When involved in a road accident where the other party is at fault, you have the right to recover compensation. Recovering compensation after a pedestrian accident enables you to recover damages incurred, including medical expenses, lost wages, emotional injuries, pain suffering, etc. However, the amount compensated depends on the liability parties, injuries sustained, and how serious they are.
Pedestrian accidents could result in the victim’s serious injuries. Therefore, you should hire a top-notch pedestrian accident attorney to investigate your case carefully. At the Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney, we have many years of experience pursuing compensation for pedestrian accident victims. Additionally, we offer professionals, compassionate, and aggressive legal representation across Los Angeles to quick and favorable resolutions to ensure all victims are fully compensated.
Recovering Compensation For a Pedestrian Accident In California
Pedestrians are those walking, on a skateboard, hoverboard, on roller skates, in a wheelchair, or using a tricycle and other similar devices. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents occur frequently in California, leaving the victims with serious injuries. Under California law, the victim can recover damages when they prove the accident resulted from someone else's negligence.
With the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer, you are likely to recover compensation for the incurred losses. Your lawyer will assist you in evaluating your losses to determine the compensation required. Additionally, they may negotiate with the insurance company and file a lawsuit to recover your compensation. However, the amount of compensation you receive from pedestrian accidents varies depending on the obtained injuries, the time you took to recover, etc.
How To File A Pedestrian Compensation Claim
When hit by a vehicle, the at-fault party must be determined. Once the vehicle owner is entirely to blame for the accident, h/she will take the liability for the damages suffered. Therefore, the victim should file a compensation claim with their insurance providers detailing the damages they need. However, the victim must accompany evidence to support the claim.
Evidence to support your claim may include medical bills and reports detailing the injuries you suffered and the treatment you received. The pedestrian should provide the cost of their medical procedures and medicines used in their treatment and a comprehensive doctor’s report. The report must include past and current costs of treatment. Additionally, the victims of future treatments must be compensated.
Once the insurance company receives the claim, they require time to evaluate and carry out investigations into the claim. In case the insurance company doesn’t agree with the claim amount, they may decline to pay instead of providing a counteroffer. When both parties don’t reach an agreement, the pedestrian’s lawyer will file a petition with the court seeking compensation for the damages.
Sometimes the pedestrian may be found partially to blame for the accident. In this case, the law of comparative negligence will be applicable in recovering compensation. Therefore, each party will receive damages depending on their degree of blame in the accident. For instance, when the driver is found liable for 80% of the accident, the pedestrian will receive 80% of the damages, and the vehicle owner will receive the remaining 20%
What are Areas of Liability in a Pedestrian Accident?
In case of a pedestrian accident, various parties will be responsible for the accident. The parties are:
The driver is the first person commonly held liable for a pedestrian accident. The driver may have caused reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, and failure to observe the traffic laws. If the driver is proved liable for the accident, they will be held responsible for compensating the pedestrian damages.
Pedestrians shouldn't leave a place of safety and suddenly walk in the path of vehicles that are close to causing a pedestrian accident. Notably, the pedestrians should be careful on the roads, portray responsible behavior, obeying the traffic laws. Additionally, the pedestrian should walk in crosswalks and avoid walks in places in prohibited places like highways. If the pedestrian were partially involved in the accident, they would receive partial compensation.
Both the driver and the pedestrian may not contribute to the accident. Other factors might have led to the accident. For instance, bad weather conditions may affect the visibility of the driver, thus hitting the pedestrian. Additionally, The accident may be due to bad roads or defective vehicle equipment. Therefore, in the case of defective vehicle equipment, the manufacturer will be held liable for the accident. A government entity in charge of roads will be faulted for poorly maintained and poorly constructed roads.
Process of Obtaining Compensation From Insurers
After you notify your insurance company of your engagement in an accident, The insurance company will immediately begin their investigation to determine your contribution to the accident. You should maintain your medical records and other medical therapy appointments.
It will be the tour insurance company’s responsibility to have a negotiation with the at-fault party insurance providers in paying your medical bills and your damages. The following are the critical steps in filing a compensation claim from insurance providers once a pedestrian accident occurs:
Collecting Adequate Information
Collection of information about an accident is the first vital step to carry while pursuing a compensation claim you truly deserve. The police report will help in speeding up the whole compensation process. You should obtain a detailed police report from the officer present at the scene to use when dealing with the insurance companies. The police post-accident report will include helpful information like:
- Eye witness information
- Road and weather conditions
- Details of accident victims, including you
- Accident pictures
- Traffic control information A general accident description
The data will be essential in determining the liability of the accident. If you have the information at hand, you will be in a position to handle all insurance companies’ investigative questions. Once you obtain the post-accident report, you should also consider obtaining your medical records to build up concrete evidence for use during the compensation settlement negotiation.
Filing Your Injury Compensation Claim At The Right Time
Ensure your medical conditions are stable; otherwise, you will have a limit when receiving your potential expenses and bills. A pedestrian requires full compensation after an accident caused by negligent and reckless persons. Therefore, to achieve the maximum compensation, you need to pay attention to all the state's legal requirements for a personal injury lawsuit to have a valid compensation claim.
Send A Demand Letter or Email to The Negligent Party Insurance Company
Before you start your compensation process, you should notify all parties involved in the accident of your intention to seek remedy due to the expenses incurred and the medical costs after the accident. It will be good luck if you're dealing with only one negligent party insurance company. You will avoid legal complexities that could occur when more than one party we're partially involved in the accident. The demand compensation letter or email must include a description of the following:
- How you have suffered due to the sustained injuries from the accident
- The extent of your injuries and damages incurred from the accident
- How the pedestrian accident you were involved in happened
- How the negligent party is responsible for the pedestrian accident
However, a demand letter must be written in a polite language, even if you're demanding your rights. Additionally, include the amount of compensation you are seeking. Moreover, back up your compensation claim by attaching evidence like medical reports and police reports. After sending the demand letter, the At-fault insurance company will be required to respond within thirty days.
Compensation Claim Settlement Negotiation
The defendant's insurance providers will be required to send their insurance adjuster to negotiate the compensation claim. Notably, the insurance adjusters will fight to ensure you obtain the least compensation amount possible. Therefore, you should be firm on the amount you require from them.
Always respond to the adjusters in a knowledgeable and informative manner. During the insurance claim negotiation, you should convince the defendant’s insurance providers why you deserve the compensation for the injuries and damages incurred in the pedestrian accident. You are supposed to negotiate with the defendant’s insurance providers until you reach a fair for both parties.
What Injured Pedestrians Should Prove to Recover Damages
To obtain compensation for losses, including lost income and medical bills, the pedestrian should prove and provide evidence of the driver's negligence and carelessness, leading to sustained injuries and damages. If the pedestrian proves the driver's negligence, they will be liable for recovering the damages and injuries. The victim must prove the following elements:
- The at-fault party breached its duty of care
- The pedestrian suffered actual injuries and damages
- The at-fault party's negligence caused the pedestrian’s injuries
Additionally, injured victims may provide evidence of accident scene pictures, including the damage to the vehicle that hit you, your injuries, traffic lights, and anything else you think may be necessary.
Available Compensation For Pedestrian Accidents In California
The extent of injuries received by the pedestrian will determine their level of compensation. Additionally, if the victim dies, the recoverable damages will be higher. Once a pedestrian is hurt, they can file a suit for compensatory costs. The available damages are classified into economic and non-economic damages as follows:
Economic damages include the expenses which will be quantified regarding your injuries. The damages include:
Medical and Hospital Bills
Pedestrian accidents, especially those involving a vehicle, might result in catastrophic injuries. The medical bills for treating the victim may be high, causing substantial financial damages to their families in treating the injuries. Under California law, a pedestrian will receive compensation for the money they spend while seeking treatment. The costs may include medical procedures at the present and future regarding the injuries and medication costs.
Lost Earning Capacity
When the pedestrian faces catastrophic damages, they will be rendered unable to make a living for the rest of their lives. The victims, however, require an income to continue living. The California law requires the victims to recover compensation for the incomes they should be receiving if they had not faced the injuries.
Lost Earnings and Wages
If the victim were a productive member of their society or family, they would miss work as they recover. Additionally, they will be unable to make a living while in their recovery process. Therefore, the pedestrian will receive compensation for the lost income during the recovery period.
In an injury lawsuit, non-economic damages include the damages you compensate for losses that aren't financial. They include:
Pain and Suffering
Pedestrian physical injuries result in great pains. Notably, recovering for only medical costs doesn't compensate you for the pain endured during the injuries. Therefore, when you suffer physical pain due to the injuries, the pain is compensated under non-economic damages.
Loss of Enjoyment
If you suffer injuries from a pedestrian accident, you may end up being unable to engage in activities you used to enjoy. Additionally, you may have long or short term interruptions to your daily routine. For instance, if you can no longer go for a play or skiing, you deserve compensation for loss in enjoyment.
If you suffered psychological injuries from an accident, like stress, depression, grief, fear, worry, and anxiety, you deserve compensation for the experienced mental difficulties. Notably, no economic damages for mental injuries differ from the costs of treating the injuries.
If you suffer permanent injuries or scars from the injury, the disfigurement you suffer is part of non-economic damages. You probably may not have financial losses due to permanent mobility impairment or scaring, but it will significantly change your life. Disfigurement will be considered in the non-economic damages.
Reputation and Humiliation Damages
The accident may change your social standing. You may worry about your professional and personal reputation. The reputation and humiliation damages you feel will be part of the non-economic damage.
Under a severe accident, the pedestrian may not survive their injuries. Aside from the pains the persons endure before they pass, their loved ones will have lost their partner, child, parent, or siblings. The victims might have been their family providers. Therefore, they will leave their survivors in a difficult financial state. In California, the law gives certain close family dependents and relatives the right to file a legal claim for the wrongful deaths. The claim will seek recovery for many lose, such as:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Lost love, companionship, moral support, affection, and when possible appropriate sexual intimacy
- They lost household services like cooking, cloning, and childcare.
- The victims lost income and future financial support of their loved ones.
However, no compensation will ever return the victims to their loved ones and their families. The compensation will only help their families move forward in a better financial state and emotional healing.
What You Should Do Immediately After a Pedestrian Accident
When you obtain injuries in a pedestrian accident, California law entitles you to recover compensation for the suffered damages. After the accident, you need immediate medical assistance for the sustained injuries. You should never assume you are okay, even when you don’t have any noticeable injury. A simple impact may lead to significant head, back, neck injuries, which may be traumatic. Other injuries include internal injuries causing damages to the organs and internal bleeding. Internal injuries can result in faster death to pedestrians. If possible, do the following:
Collect yourself in a safe location like a sidewalk if the sustained injuries allow you to move. While at a safe place, you should suppress your emotions towards the liable party.
Call The Police
You should call the police and report the pedestrian accident even when you didn’t obtain serious injuries since minor injuries may turn more severe after some time. Describe everything that happened to the police and request a police report. The report will assist you in a compelling case for compensation.
Gather The Details Of People Involved In The Accident
You should gather the details of the involved parties in the accident. For example, if it's a dog, collect information about the dog owner, address, ID details, and contact data. If a motor vehicle caused the accident, collect the driver’s details, driver’s license details, vehicle registration number, insurance provider information, etc. Furthermore, you should obtain details of the eyewitnesses in the incidence, if any.
Photos documenting the accident scene provides strong evidence for your compensation claim. When not severely injured, you should take pictures of the accident scene, the injuries sustained, damages to the vehicles that struck you, the position of traffic signals, and any skid mark on the road. Additionally, you need to photograph the license plate of the vehicle. A phone video also may help in sustaining the claim.
Seek Medical Attention
Pedestrian accidents result in severe head injuries and broken bones. Head injuries may be apparent immediately after the accident but turn serious if untreated. Therefore, you should visit a medical expert for a full medical evaluation. After the treatment, obtaining a medical report detailing the sustained injuries will provide evidence linking it to the pedestrian accident. During your claim compensation, insurance companies will give weight to the medical report.
Never Admit Fault
Never apologize or admit fault after an accident. Reasonably, the at-fault party may use your apology as an admission of guilt. Regardless of the much pressure put in you on the causation of the accident, never admit fault.
Inform The Driver’s Insurance Company
The victim should contact the driver's insurance company and inform them the day they were hit and the time. Don't discuss with the insurance company your injuries and other details. Additionally, don’t give them recorded statements or discuss whether you are under doctors’ care. You should have your attorney deal with the insurance company to avoid making comments which may undermine your claim.
Contact A Pedestrian Accident Attorney.
After a pedestrian accident, you need to understand your legal options, including your right to seek compensation from the driver's insurance company and other opportunities for obtaining compensation to cover your medical bills like med pay. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney could help review all the case details with you. Take advantage of a free consultation with Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney to understand your legal options. Our attorneys have experience in handling pedestrian recovery compensation for the best results.
How An Attorney Could Help in Recovering Compensation
Hiring an attorney for your recovery compensation could be very beneficial. No matter who was at the accident's fault, a personal injury attorney can represent you after a pedestrian accident to ensure you obtain full compensation. This is how an attorney can help in the compensation process:
Determining The At-Fault Party
An attorney uses the medical exams, evidence collected at the accident scene, and testimonies to determine pedestrian accidents' faulty party. Moreover, their determination prevents you from being forced out of compensation.
Determine The Damages
Usually, insurance companies offer victims low payouts, less than the actual compensation deserved. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help calculate the rightful compensation you deserve. Additionally, an attorney will determine past medical bills, lost wages, and fight for your full compensation.
An experienced attorney helps argue the facts of your case, brings an expert witness, and develops a strategy of ensuring you obtain the required compensation you deserve. When recently involved in an accident, don't hesitate to speak with an attorney to improve your chances of receiving back your lost wages, medical bills, and the toll an accident may take on your life.
Find An Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney Near Me
In Los Angeles pedestrian accidents, injuries may be catastrophic and deadly. The victims will have to deal with long recovery periods, lost incomes, and steep medical bills. Additionally, the process of filing and obtaining compensation may be complicated, overwhelming, and intimidating.
However, our attorneys are here to help understand your rights and discuss the case. If another party negligently caused the accident, you must be compensated. At Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney, we will help you receive the maximum compensation for your damages. Call at 424-237-3600 for a free consultation with our lawyers.