Why You Need A Skilled Pedestrian Injury Lawyer

You're walking along, and a car hits you. You survive (thank goodness), but you're hurt—perhaps unable to work or enjoy the lifestyle you had before the accident. What do you do now? Is it a good idea to sue the driver of the car that hit you? If it can be established that the driver was violating the law, then that driver might be fined or jailed by the criminal courts. But that's not the end of the story. If your crosswalk injury lawyer can prove that the driver's misconduct led to your injury and that your injuries somehow impeded or hampered your lifestyle, you may sue the driver for monetary compensation.

Should I Hire A Pedestrian Injury Attorney?

It's always advisable for accident victims to hire a crosswalk injury lawyer. Even though you may strongly believe that you're not at fault or that you were obeying all pertinent traffic laws, the defense attorney may attempt to allot more blame to you to lessen the financial obligations of his or her client. Accusations that might seem ridiculous or minor may be brought to bear against you: whether you were wearing dark, nonreflective clothing (if the accident happened at night); whether you had both feet wholly within the crosswalk; and (despite pedestrians legally having the right away) whether you began to cross the road without ensuring that oncoming drivers saw you and were beginning to slow down. Pedestrians still have a duty to make sure it's safe to cross before they begin to cross, green man or no green man, and defense attorneys will capitalize on this fact and others to sway a jury in the defendant's favor.

How Do I Determine Whose Fault The Accident Was?

If you're a pedestrian who has been struck by a vehicle and you're wondering whether to sue, you must first establish fault. The person at fault in an accident is the person who caused it, either by intentional violation of traffic laws or negligence. If you were crossing the road against a red light or jaywalking and you were struck by a vehicle, then you might bear partial or total responsibility for the accident. If you were following all applicable laws and were crossing the road (or standing on the sidewalk) and were struck by a car, then the driver who struck you or caused a car to strike you is at fault.

Ask yourself: Did the car that hit you obey the law? Was the car running a red light or going dangerously fast? Was the driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Did you (the pedestrian) act in a negligent manner at all (walking and texting at the same time, crossing the road against the light, etc.)?

The foremost question on your mind should be: Could either person involved in the accident have prevented it somehow? Many states have rules governing pedestrian accident injuries — a pedestrian can only reasonably expect to recover damages from a driver if the accident was mostly or partially the driver's fault. If you darted out into traffic or wandered off the sidewalk while texting and the driver could do nothing to prevent hitting you, you can't reasonably expect monetary recompense.

Further complicating matters is the fact that more than one individual may bear responsibility for the accident. For example, one driver might run a red light. A second driver who had the green light might have to swerve to avoid the first driver — losing control and striking a pedestrian on the sidewalk. If this is the case, the fault for the accident would lie with the first driver, the one who ran the red light, and the pedestrian could sue that driver. The pedestrian might even be able to sue the second driver if it could be proven that the driver did not control the car correctly after swerving to avoid the first driver or could have kept from striking the pedestrian. Since the first driver was more at fault than the second driver, however, the first driver would bear the brunt of monetary damages.

What Types Of Compensation May An Injured Pedestrian Recover?

The purpose of a personal injury suit filed by a crosswalk injury lawyer is to provide the plaintiff with compensation for all the inconvenience and damage he or she suffered at the hands of the at-fault party. No amount of money can equal the harm that's been done to a person's body or mind, but there simply isn't any other way to properly reimburse someone.

One of the biggest risks of being struck by a car is traumatic (or even mild) brain injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of brain injury include physical symptoms such as confusion, disorientation, headaches, vomiting and nausea, sleepiness, tiredness, propensity to sleep more than is customary and dizziness; sensory problems like blurry vision or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and increased sensitivity to sound or light; and mental difficulties such as cognitive impairment, loss of memory, irritability, anxiety, depression and mood swings.

Damages that may be claimed in a pedestrian accident lawsuit include:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Current and future loss of wages or income
  • Physical suffering
  • Loss of ability to enjoy or take part in the lifestyle the victim formerly enjoyed

Any medical procedure fees or recovery-related expenses incurred as a result of the accident can be claimed in a personal injury suit, and negligent drivers are also generally expected to foot the bill for pedestrians' lost wages as a result of missing work while hospitalized.

Successfully claiming compensation for pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment, however, is more difficult. Pain is an intangible thing and it's tricky to put a monetary value on it. Ultimately, it's up to a jury to decide, based on the length of time the injured person was hospitalized, a full description of his or her injuries and similar factors.

Loss of enjoyment, otherwise known as "loss of normal life," means that the accident victim's lifestyle has been negatively impacted or even impaired by his or her injuries. Perhaps the person was so gravely injured that he or she became paralyzed from the waist down and was unable to run or jog or play sports anymore. Or perhaps a person's nerves were damaged and he or she could no longer perform surgery, sew, type on a keyboard or do other delicate tasks. In some cases, an accident victim may be able to claim monetary compensation for loss of life enjoyment.

The Belli Law Firm Can Help You

The California pedestrian crosswalk accident lawyers at The Belli Law Firm can help you today if you or a loved one was injured in a vehicle accident. Our trusted firm has years of experience seeking justice and obtaining fair compensation for accident victims. Call the personal injury attorneys at The Belli Law Firm today for a free initial consultation and a review of your case in our Mill Valley office. Call us at 415-579-3136 or fill out our contact form.

We can help if you were a pedestrian in a crosswalk and struck by a car or truck in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento Valley or the Central Valley, including North San Joaquin County (San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties) along with South San Joaquin County (Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties).