Pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to being involved in traffic-related accidents. When a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian, the pedestrian will almost always suffer injuries, and these injuries are often life-threatening and life-altering.

Traumatic injuries tend to require both immediate medical intervention and long-term care, and medical bills can quickly pile up as a result. But the financial burden of these costs should not be yours to bear. The responsibility should belong to the negligent party responsible for causing the accident.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and need help holding the at fault motorist accountable, contact the Moreno Valley personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw. At OnderLaw, our legal team will work with you to seek meaningful compensation for your injuries. For more information on how we can help call our office. We can schedule a free legal consultation to talk about the specifics of your case and how we may be able to support you during this traumatic time.

Why Choose OnderLaw?

Pedestrian accident claims can be complicated and time-consuming, which may be particularly burdensome if you are trying to recover from severe injuries. If you want to mount a compelling claim that stands the best chance of earning the full value of your claim, you need to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney.

A pedestrian accident attorney will understand the importance of a comprehensive crash investigation. They can gather evidence and witness testimony to establish liability, and can even negotiate with the at fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf. An attorney will also be able to keep track of important deadlines and place a fair value on your claim. In addition, an attorney will be mindful of protecting your rights during a time where you may feel at your most vulnerable.

The legal team at OnderLaw have won hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We understand how life-changing a pedestrian accident can be, and we strive to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible. We know this money can’t repair the damage that has been done, but it can lessen the financial burden by paying for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs resulting from the accident.

We understand that there are many Moreno Valley attorneys to choose from. We feel so strongly that we can offer you the compassionate support and legal advice you need that we offer a free initial consultation to talk about your case. Contact us today.

Pedestrian Laws in California

The California Department of Motor Vehicles defines a pedestrian as any person who walks on foot or uses roller skates, a skateboard, a wheelchair, or other similar modes of conveyance to get around. Bicyclists are not considered pedestrians.

In many circumstances, a pedestrian is supposed to have the right of way. If a pedestrian approaches a crosswalk, motorists are supposed to exercise caution and slow down. Drivers must then allow the pedestrian to cross. While this may be the rule, it doesn’t always happen this way in real life. Pedestrians must also exercise caution and be aware of motorists who may not yield. At signal-controlled crosswalks, pedestrians need to follow the provided signals.

Pedestrians also have the right of way in school zones and around bus stops. When a bus activates its stop sign and flashing lights, drivers must stop and yield to children entering or exiting the vehicle. If a driver fails to stop, they can be fined up to $1,000 and may have their license suspended.

Types and Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Our firm handles numerous types of pedestrian accident cases. Some of the most common include:

  • Intersection accidents- The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that at least 26 percent of pedestrian accidents happen in intersections. Motorists who do not yield the right of way can cause tragic accidents as a pedestrian attempts to cross the street.
  • Left-turn accidents- Pedestrians may also be vulnerable to drivers attempting to make left-turns. Lack of visibility combined with driver inattention may result in a collision.
  • Parking lot accidents- Pedestrian accidents tend to happen where both cars and pedestrians congregate the most, parking lots and driveways. Drivers backing up may not see pedestrians walking through the lot. While these accidents tend to be low-speed incidents, injuries can still be severe.
  • School zone accidents- The speed limit is reduced in school zones for a good reason. Young pedestrians are vulnerable in areas around schools and where busses pick up and drop off students.

Causes of pedestrian accidents also vary, but many accidents stem from poor visibility or a driver’s inattention to their surroundings. Causes of pedestrian accidents tend to include:

  • Distracted driving- Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents in the US. It occurs anytime a driver takes their attention off the task of driving. Distracted driving includes texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, personal grooming, using a GPS, adjusting the radio, and more. Drivers who are distracted may fail to notice pedestrians, which can lead to devastating accidents.
  • Drunk or drugged driving- Driving while under the influence is both reckless and illegal in California. It can impair an individual’s cognitive abilities and slow their reaction time to the point that they may not be able to avoid colliding while a pedestrian.
  • Speeding- Speeding is particularly dangerous for pedestrians because a speeding vehicle is harder to control and maneuver. Also, by the time a speeding driver sees a pedestrian in their path, they may not be able to slow down to avoid a crash.
  • Poor visibility- The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that almost 80 percent of pedestrian accidents happen in the dark. Poor lighting conditions can make seeing a pedestrian extremely difficult, resulting in catastrophic collisions.

Common Injuries Suffered in Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians have the right of way in most cases, with some exceptions. However, assuming that you will always be given the right of way can be a deadly mistake. Unlike motorists, who can rely on airbags and seat belts to offer some protection if a crash occurs, pedestrians are usually directly impacted by a collision. The result of being hit by a 3,000-pound vehicle can result in acute, life-threatening injuries.

Common injuries that are associated with pedestrian accidents are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussion
  • Neck and spinal injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Facial injuries
  • Dental injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Joint dislocations
  • Internal bleeding
  • Soft-tissue damage
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions

Proving the Other Party Was Negligent

Establishing liability is essential to a victim’s claim because it can help determine how much money they may be able to receive. An attorney can help a victim establish a driver’s negligence by investigating the crash and collecting critical evidence. This evidence must demonstrate the following elements of negligence:

  • The driver had a duty to operate their vehicle safely
  • The driver breached or violated that duty
  • The driver caused an accident which resulted in an injury
  • The injury caused damages or monetary losses

Even if you are partly liable for an accident, you can still recover compensation. California is a “pure comparative negligence” state. This rule allows anyone involved in an accident to recover compensation for losses related to the accident. However, it also stipulates that your portion of compensation will be reduced by the amount of fault you bear for causing the accident.

An individual who is 10 percent responsible for an accident can recover the total amount of compensation due, minus 10 percent. Someone found to be 90 percent at fault for an accident can also attempt to recover damages. They would be entitled to the total amount minus 90 percent. Pure comparative negligence binds courts but also guides insurance adjusters as well. Often, an insurance adjuster will consider how a case could play out in court to determine the value of a claim and what they should offer.

Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Claims

It’s hard to put a value on someone’s injuries and suffering. An experienced attorney will be able to help you tabulate your losses and arrive at a fair value for your claim. Generally, victims can recover compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Pain and suffering

In some cases, if the motorist who hit you was behaving in an excessively reckless manner, you may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are designed to punish the driver for excessively negligent behavior.

State and City Accident Statistics

The California Office of Traffic Safety estimates that in 2018, 893 pedestrians were involved in fatal traffic accidents. That marks a 26 percent increase in the number of pedestrian deaths from 2014. The agency also estimates that at least 14,000 pedestrians were injured because of motor vehicle collisions in 2018. California’s pedestrian fatality rate is nearly 25 percent higher than the national average.

Data from UC Berkeley found that between 2016 and 2020, Riverside County had 2,479 pedestrian crashes. That puts Riverside County in the top 10 counties with the most pedestrian collisions. In the same time frame, Riverside County recorded 370 pedestrian deaths. Those numbers mean the county has the 4th highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the state of California.

Contact an Experienced Moreno Valley Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to act. Being involved in an accident is a traumatic experience that you don’t have to go through alone. The legal team at OnderLaw can help you evaluate your options and hold the negligent driver accountable for their actions.

To have the best chance at recovering the full and fair amount you deserve, call the Moreno Valley team at OnderLaw. We offer a free consultation to answer your questions and review your case. Reach out to us by calling us today.