Costa Mesa Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Southern California is a busy place, and the Costa Mesa, CA, area is home to many people who spend time walking through busy metropolitan areas. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can happen when drivers fail to pay close enough attention to their surroundings. When these incidents occur, pedestrians are likely to suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries.
Legal Counsel for Pedestrian Accident Victims in Costa Mesa, CA
Suppose you or a loved one recently experienced a pedestrian accident. In that case, a Costa Mesa pedestrian accident lawyer is the best asset you can have on your side if you intend to pursue legal action against the driver responsible for the accident. The right attorney can not only help you hold a negligent driver accountable for a pedestrian accident but also assist with maximizing your recovery as much as possible.
The attorneys at Chris and Frank have years of experience handling complex personal injury claims for our clients in the Costa Mesa, CA, area. We understand that these accidents often cause life-changing damages, and our goal is to help our clients recover as fully as California state law allows. Our team will help you thoroughly explore your options for legal recourse against the driver who hit you and guide you through the process of holding them responsible for your damages.
Why You Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
It’s natural to be concerned and uncertain about your legal options following a personal injury in Costa Mesa, CA. You may not know how to accurately calculate your total damages or how to hold the at-fault driver accountable for them. Some people mistakenly assume they can manage their own personal injury claims without legal representation. In most cases, these individuals quickly realize that filing a personal injury claim is much more complicated than they initially expected.
Even if you managed to file your claim successfully on your own, you would need to handle all of your case’s procedural requirements while recovering from your injuries. You also run the risk of overlooking available compensation, settling for less than you truly deserve. Pedestrian accidents typically cause painful injuries that generate substantial economic problems for victims and families. Instead of facing this situation alone, have an experienced Costa Mesa pedestrian accident attorney guide you through your case.
Who Is Liable for a Pedestrian Accident in Orange County?
All motor vehicle drivers have a legal responsibility to avoid collisions with pedestrians. While there are many things pedestrians should do to be safe near roadways, drivers ultimately have a higher duty of care to prevent pedestrian accidents. Whenever a driver hits a pedestrian, the driver is liable for the resulting damages.
Proving fault in any personal injury claim in California involves establishing four critical components of negligence:
- Duty of care. The plaintiff must prove the defendant owed them a duty of care in the situation in question.
- Breach of duty. Next, the plaintiff needs to show how the defendant failed to uphold their duty of care or prove the defendant lacked reasonable care in the situation in question.
- Damage. You can only file a personal injury claim if you suffered actual harm. A Costa Mesa pedestrian accident lawyer will help their client prove the full extent of their damages.
- Causation. Finally, the plaintiff must prove their damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
Proving these four elements of negligence significantly increases the chance of success with a personal injury claim. An experienced Costa Mesa pedestrian accident lawyer can be invaluable when securing the evidence necessary for proving these four elements of negligence.
Pure Comparative Negligence in Costa Mesa Personal Injury Claims
Plaintiffs in pedestrian accident claims must also understand that they may face partial liability for their damages if they contribute to causing their accidents in any way. This is because California upholds a pure comparative negligence law. This law allows plaintiffs to recover damages for personal injuries even when partially responsible for causing those damages. However, the plaintiff loses a percentage of their case award equal to their percentage of fault in causing the accident.
Consider an example of a pedestrian accident plaintiff suing for $300,000 in damages, but the judge determines they are 20% at fault for causing the accident in question. The plaintiff then loses 20% of their case award, resulting in a net award of $240,000 instead. One of the most commonly cited reasons for defendants to claim comparative negligence is jaywalking, an infraction that entails crossing a street outside of a designated crosswalk.
Damages and Compensation for Pedestrians Involved in an Accident
Your pedestrian accident claim could be worth much more than you initially anticipated once you secure legal counsel from an experienced Costa Mesa pedestrian accident attorney. Your lawyer will help you explore every open channel of compensation in your claim. Your damages are likely to include:
- Property damage, in the event the accident resulted in the loss of your personal property.
- Medical expenses, including immediate medical costs like hospital bills and long-term treatment costs if you require physical therapy or other forms of rehabilitative care.
- Lost income. You may be unable to work while you recover from your injuries, and your attorney can help you secure compensation for wages lost at this time. Additionally, you have the right to seek compensation for lost future earning capacity if a defendant’s actions leave you disabled and you cannot return to work at all in the future.
- Pain and suffering. California law allows personal injury plaintiffs to recover compensation for physical pain and emotional distress. The amount they receive hinges on the severity of their injury.
Beyond these damages, some plaintiffs may also qualify to receive punitive damages. As the name suggests, punitive damages punish a defendant’s actions when they exceed the scope of typical negligence or act in intentionally harmful ways. The amount the defendant pays in punitive damages depends on the severity of their behavior and their overall financial status. If the defendant’s actions qualify for criminal prosecution, the judge handling their case may sentence them to restitution to the victim.
What Happens If a Pedestrian Accident Is Fatal?
Unfortunately, the risk of death is high in pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians have no physical protection from crash impact forces. Vehicles are capable of inflicting fatal injuries even at relatively moderate speeds. If a pedestrian dies after a vehicle strikes them, their surviving family could file a wrongful death claim to replace the personal injury claim they could have filed if the victim had survived.
Wrongful death claims are functionally similar to personal injury claims with several significant differences. First, a wrongful death claim does not aim to compensate the victim’s damages or losses incurred by the deceased’s estate. Instead, the wrongful death claim focuses on the family’s losses, such as the loss of affection, guidance, and household services provided by the deceased. In the event a pedestrian accident victim does not immediately die from their accident but lingers in the hospital for an extended period before ultimately passing away, their estate will likely incur damages. These may include hospital bills, lost income, and more. Their family could file a survival action alongside their wrongful death claim to compensate for damages to the deceased’s estate.
What Can a Costa Mesa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
Ultimately, pedestrian accidents are likely to result in devastating injuries and substantial economic losses. In addition, an injured pedestrian and their family likely face an extremely challenging road to recovery and multiple economic pressures resulting from the accident. Hiring an experienced Costa Mesa pedestrian accident lawyer is the best way to confront these challenges.
Your attorney can handle all of your court filings and other procedural obligations on your behalf. This allows you to focus on your recovery with peace of mind knowing your case is in capable and trustworthy hands. In addition, your legal team will gather the evidence you need to prove liability for your damages and establish the full scope of those damages, likely helping you secure much more compensation than you could have hoped to secure on your own.
Some pedestrian accident claims involve unclear liability, and some involve more than one defendant. When proving fault for your pedestrian accident is difficult, an experienced attorney will have the resources you need to navigate your case successfully. For example, they may consult various expert witnesses who can contribute to your case in numerous ways. An accident reconstruction specialist could help you prove precisely how your accident occurred and establish liability. In addition, a medical expert could help the court fully understand the scope of your injuries and future prognosis for long-term medical complications. An experienced Costa Mesa pedestrian accident lawyer is the best resource for securing expert witness testimony when you need it.
Costa Mesa Pedestrian Accidents FAQs
The attorneys at Chris and Frank have years of experience with pedestrian accident claims in southern California. We want our prospective clients in the Costa Mesa area to understand their rights and their options for legal recourse after experiencing pedestrian accidents. You are likely to have many questions about your situation after a pedestrian accident. The following are some of the questions we frequently hear from pedestrian accident victims in Costa Mesa, CA, and answers you might find helpful during this challenging time for you and your family.
Q: Can I Claim Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident?
A: When another party injures you in any way, you likely have grounds for legal action so long as you can prove actual harm. Pedestrian accidents often result in devastating injuries and economic losses. California state law allows a pedestrian accident victim to claim compensation for all damages they incur from these incidents.
Q: Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
A: Some car accidents only result in minimal cosmetic damages to the vehicles involved. California law requires reporting any accident that causes injury, significant property damage, or death. If you only have a minor accident with another driver, you may be able to settle the issue without legal action. However, when a car strikes a pedestrian, the pedestrian is likely to suffer severe injuries even at low speed. You should promptly consult a Costa Mesa pedestrian accident attorney if you experience a pedestrian accident.
Q: Should I Get a Lawyer for an Accident That Was My Fault?
A: If you cause an accident, the victim may file a lawsuit against you. Even if you accept responsibility and are prepared to face the consequences of your actions, you should have legal counsel on your side. A defense attorney can help ensure the plaintiff’s settlement is fair and reasonable.
Q: When Should I Hire a Lawyer After an Accident?
A: Your priority after any accident should be your health and safety. Seek medical care immediately, even if you think your injuries are mild. Once you understand the full scope of your injuries, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you secure legal counsel, the better your chances are of succeeding with a personal injury claim.
Find Your Legal Team Today
It’s normal to feel uncertain and distressed about your situation after experiencing a pedestrian accident in Costa Mesa. You likely suffered severe injuries that pose significant economic challenges to you and your family. In addition, you may not know whether another party is responsible or the legal procedures necessary for holding them accountable. Chris and Frank attorneys understand this difficult situation and want to provide the legal counsel you need to navigate it successfully.
Our team offers significant experience handling pedestrian accident claims on behalf of Costa Mesa clients. We know the area and the risks most pedestrians face every day. We can help you determine the fault for your recent pedestrian accident and gather the evidence you will need to hold the at-fault party accountable for your damages. In addition, if you or your loved one is struggling with the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, we can help. Contact Chris and Frank today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how an experienced Costa Mesa pedestrian accident lawyer can assist with your recovery.
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