Benefits of Hiring a Riverside Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you tried to handle your personal injury claim on your own, you would face many risks both in the filing of your case and in the recovery of your losses. Without legal counsel helping you with the preliminary stages of your claim, you risk making procedural errors that delay your case’s progress, extending the time it takes you to secure compensation for your damages. You could even unintentionally cause your case to be thrown out of court. Even if you did manage to succeed with your personal injury claim on your own, you would also face the risk of settling for much less compensation than you rightfully deserve.
Having an experienced Riverside pedestrian accident attorney represent your claim eliminates these risks while allowing you to focus on your recovery with peace of mind. Instead of trying to manage your medical needs and your legal affairs all at once on your own, your legal team can handle your case filings while you rest and recover. Ultimately, you are not only more likely to maximize your recovery with legal counsel you can trust but also more likely to do so in a more efficient manner.
When you have Easton & Easton representing you in a pedestrian accident claim, you will have a responsive legal advocate ready to address your concerns and answer questions as they arise throughout every stage of your case. Our firm has decades of professional legal experience we are ready to leverage on your behalf.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Riverside
It’s possible for a pedestrian accident to happen because of a driver’s negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care. It is also possible for illegal misconduct to result in a devastating pedestrian accident, leading to even more complex legal proceedings for the parties involved. A few commonly cited causes of pedestrian accidents in the Riverside area include:
- Distraction. Throughout the United States, the most common cause of motor vehicle accidents each year is distracted driving. Any form of inattention while driving can potentially cause a devastating collision, and pedestrians are less noticeable than other vehicles, making them more vulnerable to distracted drivers.
- Speeding. Whenever a driver exceeds the speed limit, they increase the risk of causing an accident. Accidents that happen at higher speeds have the greatest chance of causing catastrophic injuries or deaths, and this is especially true when a driver hits a pedestrian who has no physical protection from the force of impact.
- Poor visibility. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to suffering injuries when they walk in dimly lit areas, during severe weather, and at night. Therefore, drivers should use extra caution when driving through any conditions that limit visibility, and pedestrians should do what they can to make themselves more noticeable to nearby drivers.
- Moving violations. Traffic signs and signals not only exist to help drivers anticipate the actions of other drivers but also to help pedestrians navigate streets safely. If a driver runs a red light or stop sign, performs an illegal turn, or fails to yield the right of way where appropriate, these actions can easily cause pedestrian accidents.
- DUI (driving under the influence) of drugs or alcohol. DUI is illegal in California and punishable by fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and other penalties at the discretion of the criminal court judge handling the case. If your pedestrian accident happened because the driver at fault was intoxicated while driving, you could face a more challenging series of legal proceedings after the accident but also have the chance of securing more compensation than you would for an accident caused by simple negligence.
These are just a few common causes of pedestrian accidents. No matter how your recent accident occurred, knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath to preserve your ability to recover your damages is essential.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
When a pedestrian is hurt in an accident caused by a motor vehicle driver, emergency services should be contacted immediately. After most pedestrian accidents, the injured pedestrians need medical attention right away, as even accidents at lower speeds can cause tremendous bodily harm. In addition, the victim faces the risk of injury not only from the primary impact of the vehicle hitting them but also the secondary impact of hitting the ground.
If you do not remember how your accident happened or if the driver at fault hit you and then fled the scene, it is vital that you connect with a Riverside pedestrian accident attorney right away. They can assist you in gathering evidence needed to prove liability, and the sooner you secure legal counsel, the sooner they can begin working on your case.
Most Common Injuries Reported From Pedestrian Accidents in California
It’s common for victims of pedestrian accidents to suffer multiple injuries, and a few of the common injuries resulting from these accidents include:
- Bone fractures. Broken bones are not only tremendously painful, but some of them will also require surgical correction and cause long-term adverse complications. In addition, severe bone fractures can cause nerve damage, which in turn leads to loss of mobility and diminished sensation.
- Facial and dental injuries. If a victim suffers injuries to their face and teeth, these are not only painful and sometimes hard to treat but also potentially disfiguring. In addition, facial injuries are especially likely to cause psychological distress, and many victims will need multiple reconstructive surgeries.
- Internal organ damage. A pedestrian accident victim could suffer internal injuries that are not immediately obvious but will worsen very quickly without medical intervention.
- Spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord carries brain signals throughout your body, and when this channel is disrupted or destroyed, the victim could suffer diminished sensation, loss of mobility, or even suffer complete paralysis in the affected region of the body below the injury site.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Any injury to the brain has the potential to cause life-changing medical complications. Mild brain injuries like concussions can still cause a host of long-term symptoms, and more severe brain injuries are likely to result in permanent disability.
It’s vital to seek medical care immediately after any accident, even if you believe your injuries are mild. Once you have received treatment, the next step in your recovery should be to contact an experienced Riverside pedestrian accident attorney you can trust to guide you through a personal injury claim against the driver who hit you.
Proving Liability for Your Pedestrian Accident
Success with your recovery efforts will require proving the exact cause of your pedestrian accident. You have to identify the driver who hit you and demonstrate that their behavior directly resulted in your damages. When a pedestrian accident happens because of negligence of any kind, the victim must prove the defendant had a duty of care they breached in some way, directly resulting in their claimed damages.
If your pedestrian accident resulted from DUI or some other criminal misconduct, the state will likely prosecute the defendant, and their criminal case will unfold in tandem with your civil suit for damages. It’s important to note that the driver at fault may have caused your accident through simple negligence like inattention while driving or a moving violation, but they can face criminal prosecution if they then attempt to flee the scene. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are relatively common in California, but once the driver at fault is located, they face severe consequences for failing to remain at the scene of the accident they caused.
Your Riverside pedestrian accident attorney will be invaluable for proving fault for your accident. They can gather crash scene evidence, including testimony from any witnesses who saw it happen firsthand. Once you have gathered the evidence needed to establish liability firmly, the next step in your case will be to prove the extent of your damages.
Comparative Fault in California Personal Injury Claims
Some pedestrian accidents happen solely due to the fault of the drivers named in these complaints. However, it is possible for a pedestrian to bear partial liability for their claimed damages. California is a pure comparative fault state, meaning that when a plaintiff is partially responsible for their personal injury, they may still recover damages. However, they lose a portion of the case award to reflect their shared liability.
Under the pure comparative fault rule, the judge handling the case will assign a fault percentage to each liable party. So, if the judge determines that the defendant is 70% at fault and the plaintiff is 30% at fault, the plaintiff loses 30% of the total compensation recovered from the defendant. Defendants frequently assert jaywalking claims in pedestrian accidents as well as other forms of comparative negligence in order to try to reduce their liability for these incidents. If you are concerned about partial liability, it’s vital to address the subject with your Riverside pedestrian accident attorney right away.
Compensation for Damages in Your Pedestrian Accident Case
California’s personal injury laws aim to provide injured plaintiffs with the means of becoming as “whole” as possible again after experiencing personal injuries. Therefore, once you have proven liability for your pedestrian accident, you have the right to seek remuneration for both economic and non-economic damages you suffered from the incident in question. Economic damages are straightforward and include the direct financial losses suffered from the accident, such as:
- Medical expenses. The defendant must pay for the cost of the medical care you require to recover from your injuries. This includes immediate health care costs like your hospital bills and ambulance fees. You also can hold them accountable for your anticipated future health care expenses resulting from the accident.
- Lost income. If you cannot work after your accident, the defendant must pay for whatever income you are unable to earn during this time. This rule also applies to any vacation time or accrued time off you were forced to use in the immediate aftermath of your accident.
- Lost future earnings. Unfortunately, many pedestrian accidents cause permanent disabilities, leaving victims without the ability to work and earn income. If this applies to your case, your Riverside pedestrian accident attorney can help you calculate the future income you otherwise would have been able to earn and add these projected losses to your claim.
- Property damage. If your personal belongings were damaged or destroyed in the accident, you could hold the defendant accountable for repairs. If your belongings need to be replaced, the defendant must pay for replacement along with your other economic losses.
You could be surprised and discover that you can claim more in economic damages than you expected initially. However, you also can hold the defendant accountable for the intangible losses they caused with their actions, specifically your pain and suffering.
How to Determine Pain and Suffering for Riverside Pedestrian Accident Claims
Pain and suffering may sound as though it would be difficult to put into monetary terms, but there are two commonly used methods for calculating pain and suffering damages in California personal injury claims. First, if a plaintiff will likely make a full recovery in the near future, their attorney would be more likely to use the per diem method. This involves calculating an appropriate amount of compensation for each day the victim spends recovering from their injuries and continues until they reach maximum medical improvement.
If the victim suffered permanent harm, which is often the case in pedestrian accident claims, their attorney will be more likely to calculate acceptable pain and suffering compensation using the multiplier method. The attorney adds up the total of their client’s economic damages and then multiplies it by a number representing the seriousness of their condition, usually one to five. So, if a plaintiff is claiming $500,000 in economic damages and developed permanent disabilities from the accident, their attorney could potentially help them recover several times this amount in pain and suffering compensation.
For many personal injury plaintiffs in California, pain and suffering form the bulk of their final case awards. Remember that there is no limit on pain and suffering damages set by state law for personal injury claims. Your Riverside pedestrian accident attorney will advise you as to what could be an acceptable amount to seek from the defendant who injured you.
What to Expect From Your Riverside Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Every pedestrian accident claim filed in California is unique, but one common thread that applies to every injured plaintiff is the value of having experienced legal counsel. The correct attorney is a tremendous asset for any injured plaintiff, helping them maximize the results of their recovery efforts to the fullest extent possible under state law.
When you choose the team at Easton & Easton to act as your legal counsel for a pedestrian accident claim, we will get to work immediately on securing the evidence and witness testimony you will need to substantiate your case. We will carefully evaluate the scope of the damages you suffered and help you seek maximum recovery from your losses. Our goal in your case is not only to help you recover as fully as California law allows but also to do so in the most efficient manner possible.
Riverside Pedestrian Accident Lawyers FAQs
Q: What Happens if a Pedestrian Accident Causes a Fatal Injury?
A: There is a high chance for fatal injury to occur when a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian, especially at moderate to high speed. If your family has lost a loved one from a fatal pedestrian accident in Riverside, you likely have grounds to file a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for the accident. This type of civil suit is similar to a personal injury claim, but while a personal injury claim seeks compensation for the victim’s losses, a wrongful death claim aims for compensation for the family’s losses resulting from the death.
Q: Can a Pedestrian Be Liable for a Pedestrian Accident in Riverside?
A: It is possible for pure comparative negligence to apply to a pedestrian accident case in which the injured pedestrian jaywalked or otherwise contributed to causing the accident. However, it would be unlikely for any pedestrian to be held entirely at fault for causing such an incident. A motor vehicle driver always has a duty of care to avoid hitting pedestrians and to always yield the right of way to pedestrians, even if pedestrians jaywalk.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File My Personal Injury Claim for a Pedestrian Accident?
A: California’s personal injury claim statute of limitations is two years, starting on the date an accident occurs. This means you need to file your suit within this timeframe or lose your ability to seek compensation from the defendant. While two years might seem like more than enough time to file your claim, it is always advisable to start the process soon after your injury. Swift action preserves material evidence and ensures the reliability of any witness testimony you will require for your case.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Win for a Pedestrian Accident in Riverside?
A: When you have an experienced Riverside pedestrian accident attorney representing you, you are more likely to maximize the results of your pedestrian accident claim and secure the greatest amount of compensation possible under state law. Your attorney can help you recover full repayment of your economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost income, and they will also help you recover appropriate pain and suffering compensation to reflect the seriousness of your experience.
Q: How Much Does a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Charge?
A: It’s understandable to be concerned about the potential cost of legal fees when you must hire an attorney to help you recover from a pedestrian accident in Riverside. The attorneys at Easton & Easton accept personal injury clients on a contingency basis, meaning we take no fee upfront and charge no legal fees for the duration of a client’s proceedings. Instead, we take a percentage of the client’s case award at the conclusion of their case, and they keep the rest. However, if we cannot secure compensation for a client for any reason, the client pays nothing.
The attorneys of Easton & Easton have helped many past clients overcome some very challenging accident claims in Riverside, including those pertaining to pedestrian accidents. The damage you suffered from your recent pedestrian accident may have been life-changing, and we are ready to provide the robust legal support you need to recover as fully as possible. If you are ready to speak with a Riverside pedestrian accident attorney about your legal options following this sort of incident, contact us and set up a consultation today with an experienced legal representative.