Pedestrians must use care and caution when walking near traffic. While ideally, pedestrians should be able to assume they can walk where they are going without issue, not every driver uses reasonable care around pedestrians. When pedestrian accidents occur involving motor vehicles or even smaller vehicles like motorcycles and bicycles, it is typically the pedestrians involved who suffer the worst of the resulting damages.
If you or a loved one recently experienced an accident like this, contact our office. You should know your rights and your legal options for obtaining recovery for your losses. A pedestrian accident often leads to catastrophic injuries with long-term implications for the victim. An experienced Hermosa Beach pedestrian accident attorney is essential when you are facing a case like this. You could face unclear liability and astronomical damages that can severely impact your life, and proper legal representation increases the chances of securing the compensation your family needs to recover.
First Steps After a Pedestrian Accident
If the victim of a pedestrian accident is well enough to move after the incident, they should report it immediately and seek medical attention. Pedestrian accidents can cause a host of injuries, some of which may not be immediately noticeable but pose significant medical risks to the victim. Any pedestrian accident victim’s priority after this kind of incident should be their personal safety.
Once the victim has received medical treatment, the next step should be to determine the available recovery options. While an injured pedestrian may be tempted to accept an initial insurance settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, this is likely insufficient to cover the full scope of their losses. It’s wise to consult a Hermosa Beach pedestrian accident attorney before agreeing to any type of settlement offer or communicating with insurance companies.
Building a Personal Injury Claim
A pedestrian accident lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim. This means the plaintiff must prove the full extent of their losses and prove causation between those losses and the defendant’s alleged negligence. In a pedestrian accident claim, the injured pedestrian may need to rely on their attorney to represent them during their proceedings if they have suffered severe injuries. If a pedestrian accident victim dies, a close family member can represent them in a wrongful death claim instead of a personal injury claim.
The first step in creating a personal injury claim for a pedestrian accident is identifying the party responsible for causing the accident. The plaintiff and their Hermosa Beach pedestrian accident lawyer must then prove that the defendant failed to use reasonable care and directly caused the accident in question. Depending on the type and strength of the evidence available in the case, there could be room for a defendant to contest their liability for the plaintiff’s claimed damages, or they may accept responsibility but dispute the amount the plaintiff is demanding in compensation. It is also possible for some defendants to claim comparative negligence, thus casting partial blame on the plaintiff.
Success in a pedestrian accident claim hinges on the ability of the plaintiff’s Hermosa Beach pedestrian accident attorney to prove the defendant was negligent and that their negligence was directly responsible for the plaintiff’s claimed damages.
Potential Recovery from a Pedestrian Accident Claim
California state law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim compensation for any and all losses caused by a defendant’s negligence. In a personal injury claim, these losses typically include medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. Pedestrian accidents commonly cause catastrophic injuries like brain trauma, spinal damage, and internal organ injuries. Any of these may lead to long-term medical complications for the victim, allowing them to claim expected future medical costs in their claim.
The potential settlement value or case award from a successful pedestrian accident claim can be quite substantial. However, if a plaintiff is partially at fault for causing the accident, they will lose a percentage of their case award to reflect their comparative negligence. Consult an attorney if you are concerned about absorbing partial liability for your losses.
If you have experienced any type of pedestrian accident in the Hermosa Beach area, taking prompt action is essential if you want to secure the recovery you need. The team at McLachlan Law, APC can provide the professional legal guidance you need to approach your case with confidence and secure the compensation you need to recover as fully as possible. Contact us today to schedule a case evaluation and find out how our firm can help you.