A pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in the United States, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Those who walk, jog, hike, or traverse any roadway in California should consider the dangers. More pedestrians were killed in the state in 2015 than anywhere else in the nation, with 742 pedestrian fatalities that year. In Orange County alone, a pedestrian was killed nearly once a week, and countless more were injured.
These accident victims typically have good intentions—walking saves money, conserves natural resources, and boasts health benefits. Pedestrians are entitled to space near the road, and when careless drivers inflict injury, pedestrians have rights that can be protected. The experienced legal team at Case Barnett Law is here to help those victims in Orange County through the overwhelming and uncertain time after an accident. Our legal team understands, and we are here to provide the legal advice and action you need so you can focus on what really matters—your physical and emotional recovery.
Common Types of Pedestrian Accidents in California
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, one out of every four fatal traffic crash victims is a pedestrian. This may come as a surprise, as many people think of traffic crash victims as drivers or passengers. The NHTSA points out, however, that we are all pedestrians. Even when we use another mode of transportation to reach a destination, we still have to traverse public walkways, footpaths, and parking lots. We all face risks for a pedestrian accident at one time or another as vehicle drivers often ignore their duty to others and operate their vehicles while impatient, distracted, impaired, reckless, or simply not paying attention. Some of the most common types of pedestrian accidents include:
- Intersections. The NHTSA reports that 18 percent of pedestrian accidents occur at intersections, where drivers either strike a pedestrian as he crosses or while the driver is attempting a turn.
- Failure to yield. Failure to yield accidents occur when a driver does not give the right of way to a pedestrian as he should. Typically, pedestrians do have the right to the road where there are crosswalks or other marked crossings.
- Reversing vehicle. When backing up from driveways or parking spots, or in other situations that require a reversal, drivers are less able to see their surroundings fully. Drivers should pay attention and reverse slowly, however, this is not always the case.
- Crossing. Once a pedestrian leaves a sidewalk and steps into a road to cross, he is at a much higher risk for being involved in a crash. Crossing outside a marked location significantly increases this risk, though drivers do have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings at all times.
- Off road. Many times, a pedestrian is hit simply because he is near the road. For a variety of reasons, a driver may veer off the road, and pedestrians pay the price simply for their proximity.
- Mailbox. Many homes and apartments have mailboxes placed next to the road to ease the burden on the postal system. Unfortunately, this means that pedestrians are often very close to or in the road while retrieving their mail, which increases the risk of an accident.
- School bus crossing. School bus crossings are dangerous for both children and adults. Pedestrians expect drivers to obey the law, but too many drivers ignore the flashing stop signs and continue down the road.
- Work or play. Especially in residential areas, it is not uncommon to see children run to the street to retrieve a ball or for service vehicles and employees to occupy space near the road. Drivers often do not anticipate or adjust to these situations, and accidents happen.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries are Often More Severe
When a pedestrian is involved in a traffic accident, it is more likely he will suffer severe injuries. Pedestrians do not have the protections offered by cars, and they typically are not wearing any protective gear like that worn by cyclists. This means pedestrians are especially vulnerable, and the injuries they suffer can affect them for weeks, months, and even years to come. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Pelvic injury
- Neck injury
- Torn ligaments
- Brain injury
- Road rash
Compensation for California Pedestrian Accident Victims
When pedestrians are involved in a crash and experience any of these or other types of injuries, the law does make it possible to hold the responsible party accountable for the suffering they have caused. While legal action cannot undo the pain you have already experienced, it can safeguard your financial stability and ensure you are able to get the care you need.
At Case Barnett Law, our dedicated lawyers understand the strain that these accidents place on victims and their families, and we fight to protect your rights. Over our 13 years representing injury victims in Orange County, we have successfully obtained tens of millions of dollars of compensation on behalf of our clients for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
When You Should Call an Orange County Injury Attorney
The time after a pedestrian accident can be painful and confusing, and victims may feel too overwhelmed to consider filing a legal claim. They often are unsure of their rights and wonder if they even have a legal claim at all. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer when:
- You have suffered significant property damage and physical injuries.
- Your medical bills and lost wages total more than $2,000.
- You believe another party is at fault for the accident.
At Case Barnett Law, we provide a free initial consultation. Our lawyers are happy to discuss your situation and help you determine the best way forward.
What to Expect From the Legal System in California
When you decide to pursue a claim with the legal team at Case Barnett Law, we will file a claim on your behalf and immediately begin preparing your case for trial. Our tenacious attorneys anticipate appearing in court in every case. We are not simply trying to settle your case as fast as we can; we are a small law firm focused on ensuring that each of our clients can achieve the best possible legal outcome.
Once filed, injury cases typically follow these steps:
- Discovery: This information gathering process provides facts about the accident and each of the parties involved. Attorneys on both sides are expected to share information they obtain through documentation, witnesses, police reports, and more.
- Negotiation: While negotiation can happen at virtually any stage, traffic accident cases are commonly settled before litigation begins. Insurance company representatives may approach the Case Barnett Law team with settlement offers. Together, we discuss reasonable offers with our clients. If we decide to accept a settlement, the dispute is effectively resolved. If the insurance company refuses to act fairly, we will proceed to trial.
- Litigation: The lawyers at Case Barnett Law are not afraid to take our injury cases to trial. We know we can get our clients all the compensation they deserve, and during the litigation phase, we will aggressively pursue your best interests in front of a judge and jury.
- Post-trial motions and appeal: Often, there are a number of different post-trial motions that must be heard. The losing side will often consider filing an appeal to revisit the decision.
Contact Our Orange County Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Today
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you have rights that can be protected. The experienced legal team at Case Barnett Law is dedicated to providing personalized representation that helps our clients achieve their unique goals. Call our Costa Mesa office or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to speak with a member of our team. You will find a passionate advocate ready to help you find the best way to move forward after an accident.