Santa Monica Pedestrian Accident Attorney
No matter where you go in California, heavy traffic is a fact of life, especially in LA and the surrounding metropolitan areas. Every day, there are thousands of pedestrians shopping, running, exploring, and walking around town, and often they are near the busy streets in the Santa Monica area. That’s why it’s not uncommon for accidents involving pedestrians to happen, and more often than not, a pedestrian accident can have some catastrophic consequences.
After a pedestrian accident occurs, a pedestrian can sustain severe injuries, whether from the initial impact of the vehicle hitting them or from the secondary impact of hitting the ground or other surrounding objects. Any accident in which a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian creates a high chance of causing brutal life-changing or even fatal injuries.
Experienced Legal Counsel for Santa Monica Pedestrian Accident Claims
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a pedestrian accident and suffered injuries due to the negligence of another party behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you have the right to hold them accountable for your damages. A Santa Monica pedestrian accident attorney can help you determine who is at fault for your recent accident, evaluate and determine the damages done by the defendant, and help you navigate the legal proceedings necessary for holding them accountable and getting the settlement you deserve.
McLachlan Law, APC, has extensive professional experience handling a wide range of personal injury claims in Santa Monica, with intricate knowledge and expertise on laws pertaining to pedestrian accidents. Our firm is standing by to help you prove fault for your damages and secure as much compensation as state law allows to aid your recovery. If there is another party that is responsible for your pedestrian accident, you should not be left to manage the aftermath and the economic impact on your own. We are here to help you through this difficult time and secure the compensation you deserve.
Proving Fault for an Accident Involving a Pedestrian
There are several factors where pedestrians do hold responsibility in a pedestrian accident case. Pedestrians are responsible for being aware of their surroundings while walking in busy metropolitan areas. This means pedestrians must be conscientious of heeding crosswalk indicators before crossing streets, looking for oncoming traffic before crossing roads, and avoiding doing dangerous behaviors like jaywalking.
Because of this, a pedestrian accident could happen any time a pedestrian crosses a road outside of the crosswalk, steps into traffic without paying attention, or if they are not paying attention to their surroundings. It is possible for a pedestrian to cause an accident, but a driver always has the higher duty of care to prevent collisions with pedestrians. Those who are able to walk to and from work, to do shopping, or just to go out and have fun should feel safe to do so, no matter where in Santa Monica they live.
In situations where pedestrians have been harmed by vehicles, the driver will typically be liable for the injuries and subsequent economic losses resulting from the incident. However, those who are injured must still prove that the other party was negligent or otherwise responsible. Proving fault is relatively straightforward in a pedestrian accident case. All drivers are required to avoid hitting pedestrians and to be aware of pedestrians, even on the occasion when a pedestrian crosses the street illegally. The driver’s duty of care is always more impactful than the pedestrian’s, as a pedestrian can’t hurt another by being negligent.
Setbacks for Pedestrian Accidents
However, there is always a chance for a driver to dispute liability for this type of accident if there was particularly reckless behavior from the pedestrian. In these cases, the driver might claim the pedestrian jaywalked or otherwise contributed to causing the crash through improper and unsafe actions.
The success of reaching a settlement during your recovery efforts after a pedestrian accident will typically hinge on your ability to prove the driver was negligent or engaged in intentional misconduct that directly caused the accident. This could be general negligence, being intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle, using their cell phone while driving, or a host of other careless or illegal actions that could have prevented them from taking the safety precautions needed to avoid the accident.
Understanding Comparative Fault
As a countermeasure, the defendant can assert comparative fault against the pedestrian they struck. If this is asserted, there will be an investigation to determine if the pedestrian jaywalked or otherwise contributed to causing the accident. If proven with partial blame for the accident, California’s pure comparative negligence law will apply, meaning that the plaintiff will lose a percentage of their recovery that is equal to their percentage of fault for causing the accident. But even when comparative fault applies in pedestrian accident claims, pedestrians will almost always still bear less fault than the driver who hit them.
In the end, proving fault in a pedestrian accident is often not very difficult, as drivers bear the majority of responsibility for protecting the pedestrian. Even in cases where the pedestrian took unsafe actions, it is ultimately the driver’s responsibility to avoid hitting the pedestrian, making it much easier to prove fault in a pedestrian accident suit.
Pedestrian Accident Damages and Compensation You Can Claim
California state law allows the plaintiff in a personal injury case to seek full recovery from all of the economic losses the defendant caused them to suffer. This means whether the victim needs assistance paying medical bills, has trauma stemming from the incident, or is missing work due to a related injury, the defendant will be responsible for those losses – if fault can be proven.
Whenever a vehicle driver hits a pedestrian, the victim is likely to suffer multiple catastrophic injuries. Because of the violent and powerful nature of being hit by a large moving vehicle, the risk of fatal injury is also exceptionally high in pedestrian accidents. In the unfortunate situation in which a victim does not survive a pedestrian accident, their family can file a wrongful death claim in place of the personal injury claim the victim could have filed if they survived. This also carries even more weight in court for the defendant, being a level of manslaughter.
Claimable Losses for Pedestrian Injuries
After proving fault for your pedestrian accident and identifying the defendant responsible for your damages, the next phase of your case is understanding the full scope of those damages. A pedestrian accident can easily lead to severe damages, from expensive medical treatment costs for managing severe injuries to ongoing losses caused by lost wages, inability to work, and impending future damages the victim cannot accurately assess immediately after their accident. The most typical examples of claimable losses include the following:
- Medical expenses. The need for immediate and long-term medical expenses is a claimable loss, and whatever medical costs the accident caused are expenses for which the defendant is liable. This also includes any medical care the plaintiff requires to reach maximum medical improvement, not just initial recovery costs.
- Lost income. Any lost income during the victim’s initial recovery can also be included as a claimable loss. If the injuries a victim sustained force them to stay home during recovery time, the defendant will be responsible for all of the income the victim lost during this time away from work. Claiming loss of wages can actually extend even further if future income opportunities become unsalvageable due to sustained injuries that might leave the victim permanently disabled by their injuries. If you are a victim of a pedestrian accident and have become disabled based on injuries sustained by a driver, your Santa Monica pedestrian accident lawyer will be key in helping you calculate the lost future income you could have earned had your accident never happened.
- Property damage. A more minor but still important loss you can claim in a pedestrian accident is if any personal property was damaged or destroyed by a defendant’s actions. This could be any valuable items you were carrying at the time, like a cell phone that was broken when you hit the ground or other personal items you were carrying at the time of the accident.
- Pain and suffering. You can also claim losses based on the pain and suffering the accident caused you, whether it’s the physical discomfort you experienced from your injuries or even the psychological trauma the accident inflicted upon you. There is actually no set limit to the amount of pain and suffering compensation you can seek from the defendant who caused your accident, so you’ll want to talk with your Santa Monica pedestrian accident attorney to know how best to proceed here.
Any pedestrian accident can be a traumatic and difficult experience that leaves you unsure of where to turn next. The average victim may have no idea how to begin their recovery efforts or what options for legal recourse are available to them. In addition, victims who are dealing with specifically severe injuries may not even remember the specifics of how their accident happened in the first place. In addition, some victims might be dealing with recovery, hospital visits, or other time-consuming and painful processes, making it difficult to navigate their legal rights and potential avenues toward compensation.
That’s why it is so important to work with an experienced team of Santa Monica pedestrian accident attorneys. At McLachlan Law, we understand the implications of these incidents and how to significantly increase the possibility of getting the compensation you deserve in your personal injury case.
When you choose McLachlan Law, APC, to represent you, our team knows how to swiftly navigate the system to uncover the full scope of economic damages that are available to be charged from the defendant. Our attorneys can also guide you through the necessary steps to maximize the compensation you receive for your pain and suffering compensation so that the trauma of your experience is properly and justifiably paid for.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyer FAQs
Q: What Are Your Responsibilities as a Pedestrian?
A: If you are a pedestrian, you have several basic responsibilities. First, you need to be aware of your surroundings and keep a look out where you are walking. You also need to be aware of any specific traffic signals or signage to make sure you are not endangering yourself.
Q: What Is the Typical Compensation for the Victim of a Pedestrian Accident in California?
A: This number can vary widely depending on the intensity of injuries sustained by the victim, but typically this number can be anywhere between $15,000 to much bigger payouts such as $250,000. On average, however, most California pedestrian accident cases will be closer to $50,000.
Q: Can You Still Claim Compensation in the Case of a Hit and Run?
A: The only thing more traumatic than being involved in a pedestrian accident is if the pedestrian accident turns into a hit and run. Luckily, as long as you can give details about the car or license plate number, you could still receive compensation if the perpetrator is identified.
Q: What Are the Most Typical Injuries Sustained in a Pedestrian Accident?
A: Typically, the most common injuries that are sustained during a pedestrian accident involve bone fractures or breaks. These can range from smaller injuries like a broken hand or wrist to more life altering injuries such as broken legs or backs. Head trauma is often also a common injury in a pedestrian accident.
McLachlan Law, APC — Your Santa Monica Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
The McLachlan Law, APC, team is standing by to help you in your pedestrian accident case. With years of expertise in the field of helping clients handle some of the toughest personal injury claims in the Santa Monica area, our knowledge of how to help you navigate any pedestrian accident cases involving life-altering injuries can help you focus on recovery while we handle your legal needs. Whenever you are looking to find out more about your options for legal recourse, we can help you with the compensation you deserve. Contact us today and schedule your consultation with a Santa Monica pedestrian accident attorney.