Injury Claims for Vehicle Collision with Pedestrian in California

Last year the number of pedestrians died due to road accidents was the all-time highest number that was around 6,000 fatalities.

The chances of death are higher if you are running, walking, hanging out, or jogging by the side of the road as compared to the one who is sitting inside the car.

Every year, around 129,000 pedestrians are brought to the emergency department for the treatment of injuries incurred to them by the roadside accidents. On average, a vehicle hits a pedestrian every 4 minutes.

Here is everything you should know for claiming the compensation successfully from the insurance company of the driver who hit you or someone dear to you.

Some common causes due to which pedestrian accidents occur:

Pedestrian accidents mostly occur in urban regions. A lot of pedestrians got hit and injured while walking on the country roads, but the number of injuries and deaths is even high on the busy roads of the city.

Almost half of the cases in which pedestrians are involved are caused by the auto driver who is under the influence or intoxicated. If you were in by a car in California, a car accident lawyer.

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Around 75% of the pedestrian accidents have happened in the night time while pedestrians are crossing the road without using the crosswalk.

The number of pedestrian accidents due to vehicle turning lest is almost three times the accident due to turning right. In such cases, the driver is mostly looking at the oncoming traffic, and pedestrians are looking straight ahead. Less frequent in California are motorcycle hitting pedestrians; when a motorcyclist hits you, it is important to contact the best motorcycle accident lawyer in California to file a lawsuit.

Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents due to drivers:

  • Over speeding
  • Driving under influence
  • Distracted driving
  • When a driver fails to yield to some pedestrian
  • Bad weather condition
  • Violating traffic rules especially not following the red signal

Reasons for pedestrian accidents due to pedestrians:

  • Jaywalking
  • Not following traffic signals.
  • Walking in prohibited areas
  • Not using crosswalks
  • Not using sidewalk
  • Intoxication
  • Wearing clothes of dark color at night

Rights and Duties of the Pedestrians:

Irrespective of the area where you live, there is generally right-of-way for the pedestrians to use the crosswalk, sidewalk, and public roads. Often large commercial semi-truck is too heavy to stop quickly. The 18 wheel truck weighs four to eight times more than a car. When a semi-truck hits you, contact the best truck wreck lawyer and a truck accident law firm to help you.

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Following duties are imposed on the pedestrians:

  • Follow the traffic signal, crosswalks, and other signals which are there for the protection of pedestrians.
  • Use crosswalks for crossing the road
  • Use sidewalk for walking at the side of the roadway
  • If there is no sidewalk for the pedestrians, the pedestrian must walk on the side of the road, which is facing the oncoming traffic.
  • The pedestrian must act attentively and carefully where he/she has some right-of-way.
  • Pedestrians must behave carefully, sensibly, and responsibly on the road to avoid any accident.

What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident

Call 911:

If you are in an accident, then you must call 911. You may ask someone else to call if your injuries have disabled you. You must inform the dispatcher that you need help and are injured. If you are an injured pedestrian, then you must tell it to the dispatcher. Describe your condition to the dispatcher and inform him/her of your location, and any dangers like blocked danger or leaking fuel.

Police or other law enforcement may not be able to respond to minor property-damage accidents in a busy jurisdiction. Police usually respond to parking lot accidents when they are blocking traffic or if there are reported injuries.

Cooperation with the Medical team: Inform the medical team about every injury that you may have, no matter how small it is and cooperate with them. There are chances that you may have some serious hard injuries like some internal bleeding or brain trauma etc. If the medical team insists on transferring you to the hospital, don't refuse and let them transfer you to the hospital.

If you are not transferred to the hospital directly from the accident scene, go to some doctor for your complete medical checkup. Share everything related to the accident, any pain, discomfort, or symptoms that you have started feeling after the accident with the doctor.

The reason being that if you refuse or delay the medical treatment process or don't cooperate with the medical team, this can be used against your compensation claim. The adjuster can take it as an argument that your injuries are not directly related to the accident, and hence your claim is undermined.

The injuries incurred to a pedestrian in an accident can be of two natures. First, the injuries that are caused by the direct impact with the car while the secondary injuries are those which are caused by hitting some other solid object after hitting by the car.

This happens when the pedestrian is hit so hard by the car that he is thrown away onto some other solid, e.g., the first impact of the car may break the legs of pedestrians, but he also got his skull damaged when hit against a wall after the impact by car.

Common injuries incurred to Pedestrians in an accident:

  • Cuts, scrapes, and bruises to face, head or hands
  • Traumatic brain injury that includes concussion
  • Sprained and torn ligaments
  • Injuries to the spinal cord
  • Fractured arms, legs, pelvis or hips

Gathering of Evidence at the site of the accident

If you are in good condition physically, then you should gather as much evidence from the accident scene as possible.

You will need important information from the driver of the vehicle that hit you:

  • The name, contact number, and address of driver who caused an accident
  • The information about insurance of the driver
  • Information about the vehicle that includes the model, vehicle identification number, and the number of license plate.

Witnesses: Witnesses can be a great help for proving which driver was at fault. You should ask witnesses for their names and contact information. If the witness gives a written statement, then make sure that it contains the date and witness's signs.

Some witnesses will be willing to help you, while others won't get involved. There is no obligation on the witnesses to cooperate with you.

Take pictures: You shouldn't move the cars until you take photographs or make a video of the accident scene. You should try to take pictures from different angles and get close-up photos of the point of impact. Videos of the other driver may capture admission of fault or evidence of intoxication. Photographic evidence can help in protecting you from false accusations and proving the other driver's fault.

Request the owners of businesses whose buildings are around the accident site. There are cameras installed in commercial buildings, and it is possible to track the car and driver with the help of footage. If the owner of the store is not willing to handover you the copy of the footage recorded by a security camera, you can have an attorney to do this job for you by issuing a subpoena.

 

How to Build a Strong Insurance Claim

When you get involved in a motorcycle accident and injuries incurred to you by accident, the insurance company of the other driver provide you the compensation readily, rather you have to prove the negligence of the driver due to which accident occurred as well as that the injuries incurred to you are due to the accident.

Here are some of the important terminologies used in the claim processing by the insurance company as well as the attorney:

  • Negligence: Negligence means doing any wrongful and irresponsible action while driving and failing to act responsibly while being on the road. An example of negligence could be driving in the opposite direction of a one-way route/road.
  • Liability: Liability means the responsibility for something. In this context, the liability implies that the driver is responsible for any loss or damage incurred to the victim in the accident.
  • Proximate Cause: Proximate cause means doing some action that can result in some accident that could have avoided by not doing that action.
  • Damage: Any personal or property loss of the victim in the accident is termed as damage. It includes expenses on the medical and therapy due to injuries, any property loss, expenses due to services for replacement, any out of pocket expense, suffering, and pain incurred to the victim due to accident.

Duty Of Care:

The duty of care states that you must drive safely and care for others on the road, such as bicycle riders, pedestrians or drivers or people riding in other vehicles. When you hit someone, this law of traffic has already been broken by you.

The drivers have a special duty of care regarding children and young people. Children are usually not very sensible, and they don't know the risk involved in walking along the roadside, so they are at a higher risk of getting hit by the car. That's why the laws require that the drivers must be more careful and responsible when there are children around the vehicle.

Showing negligent behavior on the road is the violation of the duty of care imposed on the driver. If you can prove with the help of strong evidence that the cause of the accident as well as the damages and injuries incurred to you were due to the negligent behavior of the driver, the driver of the car, as well as the owner, become liable to compensate for your damages.

Comparative Negligence

Most states have comparative negligence laws.

This means that you can win compensation from the at-fault driver even if you are to blame for the accident partly. Your compensation will be reduced as per your share of liability if you are partly to blame. Depending on your circumstances, your attorney might be able to prove that the other driver was to blame entirely for the collision.

Proving the negligence of the driver:

File a claim for the compensation of your losses with the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident. Also, inform your own insurance company about the accident.

The next thing you are required to do is to prove that the accident was caused by the negligence of the driver, and the injuries and damages incurred to you are directly due to the accident.

If you are involved in an accident where the cause of the accident is the negligence of the other driver, you must file the compensation claim with the insurance company of another driver.

Before this claim, you have to prove to the claim adjuster that:

  • The driver was negligent.
  • The negligence of the driver is the direct or proximate cause of the accident.
  • Your injury and damages are caused by accident.
  • The liability of damages is on the driver.

Organized Documentation:

Organized documents in a formal way help justify your claim and increase the chances that you will get the claim amount of compensation.

These documents may include:

Police usually respond to injury accidents. Be sure to ask for a copy of the police report created officially. Insurance adjusters consider police reports as heavily weighted evidence.

Request the witnesses to give you their statement in written form and sign it formally. Get the name, phone number, and other contact information for any potential witnesses.

Statement of Driver: Most of the time, when an accident happens, the driver caused the accident often makes a statement. You should note down the statement if you remember the driver making any such statement or even if some other witness noticed the driver making some post-accident statement. If you could record the statement of the driver using your mobile phone camera, then it will be more helpful.

The statements such as, “I am sorry, I was on the phone” or “I did not see you coming” or anything like “I am ready to pay for your damages,” are the statements that can help you prove the liability of driver in the court.

Medical Bill and record: Medical records have nothing to do with the proving negligence of the driver, but it will prove that the injuries incurred to you are solely due to the accident. So, take copies of your medical reports and bills along with the record of the provider. Also, count the out of pocket expenses and keep a record of your mileage spent on the medical visits.

These medical bills will be of great help in the calculation of injury compensation amount.

Lost Wages: Request the employer to provide you a statement of lost wages and the vacations required to get fully recovered from injuries. If you used FMLA, include copies of the paperwork in your accident file.

Clothes: Do not dispose of or wash the clothes that were damaged in the accident. Keep your clothes in a safe place enclosed in a plastic bag. Anything such as your clothes, belt, shoes, bag, or purse that has been torn or smudged with your blood or the debris of crash or car paint can be really helpful evidence in your compensation claim.

Report of Weather: Although the investigation officer of the accident will include the weather report in the police report about the accident, still, it would be great to get an independent report on the weather of the accident day. The weather report can be obtained from National Weather services for free.

Traffic Laws of your State: There are certain laws in every state that are governed for the drivers and pedestrians. It can be helpful for your claim to get a copy of the traffic laws that apply to your case and violated by the driver. These laws can be found online.

Negotiations for the injury Compensation:

In case you have been recovered from soft tissue injuries like bumps, small cuts, and bruises, etc. you can settle with the insurance company on your own without seeking help from an attorney.

The more evidence you gather in your favor and against the driver, there are better chances to get a higher amount of settlement.

A fair amount of compensation can be calculated by adding all the expenses cost for medical treatment, lost wages, and out of pocket costs. For pain and suffering, one or two times, the total amount can be added.

Need of an Attorney:

The hard injury involves a high amount of complex claims. If you are injured seriously, you can have an attorney who will get the available amount of compensation for you. It will be the duty of the attorney to find out all sources of compensation to get the maximum amount.

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The attorney will be responsible for:

  • Claims for hard injuries
  • Claims for wrongful fatality
  • Interpleaders

Severe injuries and wrongful fatality are usually high dollar claims, and the adjuster will try to convince you at a lower amount by showing sympathy with you because they know a normal person does not know much about the laws and can't deal with the legal formalities too long as compared to a professional attorney.

So, do not settle so quickly for less amount rather consult with the attorney to get the maximum compensation for your loss.

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