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Pedestrian Accidents: Navigating the Legal Process for Compensation

Pedestrian accident cases can be particularly challenging for victims seeking fair compensation. If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, a pedestrian accident attorney can handle all the different aspects of your case while you rest and focus on your recovery. They can investigate your accident to determine the liable parties and file a pedestrian accident claim or a personal injury lawsuit

Navigating the legal process for pedestrian accident compensation doesn’t have to be something you do alone. A lawyer can help you assess a pedestrian accident settlement and prevent you from accepting an offer that would not fairly compensate you. 

Determining Liability for a Pedestrian Accident

The first thing a pedestrian accident lawyer will do is investigate your accident to identify the liable party. In some cases, multiple parties may bear liability for a pedestrian accident, especially if it involves a commercial vehicle. For example, a truck driver’s employer may be vicariously liable for any injuries they cause.

To determine liability, a pedestrian accident attorney may use the following forms of evidence:

  • A police report for a car accident or a truck accident
  • Traffic camera footage, dashcam footage, or surveillance camera footage
  • Pictures of your injuries, as well as the damage done to the vehicle involved
  • The driver’s driving history
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Expert witness testimony, such as an accident reconstructionist or a medical expert 

Assessing Your Potential Pedestrian Accident Compensation

One of the most important aspects of the legal process for pedestrian accidents involves assessing your potential compensation. Pedestrian accident injuries tend to be severe since pedestrians lack any of the protections that motor vehicles provide during the impact of a collision. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2021, almost 8,000 people lost their lives in fatal pedestrian accidents, and 104,000 non-fatal pedestrian accident injuries required emergency department services.

Treating severe injuries and the disabling conditions that may follow can become extremely expensive. Victims of pedestrian accidents usually will also have to take time off work to heal, and they may never be able to return to their same position and make their pre-injury income. A personal injury lawyer can seek awards to help you account for these losses. They can gather a variety of evidence, such as your medical bills, medical records, and wage statements, to support your personal injury claim or pedestrian injury lawsuit.

Aside from current and ongoing medical expenses and lost income, a personal injury attorney can seek the following damages as they apply to your case:

  • Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Reduced earning capacity 
  • Out-of-pocket expenses 

Other forms of compensation may apply to your case, and a pedestrian accident attorney can determine how much to seek from the liable party.

Negotiating for a Pedestrian Accident Settlement With an Insurance Company 

A lawyer can also act as a liaison between you and the liable party’s insurance company. They can handle all the communications and negotiations. Some insurance adjusters may try to shift the blame for a pedestrian accident onto you. 

In California, both drivers and pedestrians have responsibilities under the state’s pedestrian laws. According to California Vehicle Code Section 21950, pedestrians do not automatically have the right-of-way when crossing the street. Motor vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks marked by white lines or unmarked at intersections, but pedestrians must not suddenly enter the marked crosswalk in the path of oncoming vehicles or impede traffic by stopping in the middle. Pedestrians can only cross at intersections when given the signal to walk and must yield at red lights or “Don’t Walk” signals.

A crosswalk accident attorney can conduct an investigation to challenge an insurer’s determination of fault and negotiate for a fair settlement. 

Filing a Pedestrian Injury Lawsuit 

If an insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement, your pedestrian accident lawyer can take legal action on your behalf and file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Depending on the extent of your injuries, your lawyer may suggest beginning with a lawsuit. Taking civil action allows you to pursue additional forms of compensation, such as non-economic damages.

Your legal team can handle all the necessary paperwork to file your lawsuit. They can also represent you before a judge or jury and seek a verdict. Not all pedestrian accident lawsuits require a trial, though. Some settle before litigation begins. 

A lawyer can also determine how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. According to CCP § 335.1, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to take legal action. This two-year statute of limitations does not give a lawyer much time to investigate, gather evidence, and negotiate with an insurer. This is why it’s important to begin your case immediately. If you miss the deadline for filing a lawsuit, you risk losing your last chance at recovering compensation. 

You Can Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney on Contingency 

Pedestrian accident victims may worry about affording a lawyer; however, many personal injury law firms work on contingency. You can avoid paying up-front attorney fees when you work with these firms because they only take a percentage of your potential outcome. 

This allows them to begin working on your case immediately, and it gives you a sense of ease, knowing that they are dedicated to your case. Personal injury law firms that work on contingency also usually offer free initial consultations, during which you can discuss your case. 

KJT Law Group Can Navigate the Legal Process of Compensation for Your Pedestrian Accident 

You don’t have to navigate your pedestrian accident case alone. Call KJT Law Group to see what our pedestrian accident attorneys can do for you. Dial (818) 507-8525 for a free initial consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis.

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