When a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle, the resulting injuries are often debilitating, life-changing, or fatal. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident and believe the driver was at fault for your injury, you might be able to seek substantial compensation with the help of a Newport Beach personal injury attorney.
According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were 6,590 pedestrian fatalities in 2019. That’s a 5% increase from the previous year, making it the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 30 years.
We have been representing injured clients since 2002, and since opening our firm, we have recovered over $3.5 billion on behalf of accident victims. We will advocate for your rights under the law and work hard to hold the at-fault party liable for your losses. You will not have to go through this traumatic experience alone. We will stand by your side through every step of the case.
If you want to find out more about your legal options or meet with one of our Newport Beach pedestrian accident lawyers for a free consultation, call OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000 today.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some factors could increase the risk of a pedestrian accident:
- Vehicles traveling at excessive speeds
- Drivers impaired by alcohol
- Victims are adults over 65 years old and young children
- Urban areas
- Locations without an intersection or crosswalk
Many drivers aren’t aware of people crossing the street or don’t know the right-of-way laws. In some situations, a distraction, such as a cell phone, prevents the driver from noticing what’s going on ahead of them.
Some behaviors associated with pedestrian accidents include:
- Driver inattention
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Backing up without looking behind
- Failure to stop or yield the right of way
- Reckless driving
- Turning right at a red light before checking for pedestrians
- Entering or exiting a parking lot or driveway without looking for foot traffic
- Fatigued driving
Any motorist who breaks traffic laws or does not consider the safety of pedestrians should be financially responsible for injuries they cause, together with the resulting medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses. At OnderLaw, LLC, our team of Newport Beach pedestrian accident attorneys will determine the exact cause of the accident and find a way to hold the driver liable.
Injuries That Often Result From Pedestrian Accidents
Whether you were hit by a car, truck, motorcycle, or another motor vehicle, you probably suffered some type of physical injury. Pedestrians don’t have any protection from the elements around them. There is not much you can control when vehicles are whizzing by you on busy roadways. If a crash occurs, your body could suffer the full force of the impact, leading to debilitating or life-threatening injuries.
The most common injuries pedestrian accidents can cause include:
- Fractured bones
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Soft tissue injuries, such as dislocations and sprains
- Psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and fear
- Brain and head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries from the weight of a vehicle driving over you
- Internal organ damage and bleeding
Collisions involving pedestrians can have fatal consequences. Someone walking through a parking lot or crossing the street doesn’t have the same protection as vehicle occupants. They don’t have an airbag to soften the impact or a seatbelt to keep their body securely in place. Injuries typically lead to lifelong issues, chronic pain, and disabling medical conditions.
How to Handle a Pedestrian Accident in Newport Beach
Knowing what to do in the aftermath of an accident is critical. Following the steps below can help protect your health and also help you build a strong case for compensation if you choose to pursue an injury claim or lawsuit.
Step 1 – Call 911. An officer will investigate the scene and write a collision report with details of their findings. You can request a copy of it from the California Highway Patrol or the city police department where the crash occurred. The amount of time it takes for a report to become available will depend on the agency you’re requesting it from. Some process them within seven days, and others take as long as 45 days.
Step 2 – If you’re able to, take photos of the accident scene. If your injury is too severe, ask someone who was with you to take pictures.
Step 3 – Get the driver’s name, contact information, and auto insurance details.
Step 4 – Seek medical attention immediately. Even if you only suffered a minor injury, you could have internal injuries or something else that isn’t causing pain or symptoms yet. Your doctor might refer you to a specialty physician, send you for imaging tests, or for additional treatment. It is vital that you follow their orders and continue attending appointments until your doctors release you from their care.
Step 5 – Hire a Newport Beach pedestrian accident lawyer to represent you and help you build a strong case for compensation.
Compensation You Could Recover in An Insurance Claim or Lawsuit
When you’re pursuing a legal case after a pedestrian accident, you should provide evidence of your damages. Economic damages are reimbursable expenses associated with an accident. Non-economic damages are the intangible losses suffered, such as emotional distress. Examples of both types of damages include:
- Medical bills
- Disability or disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
- Out of pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
According to California’s fault system, the driver is automatically liable for your damages if you can prove fault. You seek compensation through an insurance claim with their liability insurance company. The minimum required coverage they must carry is $15,000 for bodily injury to one person, $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person, and $5,000 for property damage.
If the insurance company provides an inadequate settlement offer or denies the claim entirely, you could seek compensation through a lawsuit. Other than economic and non-economic damages, you might be entitled to punitive damages. Instead of compensating you for your losses, an award of punitive damages punishes the party responsible for your injury and deters similar misconduct in the future.
Juries only award punitive damages to accident victims if there’s clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party exhibited oppressive, malicious, or fraudulent actions.
Wrongful Death Laws in California
The legal definition of wrongful death is a wrongful act or neglect by one party that causes another’s death. If you lost someone in a pedestrian accident and want to seek compensation, you could file a lawsuit against the driver. There is a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death cases, and you must file your lawsuit within that time period. The clock begins to run on the date your loved one dies.
You can only pursue this type of lawsuit if you are:
- A surviving spouse;
- Surviving domestic partner;
- Surviving child; or
- Someone who would be entitled to the deceased’s property by intestate succession, such as a parent or sibling.
You could also file a wrongful death lawsuit if you are one of the family members below and able to prove you were financially dependent on the deceased:
- Putative spouse and children;
- Stepchildren; or
Compensation for damages suffered by the estate and surviving family members may include:
- Loss of household services, attention, love, affection, guidance, and community
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future financial support
- Hospital and medical bills from the deceased’s fatal injury
- Lost income and anything they would have earned if they had survived the accident
Speak to a Compassionate Newport Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
OnderLaw, LLC will provide the legal advice, guidance, and support you need during this devastating ordeal. We know recovery after a pedestrian accident can be overwhelming. You are dealing with physical pain, mental trauma, and financial strain. On top of all that, you are also pursuing a case against the irresponsible driver. We know you have a lot on your plate. We will handle your case for you, so you can focus on your medical treatment and healing.
We have an experienced legal team who is available 24/7 to speak with you whenever you need us. Our clients are like family to us, no matter what. You won’t get left behind or forgotten when you hire us to represent you. You will be a priority for us from day one.
Call OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000 for your initial free consultation. One of our Newport Beach pedestrian accident attorneys will review your case and inform you of your options. If you choose to proceed, we will begin investigating and gathering evidence immediately. You can depend on us to fight vigorously for the justice and compensation you deserve.