Benefits of Legal Representation for a Newport Beach Pedestrian Accident Claim
Technically, a plaintiff with injuries can file a civil claim against a defendant without an attorney. There is no official requirement to hire legal counsel for a personal injury claim in California. However, meeting the procedural demands of your case while managing your recovery from serious injuries will be extremely difficult on your own. You are far more likely to reach a suitable result when you have an experienced Newport Beach pedestrian accident attorney representing you.
While you recover from your injuries and manage your personal affairs, your team will be assessing your legal options for recovery. California’s fault-based auto insurance system means you may be able to file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver for some immediate compensation for your damages, but their insurance is unlikely to be able to fully compensate your losses if you sustained any level of serious injury.
Your Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Will Guide You Through the Process
If applicable to your case, your Newport Beach pedestrian accident lawyer can guide you through the insurance claim process and then assist you in building your personal injury claim. They can help you determine what evidence you need to ensure the defendant’s liability for your damages is proven beyond any doubt. Once you have proven fault for your pedestrian accident, your attorney can potentially uncover channels of compensation you didn’t know were available to you, enhancing your final recovery. Ultimately, you are most likely to succeed with any personal injury claim and maximize your case award when you have legal representation you can trust from an experienced attorney.
Determining Liability and Comparative Fault for Pedestrian Accidents in California
To succeed with an auto insurance claim and a personal injury claim against an at-fault driver in a California pedestrian accident suit, the plaintiff must prove the defendant directly caused their damages. This is because drivers have a duty of care to always yield the right of way to pedestrians, even when pedestrians do not acknowledge crosswalk signals and other traffic signals and walk into oncoming traffic. In addition, California enforces a pure comparative fault rule, so a pedestrian can face a diminished recovery from a personal injury suit if they bear partial liability for causing their accident.
Jaywalking Is Comparative Negligence
The most commonly cited comparative negligence in pedestrian accident claims is jaywalking, a minor offense applicable to pedestrians who cross streets illegally outside of crosswalks. A driver may assert that the victim in a pedestrian accident claim was jaywalking, moving in front of their vehicle, leaving the driver very little to no time to react. If an investigation reveals that the plaintiff is partially responsible for causing their pedestrian accident, California’s pure comparative negligence statute will likely influence the case’s outcome.
Damages and Compensation in a Pedestrian Accident Injuries Case
Whenever a motor vehicle driver hits a pedestrian, even at low speed, the pedestrian will likely suffer severe injuries. California law allows the victim of another party’s negligence or misconduct to seek compensation for all resulting economic damages. Therefore, if you have grounds to file a pedestrian accident suit in Newport Beach, you can potentially recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including those incurred immediately following your pedestrian accident and projected long-term treatment costs your injuries will require. Many injured pedestrians require lifesaving emergency care and may spend weeks or months in intensive treatment to recover from severe injuries. Your Newport Beach pedestrian accident lawyer can help you gather any documentation you will need to prove the full scope of the medical expenses you face after a serious injury.
- Lost income. Your accident can prevent you from working until you recover from your injuries. If the accident caused permanent damage, you could be left unable to work at all in the future. The defendant is responsible for lost wages and earning capacity after a pedestrian accident they caused. Some plaintiffs would be able to seek compensation for the future income they could have earned until retirement if the defendants named in their cases did not cause their injuries.
- Property damage. If the plaintiff also sustained property losses from their accident, the defendant is liable for these damages as well.
When an injured pedestrian has suffered extreme injuries, the total amount of economic damages they can seek in their personal injury claim could be substantial. In addition, any severe injury can potentially interfere with their lives in many ways, from preventing them from handling basic everyday tasks to causing persistent medical complications that diminish their quality of life.
Beyond economic damages, California law also enables personal injury plaintiffs to seek pain and suffering compensation. There is no limit to the amount a plaintiff can seek in pain and suffering compensation. However, the amount they include in their claim should reasonably reflect the severity of their condition. Your Newport Beach pedestrian accident lawyer can assist you in determining a fair total value of your claim, exploring every channel of recovery available to you to enhance your overall recovery.
When a plaintiff is likely to recover from their injuries, their attorney may aim for a pain and suffering settlement that establishes an ongoing payment plan until the plaintiff fully recovers. Alternatively, their attorney is more likely to seek a large lump sum on their behalf if they sustained any measure of permanent harm. It is possible for pain and suffering to account for the majority of an injured pedestrian’s final case award from a successful civil claim.
Pedestrian Accident Case FAQs
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Pedestrian Accident in California?
A: Your civil claim can be worth much more than you initially expected, and an experienced attorney can assist you in unlocking the full potential of your claim. A good attorney seeks maximum settlement for their client, and the exact value of your case hinges on how serious your injuries are and whether they resulted in long-term or permanent damage of any kind.
Q: Can a Driver File a Claim Against a Pedestrian?
A: Whenever a motor vehicle driver hits a pedestrian, the driver is bound to face some level of liability for the accident. However, it is possible for the injured pedestrian to bear a significant amount of fault for the incident depending on their actions immediately preceding the crash. Therefore, it’s possible but very rare and unlikely for a motor vehicle driver to have grounds for civil action against a pedestrian.
Q: What Are the Most Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
A: Any vehicle, even a small car, can inflict traumatic injuries on a pedestrian. These accidents often result in bone fractures, internal organ injury, traumatic brain damage, spinal injuries, and more. In addition, many victims sustain multiple injuries, leading to expensive medical treatment and ongoing complications that interfere with their lives.
Q: How Much Can a Newport Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Influence My Case?
A: The right attorney can make it much easier for you to confidently approach complex civil court proceedings. Your attorney’s representation will dramatically increase your chances of successfully holding the defendant accountable for your damages. Even when accounting for the cost of hiring legal counsel, your attorney will likely add tremendous value to your case in several ways.
The sooner you speak with an experienced Newport Beach pedestrian accident attorney, the sooner they can begin working on your case and helping you reach a suitable conclusion. If you are struggling in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident that someone else caused, contact the attorneys at Easton & Easton; schedule your free consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services we offer in Newport Beach, CA.