When Do I Need to Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
Situations Where You May Need the Help of a Personal Injury Lawyer
Being involved in a pedestrian accident is a traumatic experience that can lead to catastrophic injuries. Pedestrian accident victims might wonder if they need to hire a pedestrian accident attorney. While not every accident requires legal representation, there are certain situations where seeking the help of an attorney is not just advisable but vital to recovering fair compensation. Generally, people who are represented by a personal injury lawyer secure settlements about 3.5 times higher than those who represent themselves.
Here are some scenarios in which you should consider hiring a California pedestrian accident lawyer:
Studies show that the average risk of serious injury for a pedestrian hit by a vehicle reaches 50% at an impact speed of 31 mph, 75% at 39 mph, and 90% at 46 mph. If you sustained severe injuries in a pedestrian accident, such as fractures, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, or permanent disabilities, a personal injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
The average risk of fatality for a pedestrian reaches 50% at an impact speed of 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph. If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, a personal injury lawyer can assist you in filing a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and other damages.
The Other Party Denies Responsibility
If the other party involved in the accident refuses to accept responsibility, it can significantly complicate matters. In such cases, an experienced personal injury attorney can help gather compelling evidence, interview eyewitnesses, and build a strong case to prove the other party’s liability.
The Accident Involves Multiple Parties
Accidents with multiple parties can lead to complex legal issues. Determining who is at fault and to what extent can be challenging. An experienced California pedestrian accident attorney can navigate complexities regarding liability and help you recover full and fair compensation.
A Government Entity is Involved
When a government entity, such as a city or municipality, is involved in your pedestrian accident, the process becomes more complicated. Government entities have specific rules and regulations governing liability, and pursuing a claim against them requires legal expertise.
The Insurance Company is Trying to Pin Fault on You
Insurance companies often attempt to minimize their liability shifting blame onto the victim. If you believe the insurance company is trying to pin fault on you, it’s essential to consult with a pedestrian accident attorney who will protect your rights and best interests.
The Insurance Company is Unresponsive
Dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating, especially when they are unresponsive or slow to process your claim. An experienced personal injury attorney will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf and help you expedite your case.
The Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
If your pedestrian accident claim is denied by the driver’s insurance company, it’s essential to consult with a personal injury lawyer. A pedestrian accident attorney can review the denial and fight to overturn the decision. Your attorney will draft a demand letter which is a more formal claim for compensation.
Seeking legal counsel in these situations can make a significant difference in the outcome of your pedestrian accident case. A skilled attorney will ensure that your rights are protected and represent you in court, if necessary to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
California Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Understanding the prevalence and trends of pedestrian accidents in California is essential, as it can shed light on the need for legal representation in such cases. Here are some key pedestrian accident statistics:
California’s pedestrian fatality rate is about 25% higher than the nationwide average. The majority of pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas (84%), with a higher risk during low-light conditions (74%). The largest number of pedestrian deaths occur on Fridays (1,248) and are closely followed by Saturdays (1,220).
What is the Cost of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Many people hesitate to seek legal representation after a pedestrian accident because they are concerned about the cost. However, most personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means:
- You do not have to pay any upfront fees or retainers.
- The attorney’s fees are contingent on the outcome of your case.
- If your case is not successful and you do not receive compensation, you do not owe the attorney any fees.
The contingency fee structure is designed to make legal representation accessible to individuals who may not have the financial resources to pay for an attorney upfront. The contingency fee percentage in California can vary but is typically around 33% to 40% of the total compensation awarded. It’s important to discuss the fee structure and any potential expenses with your attorney during the initial free consultation.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, it’s crucial to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is typically 2 years from the date of the injury. However, there are some important considerations:
Discovery Rule – In cases where the injury is not immediately apparent, the two-year statute of limitations may begin from the date of discovery of the injury.
Government Entities – When a government entity is involved in the accident, such as a city bus or a public transportation system, special rules may apply, and the timeline for filing a claim may be shorter. It’s essential to consult with an attorney who is experienced in cases involving government entities.
Failing to file a personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations can result in the loss of your right to pursue compensation. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with a California pedestrian accident lawyer promptly after a pedestrian accident to ensure your claim is filed within the required timeframe.
What Our Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Can Do For You
Our pedestrian accident attorneys can help you in the following ways:
Thorough Investigation – A critical aspect of building a strong case is a thorough investigation. Our attorneys will gather evidence, collect medical records, interview witnesses, review police reports, and examine any available surveillance footage to establish liability.
Skilled Negotiators – Our attorneys are skilled negotiators who will work diligently to secure a fair settlement on your behalf. They will engage in negotiations with insurance companies and fight to maximize your compensation.
Litigation – If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, our attorneys are well-prepared to take your case to court. We will represent you in litigation and present a compelling argument to the judge and jury to secure the compensation you deserve.
Connections with Top Medical Experts – Our attorneys have connections with top medical experts who can provide testimony about your injuries, treatment, and long-term prognosis. This expert testimony can be vital in demonstrating the extent of your damages.
Maximize Compensation – Our California pedestrian accident lawyers can help you seek maximum compensation, taking into account not only current expenses but also future medical costs and other damages.
At Commonwealth Accident Lawyers, we are committed to helping pedestrian accident victims seek justice and compensation. Our experienced attorneys have a track record of success in handling pedestrian accident cases and are ready to provide you with the legal support you need.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Some of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents include the following:
Distracted Driving – Drivers who text, talk on the phone, or use their GPS systems while driving are less likely to notice pedestrians on crosswalks or at intersections.
Speeding – Speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time, making it more difficult to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
Failure to Yield – When drivers do not yield to pedestrians at crosswalks or intersections, it can lead to serious accidents.
Impaired Driving – Alcohol and drug impairment can severely impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time, leading to pedestrian accidents.
Reckless Driving – Aggressive or reckless driving behaviors, such as running red lights or stop signs, can put pedestrians at risk.
Poor Visibility – Low visibility conditions, such as fog, rain, or darkness, can make it challenging for drivers to see pedestrians, especially if they are not wearing bright or reflective clothing.
Pedestrian Negligence – Pedestrians can also contribute to accidents by jaywalking, crossing streets outside of designated crosswalks, or not paying attention to traffic signals.
Drowsy Driving – Fatigued drivers may have reduced alertness and response times, increasing the risk of accidents involving pedestrians.
Left Turn Accidents – Pedestrians are vulnerable to left-turn accidents when a vehicle turns left without noticing a pedestrian in the crosswalk.
Backing Up Accidents – Drivers may not see pedestrians behind their vehicles when backing up, particularly in parking lots or driveways.
Compensation Available in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
The injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents can be catastrophic. When pursuing a personal injury claim, victims may be eligible for various types of compensation to help them recover from their injuries and losses. Here is an overview of the types of compensation that may be available:
- Medical Expenses – Compensation can cover the medical bills related to the accident. This can include hospital bills, medication, surgery, rehabilitation, and assistive devices like wheelchairs or crutches.
- Lost Wages – If you are not able to work due to your car accident injuries, you can seek compensation for lost wages. Lost income may include both current and future income you would have earned if not for the accident.
- Pain and Suffering – Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life may also be compensable.
- Property Damage – If your personal property, like your clothing or cell phone, was damaged in the accident, you may pursue compensation to cover these losses.
- Wrongful Death Damages – In cases of pedestrian fatalities, surviving family members may be eligible for compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship.
- Future Expenses – If your injuries require ongoing medical care or result in long-term disability, you can seek compensation for future medical expenses and rehabilitation costs.
Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
It’s important to work with an experienced attorney who can calculate the full extent of your damages and negotiate on your behalf to secure fair compensation. Every pedestrian accident case is unique, and the compensation you are eligible for will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.
At Commonwealth Accident Lawyers, our California pedestrian accident lawyers maintain a 99% success rate and have obtained millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Call our law firm today to schedule a no-risk, free consultation.