Although drivers are required to look out for and yield to pedestrians, it is a far too common occurrence in California when walkers, runners, and others on foot are injured by inattentive motorists. Pedestrians are particularly exposed to danger from moving vehicles, and they often incur serious, life-threatening injuries or even suffer a tragic death after being struck. If you have been hurt by a negligent driver, pursuing compensation for your injuries may be vital in helping to pay your medical expenses and other costs. Los Angeles lawyer Vann H. Slatter has represented pedestrians in personal injury claims for over 30 years. We offer experienced legal guidance to victims who are seeking to hold a negligent driver responsible after an accident.Asserting Your Right to Compensation for Your Injuries
Personal injury claims refer to cases in which a person suffered physical or emotional harm to him or herself, as opposed to solely property damage. Typically, this type of lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the accident, or one year from the date of discovery of the injury, although there may be exceptions. In most personal injury cases involving pedestrian accidents, the plaintiff will file a lawsuit based on a theory of negligence, which holds people responsible for the harm caused by their careless actions. To succeed on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, the defendant breached that duty, the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injury, and the plaintiff suffered damages.
Although each person has an ordinary duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others, the element of duty can also become more specific based on the facts of the case and the relationship between the parties. For example, drivers have a duty to exercise care to avoid injury to others on the road while operating motor vehicles, which includes looking out for pedestrians. Pedestrians also have a duty of using due care for their own safety. However, in pedestrian-car accident cases, the duty to use reasonable care is higher for drivers than it is pedestrians. In California, drivers must give pedestrians the right-of-way when they are crossing any marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. In addition, drivers must also reduce their speed when approaching a pedestrian or take other reasonable actions to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian. A failure to do so, or a failure to otherwise exercise reasonable care, likely will result in a breach of the driver’s duty to the pedestrian. In establishing causation, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s careless actions substantially and proximately caused the injury to the pedestrian.
Damages in a pedestrian accident case usually include economic losses, such as hospital bills, future medical expenses, lost wages from missing work, and others, as well as non-economic losses, like pain and suffering. Since California is a comparative fault state, these damages can be reduced but cannot be completely eliminated if the pedestrian’s negligence was a factor in causing the accident.Consult a Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles to Explore Your Options
Veteran attorney Vann H. Slatter handles a variety of car accident and other cases in Los Angeles, including those involving pedestrians harmed by the carelessness of others. We have the resources and legal experience needed to represent you in your injury case. We also assist accident victims in Van Nuys, Panorama City, Bellflower, Palmdale, Lancaster, and many other areas of Southern California. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at (310) 444-3010 or contact us online.