Riverside Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Riverside, CA, is a busy place, and every day many pedestrians make their way through the metropolitan area using sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian crossings. Unfortunately, some drivers do not pay attention to pedestrians as much as they should, and there are many ways for severe pedestrian accidents to occur. When these incidents happen, the pedestrians involved are almost always injured, and some of these injuries are permanent and affect them for the rest of their lives.
If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, the team at Chris and Frank can help you recover. A Riverside pedestrian accident attorney is the best asset you can have on your side after a negligent driver has caused injuries due to negligence or intentional recklessness. Our team will help you establish the full scope of your damages and guide you through the complex legal proceedings your case will entail.
Is It Worth Getting an Accident Lawyer for a Pedestrian Accident Case?
Drivers owe a duty of care to pedestrians to avoid colliding with them at all times, even when pedestrians cross roads outside designated crosswalks or are otherwise negligent in ways that contribute to causing these incidents. Pedestrians are much more vulnerable than motor vehicle drivers; therefore, drivers have more responsibility for preventing pedestrian accidents. This causes some pedestrian accident victims to believe that they can easily manage their civil claims on their own, saving money on legal fees.
It’s true that personal injury victims can successfully represent themselves and secure compensation for their losses without hiring attorneys. However, this route is far more challenging and riskier than simply hiring an experienced Riverside pedestrian accident lawyer to guide you through your civil case. If you attempt to do it alone, you risk making critical procedural errors that can interfere with your ability to recover or may even have your case thrown out on a technicality. It’s also possible to overlook channels of compensation that an experienced lawyer would be able to identify, resulting in much less compensation than you could have obtained with proper legal counsel on your side. Ultimately, the risks of self-representation far outweigh any potential benefits of saving money on legal fees.
An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can manage your case while focusing on your recovery with peace of mind. They will help you gather all evidence you need to establish liability for your damages and help you prove the full scope of those damages, maximizing your compensation.
Can I Claim Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident Personal Injury Case?
Civil law allows you to file a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for causing the accident if you are injured in a pedestrian accident in Riverside, California. Most pedestrian accidents result in severe injuries, so a plaintiff’s claimable damages are likely to be substantial. In addition, the plaintiff increases their chance of succeeding with their personal injury claim and maximizing their recovery when they hire an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to represent their claim.
Damages in a pedestrian accident claim can include:
- Medical expenses, including those incurred immediately following the pedestrian accident, as well as long-term medical costs. For example, an injured pedestrian can claim compensation for their hospital bills and emergency transportation fees as well as long-term costs like ongoing physical therapy and occupational therapy their injuries require.
- Lost income. A pedestrian accident can leave the injured pedestrian unable to work for an extended time while they recover. The plaintiff can claim the wages they lost during this recovery period. Additionally, if a plaintiff’s injuries prevent them from returning to work in the future, their Riverside pedestrian accident lawyer can help them obtain compensation for lost future income, calculating how much the plaintiff would have reasonably expected to earn until retirement age had their accident not occurred.
- Property damage. If a pedestrian accident also damages the victim’s personal property, they can claim repair or replacement costs in their civil claim.
- Pain and suffering. California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to recover compensation for their noneconomic damages, such as physical pain, psychological trauma, and emotional distress. Your Riverside pedestrian accident attorney will evaluate the scope of your economic damages and the severity of your injuries to help you determine a reasonable amount of pain and suffering damages to include in your lawsuit.
Pedestrian accidents often cause multiple injuries, many of which require extensive rehabilitation and long recovery times. Injured pedestrians are often left unable to work, and their economic losses can easily compound in a very short time. Therefore, it’s vital to have legal counsel you can trust if you want to ensure the best chance of securing maximum recovery for your losses from a pedestrian accident.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries in Riverside, CA
A pedestrian accident can easily cause severe injuries, which can potentially cause permanent medical complications and disabilities. Some of the most commonly reported pedestrian accident injuries in California include:
- Broken bones, some of which may require surgical treatment and many months of recovery time.
- Soft tissue damage to tendons and ligaments. These injuries may also require surgical treatment and can cause tremendous pain for a long time.
- Spinal injuries. Any injury to the spinal cord can cause permanent loss of sensitivity or even complete paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Head injuries can easily cause lifelong complications, and pedestrian accident victims who experience traumatic brain injuries face uncertain medical outcomes.
- Internal organ damage. Internal injuries can be life-threatening without immediate emergency treatment and can cause a host of long-term medical issues.
This is not an exhaustive list of possible pedestrian accident injuries, and many of these accidents cause multiple injuries to victims. Therefore, when a pedestrian accident occurs, the victim must determine how it happened and who is responsible for their damages.
What Is the Most Common Cause of Injury to Pedestrians?
Whenever a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian is very likely to sustain serious injuries. Pedestrian accidents occur for many reasons, but the most commonly cited cause of injury to pedestrians is failure to yield. Pedestrians have the right of way in most situations, and when a driver fails to yield the right of way, they can easily cause a devastating accident. In addition, pedestrian accidents commonly occur at crosswalks and intersections, and if drivers are not paying attention to their surroundings, they can easily collide with pedestrians. Some of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents in California include:
- Distracted driving. Pedestrians are smaller and harder to see than other vehicles, so if a driver is not paying full attention to their surroundings, they can easily cause a pedestrian accident. Distracted driving is the leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents in the US.
- Driving under the influence (DUI). It is illegal and extremely dangerous for any driver to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Impaired drivers have slowed reaction time, diminished spatial awareness, and are more likely to speed and engage in other risky driving maneuvers. In addition, a DUI driver who causes a pedestrian accident will face civil liability for the injured pedestrian’s damages and criminal prosecution under California’s DUI laws.
- Poor visibility. Pedestrians are more challenging for drivers to see compared to other vehicles, especially at night. Therefore, drivers must use their vehicles’ headlights and exercise caution at night, especially when driving in areas with lots of pedestrian traffic.
- Reckless driving. Every driver has a duty of care to follow posted traffic signals and operate their vehicle responsibly. When drivers engage in reckless behavior such as disregarding traffic signs, speeding, street racing, or swerving between lanes of slower-moving traffic, they increase the risk of an accident. Risky drivers are less likely to avoid a pedestrian accident than drivers who follow traffic safety laws.
These are just a few examples of how pedestrian accidents can occur. Depending on the nature of a pedestrian accident and the unique factors in play, an at-fault driver could not only face civil liability for the injured pedestrian’s damages but criminal prosecution as well.
What Happens If You Accidentally Hit a Pedestrian?
Any driver who hits a pedestrian will at the very least face civil liability for the pedestrian’s damages. Even if the pedestrian is partially at fault for causing the accident, drivers still have a higher duty of care because they are far more capable of injuring pedestrians than vice versa. If you are driving and hit a pedestrian, there are several possible outcomes. If the accident occurred due to simple negligence and the pedestrian survives, you would be liable for their civil damages such as medical expenses, pain, and suffering, and lost income. If the victim dies, you could face a wrongful death claim from their family.
Criminal penalties are also likely in some situations. For example, if you negligently cause another person’s death, you could face a charge of involuntary vehicular manslaughter. However, suppose the death occurs because you were intoxicated behind the wheel, driving recklessly, or engaged in some criminal action at the time. In that case, the charge may escalate the voluntary vehicular manslaughter. This also applies in DUI cases; a DUI driver who causes severe injuries or death to a pedestrian will likely face felony DUI charges, which typically entails driver’s license suspension, heavy fines, and an extensive prison sentence.
What Is Pedestrian Negligence with a Pedestrian Accident in Riverside?
Some drivers who face liability for pedestrian accidents argue that the pedestrians they struck were also to blame for these incidents. Jaywalking is one of the most commonly cited forms of pedestrian negligence that may come into play in a pedestrian accident case. Jaywalking is a criminal offense involving crossing a street illegally, such as crossing outside a designated crosswalk. A pedestrian who does this can step directly in front of a driver who does not have the time or space to avoid a collision.
California enforces a pure comparative negligence statute that can come into play in any personal injury case. Thus, the defendant alleges the plaintiff is partially responsible for causing their claimed damages. In a pedestrian accident lawsuit, this means that a plaintiff who engaged in any form of pedestrian negligence could lose a portion of their case award to reflect their comparative negligence.
California’s pure comparative negligence statute means that no threshold of plaintiff fault could prohibit the plaintiff from recovering damages. Many states limit plaintiff fault at 50%; anything more and the plaintiff cannot recover damages. In California, there is no such limit, so a plaintiff could theoretically be up to 99% at fault and still recover damages, but their case award incurs a penalty equal to their percentage of fault. For example, in a $100,000 claim in which the plaintiff is 10% at fault, the plaintiff loses 10% of the case award, receiving $90,000 instead.
What to Expect From Riverside Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Hiring an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer offers the best chance for you and your family to recover from the losses caused by your pedestrian accident. If a negligent driver caused injuries and economic losses, you and your family should not be forced to bear the cost of their actions. Your attorney will assist you in calculating the exact range of your claimable damages and help you gather the evidence you need to establish liability for those damages.
Once you and your attorney have identified the party or parties responsible for your losses and gathered the evidence you need to prove the full scope of your damages, your legal team will begin guiding you through the civil claims process. Most civil claims settle outside the courtroom, but this is only possible if the defendant accepts liability for the incident and is willing to negotiate. However, the defendant may accept liability but contest the extent of the damages the plaintiff claims. Thus, no matter what your pedestrian accident case entails, you can rely on Chris and Frank to guide you through your proceedings with confidence.
Chris and Frank have years of experience representing Riverside, CA, clients in a wide range of personal injury claims, including those pertaining to pedestrian accidents. We can put this experience to work for you and help you approach your pedestrian accident claim with clarity. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Riverside pedestrian accident attorney to learn more about your legal options and how our firm can assist in your recovery.
Riverside Practice Areas
- Riverside Personal Injury Lawyer
- Riverside Car Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Truck Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Bicycle Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Uber Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Lyft Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Slip and Fall Lawyer
- Riverside Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Riverside Dog Bite Lawyer
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