Walking is one of life’s simpler pleasures. It allows us to experience our neighborhoods and the great outdoors in a more personal and refreshing manner. It offers good exercise that nearly anyone can do and provides benefits that go beyond physical wellbeing.
That pleasure can be tragically interrupted when a pedestrian is struck by a moving vehicle. A pedestrian is far more likely to be harmed in a collision simply because they have little or no protection from the violence of being hit by a vehicle, even if the vehicle’s speed is relatively low. If this has happened to you, you need to know your rights.
The Fontana personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw have experience representing people like you in a pedestrian injury insurance claim or lawsuit. We can help you with answers, help create a plan that best suits your needs, and give you the legal options that are available to you as a victim of such a collision. Call us today for your free consultation.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer? Why Choose OnderLaw ?
You need a lawyer to help you know your rights and what course of action you can take. OnderLaw knows you have questions, and we can help you answer them. We will represent you against the insurance companies and defense attorneys who will try to limit your rights.
We can investigate the accident to make sure we have the correct at-fault party. We can obtain copies of their insurance policies and determine what the policy limits are. We can prepare an appropriate assessment of the value of your claim to begin negotiations with the insurance company for the full and fair compensation you deserve. If a satisfactory conclusion can’t be reached, we will be prepared to take your case to trial.
Pedestrian Laws in California
California has a number of laws that speak to the pedestrian, as does Fontana.
- Definition of “pedestrian.” The code states that a person who is walking, roller skating, rollerblading, or using a skateboard is a pedestrian. Disabled people in wheelchairs and other devices designed to assist their mobility also fall under the definition of a pedestrian.
- Pedestrian crossing. Under the Fontana City Code, pedestrians are required to use crosswalks when crossing a street in the business district. Further, the code prohibits crossing business district streets without using the crosswalk. In short, “jaywalking” is prohibited.
- Right of way. The general rule is that the pedestrian has the right of way. This means that vehicles are required to allow pedestrians access to travel and cross roads safely. Pedestrians have the right of way only at crosswalks and intersections. Pedestrians have a duty to be aware of approaching traffic and to provide for their own safety.
- Sidewalks. These paths are specifically designed for use by pedestrians. Where sidewalks are not available, pedestrians may walk on the side of the road walking against the traffic.
Types and Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
No one expects to be hit by a car or truck while walking, yet it happens. These are some of the reasons for such events.
- Recklessness. Drivers who weave in and out of traffic, who ignore the speed limit, or who otherwise show a lack of regard are reckless drivers. When driving recklessly, the driver is less likely to be aware of his or her surroundings or may believe their ability to avoid a collision with a pedestrian is greater than it really is.
- Adverse conditions. The weather can hinder a driver’s ability to control his or her own vehicle. Roads made slick by rain, sleet, or snow require drivers to slow down and use greater caution than normal. Fog and rain can reduce a driver’s ability to see pedestrians. Road construction and hazards can also create hazards. Uneven lanes can cause a car to veer or lose control. Poorly marked lanes or crossing can lead to collisions, as can loose gravel or potholes.
- Backing out of a driveway. More vehicles are being equipped with reverse cameras than ever before, which should reduce the number of pedestrians injured in “backing out” accidents. Nonetheless, such collisions still occur. This may be because the driver is careless or has limited visibility.
- Turns/failure to yield or stop. A driver can be so concerned with looking out for other vehicles that they fail to notice a pedestrian, particularly if the driver is trying to make a turn. A driver who runs a stop sign or ignores the traffic lights may strike a pedestrian who is walking in the crosswalk.
- Distracted driving. There are a number of reasons for distracted driving. Cellphones used for texting, phoning, or for their GPS capabilities can distract the driver from giving their full attention to the road. Changing the radio station or the volume can take the driver’s attention from the road. Passengers can also create an unintended distraction.
- Impaired driving. A driver who is fatigued or who has consumed medication, alcohol, or drugs may suffer a lack of judgment, a slowing of reflexes, and a lesser ability to control their vehicle.
Common Injuries Suffered in Pedestrian Accidents
A pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle has very little protection, which can result in severe injuries. If you have been struck by a vehicle, it is very important to seek diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes, injuries may be more severe than they first seem. These are some of the injuries a person can experience as a result of being struck by a vehicle.
- Traumatic brain injury
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Facial and dental fractures
- Torn ligaments and muscles
- Internal injuries
- Psychological trauma, including PTSD
Proving the Other Party Was Negligent
Walking down the street should be one of the safest things a person can do. In California, when a driver of a vehicle runs into you, they have failed their responsibility to behave in such a way that they keep you from harm. In order to obtain compensation for your injuries, either in an insurance claim or through the court system with a lawsuit, you’ll need to show that the accident was the other person’s fault. You’ll also need to prove that you were injured in the accident and that your injuries caused you to have “losses” that are a direct result of the accident.
With the help of your lawyer from OnderLaw , we can investigate the accident, gather evidence and testimony, and put together a strong case that proves those elements and demonstrates that you are entitled to compensation.
Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident Claim
The purpose of an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit is to provide compensation for your losses from being hit by a vehicle. These are some of the damages that can be sought.
- Medical expenses. Medicines are expensive. Medical treatment is expensive. Hospital stays are expensive. The medical diagnosis and treatment resulting from being struck by a vehicle can result in major debts. All your medical expenses, including these items and such things as emergency transportation, rehabilitation, pain management, specialist appointments, and more, may be eligible for compensation.
- Pain and suffering. Not all wounds are visible. “Pain and suffering” relates to the intangible costs of your injuries, including mental anguish and psychological trauma. After a pedestrian accident, some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder or other new mental conditions, such as anxiety or depression. All these conditions may be eligible for compensation.
- Property damage. Property damage may seem a small thing after you’ve been hit by a car, but a person who is struck by a vehicle may have damage done to something they were holding or wearing. Broken glasses, cellphones, computers, torn leather jackets, destroyed briefcases or backpacks – all these are items that may need to be repaired or replaced. You may be able to have your replacement or repair costs reimbursed in your compensation.
- Lost income. It may take a long time to recuperate, which means time spent away from your job. If your injuries were debilitating, it’s possible you may never return to your pre-accident job. If you can return to your work, you may not be able to perform the same duties, and a pay cut may be required. Your OnderLaw lawyer will help you assess the wage losses you’ll endure as a result of the accident and help to make sure that money is accounted for in your compensation.
California Accident Statistics
In the California Office of Traffic Safety report, statistics from 2018 showed the following facts.
- California led the nation in the number of pedestrian deaths.
- Fatality rates in California were 25 percent higher than in other parts of the United States.
- Over 14,000 pedestrians suffered injuries as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle.
- 893 pedestrians were killed as a result of a vehicle collision.
Call OnderLaw to Discuss Your Options
The lawyers at OnderLaw have the experience and expertise to help you determine what steps you need to take to obtain compensation after a pedestrian accident that wasn’t your fault. Call us or contact us online to make an appointment for your free initial appointment. Don’t wait another day to get the compensation you need to recover. Call now.