Santa Ana Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Santa Ana is a busy part of Orange County, California, and many people navigate the area on foot every day. Pedestrians in the area typically can reach their destinations without issue, but unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can and do occur, often with catastrophic effects. When a driver hits a pedestrian, the victim is likely to suffer extreme injuries, some of which may be life-threatening without immediate emergency care. Even if a pedestrian accident seems to result in relatively mild injuries, the victim can still face a challenging road to recovery.
Representing Victims of Pedestrian Accidents in Santa Ana, CA
Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys offers comprehensive and client-focused legal counsel for personal injury claims in Santa Ana, CA, including those pertaining to pedestrian accidents. If you or a loved one was recently hit by a driver while walking in the area, you likely have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the driver who hit you. A successful pedestrian accident claim can potentially yield compensation for all the economic losses resulting from your accident and pain and suffering compensation. The sooner you speak with an experienced attorney, the sooner they can begin working on your case.
Benefits of Working With a Santa Ana Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
It can be challenging to navigate the aftermath of a pedestrian accident in the Santa Ana, CA, area, especially if you have suffered severe injuries. Your Santa Ana pedestrian accident attorney can handle your legal affairs so you can focus on your recovery with peace of mind. Choosing the right attorney to represent your case can make a substantial difference in the quality of your final recovery.
You can rely on your legal team to gather the evidence they need to establish fault for your damages. Depending on how and where your accident occurred, you may need to secure physical evidence from the accident scene, such as traffic camera footage. Your attorney may also seek copies of the defendant’s cell phone records and vehicle computer data. If any bystanders saw the accident, your attorney will help you locate them and obtain their statements.
Ultimately, you are more likely to win a civil suit when you have experienced legal counsel managing your case, and you are more likely to maximize your total recovery. If you are hesitant about the potential cost of legal fees, remember that you are likely to lose more than you will save on legal fees if you attempt to handle your case alone. Your legal team can uncover various avenues of compensation, some of which you may not have realized were available to you.
Determining Liability for a Pedestrian Accident in California
Proving fault for your damages is an essential first step in securing the compensation you need after a pedestrian accident. This process will unfold differently for every plaintiff. Fault is much clearer in some pedestrian accident cases than in others. However, drivers are always held to a higher standard of care than pedestrians when it comes to this type of accident. This means all drivers are at all times responsible for preventing collisions with pedestrians. This includes incidents involving jaywalking pedestrians who cross outside designated crosswalks and those who step directly into traffic.
Comparative negligence comes into play whenever the plaintiff in a civil claim bears partial responsibility for causing their damages. For example, if a pedestrian contributes to causing the accident they experienced through their own negligence, they will be assigned a fault percentage by the judge handling their case. As a result, the plaintiff loses a portion of their final case award equal to this fault percentage, potentially diminishing their final case award substantially.
If you have any concerns about comparative liability coming into play in your pedestrian accident case, consult your attorney as to the best defenses against any claims of comparative fault from the defendant. If you are not at fault for causing your pedestrian accident, your attorney will know what evidence you will need to establish the defendant’s breached duty of care and responsibility for your damages.
California Statutes Regarding Pedestrian Accidents
Every personal injury claim filed in California must adhere to a few statutory requirements. First, every personal injury case must be based on actual harm. This means the plaintiff must be able to show they suffered some measurable or tangible loss from the incident in question. Second, the case must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations or time limit for filing the case. Personal injury claims in California must be filed within two years of the incidents to which they pertain.
Drivers who hit pedestrians are legally obligated to stop and wait for emergency personnel to arrive on the scene and take responsibility for the incident. However, if a driver hits a pedestrian and keeps going, fleeing the scene, they are then liable for criminal prosecution for a hit and run. If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a hit-and-run driver, an experienced attorney could help you determine the best way to identify and locate the driver who hit you.
In the event an intoxicated driver hits and injures a pedestrian, they face felony prosecution for driving under the influence (DUI) and causing bodily harm. It’s also possible for a driver to face felony charges if they hit a pedestrian while fleeing a previous criminal act. Ultimately, criminal cases may unfold in tandem with civil claims from victims against the same defendants. Your Santa Ana pedestrian accident lawyer will help you understand how your case may align with a criminal case filed by the state.
Damages and Compensation in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
California’s personal injury laws allow plaintiffs to seek full compensation for any economic losses they suffer from the actions of the defendants named in their civil suits. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are easily capable of causing catastrophic physical injuries that result in expensive medical bills and often cause permanent disabilities. Your Santa Ana pedestrian accident attorney will be instrumental in calculating the damages you can seek with your personal injury claim, which are likely to include:
- Medical treatment costs, both immediately following the incident and in the future. Many pedestrian accident victims suffer severe injuries that require extensive ongoing treatment. Your Santa Ana pedestrian accident lawyer can help you gather whatever documentation you may need to prove the full scope of the treatments you require following your accident.
- Lost wages. If you suffer any serious injury from a pedestrian accident, you may be unable to work until you fully recover. If you suffered a catastrophic injury resulting in permanent disability, you might not be able to work at all anymore. The defendant is responsible for any income you lose from time off work due to the accident they caused, and this applies to lost future earning capacity as well.
- Property losses. If the pedestrian accident you experienced also damaged your personal belongings, you can include repair or replacement costs in your civil suit.
When you have the right lawyer handling your case, your total economic damages in a pedestrian accident claim may be more substantial than initially expected. However, your claimable non-economic damages may eclipse the amount of economic damages you can claim. This is because California law allows you to seek pain and suffering compensation for a personal injury. The amount you can claim hinges on the severity of your condition, and state law does not limit the amount a plaintiff can claim in pain and suffering compensation.
When a plaintiff has suffered relatively minor injuries and is expected to heal completely in the near future, their attorney might seek a per diem pain and suffering settlement. This would award a certain amount of compensation every day until the plaintiff fully recovers from their injuries. Alternatively, if the plaintiff sustained life-changing injuries that significantly diminished their ability to work and live independently, they can seek a larger lump sum by multiplying the plaintiff’s economic losses by a factor of one to five. Finally, some attorneys may pursue even more extensive pain and suffering compensation for clients who have suffered truly life-changing permanent injuries from the negligence of others.
Beyond economic and non-economic damages, a plaintiff may also receive punitive damages for a pedestrian accident. The plaintiff cannot claim these damages directly, and they are awarded at a judge’s discretion. If the judge handling your case deems the defendant’s behavior to be beyond the scope of typical negligence, they may award punitive damages to further punish the defendant’s actions. It’s also possible for the defendant to face restitution to the victim as part of their sentencing for a criminal offense, such as reckless driving or DUI.
What to Expect From Your Santa Ana Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Hiring the right attorney to handle your pedestrian accident claim will significantly improve your chances of holding the defendant accountable for the damages you suffered. Your attorney will assist you in ensuring your case meets all applicable filing deadlines with the Santa Ana civil court. This prevents your case from being impeded by procedural red tape or paperwork conflicts with the court system. Your legal team will assist you in compiling your complaint, gathering the evidence you need to prove liability, and establishing the full scope of your damages.
You will be able to rest and focus on your medical needs while your legal team handles your case proceedings on your behalf. Many personal injury claims end in settlement, so if the defendant accepts responsibility for your damages after receiving your complaint, your attorney will guide you through your negotiations. However, if for any reason settlement isn’t possible, or if you fail to reach an agreeable settlement with the defendant, your case may proceed to litigation. You need an attorney accustomed to representing clients in court in this situation. Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys will strive to settle your case as swiftly as possible, but we are not afraid to represent you through intense litigation if this isn’t an option for your case.
Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Santa Ana Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
A: Legal counsel you can trust is invaluable in any civil suit. You are far more likely to succeed with your claim and secure reasonable compensation for your losses with the help of an experienced attorney. If you were to pursue compensation for damages without legal counsel, you would likely lose far more than you could have paid in legal fees.
Q: How Much Does a Santa Ana Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Cost to Hire?
A: Most personal injury attorneys in California offer their clients contingency fee billing. This means there are no upfront costs for legal representation and the client only owes legal fees once the attorney wins the case. The contingency fee is a percentage of the final case award. This billing arrangement ensures the plaintiff has the legal counsel they need to secure the compensation they legally deserve.
Q: Can a Motorist Sue a Pedestrian?
A: Both drivers and pedestrians have respective duties of care when walking in public or navigating the roads of the Santa Ana, CA, area. Drivers must always yield the right of way to pedestrians on the road, but pedestrians are expected to cross streets at designated crosswalks when it is indicated safe to do so. A pedestrian can incur partial fault for a pedestrian accident. Still, it would be doubtful for a driver to have grounds for legal action against a pedestrian they hit with their vehicle.
Q: How Long Will it Take to Resolve My Claim?
A: When pedestrian accident claims proceed to settlement negotiations, it may only take the parties involved a few weeks to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Alternatively, if the defendant disputes the damages sought by the plaintiff or denies liability, the case may proceed to litigation. Court proceedings for a personal injury case can extend from several months to more than a year.
Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys can provide the answers to your most pressing legal questions after a pedestrian accident. To speak with a Santa Ana pedestrian accident attorney about your case, contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the legal services we offer.
Santa Ana Practice Areas
- Santa Ana Personal Injury Lawyer
- Santa Ana Car Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Truck Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Santa Ana Dog Bite Lawyer
- Santa Ana Slip and Fall Lawyer
- Santa Ana Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Bicycle Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Rideshare Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
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