If you or a loved one have been in a Pedestrian Accident that resulted in Injury or fatal loss of life in Los Angeles and don’t know what to do, the insurance companies are not your friend. You will need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer to fight for you and help along the way. With over $50,000,000 in settlements for our clients the law offices of Jake D. Finkel has your back.
California’s major cities have seen an alarming increase in pedestrian accidents and deaths in recent years. Smartphones, speeding and ever more cars and people sharing the road are all contributing factors for this unfortunate spike. Unlike car accidents, pedestrian accidents are almost always catastrophic or even deadly. Along with devastating injuries, victims are burdened with steep medical bills, lost income and long recovery periods. And that’s without considering the mental toll that such a serious accident can have. Most pedestrian accident victims have no idea of what to do in the aftermath of an accident. At the Law Offices of Jake D. Finkel, APC, we want to make sure that you have all the information you need to help you take the right steps towards recovery and resolution.
Pedestrian Accident Risk Factors
Among the most common reasons why pedestrian accidents occur are:
- Time of Day: Many pedestrian accidents occur at night. Poor visibility and an increase in the number of motorists driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol make can make for dangerous conditions. On a side note, dawn and dusk also see a spike in accidents as both pedestrians and drivers have to deal with low sun and the accompanying glare.
- Distracted Driving: The number of pedestrian accidents caused by texting while driving has skyrocketed in recent years. In spite of wide-scale public service campaigns and laws against this dangerously bad habit, motorists continue to hit pedestrians simply because they had their eyes on their phone screen instead of the road.
- Reckless Driving: Speeding, drunk driving and fatigue all put pedestrians in danger. Studies show that there isn’t much of a difference between the reflexes of a drunk driver and one who is sleepy behind the wheel. On the flip side, impatient and aggressive drivers also pose a threat to pedestrians.
Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
In most cases, the motorist is to blame when a pedestrian accident occurs. However, the police will still work to determine how events unfolded and question everyone involved. For example, if there is a discrepancy as to whether anyone was on their cellphone, that person’s cellphone records can be subpoenaed to clarify the situation. If the accident occurred in a busy intersection, more than likely there were witnesses as well. Fault can be more difficult to determine when there are special circumstances involved such as:
- Unmarked or poorly marked crosswalks: Sometimes there are doubts as to whether the pedestrian hit was in a legal crosswalk or not. But keep in mind, even if someone is guilty of jaywalking, that doesn’t give a motorist the right to hit them.
- Construction areas: If a pedestrian is forced to walk in the street due to construction or a blocked public sidewalk, other entities besides the motorist who hit them may also be held liable for the accident.
When Children are Involved
It’s a sad fact that children are often the victims of pedestrian accidents. Questions of liability (fault) are different if a child is involved. For example, a toddler who darts out in front of an oncoming car cannot be held to the same standard of behavior as an adult. In California, there are laws which address this very fact. The toddler would not be considered at fault for an accident even though they clearly caused it.It is the responsibility of all adults present to exercise extra caution when children are nearby. And according to California state law, if the child is under the age of five, then they absolutely cannot be held liable for any accident, no matter what their actions might have been.
The Intricacies of a Pedestrian Accident Claim
Medical bills, police reports and calls from insurance company adjustors can be overwhelming to deal with, especially if you’ve suffered serious injuries. That’s why it’s important to seek proper representation for your pedestrian accident claim as soon as possible.As the wronged party, you may think you have a slam dunk case and that you don’t need a pedestrian accident attorney. But a lot can go wrong. The motorist who hit you may dispute the sequence of events leading up to the accident and try to pin the blame on you. In addition, the insurance companies involved may try to pay out less than what you feel you deserve and pressure you into accepting their offer. Or you may not be sure what a fair settlement amount should be. The Law Offices of Jake D. Finkel, APC has helped many pedestrian accident victims obtain justice and the maximum compensation possible over the years. Remember, insurance adjustors negotiate settlements for a living. Most pedestrian accident victims do not. The settlement figure they present you with may sound adequate, but is it really? Does it factor in all lost income? Does it take possible long-term medical care and therapy into account? What seemed like a generous settlement amount for medical bills can quickly become inadequate if those bills pile up due to unforeseen complications or a slower than expected recovery time.
If you or a loved one were injured as a pedestrian, speak to the Law Offices of Jake D. Finkel, APC, about your possible options. Call (213) 787-7411 or contact us online.