If you live in or around Oakland, you have a lot of alternatives to traveling by car. Public transit systems like AC Transit, Bay Area Rapid Transport (BART), and the Broadway Shuttle make it easy for people to get around without a vehicle, and the many parks and pathways encourage pedestrians to benefit from both exercise and beautiful scenery.
Unfortunately, walking can also be dangerous when you move from dedicated areas. Every year, hundreds of pedestrians are injured or killed at intersections, crosswalks, and roadside locations across California. If you’ve been left with severe and life-changing injuries because a motorist was intoxicated, distracted, or otherwise negligent, an Oakland car accident lawyer at the Kuvara Law Firm can protect your legal right to compensation.
Why Hire the Kuvara Law Firm for Your Pedestrian Accident Case?
Whether you were struck by a car as you crossed the street or by a turning driver who failed to yield, you need an accomplished attorney with experience handling cases like yours. The Kuvara Law Firm provides the highest level of representation in every case we handle. We have decades of combined experience navigating these types of cases and have helped our clients secure life-changing settlements and awards time and time again.
Following a car accident in Oakland, here’s what you can expect from us:
- We take care of all your legal needs, from dealing with insurance companies to investigating the facts. Rehabilitation and recovery should be your only focus.
- We do the investigation needed to hold the at-fault party accountable. As soon as we establish that a distracted or negligent driver was responsible for your pedestrian injury, we will obtain the evidence we will need to prove it.
- We work with leading experts. Depending on the circumstances of the pedestrian accident, we may have to consult with medical experts or accident reconstructionists. Whatever the case may be, we will work with the most reputable and reliable experts in California.
- We negotiate on your behalf. It is important that you hire a pedestrian accident lawyer who can negotiate from a position of authority and experience.
Accidents involving pedestrians can result in catastrophic injuries and disabling injuries. The sooner you establish a client-attorney relationship, the better. To get started today with a free consultation, contact us.
Pedestrian Accidents in California
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the pedestrian fatality rate in this stage is almost 25% higher than the national average. Approximately 7,000 pedestrians died in California between 2009 and 2018, and in 2018 alone, over 14,000 injuries were recorded. More recently, the Governors Highway Safety Association reported that 1026 pedestrians were killed in 2020.
When an accident occurs, the pedestrian nearly always suffers debilitating injuries such as:
- Lacerations that may mean permanent disfigurement
- Broken and fractured bones
- Internal injuries such as bleeding and organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Wrongful death
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian deaths account for around 13% of vehicle-related fatalities in the United States, despite only about 11% of people traveling by foot. Although careless actions like jaywalking or rushing across intersections to beat a red light have caused many Oakland pedestrian accidents, most collisions are due to motorist negligence. Below is an overview of the more common causes of pedestrian accidents in the Bay Area.
- Distracted Drivers: Distracted driving occurs when the driver is using a smartphone, adjusting the stereo or climate control, checking the navigation system, or tending to children. Even a moment’s distraction puts pedestrians in danger.
- Impaired Driving: Intoxicated drivers are much less likely to see pedestrians or respond appropriately to them. Pedestrian injuries are dramatically increased when drunk or drugged drivers are on the road.
- Speeding: In a fast-moving car, the driver may not have enough time to react to an approaching pedestrian. Injuries to pedestrians can also be more severe with speeding motor vehicles.
- Left-Hand Turns: Cars turning left hit three times more people than those turning right. This happens because drivers making left-hand turns focus on whether other cars are coming and are less likely to look for pedestrians.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Those new to driving are less likely to watch out for and respond appropriately to pedestrians.
- Disregarding Traffic Laws: Speeding, making illegal u-turns, and failing to obey signs can all lead to pedestrian accidents.
- Defective or Improperly Installed Traffic Lights: Drivers and pedestrians both depend on traffic lights to function properly, so a malfunctioning traffic light or pedestrian signal can be devastating.
What To Do If You Are Involved In A Pedestrian Accident
Oakland pedestrian accidents occur without warning. You are crossing the street one minute, and the next you are on the ground, stunned and possibly injured. If this happens to you, take the following steps to preserve a future injury claim.
- Seek Medical Attention First: If you have visible injuries, call an ambulance and let them take you to the hospital. Even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt, see your family doctor as soon as possible for a thorough evaluation. The importance of documenting your injuries through medical practitioners cannot be overstated.
- Notify the Police: If you called 911, the dispatcher will also send the police to the scene. (Call them yourself if you didn’t request an ambulance.) After investigating and speaking to everyone involved, they will create a report describing when and how the accident occurred, so ask them to send you a copy once it’s complete.
- Collect Evidence at the Scene: The more information you can gather, the better. Get the driver’s license and insurance information and talk to any witnesses who can support your claim. If your smartphone wasn’t damaged, take pictures of the accident scene, including the damaged vehicles and any road debris.
Once a medical examination has confirmed that you’ve sustained injuries, you’ll be hearing from the driver’s insurance company. Don’t give them a statement until you’ve hired an Oakland personal injury lawyer who can protect your rights and aggressively negotiate for the compensation you need.
What is My Pedestrian Accident Case Worth?
You can be awarded compensatory and punitive damages in a pedestrian accident lawsuit. There are two types of compensatory damages – economic and non-economic. Economic damages cover expenses such as lost wages, medical bills, and any other accident-related expenses. Non-economic damages compensate you for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses.
A pedestrian accident victim may be awarded punitive damages if the case goes to trial. A punitive damage award is intended to “punish” the defendant for their actions and deter future negligent acts, so they tend to be awarded when a motorist behaves in an especially negligent manner.
Several factors can affect how much a personal injury claim is worth. They include the severity of your injuries, their anticipated impact on your life, and how much medical care you’ll probably need. Your Oakland pedestrian accident lawyer will assign a value to your case and negotiate with the insurance company for the money you need to cover your medical treatment and maintain financial stability while you recover.
How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
In California, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the accident or injury. There are some exceptions to this timeframe (explained below), but two years is the default. The right to sue the other party expires after that time period has passed unless exceptions like the following apply:
- Delayed Discovery: This rule covers situations where you are not aware of your injury or that someone else’s negligence caused it. Once you discover that you have been injured or learn that another party has been negligent, the statute of limitations begins to run.
- The Defendant Leaves California: The second type of extension occurs if the defendant leaves the state before you file the lawsuit. While the other party is outside of California, the statute of limitations stops running. When the defendant returns to California, they may face more legal problems.
Although two years may seem like plenty of time, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to begin the process. The earlier your pedestrian accident lawyer gathers the necessary evidence, the sooner your case can be filed.
Injured? Get a Free Consultation From an Oakland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured after being struck by a car in a pedestrian accident, contact the Kuvara Law Firm. We will listen to you, explain your legal options, and recommend the best course of action for your case. Consultations are free and you only owe us money if we win. To learn more, get in touch with us today.