Representing Injured Pedestrians in San Diego, CA
San Diego is one of the busiest metropolitan areas of southern California. While traffic throughout California is notoriously congested, many pedestrians travel throughout San Diego, CA, every day. Unfortunately, many of these individuals suffer injuries when they are struck by negligent and reckless drivers. Whenever a pedestrian accident occurs, the pedestrian is likely to suffer extreme injuries, many of which can be life-changing or fatal without immediate emergency treatment. Even a seemingly mild pedestrian accident can cause severe injuries that affect the victim’s life in many ways for months or even years.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a San Diego, CA, Pedestrian Accident?
Suppose you or a loved one recently sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver. In that case, it is essential to know your legal options for holding the responsible party accountable for your damages. California law allows an injured pedestrian to file a personal injury claim against a driver who hit them. While this may seem like a straightforward process at first, the reality is that any pedestrian accident claim in San Diego has the potential to escalate into a very difficult legal battle. The longer it persists, the more the victim must struggle with the aftermath of their accident. However, the right San Diego pedestrian accident lawyer can streamline their client’s recovery, guiding them for the legal processes necessary for holding the at-fault driver accountable for their damages.
Chris and Frank are a team of experienced California personal injury lawyers who have successfully guided many clients in the San Diego, CA, area through complex personal injury claims. Our team believes in client-focused representation, taking time to get to know each client we represent, and learning how their experiences have impacted their lives to provide carefully focused and individualized legal counsel. We can help you determine liability for your recent pedestrian accident and assist you in securing the compensation you deserve after a negligent driver has injured you.
Is It Worth Hiring a San Diego Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
It’s understandable to have concerns about hiring an attorney to represent your San Diego pedestrian accident claim, especially when fault seems perfectly clear in your situation. While it’s true that drivers have a higher duty of care than pedestrians when it comes to preventing accidents, and drivers are almost always to blame for causing these incidents, navigating any pedestrian accident claim is more complicated than most people may realize at first.
If you attempt to file your pedestrian accident claim without legal representation, you will face several significant risks. First, you could make procedural errors in filing your case and unintentionally delay your proceedings. Second, substantial errors in your court filings or missing specific deadlines could jeopardize your ability to hold the at-fault driver accountable for your damages. Additionally, you would need to manage these requirements while also handling the personal aftermath of the accident, including recovery from painful and debilitating injuries. Hiring an experienced San Diego pedestrian accident attorney not only makes it much easier for you to handle these matters but will also allow you to rest with peace of mind knowing your legal team can effectively manage your case on your behalf.
Hiring the right attorney also has a tremendous impact on the quality of your overall recovery. While the average person can likely calculate their immediate damages from a personal injury, such as hospital bills and income lost during their recovery period, they may overlook other channels of compensation available to them when they do not have reliable legal counsel reviewing their case. As a result, your San Diego pedestrian accident attorney is likely able to secure far more compensation for your damages than you could have managed on your own.
How Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
Pedestrian accidents can occur anyplace where pedestrians must walk near motor vehicle traffic. Busy intersections in densely populated urban areas are typically the most common places for pedestrian accidents to occur. Many of these incidents happen due to the exact causes that lead to other motor vehicle accidents, including:
- Distracted driving, which is the leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents in the US. Whenever a driver is not paying full attention to the road and their surroundings, they put themselves and others at risk. Unfortunately, even a few seconds of distracted driving is enough to prevent a driver from recognizing a risk and slowing down or stopping in time to avoid a collision.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. It’s illegal for any driver to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated. An intoxicated driver experiences diminished spatial awareness, reaction time, and judgment capabilities and may not react appropriately to sudden changes in traffic patterns. DUI drivers are more likely to speed and less likely to slow down before striking a pedestrian, so the resulting injuries from these incidents are likely to be catastrophic for the pedestrian. Any driver who causes a pedestrian accident due to impaired driving faces criminal penalties as well as civil liability for the pedestrian’s damages.
- Speeding. Whenever drivers disregard posted speed limits, they put themselves and others at severe risk. Accidents that occur at higher speeds are more likely to result in severe injuries and fatalities.
- Illegal turns and other moving violations. Traffic patterns and signals are meant to allow drivers and pedestrians to anticipate the actions of others around them. When drivers commit moving violations, they risk causing severe accidents. For example, turning before the intersection light indicates it is appropriate could lead to a pedestrian accident in the crosswalk as the driver makes their illegal turn.
These are only a few ways for pedestrian accidents to happen. Remember, pedestrians may contribute to their accidents when they do not follow posted safety signals such as crosswalk indicators. While drivers still hold the higher duty of care to prevent accidents, pedestrians can incur partial liability for their damages when they fail to uphold their duty of care to abide by crosswalk signals and other indicators intended to guide pedestrians safely.
Tips for Pedestrians to Limit Their Risk of Accidents in San Diego, CA
It’s vital for every pedestrian in San Diego, CA, to walk carefully and limit their risk of suffering injuries in an accident with a motor vehicle driver. While it’s impossible to consistently predict how others will behave around you, there are some best practices you can follow to limit your risk of experiencing a pedestrian accident in San Diego:
- Stay alert. Refrain from using headphones or walking while looking at your phone, especially around vehicles. Paying attention to your surroundings is the best way to prevent yourself from being a pedestrian accident victim.
- Remain cautious with the right of way. Even when a crosswalk indicator shows that it is safe for you to cross a street, always check to ensure no incoming drivers may have run a red light or made an improper turn into your path.
- Make yourself visible. If you are walking at night, the risk of experiencing a pedestrian accident increases significantly. Try to stick to well-lit streets and always walk on sidewalks and across designated pedestrian crosswalks.
Hopefully, these tips can help you reduce your chance of suffering a pedestrian accident. However, if, despite your best efforts, a pedestrian accident occurs and you sustain injuries, it is essential to know your rights and your legal options for holding the at-fault driver accountable for your damages.
Proving Fault for a Pedestrian Accident
A pedestrian accident claim is a personal injury claim, and therefore the central legal concept during the case proceedings will be negligence. This term describes a party’s failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. When you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a San Diego pedestrian accident, successfully holding the at-fault driver accountable depends on your ability to prove they were negligent in a way that directly resulted in your damages.
The first step in proving fault for a pedestrian accident is positively identifying the party or parties responsible for causing the incident. Your San Diego pedestrian accident lawyer may help you accomplish this by gathering evidence such as the alleged defendant’s cell phone records and vehicle computer data, traffic camera footage from the area where the incident occurred, and eyewitness testimony from those who saw the accident occur firsthand.
Once you have identified the defendant in your pedestrian accident claim, you must show the court they were negligent in a manner that directly resulted in your claimed damages. This means proving they owed you a duty of care in the given situation but failed to uphold this duty of care somehow. For example, running a red light or driving while using a cell phone are two common examples of how drivers could breach their duty of care to drive safely and cause a pedestrian accident.
The final element of establishing a defendant’s fault for a pedestrian accident is offering a complete account of all the damages resulting from their actions and proving those damages are the direct results of their negligence and not some other cause. Essentially, the plaintiff must prove they suffered actual harm from the defendant’s negligence and prove the harm they experienced solely resulted from the defendant’s breached duty of care.
Damages and Compensation in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
Pedestrian accidents tend to cause severe injuries. As a result, an injured pedestrian can incur many economic damages and significant non-economic damages from a pedestrian accident. Your San Diego pedestrian accident lawyer can help you calculate the full scope of the damages you can include with your personal injury claim, including:
- Medical expenses. In California, a personal injury plaintiff has the right to recover all of their medical expenses resulting from a defendant’s negligence. This includes immediate expenses like hospital bills as well as long-term medical care costs if their injuries necessitate ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.
- Lost income. A severe pedestrian accident can cause debilitating injuries that prevent the victim from working for an extended time. Your attorney can help you recover compensation for income lost during your initial recovery period as well as future income potential lost if you are unable to return to work due to your injuries.
- Property damage. If the defendant’s actions also destroyed any of the plaintiff’s personal property, the plaintiff can include repair or replacement costs in their pedestrian accident claim.
- Pain and suffering. It may sound difficult to assign a dollar value to something like physical pain or emotional trauma, but your San Diego pedestrian accident lawyer can help you determine an appropriate figure based on the severity of your injuries. For example, you could receive “per diem” compensation for every day you spend in recovery until you reach maximum medical improvement, or your attorney may seek a larger lump sum if your accident resulted in a permanent disability.
Your pedestrian accident claim could be worth much more than you initially expected when you have the right legal team representing you.
What to Expect From Your San Diego Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer to represent your pedestrian accident claim has a tremendous impact on the quality of your recovery. When you choose Chris and Frank to represent you after experiencing a pedestrian accident in San Diego, we aim to help you recover your damages to the fullest extent possible under California state law. Therefore, we will take time to carefully review the details of your claim to ensure we provide the most comprehensive legal counsel we possibly can.
Your pedestrian accident could involve complex questions of liability, and more than one party can bear responsibility for your accident. However, it is also possible for a defendant named in your personal injury claim to allege comparative negligence on your part. Chris and Frank will help you gather the evidence and witness testimony you may require to disprove a defendant’s claim of comparative negligence and preserve your right to recovery.
We understand that you probably have many questions about your legal options following a pedestrian accident in San Diego and that your damages have likely created significant financial strain for you and your family. Rest assured that our team will do everything we can to guide you through your legal proceedings with confidence. If you are ready to discuss your options for legal recourse with an experienced San Diego pedestrian accident lawyer, contact Chris and Frank today to schedule a free case evaluation with our team.
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