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Do you walk to work or run errands every day? Whether you enjoy the California sunshine, want to cut down on your carbon footprint, or enjoy exercising, you’re one of the millions of people who choose walking as their main method of transportation. Walking is great for your health and well-being, but unfortunately, it can be hazardous as well. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries, consult with an experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorney at (714) 783-2205 for a free consultation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, 6,205 pedestrians were killed in accidents with thousands more injured. California specifically tops the list for the most pedestrian accidents for the second year in a row. These accidents can be particularly severe, with injuries ranging from broken bones to brain trauma and spinal injuries. However, pedestrian injuries can take on many forms and do not always result from a car accident.
Since pedestrians usually have no protective gear while walking, accidents can often result in significant injuries and substantial medical expenses. It’s not uncommon to miss work, and in some cases, lose the capacity to work in the future. If you’ve been in a pedestrian accident and have suffered injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer in Orange County to discuss your options. If the incident resulted from another party’s negligence, then you may have a case.
Hiring a lawyer is often the best way to obtain fair and full compensation for your losses, including medical bills and lost wages. Our lawyers at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo can work with you through every phase of a lawsuit, fighting for fair recovery on your behalf. An injury lawyer from our law firm can help you with the recovery process in many ways after a pedestrian collision.
One of the key matters your lawyer can handle for you is dealing with an insurance company after a pedestrian accident. The insurance company you contact to request benefits – often, the driver’s insurance company – will not be on your side. You may need a lawyer to negotiate with the claims adjuster for you to achieve a fair outcome. While money won’t resolve everything, a fair settlement can help you and your family move forward after a devastating accident.
Before you can recover financial compensation from someone else for your injuries and losses as an injured pedestrian, you will have to prove that person’s fault. This is how the insurance system works in California and all fault-based insurance states. The driver’s insurance company will need proof or evidence of its policyholder’s fault before it will pay for the collision. In general, proving fault requires clear and convincing evidence that four main elements are true.
During a pedestrian accident case in Orange County, it will be up to you or your personal injury attorney to prove fault. The burden of proof in a civil claim rests with the plaintiff (the injured victim). Hiring a lawyer from DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo can make it easier to prove fault and establish negligence during a claim. Our lawyer can help you gather proof of fault and present it to an insurance company, judge, or jury.
Negligence is defined as a failure to act in a reasonable manner. When driving a vehicle, that means looking out for other people on the road, whether they’re driving, biking, or walking. It also means following the rules of the road and respecting the speed limit.
In 2013, 69% of all pedestrian accidents occurred in non-intersection locations. This indicates two things:
In some cases, both parties are at fault. That’s where California’s comparative negligence clause comes into play.
Comparative negligence allows both parties to be partially at fault for the accident and still collect compensation. Perhaps you crossed the street at night and forgot to check the road, but the driver who hit you was going over the speed limit or was distracted. In this case, you might be partially at fault because you didn’t look both ways, but the driver was also at fault for driving in a reckless manner. If the fault is shared, for example, then you’ll collect only a portion of the total compensation awarded.
Your attorney will gather evidence to minimize your share of fault. This may entail collecting medical records, police reports, witness statements, and other documents. Furthermore, he or she will also use evidence to maximize your compensation amount based on damages. Damages are money award that serves as compensation for loss and injury. These include:
By increasing damage amounts and decreasing fault in the accident, your attorney will help you receive the most compensation possible.
You must act quickly if you believe you have grounds to bring a claim against someone else for a pedestrian accident in California. The state has a statute of limitations that places a deadline on every injured victim’s right to file. In most cases, this deadline is two years from the date the accident occurred or the date of injury discovery.
If you wait until more than two years have passed to try to file a claim, the courts in Orange County will most likely refuse to hear your case. If your claim qualifies as an exception to the rule, however, you may have more or less time to file. Bringing a lawsuit against the government, for example, comes with a shorter statute of limitations than the average injury claim in California. Talk to an attorney for a more precise filing deadline.
It is crucial for a pedestrian accident victim in Orange County to go to the doctor as soon as possible after the incident occurs. These claims can become complicated, and if a person has not received medical care, it is very likely that any insurance carrier or at-fault party involved will deny the claim.
Even if a pedestrian does not feel much pain right after an accident occurs, we encourage them to go to the doctor for an evaluation anyway. The signs and symptoms of some pedestrian accident injuries may not appear until hours or even days after the initial incident occurs.
In addition to going to the doctor as soon as possible after an incident, it is important to continue all medical treatment until a doctor says a person has reached the maximum level of medical recovery. Discontinuing care before this point could jeopardize the whole claim.
It is certainly possible for a pedestrian to be partially at fault for an accident, but that does not necessarily mean they will receive no compensation. Some of the main reasons that pedestrians could be completely or partially at fault include instances when the pedestrian:
California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that individuals can still recover compensation even if they are found to be partially at fault for causing an incident. Pedestrians may still be able to recover compensation for their losses if they are found to be partially responsible for their own injuries. However, the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of liability.
At DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo, our attorneys handle Orange County pedestrian accident claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that we handle all upfront and out-of-pocket costs related to your pedestrian accident case. You will not have to pay anything while the case is ongoing. In fact, our team will not collect any legal fees until after we are successfully able to recover compensation through an insurance settlement or as a result of a personal injury jury verdict on your behalf. If we do not win, we do not pay.
At DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo, we fight for our clients with compassion and vigilance. We provide effective representation for clients in Orange County and surrounding areas in Southern California and have more than 30 years of experience fighting and winning pedestrian accident cases.
We approach each of our cases as if they involve a family member, and we will come to you where and whenever is best for you. Dealing with insurance companies and medical professionals can be stressful after an accident, so let us help and give you the peace of mind you need. Contact us today for a free consultation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Orange County, contact our injury attorneys for a free legal consultation 24/7.