According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, in 2018, more than 14,000 pedestrians were injured and 893 pedestrians were killed on streets and highways. In fact, California is the riskiest state in the country to be a pedestrian – with a fatality rate that is almost 25% higher than the national average. Despite advances in car safety features, far too many drivers are making unsafe choices that cause death and serious injury to pedestrians.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover money for your medical bills, future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. A skilled personal injury attorney can advocate for your rights – and help you achieve justice.
The Kuvara Law Firm represents injury victims throughout Northern California in a range of personal injury matters, including truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, car crashes, slip and falls, and pedestrian accidents. In each case, we work hard to make sure that our clients recover maximum compensation for their injuries. Our law office offers free initial consultations, and we never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.
Can I Sue After a Santa Rosa Pedestrian Accident?
California personal injury cases are typically based on a theory of negligence, which is the failure to use the level of care that a reasonable person would in a similar situation. If you were hurt because of a negligent motorist, then you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
Negligence can happen in any number of ways. For example, a person who texts while driving and hits a jogger may be considered negligent. To prove negligence, you will need to show that:
- The driver owed you a duty of care;
- The driver breached (violated) that duty of care; and
- The driver’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing your injuries.
In California, drivers generally owe a duty of care to all pedestrians. If the driver violates that duty of care in some way – such as by failing to yield right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk or at an intersection – then they can be held financially responsible for any injuries or death that result.
Pedestrian accident victims may be entitled to damages (compensation) for any injuries that they have suffered. This may include money for:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Reduced earning capacity;
- Property damage;
- Counseling or therapy;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and/or
- Scarring or disfigurement.
Like other types of personal injury cases, pedestrian accidents most often begin by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you are represented by a Santa Rosa pedestrian accident lawyer, they will send a demand letter to the insurer, laying out the facts of the case, the reason why their insured is responsible and making a demand for damages. This typically begins the negotiation process.
Pedestrian accident claims are often resolved by settlement. However, if the insurance company refuses to offer you fair compensation for your injuries, then your personal injury lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit. If the insurance company still won’t settle, they will take your case to trial, and ask a jury to find it in your favor.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrian accidents can result in serious or catastrophic injuries – such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and even death. An attorney will protect your interests, and fight to make sure that you get the money that you deserve for your injuries.
The insurance company may tell you that they accept full responsibility for the accident, and even offer you a settlement. It may be tempting to just take what they offer so that you can move forward with your life. As far too many injury victims have learned firsthand, this is often a mistake.
Insurance companies are in business to make money. To do so, they use a variety of tactics – and a team of lawyers and insurance adjusters – to minimize or deny legitimate claims. Even if an adjuster tells you that they accept responsibility, the settlement that they offer will likely be far less than what you need to become whole again.
A personal injury attorney will fight for your right to full financial compensation. They will fully investigate the facts of your case and research California law to ensure that you get the money that you deserve for your injuries. Throughout the process, your lawyer will handle communications with the insurance company and will advise you on your legal rights and options for resolving the case.
The Kuvara Law Firm has a strong track record of success with pedestrian accident cases. We are fierce advocates for our clients, working diligently to help our clients get justice. Our firm handles all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will never pay a fee unless we recover money for you.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer After a Pedestrian Accident?
There is a strict time limit, known as the statute of limitations, for filing a lawsuit in California. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is 2 years. This means that, with a few exceptions, if you don’t file a claim within 2 years, then it will be barred.
For this reason, you should reach out to a Santa Rosa pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible after you are hurt. Your attorney will begin an investigation and will work diligently to make sure that all deadlines are met.
Are Pedestrians Ever at Fault for Crashes?
As pedestrians, we can all take steps to be safe – like avoiding walking when we are intoxicated, wearing brightly colored clothes when the light is low, and making sure that we look both ways before crossing. Even so, drivers in California have a duty of care to pedestrians. If they violate that duty in any way, such as speeding, drunk driving, or not paying attention, they are responsible for any accident that results.
California follows a principle of comparative negligence, where an injury victim can still recover for their injuries even if they were partially at fault for an auto accident. In this situation, their compensation is reduced by the percentage that they were at fault. If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, reach out to a Santa Rosa personal injury lawyer today for a free initial consultation.
Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Pedestrian Accident?
Yes. Being represented by an attorney will ensure that your legal rights are protected. Studies also show that injury victims who have legal representation tend to achieve much higher settlements than those who represent themselves.
Insurance companies are not looking out for you – they are watching their bottom line. If you are hurt in a pedestrian accident, your best chance of a full financial recovery is to seek out a personal injury lawyer. In Santa Rosa, contact the Kuvara Law Firm for a free consultation.
Help for Pedestrian Accident Victims
There are few things that are more traumatic than being struck by a motor vehicle when you are out walking, running, or jogging. After the accident, you may not know what to do. Our law firm is here for you.
With offices throughout Northern California, including in Santa Rosa, the Kuvara Law Firm is well-equipped to help our clients get the money that they deserve for their injuries. With decades of combined experience in personal injury law, we have the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve a great outcome for you. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a Santa Rosa pedestrian accident lawyer, give us a call at 707-571-0405 or fill out our online contact form.