Pedestrian accident victims often suffer devastating injuries because they have no protection in an accident with a motor vehicle. After a pedestrian accident in Torrance, injured victims can seek compensation for their injuries, medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can help you hold the at-fault party liable and recover the compensation you deserve. Here are tips on how to find the best pedestrian accident attorney near you:
Research Local Lawyers
Start by researching personal injury attorneys in your local area who specialize in pedestrian accidents. Online directories, legal websites, and referrals from friends or family can be valuable resources. Law directories you can utilize in your search include FindLaw, Nolo, Avvo, Super Lawyers, LegalMatch, Martindale-Hubbell, and Justia.
Check Reviews and Testimonials
Look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients. This can provide insights into the lawyer’s reputation, success rate, and the quality of their services.
Experience Handling Pedestrian Accident Cases
Ensure the lawyer is specialized in handling pedestrian accident cases. A lawyer with a proven track record in pedestrian accident cases understands the complexities and nuances associated with these claims.
Schedule Free Consultations
Most Torrance pedestrian accident lawyers offer free initial consultations. Narrow down your list and schedule free consultations with your top choices. A free consultation offers an opportunity to discuss your case, ask questions, and learn about your legal options.
Consider Legal Fees
Ask about the personal injury attorney’s fee structure during your free consultation. Most pedestrian accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if they win your case. Therefore, you won’t pay any upfront costs for lawyer fees. The legal fees will be deducted from the pedestrian accident settlement you recover. If your lawyer doesn’t win your case, you won’t pay them anything.
How Can a Torrance Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help?
Here’s how a Torrance pedestrian accident lawyer can assist your claim:
- A personal injury lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation and gather evidence such as witness statements, police reports, and any available surveillance footage.
- An experienced attorney will assess the evidence to establish liability, whether it’s a negligent driver, a municipality responsible for poor road conditions, or another party.
- Torrance pedestrian accident lawyers will handle all the communications and negotiations on your behalf. A personal injury lawyer will ensure the insurance company doesn’t use misleading tactics to minimize or deny your claim.
- The legal process can be intricate, with various deadlines and paperwork. A lawyer will guide you through these procedures, ensuring that all necessary documents are filed correctly and on time.
- If a fair settlement cannot be reached, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney will be well-prepared to take your case to court. They will advocate for your rights and present a compelling case to recover the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Car accidents occur as a result of various factors, often involving a combination of human behavior, environmental conditions, and vehicle-related issues. Here are common causes of pedestrian accidents in Torrance, California:
When drivers engage in non-driving activities behind the wheel such as using a cell phone, eating or drinking, or using GPS, they can cause serious pedestrian accidents. In 2021, distracted driving accidents claimed more than 3,522 lives.
Failure to Yield
Drivers in California must yield to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks. When drivers don’t yield to pedestrians at crosswalks or intersections it can cause dangerous pedestrian accidents. Almost all failure-to-yield crashes can be attributed to the motor vehicle driver’s negligence.
Speeding is a factor in 29% of auto accident fatalities across the US. Speeding claimed the lives of 12,330 people in 2021. Excessive speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time and increases the severity of accidents involving pedestrians.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs a driver’s judgment and coordination. Each day, about 37 people lose their lives in drunk driving crashes across the US.
Low visibility conditions, especially at night or in adverse weather, contribute to accidents. Lack of proper lighting or reflective materials on pedestrians can also be a factor. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), about 74% of pedestrian deaths occur during the nighttime with or without artificial lighting.
Defective Road Design or Maintenance
Poorly designed roads, lack of proper signage, or inadequate maintenance can create hazards for pedestrians.
Pedestrians can contribute to accidents by jaywalking, ignoring traffic signals, or being distracted while walking. Both drivers and pedestrians share the responsibility of maintaining road safety and minimizing the risks of pedestrian-vehicle crashes.
What are Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
Common injuries sustained by pedestrians involved in accidents with motor vehicles include:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Cuts and abrasions
- Traumatic brain injury
What are California Pedestrian Accident Laws?
Understanding the specific laws governing pedestrian accidents in California is crucial for both pedestrians and drivers. Here are key aspects of California pedestrian accident laws:
Right of Way: Pedestrians generally have the right of way in marked and unmarked crosswalks and at intersections. Drivers must yield to pedestrians in these areas.
Crosswalks and Intersections: Pedestrians are expected to use crosswalks and intersections when crossing the road.
Traffic Signals: Pedestrians must obey traffic signals, including crossing the road only when traffic lights indicate it is safe to do so.
What Traffic Laws Do Cars Have to Follow Regarding Crosswalks?
Cars are bound by specific traffic laws when it comes to crosswalks to ensure the safety of pedestrians. Here are some key traffic laws that drivers must follow regarding crosswalks:
- California law mandates that drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians within marked or unmarked crosswalks. This includes stopping to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely.
- Drivers are prohibited from overtaking or passing other vehicles that have stopped at a crosswalk. This is to help prevent collisions with pedestrians attempting to cross the road.
- Vehicles must maintain a safe distance from the crosswalk, ensuring pedestrians have sufficient space to cross without feeling threatened by oncoming traffic.
- Drivers must obey traffic signals at intersections with crosswalks.
- Even in the absence of traffic signals, drivers should exercise caution when approaching crosswalks. Pedestrians may be crossing, and drivers should be prepared to yield the right of way.
Adhering to these traffic laws is essential for drivers to prevent accidents involving pedestrians. Failing to follow these regulations not only poses a risk to pedestrians but may also lead to legal consequences for the driver.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Pedestrian Injury Claim?
If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to recover the following types of damages in a personal injury claim:
Medical Expenses – Damages often cover medical bills, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any other costs associated with treating your injuries.
Lost Income – If you had to miss work and lost income due to your injuries, you may pursue lost wages. This includes both current and future income that you would have earned if not for the accident.
Property Damage – If personal property, such as clothing, electronic devices, or other items, was damaged in the accident, you may be able to recover the cost of repairing or replacing these items.
Pain and Suffering – Pain and suffering can include emotional trauma, and a decreased quality of life, may be awarded based on the impact the accident has had on your health and well-being.
Wrongful Death – In the tragic event of a pedestrian fatality, the family may be entitled to wrongful death damages, including funeral expenses and compensation for the emotional and financial impact of the loss.
Torrance pedestrian accident attorneys can help you assess the full extent of your damages and build a compelling personal injury case.
Proving Negligence in Pedestrian Accident Claims
Proving negligence is a key aspect of a successful pedestrian accident claim. To establish fault, the following four elements must be demonstrated:
Duty of Care – The first step is to establish that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the pedestrian. Drivers in California have a duty of care to drive their vehicles safely and responsibly.
Breach of Duty – The plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached their duty of care. This could involve actions such as speeding, distracted driving, or failing to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk.
Causation – There must be a direct link between the at-fault party’s breach of duty and the pedestrian’s injuries.
Damages – The pedestrian accident victim must have suffered damages, such as medical bills, lost income, or pain and suffering, caused by the accident.
A Torrance pedestrian accident attorney can help you gather strong evidence to support your claim including police reports, witness statements, and expert testimonies.
How Long Can I Wait to File A Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit in California?
In California, the statute of limitations for pedestrian accident claims is typically two years from the date of the injury. If a personal injury victim fails to file a claim within the specified time frame, they may lose their right to seek compensation. It’s crucial to consult with a pedestrian accident lawyer promptly to protect your legal rights.
Contact Our California Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
If you sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident, you don’t have to deal with the aftermath alone. At South Bay Accident Lawyers, our personal injury attorneys can help you recover full and fair compensation for your injuries, medical treatment, lost income, mental distress, and pain and suffering.
Our Torrance personal injury law firm maintains a 99% success rate and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Call us today to schedule a no-risk, free consultation.