Pedestrian accidents can be devastating for injured victims, especially considering the size and weight of other vehicles on the road. In fact, 21 percent of all fatalities resulting from traffic-related collisions are pedestrians, according to the California Department of Public Health. In addition, pedestrians in San Francisco’s Bay Area are at a higher risk of accidents as compared to other regions of the state: This region is ranked within the top two for non-fatal pedestrian injuries. Victims are left with severe injuries, ongoing pain and suffering, costly medical bills, and many other losses. Pedestrian accident lawyers can help if you’ve been injured.

Fortunately, California law allows you to pursue the responsible driver for compensation after a pedestrian accident. These claims can be challenging, so it is essential to work with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who is dedicated to fighting for your right. Please contact the Marin County pedestrian accident lawyers at Wakeford Gelini to schedule a free, no-obligations consultation about your situation. You can also get some valuable information by reading the answers to some common questions about pedestrian accidents in California.

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What Are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?

Many of the same factors involved with vehicle crashes are also to blame in pedestrian incidents, since drivers may:

  • Fail to yield to a pedestrian who is walking in the crosswalk or otherwise has the right of way;
  • Engage in distracted driving, such as reviewing or creating a text message, using a phone, eating, drinking, grooming, or operating the radio;
  • Speed in excess of the posted limit;
  • Travel at a speed too fast for weather and road conditions, regardless of the posted limit;
  • Drive drunk or under the influence of a controlled substance; and,
  • Act negligently in other respects that breach of the duty to drive safely.

How Do I Recover Compensation from the Negligent Driver?

Your first step to obtaining monetary damages should be consulting with skilled pedestrian accidents lawyers that have experience in these types of cases. An attorney can help you recover compensation by:

  • Gathering evidence regarding the incident to establish fault of the motorist;Reviewing your medical records to assess your damages;
  • Filing a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company, requesting payment for your losses;
  • Negotiating with an insurance agent to reach a settlement;
  • Initiating litigation if the insurance company will not agree to a fair, reasonable settlement amount; and,
  • Representing you in court to recover the full amount of compensation allowable by law.

Should I Accept an Offer from an Insurance Agent?

You may be contacted by an insurance company representative, so it is appropriate to provide your name and contact information. However, your discussion should not go beyond these basics. It is a mistake to provide a statement, impressions, your medical records, and other details about the pedestrian accident.

Accepting an offer from an insurance agent could be even more detrimental to your interests. Insurance companies will try to get agreement from you on a low compensation amount that does not sufficiently cover your losses. Let your pedestrian accidents lawyers take the lead on settlement negotiations.

Marin County pedestrian accident lawyers

What Types of Losses Am I Entitled to Recover?

If you can show that the driver was negligent in causing your injuries in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for:

  • Your medical costs, including expenses for emergency treatment, surgery, physical therapy, specialty care, and related costs;
  • Your lost wages, if you were unable to work due to your injuries;
  • Your pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress,
  • Losses stemming from the impact on your personal relationships; and,
  • Other types of damages depending on your circumstances.

How Do Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Bill for Their Services?

Personal injury attorneys typically bill you on a contingency basis, which means you do not pay legal fees unless you recover in your case. Your bill will be a percentage of the total amount you settle upon with an insurance company or receive in a lawsuit. The details depend upon the contingency fee agreement you reach with your lawyer, which must be in writing.

In addition, you will most likely be responsible for paying the costs your attorney incurs as part of representing you. Examples would be copying costs for your medical records, expenses for depositions, and fees to retain medical experts. In a typical contingency fee arrangement, a pedestrian accidents lawyers will subtract fees and cost before paying your compensation to you.

Is There a Statute of Limitations on California Pedestrian Accident Claims?

California does have a law restricting the amount of time for filing a lawsuit in a personal injury case, including pedestrian accidents. The statute of limitations allows you two years to initiate litigation against the driver responsible for your injuries, and you are barred by law from bringing a claim after it expires.

Does California Law Place Any Restrictions on My Claim?

Besides the statute of limitations, your right to compensation may be restricted by the rule of comparative negligence. If your own conduct contributed to the pedestrian accident, your monetary damages may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to you. You can be sure an insurance company will raise the issue of comparative negligence if you:

  • Fail to obey traffic signs and signals;
  • Cross the road diagonally or against traffic, familiarly known as jaywalking;
  • Not using designated crosswalks;
  • Walking erratically, perhaps due to the influence of drugs or alcohol; and,
  • Other activities that demonstrate carelessness.

Discuss Your Claim with Knowledgeable Marin County Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

Hopefully, the answers to these questions provide you with some valuable information about how these cases work in California. These details may also demonstrate how complicated pedestrian accident claims can be, especially if you do not have a legal background. You can trust an experienced attorney to protect your interests, both in settlement negotiations with an insurance company or in court.

If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident and have additional questions about your circumstances, please call 415-578-3510 to reach the dedicated Marin County pedestrian accident lawyers at Wakeford Gelini. You can also visit us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case.