If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident in Los Angeles, it is normal to have questions about your rights, the legal process, and the steps you should take to protect yourself. To provide you with some clarity, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions related to pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles.
Whether you are a pedestrian who was hit by a car or a concerned family member seeking information, this guide aims to address common concerns and provide valuable insights. Understanding your rights and options is crucial in seeking the justice and compensation you deserve.
Are Pedestrian Accidents Treated the Same as Vehicle Accidents?
In Los Angeles, pedestrian accidents are generally treated differently than vehicle accidents due to the unique nature of these incidents. While there are similarities in terms of gathering evidence and determining liability, there are certain key differences in how pedestrian accidents are handled legally.
Pedestrian accidents often involve vulnerable individuals who are not protected by the safety features of a vehicle. As a result, the injuries sustained by pedestrians are typically more severe and can lead to long-term consequences or even fatalities. Recognizing the heightened vulnerability of pedestrians, the legal system in Los Angeles places a greater emphasis on protecting their rights and ensuring they receive proper compensation.
In terms of liability, California follows a comparative fault system, which means that multiple parties can be held responsible for an accident. However, when it comes to pedestrian accidents, the focus is often on the driver’s duty to exercise reasonable care and vigilance to avoid harming pedestrians. Drivers are expected to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks and exercise caution when sharing the road with them.
Additionally, the damages sought in pedestrian accident cases may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related losses. Since pedestrian accidents often result in more severe injuries, the compensation sought may be higher compared to typical vehicle accidents.
What Type of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Pedestrian Accident?
In a pedestrian accident case in Los Angeles, various types of damages can be pursued to compensate the injured pedestrian for their losses and expenses. These damages can be divided into two types: economic damages and non-economic damages.
- Medical Expenses: This includes the costs of hospitalization, surgeries, doctor’s visits, medication, rehabilitation, therapy, and any other necessary medical treatments related to the accident.
- Lost Wages: If the pedestrian is unable to work due to their injuries, they can seek compensation for the wages they would have earned during the recovery period.
- Future Earning Capacity: If the pedestrian’s injuries result in a long-term or permanent disability that affects their ability to work and earn a living, they may be eligible to claim compensation for the loss of future earning capacity.
- Property Damage: If the pedestrian’s personal belongings, such as clothing, electronic devices, or other valuables, were damaged or destroyed in the accident, they may be entitled to reimbursement or replacement costs.
- Pain and Suffering: This refers to the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish experienced by the pedestrian as a result of the accident and their injuries.
- Emotional Distress: The psychological impact of the accident, including anxiety, depression, fear, and trauma, may warrant compensation for emotional distress.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the pedestrian’s injuries have significantly affected their ability to engage in activities they once enjoyed or have diminished their overall quality of life, they may be entitled to compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life.
- Loss of Consortium: In cases where the pedestrian’s injuries have negatively impacted their relationship with their spouse or family members, they may seek damages for the loss of consortium, which refers to the loss of companionship, support, and intimacy.
What Do I Need to Do After an Accident?
After being involved in a pedestrian accident in Los Angeles, it’s crucial to take the following steps:
- Seek Medical Attention
- Contact Law Enforcement
- Gather Information
- Document the Scene
- Preserve Evidence
- Notify Your Insurance Company
- Consult with an Attorney
- Do Not Discuss the Accident
- Keep Records
- Follow Medical Advice
I Am Not yet Sure Whether I Suffered Major Injuries. Do I Still Need to See a Doctor?
Yes, it is highly recommended to see a doctor, even if you are unsure about the severity of your injuries following an accident in Los Angeles. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately and can worsen over time if left untreated. A medical professional will be able to assess your condition, identify any hidden injuries, and provide appropriate medical care.
Furthermore, seeking medical attention will create an official record of your injuries, which can be crucial for your personal injury claim. Insurance companies and legal proceedings often require medical documentation to establish the extent of your injuries and the necessary compensation.
Even if you believe your injuries are minor or non-existent, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional to ensure your well-being and protect your legal rights. They can provide an accurate diagnosis, recommend any necessary treatments, and document your injuries, which will be valuable evidence in case you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
The most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles can vary, but some common factors include:
- Driver negligence: This includes distracted driving, speeding, running red lights or stop signs, and failing to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Pedestrian negligence: Pedestrians may contribute to accidents by crossing the street outside designated crosswalks, ignoring traffic signals, or being distracted while walking.
- Intoxication: Both drivers and pedestrians under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have impaired judgment, reaction time, and coordination, leading to accidents.
- Poor visibility: Low lighting conditions, lack of reflective clothing, or obstructed views due to objects or vegetation can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Infrastructure issues: Poorly designed or maintained roads, inadequate signage, and malfunctioning traffic signals can contribute to pedestrian accidents.
- Weather conditions: Inclement weather, such as rain, fog, or snow, can decrease visibility and make road surfaces slippery, increasing the risk of accidents.
The Pacific Attorney Group
The Pacific Attorney Group is a law firm in Los Angeles that specializes in personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, our team of experienced attorneys can provide you with the legal representation and support you need.
The Pacific Attorney Group can help you in several ways:
- Legal guidance: We will guide you through the legal process and explain your rights and options. We can help you understand the specific laws and regulations related to pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles.
- Investigation: We will perform a proper investigation of the accident, gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and any available video footage. This will help establish liability and build a strong case on your behalf.
- Insurance negotiations: The attorneys at the Pacific Attorney Group have experience dealing with insurance companies. We will handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
- Legal representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, the attorneys at the Pacific Attorney Group are prepared to take your case to court. We will advocate for your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
- Medical referrals: We can provide you with referrals to trusted medical professionals who specialize in treating injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents. Your health and well-being are a priority, and we will ensure you receive proper medical care.
By choosing the Pacific Attorney Group, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have a dedicated team of attorneys on your side, fighting for your best interests. We will work tirelessly to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost salary, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident in Los Angeles, contact the Pacific Attorney Group for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.