Orange County Pedestrian Accident Lawyers california crosswalk

Unfortunately for those of us who like to walk, pedestrian injuries are common. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, more than 14,000 pedestrians were injured in California in 2018, with many of the accidents happening on crosswalks. 

If you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a car in a crosswalk, you may be able to sue the driver. Crosswalks are designed to provide pedestrians with a safe place to walk, and when drivers fail to obey the rules of the road, they can be held liable for injuries that result. 

The experienced Costa Mesa pedestrian accident attorney at Case Barnett Law is prepared to help you understand your options after you’ve been hit by a car in a crosswalk. Read on to learn more, or reach out today.

In Crosswalk Accidents, the Driver Is Almost Always at Fault

Every driver must practice safe driving. That’s the law, and crosswalks give us clear guidelines for when and where to stop — and for whom. 

If a driver hits a pedestrian on a crosswalk, they are likely to be considered to be at fault for the accident unless you jumped out in front of them or they otherwise could not avoid hitting you. That may be good news for your pursuit of compensation — to sue for an injury, you have to be able to show that another party was at fault for the accident that injured you.

What to Do as a Pedestrian Hit by a Car in a Crosswalk

If you were hit by a car while in a crosswalk, the following basic steps are likely to be key as you pursue compensation through a lawsuit:

Seek Medical Treatment

Whether you suffer a minor or major injury, it is always best to seek medical attention. This is because you may face some trauma that only a doctor may detect and evaluate. By getting checked out even if you feel OK, you’re ensuring that you don’t have a hidden injury that could seriously harm you or even put your life in danger.

But there’s another reason to seek medical attention after a crosswalk accident: Seeing a doctor creates a medical record of your injuries. And this medical record is likely to be critical evidence in your lawsuit.

Preserve Any Relevant Evidence

You are unlikely to be able to take photos and videos in the immediate aftermath of getting hit by a car, but if it is at all possible and safe to do so, it’s a good idea. You may also be able to return to the accident scene to get photos and videos of it.

Other evidence that could support your case might include traffic light cameras, dashcam footage, witness statements, a police report, and medical documentation of your injuries. Keep in mind that an attorney can help you recover all of the evidence you will need for your case.

Contact a California Injury Lawyer

While you don’t have to have an attorney to pursue compensation for a crosswalk accident, there’s a good reason why so many victims in your situation choose to hire one. You are severely injured and struggling just to get by — you don’t have the time or energy, not to mention legal knowledge, to build a viable and compelling lawsuit that gives you the best possible chance of recovering compensation

But your attorney will have the time, energy, and legal knowledge to take care of virtually every part of your lawsuit while you focus on your recovery.

Damages in Crosswalk Accidents

Pedestrian accidents are uniquely severe. That’s because you, as a pedestrian, aren’t surrounded by a physical barrier like the driver of a car or other vehicle. It’s just you and the multi-ton car that hit you in the crosswalk.

That’s a recipe for extremely severe injuries that lead to equally severe damages. The following are some of the types of damages for which you may be able to recover compensation if your crosswalk accident lawsuit is successful:

  • Medical bills, including future medical costs related to your injuries
  • Lost wages during your recovery
  • Property damage
  • Permanent inability to work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Why Work with a Crosswalk Accident Attorney? doctor holding up xrays

We’ve already said it: You don’t have to have an attorney. But there are a few key reasons why working with an attorney could prove extremely helpful after a crosswalk accident in California. Your attorney can help you do the following:

Determine Fault

In the vast majority of cases, the driver is at-fault for a crosswalk accident involving a pedestrian. However, thanks to California’s comparative negligence laws, the driver may be able to reduce their liability by pointing some of the blame at you.

Your attorney will see that strategy coming and know some strategies of their own to make sure you’re not stuck with any liability that isn’t yours.

Assess the Damages You Suffer

A crosswalk accident attorney can determine the value of your case. Knowing how much you’re owed is key to understanding whether you should accept a settlement offer, and it’s not an easy calculation when you start considering the monetary value of emotional trauma and similar damages. Your attorney will have experience with this task and can help you get the calculations exactly right.

Walk You Through Every Step

In California, the process of filing a civil lawsuit is by no means simple. Even if you get all the paperwork right, you’re up against a driver who will likely be highly reluctant to accept the blame, and they may hire a lawyer of their own. 

Your personal injury lawyer will keep you informed at every step — what’s happening, why it’s important, and what’s coming next. That way, you’re never in the dark, and you can make informed decisions about what’s best for you throughout your case.

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