In California, pedestrians have the right of way while using a crosswalk. Unfortunately, not all motorists stop or yield to pedestrians at these crossings, leading to severe collisions and serious injuries. If you are injured at a crosswalk, you may be eligible for a settlement—and the attorneys at Freedman Law can help. Our Fresno pedestrian accident lawyers can represent your insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver and help secure the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one is a victim of a pedestrian-related accident, you may have the right to be compensated by the motorist. In many cases, irresponsible motorists can cause extremely serious injuries/fatal injuries. Pedestrian accidents normally occur in residential/densely-populated neighborhoods where drivers don’t take caution. Some causes of pedestrian accidents include:
Pedestrians do not have any protection, leaving them defenseless against a vehicle. As a result, pedestrian accident injuries can be catastrophic, depending on how fast the car was traveling, where the pedestrian was hit, the type of vehicle, and other factors. Here are some common examples of pedestrian injuries that occur in Fresno traffic accidents:
The impact of a pedestrian accident can cause severe breaks or bone fractures when a cyclist is hit or thrown. Surgery or a cast is often required to facilitate healing, as well as physical therapy and other ongoing treatment.
Victims often suffer a strain or sprain of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the neck or whiplash caused by the violent jolt. Symptoms may include severe neck pain, headaches, and dizziness. Pinched nerves and herniated discs can also occur in the neck, which may result in chronic pain.
Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are the leading cause of pedestrian accident fatalities and long-term disabilities. They frequently occur when a pedestrian’s head hits the ground, the vehicle, or another object on their fall down. Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to severe TBIs that result in permanent cognitive impairment.
Minimal damage to the spine can cause severe repercussions, and many victims suffer limited mobility and chronic pain. SCIs may require surgical intervention, along with physical therapy, chiropractic care, medications, and other treatment.
With a complete SCI, the victim will have permanent neurological damage and will not have movement below the injury site.
The impact of a vehicle can cause damage to internal organs. These injuries can go undetected but are often life-threatening if not treated immediately. Any signs of bruising or cuts on the abdomen are worth having evaluated by a physician.
A catastrophic injury such as a loss of a limb can occur in severe pedestrian accidents, causing the victim to suffer excruciating pain and lifelong disability.
When a motorist’s negligence causes a pedestrian fatality, it is considered a wrongful death. Therefore, the pedestrian’s surviving family has the right to pursue a wrongful death claim and hold the at-fault party accountable for funeral and burial expenses, lost expected income, loss of services, and more.
Like most states, California follows a fault-based system when determining liability for car accidents. Fresno drivers have a duty to follow all applicable traffic laws and operate their vehicles safely. If they breach this duty and cause an accident, these drivers would be financially responsible for the victims’ damages.
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians who enter or use a crosswalk. The crosswalk can be marked by lines or lights, or unmarked. Drivers must slow down and allow pedestrians to cross safely in these locations.
If a driver breaks this law and causes an accident at a crosswalk, he or she will be liable for the losses that the victim suffered. As a result, the pedestrian will have the right to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver to recover a settlement.
In these situations, it is important to consult with a Fresno car accident attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can evaluate your case and identify whether or not you qualify for legal action. After learning more about your case, your attorney can help strategize your next steps.
Pedestrian accident victims have the ability to file a claim on their own, but their chances of recovering fair compensation significantly increase with an attorney on their side. A Fresno pedestrian accident attorney can bring vital experience and the resources to handle every aspect of your claim while you recover. That includes the following and more:
Insurance companies may attempt to minimize your injuries and blame you for the accident. A Fresno pedestrian accident lawyer will help ensure liability falls on the appropriate party, and that you receive the money you need for your injury and losses now and in the future.
Through an insurance claim or lawsuit, you can hold an at-fault driver accountable for the economic and non-economic damages that you experienced. Economic damages involve the financial damages that you endured. On the other hand, non-economic damages involve the physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Common damages available in Fresno crosswalk accident claims include the following.
It can be difficult to know which damages you can claim in a pedestrian accident case. In these situations, your Fresno personal injury attorney from Freedman Law can help. He or she work closely to identify all possible avenues to compensation and calculate your estimated settlement, maximizing your potential award.
Pedestrian accident victims in Fresno have limited time to file a claim due to California’s statute of limitations. Typically it is two years from the date the accident occurred. However, there are some exceptions.
In most cases, if you fail to file within these time limits, your claim will be dismissed, and you will be barred from recovering compensation.
Most Fresno pedestrian accident lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis, including our team at Freedman Law. That means your attorney will advance any costs related to pursuing your claim, and you are only responsible for legal fees if you win. Once you recover compensation, a pedestrian accident lawyer will typically take a third (33.3.%) of any settlement or award, but the fee can range from 25 to 40 percent. Some attorneys will reduce or increase their contingency fee based on the amount of work involved in resolving your case. Either way, it is highly recommended to hire an attorney since there is no out-of-pocket risk to you.
The choices you make immediately after a pedestrian accident in Fresno can significantly impact your claim for compensation. Here are the recommended steps:
Call 911 if you or anyone requires emergency medical care. If your injuries are not severe, still notify the police, so an accident report is created. Tell the officer what you saw and whether you noticed the driver was distracted or what they were doing before they crashed into you. The officer will add statements from each party to their report, as well as their opinion on how the accident occurred and who was to blame. When an insurance company decides fault, they will heavily consider the accident report.
If you can remain at the scene, take photos or videos on your phone of the following:
Ask the parties involved and any witnesses for their contact information. Witness testimony can also be critical to proving fault.
If you are not taken to the hospital, seek medical care as soon as possible after leaving the scene. Severe injuries can have delayed symptoms, and it is also critical to have medical documentation linking your harm and potential injuries to the accident.
Before speaking to an insurance adjuster, consult a Fresno pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you protect your rights and decide the best course of action.
Drivers who injure pedestrians at crosswalks must pay for their damages. If you are involved in a collision while walking in Fresno, the attorneys at Freedman Law can help. Fill out our online form or call us at 559-447-9000 to discuss your legal options with a pedestrian crosswalk accident lawyer.