Ventura, CA Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise there is. Whether you are walking just for fun, for commuting purposes, or for exercise, being outdoors can be highly enjoyable and healthy. But walking can also be dangerous, too, especially if walking in areas where there are high levels of vehicle traffic. In fact, pedestrian accidents happen routinely in California, and, when they do, the outcomes can be devastating. If you have been hit by a car, or if you have lost a loved one as the result of a car accident, our Ventura, CA pedestrian accident lawyer can help you. Please call us today for the legal assistance that you need.
How Pedestrian Accidents Happen
Pedestrian accidents are almost always the result of a person’s negligence – whether the driver’s or the pedestrian’s. The vast majority of pedestrian accidents are preventable, and should never occur.
Pedestrian accidents are common at intersections when a motor vehicle driver fails to yield to a pedestrian who is attempting to cross the street. This is most common when a driver is making a left-hand turn and is paying more attention to oncoming traffic than to pedestrians in the crosswalk, as well as when a driver is making a right-hand turn and fails to see a pedestrian in the crosswalk. The failure to see a pedestrian may be the result of a driver’s distraction, failure to look, or aggressive driving.
Pedestrian accidents also happen when drivers are intoxicated or impaired or are driving while fatigued or distracted. In some cases, a pedestrian may be to blame for a crash if a pedestrian fails to yield when they are required to do so, or if they step into traffic unexpectedly.
Determining Liability In A Pedestrian Accident
When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, determining fault for the accident is key to the pedestrian’s ability to recover damages. Fault and liability for a pedestrian accident are based on negligence – that is, the failure to exercise the proper degree of care. Sometimes, a person may be found guilty of negligence per se, which is the violation of a code or statute. For example, if a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian who has the right of way under the law, they could be found liable based on negligence per se.
In order to determine liability, various sources of evidence will need to be gathered and submitted. Types of evidence might include:
- Photos of the accident scene;
- Police reports;
- Vehicle electronic control module (ECM) data;
- Video of the crash if it exists;
- Eyewitnesses’ testimonies;
- Details of the pedestrian injuries (which could provide clues about how the accident happened);
- Information about the traffic lights (if they are on a schedule, this could provide information about right of way);
- The driver’s testimony; and
- The opinions of various experts who may be called in, such as accident reconstruction and crash investigation experts.
Note that in some cases, liability may not fall squarely on the shoulders of only one party. For example, it could be determined that a driver is 90 percent to blame for a crash because they ran a stop sign at an intersection in which the pedestrian had the right of way, but the pedestrian is found 10 percent to blame because they were distracted and did not look before stepping into the street. In this case, the pedestrian still has the right to recover compensation, but their compensation award can be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.
Injuries In A Pedestrian Crash
The most tragic thing about a pedestrian crash is how devastating these crashes are in terms of the injuries sustained by the pedestrian. Types of injuries that a pedestrian may suffer include, but are not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, happen when a person suffers a blow to the head. In a pedestrian accident, the pedestrian will likely be knocked to the ground, slamming their head into the pavement in the process. A severe TBI can have life-changing effects on a person’s cognition, memory, thinking, emotion, language, processing, reasoning, and sensation.
- Road rash injuries. Road rash or road burn can be extremely painful, as well as disfiguring. In severe cases, this type of injury may require surgery to treat, and also poses the risk of infection. Road rash can happen when a pedestrian skids along the road before coming to a stop as a result of the force of a collision.
- Limb crush and amputation injuries. One of the worst possible things imaginable is an accident in which a pedestrian is not only struck by a motor vehicle but also run over by a car. With the average passenger car weighing around 4,000 pounds, being run over can mean devastating crush and limb amputation injuries. These injuries could be fatal.
- Broken bones and soft tissue injuries. If a pedestrian only suffers broken bones and soft tissue injuries as a result of a pedestrian crash, they’ll likely be considered lucky. But these injuries are still incredibly painful, require medical care that’s expensive, and could be disabling and cause complications long-term.
- Spinal cord injuries. Of the various types of injuries that are possible in a pedestrian accident, spinal cord injuries are by far one of the most devastating. A spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal cord, which runs the length of the spine, is impacted and experiences damage. Because the spinal cord is responsible for communicating messages between the brain and the rest of the body, a spinal cord injury means that an affected person could suffer complete paralysis from the site of the injury downwards. Sometimes, paralysis is partial. In either event, though, there is no known cure for spinal cord injuries, which means that the impact will be permanent.
- Internal injuries. Internal injuries occur when a person experiences a blow to the body–such as the blow that would occur when being hit by a car–or is punctured by an object. Internal injuries can include organ punctures, internal bleeding, and organ failure. These types of injuries can be deadly and must be treated immediately. An internal injury can also pose long-term complications.
The above injuries can change a person’s life forever. If you’ve been seriously harmed, contact an attorney you can trust.
Do I Have To File A Lawsuit If I’m Hit By A Car?
If you are hit by a car, your first avenue of recovery should be to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. With the help of an attorney, you can negotiate your settlement and improve your chances of recovering the amount that you’re entitled to.
If you are able to reach a settlement with an insurance adjuster through negotiations and out-of-court mediation, then you will not need to file a lawsuit. Most pedestrian accident claims end without litigation.
However, you do maintain the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, and may choose to do so if you are unable to reach a settlement. Before you file a lawsuit, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney who can advise you of your rights and protect your best interests.
What Does A Ventura, CA Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Do?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, working with a skilled Ventura, CA pedestrian accident lawyer may be advantageous. Working with an attorney may improve the outcome of your claim, as well as take many of the unknowns out of the equation.
A pedestrian accident lawyer will wear many hats and perform many roles throughout the time they work on your claim. Some of the ways that a pedestrian accident lawyer will serve you include:
- Investigating your case. Your attorney’s job is to conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to determine what happened and who is liable for the damages you’ve suffered. This will involve traveling to the accident scene, reviewing the police report, talking to eyewitnesses, and more.
- Calculating your damages. It’s important that you know the value of your claim so that you can seek the full amount of compensation that you deserve. Your attorney will work with professionals and experts to calculate the full value of your economic and noneconomic losses.
- Filing and negotiating your claim. As you heal from your injuries and think about your future, worrying about the legal elements of your claim can feel overwhelming. Your lawyer will be responsible for filing and negotiating your claim, handling all elements of the claim on your behalf.
Call Our Ventura, CA Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident or have questions about your legal rights if you have lost a family member in a pedestrian accident, our attorneys at the law office of Fisher & Talwar can help. We know how sensitive personal injury claims are, and will dedicate ourselves to your claim in order to secure the best case outcome possible. Our Ventura, CA pedestrian accident lawyers offer free consultations – please call us today or send us a message to get started.