering, and you will be unable to pay them. When you are finally released from the hospital, you may not be able to return to your place of work—this is especially true if your job was physically demanding.
You should not have to shoulder the strain of this burden alone. The person whose negligence led to your personal injury should be held accountable. To avoid risks of injury try to take precautionary measures regardless if you are driving, riding a bike or walking.
How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Near You Can Help
Accident lawyers help ordinary people get the compensation they deserve. During your initial consultation with a lawyer, they will ask you to recall the events that led to the accident. They will also ask you about the prognosis for your recovery. These statements will form the basis of your lawyer’s legal strategy.
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run, you should not be discouraged. Specialized lawyers face these types of situations all the time. Your lawyer will initiate their own investigation into the accident, using their own professional investigators. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime, and technically it should be investigated by the police department. They are not likely to make it a priority; however, the legal advisers that you work with will.
If you were able to record all or some of the license plates, frequent walking accident lawyers have the capacity to track down the vehicle and the owner.
If the person whose car struck you stopped and offered help, things will go a little smoother. However, inquiries must still be made into their sobriety and state-of-mind before the accident. Attorneys know how to gather the kind of evidence that will compel their insurance company to pay you a just settlement.
If you have been in a pedestrian accident, you need legal counsel. You should seek consultation for the best chance at getting fairly compensated for damages recoverable.
Damages Recoverable in a Pedestrian Accident
Each year in the United States, thousands of pedestrians are injured due to the negligence of drivers, cyclists, and others, with many pedestrians sustaining serious or life-threatening injuries. In many cases, what appear to be minor accidents, such as being knocked to the ground by a dog, can result in serious injuries. In these situations, receiving compensation for your damages is essential, which is why you should always turn to an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to negotiate on your behalf.
When you are a pedestrian who is injured due to the carelessness and negligence of others, you will likely sustain serious injuries that will lead to an influx of high medical bills that may continue for months or even years…
Along with worrying about the never-ending number of medical bills that arrive in your mailbox each day, you and your family will also be concerned about the sudden loss of income…
While you were walking along the road, you may have had various personal possessions with you, such as a smartphone or other items. If you did and they were damaged due to the accident, you are entitled to seek compensation…
Pain and Suffering
In addition to medical attention and taking the necessary prescriptions, there is a change you may need therapy for accident-related PTSD. Also depending on your injuries, you may find yourself in great physical pain and thus be unable to enjoy your day-to-day life…
Whether it was a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted by their cell phone, or a person who would not keep their dog under control, these and other actions should always be dealt with appropriately in court. Read on to learn more about what you can recover from a pedestrian-based accident.