Orange County Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian accidents can lead to severe injuries or death. The emotional suffering, physical pain, and financial burden of pedestrian accidents can devastate victims and their families.
There are several areas in Orange County that have a high percentage of pedestrians. If you have suffered injuries in an Orange County pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the accident’s economic and noneconomic damages. Please continue reading to learn how an Orange County pedestrian accident attorney can help you recover compensation for your suffering.
Common Causes of Pedestrian-Vehicle Collisions in Orange County
Here are the most common causes of Orange County pedestrian accidents.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
California is one of the worst states for pedestrian accidents. One of the main reasons for Orange County pedestrian accidents is alcohol. This is not surprising as a high number of accident-related deaths and catastrophic injuries are a result of DUI. Alcohol affects the judgment and responsiveness of the person, making them unable to properly operate their vehicle and respond in time to avoid a deadly collision. While most pedestrian accidents are caused by the DUI of the driver, an intoxicated pedestrian could also be at-fault. For example, an intoxicated person can make poor judgment and walk into traffic.
All drivers must follow speed limits in Orange County, California. In addition, drivers must bring their vehicles to a complete stop at a stop sign to give the right of way to pedestrians. This rule aims to minimize traffic collisions and allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. However, not all drivers comply with this law, resulting in serious pedestrian accidents. Most fatal pedestrian accidents are a result of speeding.
Pedestrians are required to check for oncoming traffic and avoid using their cell phones when proceeding to cross the road. A driver who disregards pavement markings could drive into another lane or roll onto the sidewalk, causing a pedestrian accident. A pedestrian or a driver who does not follow the traffic signs and pavement markings could get into a severe Orange County pedestrian accident.
It is not surprising that pedestrian accidents happen due to distracted driving, in which the driver is not paying proper attention to the road. In these cases, the driver is liable for causing the accident. For example, motorists could be busy on their phones while driving through an intersection; they could miss a stop sign or red light and collide with a pedestrian. According to California law, it is illegal to be texting while driving. Motorists could even get a ticket for texting at a red light because it increases the risk of an accident.
Jaywalking is described as a pedestrian ignoring traffic signs and crossing the road unlawfully. It is most common on roads that do not have designated crosswalks. If a person yields to oncoming traffic at two intersections controlled by stop signs, it is not legal for them to cross the road. If the crosswalk is not painted on the road, the driver must yield to any pedestrian crossing to avoid a potential pedestrian accident. Jaywalking can cause severe collisions, so pedestrians should not cross the street without regard for incoming traffic. If a pedestrian is caught jaywalking, they can be held liable for the pedestrian accident.
Another cause of pedestrian accidents is reduced visibility. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports that a significant proportion of accidents occur when vehicles are driven in the dark or during poor weather conditions.
Limited or No Sidewalks
In smaller towns, the byways might not have adequate shoulders or sidewalks, which could result in serious car accidents for pedestrians. If no sidewalks are on the road, pedestrians should walk facing the oncoming traffic. This minimizes the risk of a pedestrian accident that causes serious injuries.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
The injuries to the victim of an Orange County pedestrian accident are typically severe. According to the NHTSA, more than 55,000 pedastrians were injured nationwide in 2020. Here are some of the most common pedestrian accident injuries:
- Soft tissue injuries: The pedestrian could suffer from soft tissue injuries such as damage to ligaments or muscles. It is common for pedestrian accident injuries to be worse in the lower extremities, such as the legs. Soft tissue injuries can require a few days of rest or surgery. Soft tissue injuries to the neck, such as whiplash, are also common in accidents involving pedestrians.
- Traumatic brain injuries: A pedestrian accident victim can suffer severe injuries to the brain, including injuries that can result in long-term disability. If there are no penetrating injuries to the brain, the injury victim could endure a closed brain injury, which is the tearing of blood vessels in the brain due to violent jolts from the accident.
- Fractures and broken bones: Injuries to the bones are common in pedestrian accidents. This includes fractures to the wrist, knees, elbows, and other joints. Bone injuries could take several months to heal and might need surgery. Some injuries to the bone can require amputation.
What Happens if You Hit a Pedestrian?
In some states, such as California, people using skateboards, scooters, or skates are also considered pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents can be the fault of the driver, pedestrian, or both. If you are involved in a car accident with a pedestrian, and it is proven that it was your fault, you could face severe penalties, including jail time and fines. Therefore, the liability of the accident must be established to determine who was at fault.
If you have hit a pedestrian, the court will consider several factors to determine fault. The severity of the injuries suffered by the victim will also play a major role in the case. For instance, if the pedestrian did not have any significant injuries, it is possible that the driver would not face harsh penalties, even if they were at fault for the accident. However, the victim might try to claim compensation for their mental trauma and stress.
A pedestrian may not realize the extent of their injuries until a few days after the accident, so keep in mind that it could take the pedestrian a few days to initiate a claim. According to the state’s statute of limitations, any party involved in a pedestrian accident has a limited time to file a claim or lawsuit against the other party. According to motor vehicle laws in California, there is a two-year deadline for filing a car accident personal injury claim. There is a three-year deadline for claims for recovery of damages to a vehicle involved in an accident.
In some instances, the driver of a motor vehicle is considered strictly liable. For example, school zones have a specific speed limit that all motorists must follow. If a driver does not comply with the speed limit of the school zone and gets involved in a pedestrian accident, they can face severe legal repercussions. Another case where the driver can face harsh penalties is hit-and-run accidents. Locating the driver after the accident can become challenging in hit-and-run accidents, especially when you have to rest to recover from your injuries. Therefore, you should hire an Orange County pedestrian accident attorney from a credible law firm.
What Should You Do if You Are Hit by a Vehicle as a Pedestrian?
Your first move after being hit by a vehicle should be to seek immediate medical attention. Your priority should be getting medical treatment, and if you are lucky to be in good condition, you should get the contact information of the driver involved in the accident.
You should gather evidence, such as the police report and your medical records, for the accident so that you can use the evidence to support your case. You should avoid agreeing to any monetary settlement at the site of the accident. The at-fault driver might try to compensate you for your damages at the accident scene. You should not accept such compensation as it can hurt your case in court.
Can a Pedestrian be at Fault?
Pedestrians and drivers must use “a duty of care” to avoid traffic collisions. A duty of care implies that a pedestrian should not disregard traffic signals while crossing the road. If pedestrians cross when the traffic sign tells them not to, they can be held responsible.
In many states, such as California, a comparative fault system is used, which determines the fault of the driver and pedestrian.
A pedestrian can sue the driver for causing the pedestrian accident even if the pedestrian is partially at fault. In California, motor vehicle drivers are responsible for these accidents because motorists pose a more significant threat to people on foot. An experienced car accident claim attorney can guide drivers on whether they are legally liable for a pedestrian accident and the best legal strategy to use in a lawsuit.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Pedestrian Accident Victims?
Yes, in most cases, auto insurance will cover pedestrian personal injuries. However, it will depend on the insurance policy of the driver. Establishing liability for the accident will also play a key role in determining if auto insurance will cover the driver in a pedestrian accident. All drivers must purchase liability coverage in California, including bodily injury coverage and property damage insurance. This coverage ensures that the pedestrian accident does not financially burden either party involved in the accident.
Can You Obtain Compensation If You Get Hit By a Vehicle?
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident that was the driver’s fault, you are entitled to file a claim and seek compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages. This includes lost wages, loss of income potential, medical bills, future medical expenses, and other types of compensation.
Pedestrian accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, if not death. This means that the compensation for medical bills can be substantial.As the victim, you can pursue litigation with the help of a credible law firm to seek compensation. The compensation you receive depends on the severity of your injuries and any loss of income or quality of life that resulted from the accident. In addition, you could also obtain compensation if you suffered emotional trauma, such as depression or anxiety, following the pedestrian accident.
The liable party or their insurance company can require a court judgment or a settlement offer to pay you for any long-term disability expenses, including any needed modifications to your home or vehicle because of the disability.
Contact an Orange County Personal Injury Attorney
Pedestrian accidents are not uncommon, and the busy roads of Orange County increase the risk of potential accidents. Pedestrian accident victims in Orange County can seek legal guidance from a local law firm. In addition, you can file a personal injury claim if you have suffered an injury.
An Orange County pedestrian accident lawyer can offer guidance on how to proceed with filing a claim against the driver. A personal injury lawyer can also discuss the best legal options based on the facts of your case and guide you to the most suitable strategy to obtain full and fair compensation for your suffering, including the maximum insurance settlement. We welcome you to contact our expert personal injury attorneys at Roberts Jeandron Law.Need help? Contact us now!