What Should I Do After A Pedestrian Accident?
If you are injured as a pedestrian in Orange County, there is a good chance that you’ll be transported to the hospital. Once you have gotten over the initial shock of your accident, we suggest that you take the following steps. Doing so will help to maximize the compensation you recover through a personal injury claim for damages.
- Get a full medical evaluation. If you have not already received a full and thorough medical evaluation, ask for one. This evaluation can (1) help to rule out any potentially life-threatening internal injuries and (2) document the injuries you sustained in the accident. Details provided in your evaluation – including comments and observations from medical professionals – can help to strengthen your claim.
- Ask for a police report. Some accidents may not seem “bad” enough to justify calling the police. It is important that you do so. A police report may not be admissible as evidence in court, but it can provide important information about your accident. It can also be used as leverage in settlement negotiations.
- Do not speak with insurance company representatives. Insurance companies will try to take advantage of the traumatic situation. They will try to talk to you into accepting a lowball offer. Do not agree to speak with them before contacting an attorney.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Hiring an attorney is an important step after an accident. Your attorney will review and investigate your case, fight for a meaningful settlement offer, negotiate with insurance companies and take your case to court (if necessary).
What Are The Common Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents?
The sheer number of pedestrians enjoying Orange County is probably enough on its own to increase the risk of harm on Orange County roads. However, studies have shown that the design and construction of Orange County roads also contribute to the extraordinary rate of pedestrian injuries and deaths. Southern California neighborhoods were designed to accommodate a heavy and constant flow of passenger vehicle traffic. These Orange County roads were built with the belief that the primary method of transportation would involve cars, trucks, motorcycles and buses. These high-speed roads are also becoming more congested as the economy improves, further placing pedestrians in harm’s way.
The fact that Orange County has poorly designed roads for pedestrian traffic is just one contributing factor. Drivers of passenger vehicles and trucks can also cause pedestrian accidents in Orange County. Similarly, pedestrians can also contribute to an accident. Common causes of pedestrian accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving (talking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking, applying makeup, smoking)
- Distracted walking (not paying attention at crosswalks, texting while walking)
- Failing to use marked crosswalks
- Failing to cross at intersections
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Walking under the influence of alcohol
- Improper lane changes
- Failing to stop completely at intersections
- Poorly lit roads
- Impassable or nonexistent sidewalks
- Bicycles riding on sidewalks
How Do I Determine Liability For My Pedestrian Accident?
Orange County roads create a dangerous environment for pedestrians. However, other factors must contribute to this environment to cause an accident. When you are injured in a pedestrian accident, you can seek to recover compensation from whoever caused the accident. Potentially liable parties following your accident can include:
- Drivers of passenger vehicles and trucks
- Employers of passenger vehicle drivers and trucks
- Passenger vehicle and truck manufacturers
- Equipment manufacturers
- The Orange County government
Pedestrians can also be liable after an accident. If you are a pedestrian who is injured in an accident, but it is later determined that you contributed to the accident that caused your injuries, your ability to recover compensation may be limited. California follows the rule of comparative fault.
This means that you are not prohibited from recovering compensation even if you are partly responsible for an accident. However, your ability to recover compensation will be reduced by the percent of the accident that is determined to be your fault. For example, let’s say that you are struck by a car while crossing the street. You weren’t using a crosswalk at an intersection at the time of the accident, so you are found to be 40% at fault for the accident. Your ability to recover compensation from the driver would be reduced by 40%.
Call John Rapillo For Experienced Personal Injury Representation
The Law Offices of John Rapillo provides a free consultation to discuss your legal options after your accident. Call the firm today at 949-652-2604 to learn more about filing a lawsuit for your pedestrian accident injuries.