100% of individuals will get around by foot, at some point or another even if you normally get around Bakersfield via your own vehicle, public transit, or other form of transportation. When you are sharing the road with motor vehicles, you can imagine the kind of devastation that can occur in a pedestrian accident. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), around 950 people are killed while walking every year and another 14,500 suffer major life altering injuries in pedestrian-related incidents. Worse, the numbers on pedestrian incident casualties have been gradually rising in recent years, representing a 15 percent increase over past years.
At the Oaks Law Firm, our team understands that being injured as a pedestrian can have life-changing consequences. We are dedicated to pursuing all available options under California law, including a claim for compensation from the at-fault driver or company. Our Bakersfield pedestrian accident lawyers are skilled in the legal process, so we are ready to deal with an insurance company or take the responsible party(s) to court. Please contact us to set up a free consultation, and read on for an overview of California Pedestrian accidents..
Common Causes Behind Pedestrian Involved Crashes
Negligence is behind most traffic-related accidents, including those involving people on foot. Though traditionally associated with carelessness, the term negligence has a very specific meaning in the practice of law. To recover compensation, you must have evidence showing that the at-fault motorist caused the collision by failing to exercise reasonable care when driving. As a result, an operator of a passenger vehicle, commercial truck, bus, motorcycle rider, and many other road users may be negligent. The most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Bakersfield include:
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk or crossing at an intersection; ● Distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Not giving right of way to a person entering or exiting a bus;
- Texting, talking on the phone, and related cell phone use;
- Other forms of distracted driving, such as eating, drinking, or grooming; and ● Disregarding traffic lights, signage, lane markings, and other controls.
Steps In The Pedestrian Accident Legal Process
Like other US states, California requires all motorists to carry auto insurance in accordance with certain minimum coverage amounts. This requirement exists for the protection of victims that an insured motorist might injure through negligent acts. Therefore, the first step in the legal process
after a pedestrian accident is filing a claim with the responsible motorist’s insurance company. (MAKE SURE NOT TO DO THIS on your own. Get the advice of a pedestrian accident lawyer before you communicate with any insurance company). Though this might seem as simple as filling out some forms, keep in mind that insurers are for-profit businesses. Paying out amounts to victims represents a loss that the company will want to avoid, so the claims adjuster will fight your claim at every opportunity.
One tactic insurers often use is relying on California’s law on contributory negligence. If you did not exercise reasonable care when using the road as a pedestrian, this rule operates to reduce your
compensation. The insurer may deny payment or make a lowball counteroffer to settle on the grounds that:
- You failed to comply with “Do Not Walk” signs or red lights;
- You were crossing the road at a location that was not an intersection, i.e., jaywalking; ● You walked in between cars or moving traffic; or
- You engaged in other actions that exhibit a breach of the duty to use the road safely or many other tactics that they can use to lure you into signing a release of claim form.
The Oaks Law Firm is prepared for challenges in dealing with an insurance company, and we know the tactics they use to under-compensate injured victims. If the insurer will not pay a fair, reasonable amount to cover your extensive losses, wages and future claim our Bakersfield pedestrian accident attorneys will file a lawsuit in court to get the monetary damages you deserve.
Compensation In California Pedestrian Accidents
A quick comparison of the size differential between a motorized vehicle and person on foot will tell you that the pedestrian victim is likely to suffer severe, catastrophic injuries. You may qualify to recover all medical costs necessary to treat these injuries, as well as compensation for:
- Your lost wages, if you were unable to work;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Losses based upon diminished quality of life; and
- Amongst other damages that may be unique to your case.
Consult With Our Bakersfield Pedestrian Accident Lawyers For Free
While a summary of the relevant concepts is useful, this information is no substitute for retaining experienced legal counsel to assist with your remedies. For more information, please contact the Oaks Law Firm Toll Free at (877) 539-5366 or via our website. Our Bakersfield pedestrian accident attorneys serve clients throughout California from our main office in Sherman Oaks, CA, and we look forward to hearing from you.