How to Prove Liability for a Pedestrian Accident in San Bernardino
The state enforces the fault rule for all vehicle accidents, including pedestrian accidents. This means that you must prove fault for your recent pedestrian accident and identify the driver responsible for causing it before you can recover compensation for your losses. Most pedestrian accidents reported in the San Bernardino area happen because of negligence, such as speeding, moving violations, or distracted driving. However, it is also possible for illegal misconduct like driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs to lead to a pedestrian accident.
Your San Bernardino pedestrian accident attorney can help gather the evidence you will need to build the foundation of your case. They can assist you in securing statements from witnesses who saw the accident happen firsthand, traffic camera recordings from the area around where the accident occurred, and other evidence like the at-fault driver’s cell phone records. To succeed with any personal injury claim, the plaintiff must identify the party responsible for causing their damages and then prove the defendant is directly responsible for those damages and they did not result from any other cause.
It is important to remember that the state enforces the pure comparative negligence rule, and this could come into play if a pedestrian shares fault for causing their accident. Jaywalking is the most commonly reported example of this. If a pedestrian illegally crosses the street right in front of an oncoming driver in San Bernardino, the driver will still face liability because they have a duty to always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, but the pedestrian would also face partial liability and a diminished recovery to reflect their shared liability.
Filing an Auto Insurance Claim in San Bernardino
Filing an auto insurance claim is typically the first step in recovering compensation for any motor vehicle accident, including pedestrian accidents. All drivers in the state must have auto insurance that includes liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage. After another driver has harmed you in an accident, you can claim against their insurance policy to seek compensation for your losses.
This same rule applies to pedestrian accidents, so an insurance claim may be the first phase of your recovery efforts after your recent accident. Your San Bernardino pedestrian accident attorney can help file your claim, and you can rely on them to resolve any legal disputes that arise from the insurance carrier. After you recover as much compensation as you can through the at-fault driver’s auto insurance, or if they do not have insurance, you can file a personal injury suit to seek compensation for your remaining damages.
Filing Your Personal Injury Claim for a Pedestrian Accident in San Bernardino
The goal of any personal injury case filed in San Bernardino is for the plaintiff to prove liability for their damages and obtain compensation for those damages. Once you have identified the driver responsible for causing your pedestrian accident and secured as much compensation as you can through their insurance, your San Bernardino pedestrian accident attorney can help determine the extent of the damages you can seek with your personal injury claim.
Plaintiffs in personal injury cases have the right to claim full repayment of all direct financial losses they suffered from their personal injuries as well as future economic losses that have not yet materialized. Your San Bernardino pedestrian accident attorney can potentially help you recover:
- Compensation for your medical expenses. A pedestrian accident could easily cause broken bones, traumatic brain injury, and much more. The plaintiff has the right to recover compensation for immediate and future medical expenses they face due to the defendant’s actions. Your San Bernardino pedestrian accident attorney can help calculate the full amount of medical expenses you can include in your claim and consult your medical care team to determine the level of future treatment you are likely to require.
- Property damage. If any of your personal property was lost in the accident, the defendant is liable for all associated repair or replacement costs.
- Lost income. Many people injured in pedestrian accidents are unable to work while they recover from their injuries. If this applies to your situation, your San Bernardino pedestrian accident attorney can help hold the defendant accountable for the income you are unable to earn during recovery. Additionally, if you are permanently disabled from your accident and cannot return to work in the future, the defendant is also responsible for your lost future earning capacity.
You may be able to calculate immediately noticeable damages on your own, but accurately assessing the full long-term economic impact of your pedestrian accident is likely to be more challenging than you may initially expect. Your San Bernardino pedestrian accident attorney is the most valuable asset you have when it comes to ensuring maximum compensation for your economic damages.
Calculating Pain and Suffering in a Pedestrian Accident Claim in San Bernardino
Outside of your economic losses, you also have the right to seek compensation for the physical pain and emotional stress you endured because of the defendant’s actions. State law does not limit this aspect of recovery in pedestrian accident cases, so you can claim as much as you believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of your experience.
Attorneys generally use two methods to calculate suitable pain and suffering compensation for their clients. The first is the per diem method, which is best applied to cases in which plaintiffs are expected to fully recover in the short term. The attorney determines an acceptable amount of daily pain and suffering compensation and then multiplies this by the number of days it takes their client to fully recover. For example, if your attorney sets a daily rate of $250 and it takes you 100 days to reach maximum medical improvement from your injuries, this will amount to $25,000 in pain and suffering compensation.
The second method for calculating pain and suffering compensation is the multiplier method, most often used for clients who have sustained life-changing injuries and permanent harm. The attorney adds the total of their client’s economic damages and then multiplies this amount by a factor that represents the severity of their condition, typically one to five. The result is how much the attorney seeks in pain and suffering for their client. If your pedestrian accident resulted in any long-term or permanent harm, it is possible to recover several times the total of your claimed economic damages as pain and suffering compensation if you have the right attorney handling your case.
When you choose Easton & Easton to represent you in a pedestrian accident case, you can rely on our team for guidance and support through every step of your recovery efforts. We have years of professional experience dealing with major insurance carriers on behalf of our clients, so you can trust us to resolve any problems you encounter during the insurance claim filing process. When it comes to your personal injury case, we can aim to settle the case swiftly with the defendant if possible, but if litigation is necessary to resolve your case, we are prepared to provide ongoing representation throughout all your courtroom proceedings until you reach a suitable result to your case.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyer FAQs
Q: Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault for Their Accident in San Bernardino?
A: Yes, it is possible for a pedestrian to bear partial responsibility for the accident that injured them. However, whenever a motor vehicle driver hits a pedestrian, the driver is almost always more at fault for the incident. Under California’s pure comparative negligence rule, the plaintiff will have a fault percentage assigned to them, and then this percentage is taken from their final case award, leaving them with the remainder.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Claim in San Bernardino?
A: If you intend to pursue any type of personal injury claim, you must do so within two years of the incident. The statute of limitations for a personal injury begins on the date the injury occurred or on the date the victim discovered the harm done by the defendant. Two years might sound like more than enough time, but it is crucial to start the claim filing process as soon as possible to have the greatest chance of success with your case.
Q: What Is a Pedestrian Accident Claim Worth?
A: The total value of any personal injury claim filed depends on the nature and severity of the plaintiff’s damages. A personal injury plaintiff may claim compensation for any financial losses they suffered because of the defendant’s actions, such as their medical expenses and lost income following the accident. They can also seek compensation for future damages like their lost earning capacity. Additionally, a plaintiff has the right to claim pain and suffering compensation from the defendant, and there is no limit to how much a plaintiff can claim for pain and suffering in a pedestrian accident case.
Q: Why Should I Hire a San Bernardino Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
A: It is technically possible to file a personal injury claim without an attorney, but you would face several challenges in doing so. You could make mistakes in the filing of your claim that delay your case proceedings, or you could unintentionally settle for far less compensation than you legally deserve. Hiring legal counsel that you can trust improves your chances of success with your claim and increases your chance of maximizing your final case award as much as state law allows.
Q: What Are Attorneys’ Fees for a San Bernardino Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
A: The attorneys at Easton & Easton can provide the legal counsel you need for your claim without adding to your financial concerns. We take personal injury cases on a contingency fee agreement, only charging a fee after we win our client’s case. There are no upfront costs for our representation, and you pay nothing if we are unable to secure compensation for you. When we win your case, you only part with a percentage of the total amount recovered from the defendant as your fee.
Experienced legal counsel you can trust is an invaluable asset for any civil claim for damages. When you are struggling in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident in San Bernardino that you believe happened because of another party’s negligence or misconduct, we can help you build a comprehensive personal injury claim and secure compensation for your damages. Contact Easton & Easton today to schedule your consultation with a San Bernardino pedestrian accident attorney and learn how our team can assist you with your recovery efforts.