People walk for a variety of reasons. They walk because it is a good form of exercise, and they walk to save money on transportation costs. People walk because they are sightseeing, and they walk because they are running errands. Some people walk because they live in areas that have congested traffic, and they find that walking is easier and quicker than using a vehicle. Unfortunately, walking in California may not be as good for your health as you believe. For many people, walking can be very bad for their health. In some cases, walking can be deadly. In this article, our California pedestrian accident attorney discusses:
- Pedestrian Accident Statistics in California
- Common Causes of California Pedestrian Accidents
- Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident
- Recovering Compensation for Injuries and Damages After a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian Accident Statistics in CaliforniaDuring 2017, 5,977 pedestrians died in the United States because of pedestrian accidents. In 2018, that number rose to 6,227 deaths. California led the nation in the number of pedestrian deaths for 2017 (858 deaths) and will likely lead the nation in the number of pedestrian deaths in 2018 once the final numbers are available. California consistently leads the nation in the number of pedestrian deaths each year. Sadly, it does not appear that pedestrian deaths are decreasing.
A GHSA report indicates that 2018 is projected to have the highest number of pedestrian traffic fatalities since 1990. California appears to continue leading the country in pedestrian traffic fatalities. According to a traffic safety report by the CDPH released in 2017:
- Pedestrian fatalities increased by 11 percent from 2007 to 2013
- An average of 13,680 pedestrian accidents occurred each year
- Approximately one-fifth of the traffic fatalities were pedestrians
- Most pedestrian accidents occurred during the fall
- Almost one-third of children age 14 years and younger who died in traffic accidents were pedestrians
Common Causes of California Pedestrian AccidentsThe causes of pedestrian accidents are as varied as the causes of traffic accidents involving vehicles only. According to the GHSA, there are several reasons why pedestrian deaths may be increasing in the United States including:
- More people are walking, which increases the exposure to risk.
- Most pedestrian traffic fatalities occur at nighttime and away from intersections or crosswalks. Nighttime crashes were responsible for 90 percent of the increase in pedestrian deaths.
- Unsafe driving behaviors by motorists were reported in about one-half of the traffic crashes involving a pedestrian fatality during 2017. Unsafe motorist driving behaviors include distracted driving, texting while driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, drugged driving, speeding, aggressive driving, failing to stop for traffic signals, and other violations of traffic laws.
- The number of SUVs and trucks on the roads have increased. Pedestrians struck by a larger vehicle are more likely to sustain life-threatening injuries compared to a pedestrian struck by a car.
Proving that a driver was responsible for causing the accident is essential for recovering compensation for a pedestrian accident. In addition to pedestrian deaths, thousands of pedestrians are injured in traffic accidents each year.
Steps to Take After a Pedestrian AccidentThe steps you take after a pedestrian accident are important. Some steps can improve your chance of recovering compensation for your injuries while other steps may hurt your chances of recovering fair compensation.
Some of the steps that pedestrian accident victims should take include:
- Call 911 immediately to report the accident.
- Seek immediate medical attention. If you are not transported to the hospital from the accident scene, you need to see a physician as soon as possible. Delays in medical care are often used as a defense against insurance claims.
- If possible, take pictures and make a video of the accident scene.
- Ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
- Keep copies of all receipts, invoices, and documents related to the accident, your injuries, and your financial losses.
- Do not agree to provide a written or recorded statement to the insurance company or other party until you speak with a California pedestrian accident attorney.
- Do not sign releases or other documents for the insurance company without reviewing those documents with a personal injury attorney in California.
- Make notes for each conversation you have regarding the accident.
- Contact a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights and options for recovering compensation for your damages.
Insurance claims and claims adjusters do not represent your best interests. Before discussing your claim with an insurance representative, discuss your claim with an attorney who has your best interest at heart.
Recovering Compensation for Injuries and Damages After a Pedestrian AccidentIn most cases, pedestrian accidents are settled after filing an insurance claim with the insurance provider for the at-fault driver. If the insurance company accepts liability, it may offer a settlement. However, you are not required to accept the first settlement offer. You have the right to seek legal advice regarding a settlement offer or any aspect of filing an insurance claim. We strongly suggest you exercise that right to ensure the insurance company is not intentionally undervaluing your injury claim.
Examples of damages and losses included in a pedestrian accident claim include:
- Loss of wages, benefits, commissions, salaries, and other income
- Costs of medical treatment, including medications, equipment, surgeries, and physical therapy
- Scarring, disfigurement, and permanent impairments
- Future loss of income and medical care
- Physical suffering and pain
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
It can be difficult to calculate the value of a pedestrian accident claim, especially when the claim involves permanent disabilities and future damages. Our lawyers work with financial and medical experts who assist our office in calculating future damages to maximize the value of your claim.
Contact a California Pedestrian Accident Attorney for More InformationThe Thompson Law Office represents individuals who have been injured because of the negligence and carelessness of another person. If you have been injured, we want to help you seek the maximum compensation you deserve from the party responsible for your injury.
For a free consultation with a California personal injury lawyer, contact our office by calling 1-650-513-6111.