Murrieta Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are common in Murrieta, and when they occur, individuals on foot suffer serious injuries.
Murrieta is a great place to get around on foot. With the beautiful weather and gorgeous scenery, it is no wonder that this is the way so many people choose to get to work, and to just enjoy what the community has to offer. Unfortunately, walking is not always safe for pedestrians in the city. Negligent drivers do not watch for pedestrians the same way they watch for other vehicles, and this leads to pedestrian crashes in Murrieta. When an accident occurs, it is important that injured individuals speak to a Murrieta pedestrian accident lawyer who can help them claim the compensation they need.
What is a Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian accident refers to any crash that involves a person on foot, such as a walker or jogger, and a vehicle. Any type of vehicle can be involved in a pedestrian accident, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Pedestrian accidents can also happen anywhere, including in a crosswalk, while a pedestrian is crossing the road, or even in a parking lot.
Pedestrian accidents raise several unique issues. Due to the fact that they involve a two-ton vehicle and a person who is completely unprotected, these crashes often result in the pedestrians sustaining extremely serious injuries. Pedestrian accidents also often result in death.
How Much is a Pedestrian Accident Claim Worth?
After a pedestrian accident, it is natural to wonder how much a claim is worth. Although no one can determine this without fully examining the unique facts of a case, there are some guidelines accident victims can follow to determine how much their case might be worth.
- The extent of injuries and medical treatment: In Murrieta, accident victims can claim all of their medical expenses and the cost of treatment. As such, these damages often make up the bulk of accident claims.
- The extent of pain and suffering: Although this type of compensation does not have an actual dollar value, the law still allows accident victims to recover this loss.
- If you were at fault: If you contributed to the pedestrian accident, such as by walking into the road without paying attention because you were looking at your phone, the insurance companies and courts will also take this into consideration. In California, accident victims can still claim compensation even if they were 99% at fault for the crash. However, the victim’s percentage of fault is deducted from any compensation they receive.
After reviewing a claim, a lawyer can advise on the full amount of damages available.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?To recover compensation after being injured in an accident where a vehicle struck you while you were walking, you should file a personal injury lawsuit. In a pedestrian accident lawsuit, as in any personal injury lawsuit, your goal is to prove four things:
- Duty of care – The driver had a legal responsibility not to injure you. This part is easy to prove because everyone who operates a motor vehicle has a legal responsibility to drive safely and avoid causing accidents.
- Breach of the duty of care – The driver failed to uphold their legal responsibility. It is also usually easy to prove this, such as if the driver violated a traffic law such as making an illegal turn or answering a text message while driving, or did something so dangerous that there are criminal laws against it, such as driving at a recklessly high speed or driving under the influence of alcohol. A breach of the duty of care is also known as negligence.
- The driver’s negligence caused your injuries – You must prove that the accident is the direct cause of your injuries. It is easier to prove this about acute injuries like broken bones than it is about conditions such as chronic back pain, which could be due to a previous injury or even just to aging.
- The injuries caused your financial losses – You must prove how much money you lost due to your accident-related injuries. This can include medical expenses, as well as lost income.
How Does the Court Decide to Award Damages to an Injured Pedestrian?
The driver or the owner of the vehicle will try to pay you as little as possible, even if there is little doubt that the driver caused the accident. (Remember that, due to California’s comparative negligence laws, you still have the right to request and receive damages, even if you were partially at fault for the accident, or even mostly at fault.) As for proving that your headaches and neck pain are due to whiplash injury from the pedestrian accident and not just because you are old and out of shape, the judge does not need to be 100% sure, only 51% sure. This is called a preponderance of the evidence, which is the standard of evidence in personal injury cases. It is much easier to show a preponderance of the evidence than it is to prove your claims beyond a reasonable doubt, which is what the prosecution must do in a criminal trial.
Personal injury lawsuits rely heavily on the interpretation of your medical records from before and after the accident. Therefore, your pedestrian accident lawyer will work with medical expert witnesses to support your claims. When the experts cite published research, they must follow the Daubert standard, which requires, among other things, that the research they are citing state its methodology clearly. The first step to doing this is to contact a Murrieta, California pedestrian accident lawyer.
Hurt in a Crash? Call Our California Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pedestrians suffer some of the most serious injuries when they are involved in an accident with a vehicle. At Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP, our Murrieta pedestrian accident lawyers are here to help. We know how to determine liability for the crash, collect evidence to support your claim, and accurately evaluate your claim so you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve. When you have been hurt, call us at (951) 291-9814 to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced attorneys.