Why You Need Legal Representation for Your Pedestrian Accident Claim in Los Angeles
Many people believe that if a driver hits a pedestrian, they are automatically responsible for all associated damages. While this is mostly true, the reality is that a variety of factors can potentially come into play to complicate a civil suit. The average person with no formal legal experience is likely to struggle to maximize their compensation when they attempt to handle their case alone. They would also contend with demanding procedural requirements through the court system while managing the medical effects of their accident.
When you have an experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney representing your case, you are better prepared to confront these challenges. Your legal team can help meet all procedural deadlines your case entails and help construct a compelling civil suit that seeks maximum compensation from the defendant. Time is a crucial consideration for anyone intending to file a civil claim for damages. Not only will swift legal action ensure you meet the statute of limitations, but it will also preserve the integrity of evidence and reliability of witness testimony that you may need to succeed with the claim.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton excel at handling complex personal injury cases, and we know the legal obstacles you are likely to encounter when you must file a civil suit for a pedestrian accident. We will carefully review the details of how your accident happened, help identify the parties responsible for the damages, and guide you through the process of holding them accountable. If you are concerned about the damages you can seek from the defendant who injured you, our team can thoroughly explore every channel of compensation that may be available to you to increase your final case award as much as legally possible.
Proving Fault for a Pedestrian Accident in Los Angeles
Pedestrians are expected to follow the traffic signs and crossing signals in the Los Angeles area, and drivers are expected to yield to pedestrians whenever necessary. Some common ways that drivers cause pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles include:
- Distracted driving. If a driver is not paying attention to their surroundings, they could easily cause serious harm to a pedestrian. Your Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney can help prove the at-fault driver was driving distracted by obtaining their cell phone records, traffic camera footage, and testimony from eyewitnesses.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. This is illegal and punishable by jail time, fines, and a suspended driver’s license. These penalties automatically increase when the defendant has injured or killed someone with their actions.
- Whenever a driver speeds, they have much less time to reach changes on the road, such as a pedestrian stepping out in front of them. Any time a driver hits a pedestrian, they can easily cause catastrophic injuries, but this risk is much greater at high speeds.
- Traffic violations, such as performing illegal turns or running through red lights. Pedestrians expect drivers to follow the rules of the road, and when they commit moving violations, they can easily injure pedestrians in crosswalks.
Before you can claim any compensation for your losses, you are required to prove how those losses manifested and who caused them. In almost all cases, a motor vehicle driver who hits a pedestrian is to blame for the pedestrian accident. All drivers have a duty of care to prevent injuries to pedestrians, even when those pedestrians cross the street outside of the designated crosswalk. However, it is possible for a pedestrian to incur partial fault for their accident if they stepped directly in front of an oncoming vehicle and the driver had virtually no time to react.
The state upholds the pure comparative fault rule when multiple parties share liability for an accident. If a pedestrian is found partially at fault for their damages, they will lose a percentage of their award under the pure comparative fault rule. For example, if the judge determines that the pedestrian jaywalked and gave the driver very little time to react, they may assign the pedestrian a fault percentage to account for this behavior. The plaintiff’s fault percentage is the percentage of the award they lose, so 10% fault means losing 10% of the case award.
Your Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney can help recover the evidence needed to prove liability for the accident in question. This may include physical evidence, digital records like traffic camera recordings, and testimony from witnesses who saw the accident happen firsthand. Once you have proven fault for your pedestrian accident, you can proceed with claiming compensation for your damages.
Recovery From a Pedestrian Accident in Los Angeles
Under the state’s personal injury laws, the victim is entitled to claim compensation for any and all damages a defendant inflicted on them. An important first step in your recovery efforts may be an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver. All drivers are required to have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements for bodily injury and property damage, but even if you maximize your settlement from the insurance company, this may not be enough to fully repay the entire scope of the losses you suffered.
After securing as much compensation as possible from the defendant’s insurance, your Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney can help calculate the full scope of your claimable damages, which may include medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Economic damages like medical expenses and lost income are more straightforward and easier to prove with the right documentation. The defendant who injured you is liable for any and all medical treatment costs you incur for recovering from your injuries. This includes immediate and long-term healthcare costs if you require ongoing rehabilitative care for a serious injury, such as a brain injury or spinal cord injury. Many injured pedestrians suffer catastrophic injuries in these accidents, most of which will require years of medical treatment.
Lost income can also be recovered from the defendant who caused your accident. If you cannot work because of your injuries, the defendant who caused those injuries is liable for the income you cannot earn while you recover. Pedestrian accidents can easily cause severely disabling injuries, some of which prevent victims from returning to work at all in the future. Your Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney can help prove the full extent of the lost earning potential you experienced due to the defendant’s actions.
Calculating Pain and Suffering and Other Compensation for Your Pedestrian Accident
Pain and suffering are non-economic damages and are more subjective. The average person is likely to wonder how one can place a monetary value on something like physical pain or emotional distress, but your Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney can help determine a suitable amount to reflect the severity of your experience. Attorneys who handle personal injury claims for injured pedestrians may seek compensation based on the number of days it takes a client to fully recover, or they may use the multiplier method to seek a large lump sum. This is typically applicable in cases in which plaintiffs have suffered catastrophic and life-changing injuries.
Depending on how a pedestrian accident occurred, the plaintiff may also recover additional compensation like punitive damages or restitution from a criminal trial against the defendant. If the defendant caused the pedestrian accident through any illegal misconduct, such as DUI or reckless driving, the state would file criminal charges, and a judge will sentence them accordingly. When a criminal defendant has injured a victim, the judge is likely to award restitution to the victim as part of the defendant’s sentence.
If the defendant did not technically break the law, but their actions fall outside the general definition of standard negligence, a civil court judge has the discretionary power to award punitive damages to the plaintiff. As the name suggests, punitive damages intend to punish a defendant for their behavior, and the amount they pay typically depends on their overall economic status.
When you hire Easton & Easton to help you through your recovery efforts after a pedestrian accident, we will advise you as to whether any such variables could influence your final recovery. Our team has helped many clients recover far more compensation than they initially anticipated, and we excel at helping our clients maximize their recoveries by revealing every avenue of compensation available to them. We’ll seek to settle the case if possible, but we are entirely prepared to represent you in court if necessary. If you must participate as a witness against the defendant in a criminal trial, we can help you prepare for this as well.
How to Resolve a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Los Angeles
Your Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney is the ideal resource to have assisting you with your recovery efforts. Once you have proven liability for the incident, secured as much compensation as possible through an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver, and compiled your personal injury action, your case can go in two possible directions. If the defendant accepts responsibility for your damages and agrees to settlement negotiations, you can resolve your case outside of court, avoiding the time and stress that litigation would entail. If the defendant denies liability or disputes the amount of compensation you are seeking, the case will need to go to court, and a judge will have the final say on the outcome of the case.
When you select Easton & Easton as your legal representatives, we will aim to settle your case as quickly as possible while seeking maximum compensation for your losses. A swift settlement reduces the time it takes you to obtain the compensation you need to recover, but it does require the defendant’s willingness to compromise. If, for any reason, settlement fails or is not a viable option for resolving your case, we are fully prepared to represent you at trial.
Our firm has years of successful cases behind us because we vehemently defend our client’s rights in all the cases we accept. We know how stressful and uncertain the aftermath of any serious personal injury can be, and we know how to help navigate the various complex legal proceedings you face after a pedestrian accident. Time is a critical factor in any civil claim for damages, so it’s important to connect with an attorney you can trust as soon as possible after another party has injured you in a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyer FAQs
Q: Will the Driver Who Hit Me Go to Jail?
A: If you were hit by a driver while walking, they could face jail time if they caused the accident through illegal misconduct, an intentional desire to harm you, or through egregious negligence. If such a variable applies to your case, the defendant could face jail time and other criminal penalties. Your Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney can help you understand how a criminal case against the defendant could impact your recovery.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Pedestrian Accident in Los Angeles?
A: The state’s personal injury laws allow you to seek full compensation for all economic damages you suffered, as well as pain and suffering compensation to reflect the severity of your experience. The total value of your personal injury claim depends on the severity of your damages and whether you have experienced legal counsel advising you. Having experienced legal counsel represent you is the ideal method of maximizing your final case award, and your attorney may reveal avenues of compensation you did not know were available to you.
Q: How Much Time Do I Have to Start a Personal Injury Suit?
A: There is a two-year statute of limitations or time limit for personal injury actions. This means you have two years from the date of your injury to file your civil action against the party responsible for the injury. Failure to file your claim within this time limit could mean losing your ability to claim compensation from the defendant. It is imperative that you consult a Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after you stabilize from your injuries.
Q: Why Do I Need to Hire a Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
A: Even if the fault for your recent pedestrian accident seems perfectly clear, there is always a chance for unexpected variables to arise and complicate your pursuit of compensation for your damages. Hiring an experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney also means you will not need to worry about handling your civil claim on your own while managing your recovery from your injuries. You are more likely to win your case and maximize your compensation with the help of an experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney.
Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
A: The attorneys at Easton & Easton operate on a contingency fee basis for our personal injury clients in Los Angeles. This means we take no upfront legal fees, nor do we charge ongoing attorneys’ fees during your case. Instead, our firm will take a percentage of the total case award we recover on your behalf, and only if we win your case. If our team cannot recover compensation for your damages for any reason, you pay nothing, so there is no risk to you by hiring Easton & Easton to represent your pedestrian accident claim.
The right attorney can make a tremendous positive difference in the outcome of your impending civil suit. When you select Easton & Easton to represent you, you are investing in years of professional legal experience and a team of attorneys dedicated to helping you maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible under state law. If you are ready to explore your options for legal recourse with the help of an experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney, contact us today and schedule your consultation with our team.