Representing Pedestrian Accident Victims in Hawthorne, CA
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of accidental injuries and deaths throughout the country, and they have been for many years. Any vehicle accident has the potential to cause devastating injuries and significant economic losses to those affected, and liability may not be immediately clear after some accidents. However, liability is very clear in some vehicle accidents, especially those that involve pedestrians.
Every driver has a duty of care to prevent accidents with pedestrians. This applies to all situations, including those in which pedestrians violate posted crossing signals or cross the street illegally. Any driver who strikes a pedestrian will incur some measure of liability for the incident, but a pedestrian who contributes to causing their accident will likely face diminished recovery if they pursue a personal injury claim against the driver.
At McLachlan Law, APC, our team has successfully represented many clients in difficult motor vehicle accident cases, including many that have involved pedestrians. We understand the devastating injuries that can easily result from pedestrian accidents and provide robust legal counsel to every client we represent. If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries and economic losses in a pedestrian accident, it is vital to speak with a Hawthorne pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible to determine your best available path to recovery.
Why Should I Hire an Accident Attorney?
Many injured people make the mistake of believing they can handle their legal matters on their own without the help of legal counsel. While it is technically possible to pursue a personal injury claim after a pedestrian accident without the help of an attorney, securing recovery in this manner is much less likely to succeed than pursuing a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced attorney.
Filing a personal injury claim requires meeting many strict procedural requirements with your local courthouse, and even small errors can cause substantial delays in your case proceedings. It is also possible for a claim to be thrown out on a technicality, resulting in little to no hope for the victim securing compensation for their losses. Hiring an experienced Hawthorne pedestrian accident lawyer is the best way to approach your personal injury case. They can handle your legal affairs while you focus on your recovery.
If you are concerned about the cost of legal representation, it is important to remember that most of the personal injury attorneys practicing throughout the United States offer contingency fee billing to their clients. With a contingency fee agreement, the client pays nothing if they lose their case. Attorneys know that the average person does not have the financial flexibility to avoid expensive legal fees out of pocket, so they offer contingency fee billing that ensures their legal fees come as a percentage of the client’s case award. Make sure you fully understand how a potential attorney bills their services before agreeing to their representation.
How Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
A pedestrian accident is any incident that involves a motor vehicle striking a pedestrian. While drivers are required to pay attention to what they are doing at all times, unfortunately, some drivers fail to uphold this responsibility and cause substantial damages to other drivers and nearby pedestrians. Some of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents in the U.S. include:
- Distracted driving. The leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. is distracted driving. When a driver fails to pay attention to the road and uses a cell phone, eats, smokes, or becomes cognitively distracted behind the wheel they can easily cause severe accidents.
- Drunk driving. Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal and incredibly dangerous. An impaired driver will experience impaired judgment, lack of coordination, reduced reaction speed, and difficulty focusing. All of the effects of alcohol and drugs make it very dangerous to operate a motor vehicle. Any driver who causes a pedestrian accident because of DUI will face criminal prosecution as well as civil liability for victims’ damages.
- Lack of visibility. Driving through crowded metropolitan areas is inherently dangerous and also poses the greatest risk of pedestrian accidents occurring. It is vital for drivers to use extra caution in areas where visibility is limited or at night when it may be difficult for them to spot pedestrians near the road.
- Reckless driving. Drivers who fail to operate their vehicles responsibly can easily cause devastating pedestrian accidents. Speeding, turning without using a turn signal, aggressive lane changes, moving violations, and many other reckless driving behaviors can easily lead to severe pedestrian accidents.
- Jaywalking. Pedestrians should only cross streets at designated crosswalks, and only when crossing signals indicate it is safe to do so. If a pedestrian attempts to cross a street outside of the crosswalk where drivers typically do not anticipate encountering pedestrians, they can easily walk in front a vehicle and the driver will not have enough time or space to stop.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways a pedestrian accident might occur. If you experience this type of accident it is crucial to seek medical treatment immediately, even if you believe that your injuries are minor. After addressing your medical concerns, your next priority should be to contact an experienced Hawthorne pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your available options for legal recourse against the driver responsible for causing your accident.
Possible Injuries From Pedestrian Accidents
When a car hits a pedestrian, it is very likely that the pedestrian will suffer multiple injuries, some of which may be permanently damaging or life-threatening. The severity of their injuries will typically depend on the speed at which the vehicle was moving when the impact occurred and how the vehicle hit the pedestrian. Some pedestrian accidents may only result in minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises, while more severe pedestrian accidents can cause:
- Broken bones. One of the most commonly sustained injuries from pedestrian accidents is bone fractures. Some bone fractures will heal relatively quickly with rest and treatment while others may require surgical treatment and cause nerve damage, diminished range of motion, and impaired flexibility.
- Brain injuries. Head injuries are very likely in pedestrian accidents. The victim may suffer a concussion or a more severe head injury that results in a skull fracture, brain contusion, intracranial bleeding, and a host of other complications. Severe head injuries are easily fatal when victims do not receive prompt emergency care.
- Spinal cord injuries. If a pedestrian suffers a spinal cord injury, they can easily experience a host of effects, including full or partial paralysis, diminished sensation, nerve damage, and neurological disorders.
- Crushing injuries. In the event a pedestrian is hit by a car and pinned against another vehicle or other object, the victim can suffer severe crushing injuries throughout the body. Some crushing injuries can damage internal organs and crushing injuries to the limbs could result in amputations.
These are just a few examples of the serious injuries that a pedestrian might suffer when a vehicle hits them. If you or a loved one recently experienced a pedestrian accident, it is very important to know what to do about holding the driver responsible for the accident and securing compensation for your losses.
Proving Liability in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
A pedestrian accident lawsuit falls within the purview of personal injury law. Proving liability for a personal injury requires establishing negligence, or a failure of meeting a duty of care in a specific situation. Every driver in California has a duty of care to operate their vehicle responsibly, abide by posted traffic signs, and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at all times. If you have suffered a pedestrian accident because a driver failed to meet these responsibilities, it is crucial to understand the value of reliable legal representation as you work toward securing a recovery for your losses.
There are four elements of negligence in any personal injury claim:
- Duty. The plaintiff must establish the defendant’s duty of care in the situation in question. For example, every driver has a duty of care to refrain from operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Breach. The plaintiff must show how the defendant failed to meet their duty of care. This could be a specific action, such as driving under the influence, or inaction when reasonable action was required, such as failing to address a known mechanical defect with their vehicle before it caused an accident.
- Damage. The plaintiff only has grounds for a personal injury claim if they experienced a measurable loss due to the defendant’s behavior. California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim compensation for any and all damages resulting from a defendant’s negligence.
- Causation. The plaintiff must provide evidence that shows their damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
An experienced Hawthorne pedestrian accident attorney is the best available resource for anyone facing a pedestrian accident lawsuit. Your attorney can help you gather evidence to support your case, help you navigate the procedural side of your claim, and ultimately guide you to the best possible result when it comes to securing compensation for your losses.
Claimable Damages in a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for causing your recent pedestrian accident it is crucial to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you begin working on your case, the better your chances will be of securing fair compensation for your losses. Swift legal action means preserving the freshness of available material evidence and ensuring the reliability of eyewitness testimony.
Your Hawthorne personal injury attorney can help you secure several types of damages if you succeed with your claim, such as:
- Medical expenses, both those you incur immediately after your pedestrian accident and long-term medical expenses you will require to fully heal after you have been injured. California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim compensation for any and all medical expenses resulting from a defendant’s negligence.
- Lost income, both immediate and future. Your pedestrian accident could leave you unable to work for an extended time. You have the right to claim compensation for any wages you lost while you were recovering. In the event your accident caused a permanent disability that leaves you unable to work at all, your attorney can help you claim fair compensation for your lost future earning potential.
- Pain and suffering. California law allows personal injury plaintiffs to claim monetary compensation for their physical pain and psychological trauma resulting from a defendant’s negligence. Your Hawthorne pedestrian accident attorney can help you determine a fair amount of pain and suffering damages to include in your lawsuit.
It is not uncommon for pedestrian accident claim plaintiffs to discover their claims are worth far more than they originally expected, especially when they choose reliable and experienced attorneys to represent them.
What To Expect From My Attorney
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries and economic losses in a pedestrian accident, an experienced Hawthorne pedestrian accident attorney is your best asset if you want to ensure the fullest recovery possible. A good attorney will work quickly to assess the strength of your claim and let you know what to expect when it comes to the legal proceedings you are likely to face.
Depending on how your accident occurred, you may have difficulty securing the evidence you need to prove liability for your damages. An experienced attorney can help you obtain traffic camera data, cell phone records, vehicle computer data, and other physical evidence that may help you establish liability for your losses. Your auto accident lawyer can also help you identify potential witnesses of the accident who can testify on your behalf. If your case involves highly complex or technical details, your attorney can coordinate expert witness testimony to support your claim in court.
The attorneys at McLachlan Law, APC understand that pedestrian accidents can easily cause devastating injuries, sometimes with life-changing or fatal results. It is natural to feel uncertain and distressed after experiencing any accident and working with the right attorney can provide the clarity and confidence you need to recover with peace of mind about your future. Contact McLachlan Law, APC today to schedule a consultation with a compassionate and experienced Hawthorne pedestrian accident attorney and find out how our firm can help you recover from your recent pedestrian accident.