You could be entitled to a monetary award if you were injured in a pedestrian accident. These accidents can lead to severe injuries based on the tremendous damage a motor vehicle can do to the human body. Without protection from an impact, these collisions are often fatal.
You could have many legal options for seeking compensation for your injuries. From insurance claims to lawsuits, selecting the right course of action on your own can be difficult. Let our Bakersfield pedestrian accident lawyers advise you of your legal options.
What Is the Average Pedestrian Accident Case Worth?
Most personal injury cases settle in private, with both sides signing non-disclosure agreements. This makes it impossible to learn about what most of these cases settle for. While some settlement information is made public, no single clearinghouse collects and publishes that information. Identifying publicly-available settlement information could require you to search case-by-case, which is not feasible.
Thankfully, if you were injured in a pedestrian accident, our firm could evaluate the facts and advise you on what your settlement value might be. No personal injury attorney can promise you the outcome you want, as many factors go into these settlements.
However, we could help you understand what you might recover if your case is successful. This starts with advising you on the types of damages that might be available.
The cost of medical care frequently makes up a large portion of pedestrian accident settlements. These costs can be extensive, depending on the severity of your injuries. Your settlement could include money to pay for treatment (like surgeries, prescription medication, or physical therapy).
Pain and Suffering
You could also be entitled to damages based on your physical pain. Pain is subjective, and the same is true for monetary awards based on pain and suffering. Your attorney could make a case for pain and suffering compensation based on how your injuries have impacted your life.
Many injuries make it impossible to work in the short- or long-term. You could suddenly face significant financial strain if you are too hurt to work after a pedestrian accident. Replacing your lost wages could be possible as part of your pedestrian accident settlement.
Severe injuries often lead to disfigurement or scarring. Like pain and suffering, the effect of disfigurement is subjective. However, our firm could seek compensation based on the disfigurement you sustained in a pedestrian accident.
How Long You Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit in California
You could file a lawsuit following a pedestrian accident in Bakersfield, but that opportunity will not last forever. Your options are limited by something known as the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations applies to every civil lawsuit filed in California. Should you file your lawsuit after the deadline expires, the court will likely have little recourse but to dismiss your case forever. In that situation, you would also be unable to settle with the negligent driver that injured you.
Most of the time, the deadline for filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit in Bakersfield is two years from the accident date under CCP § 335.1. While some exceptions can apply to this two-year period, never assume they apply to your case. Your attorney could keep track of the statutory period to ensure you file on time.
Do Pedestrians Always Have Right-of-Way in Bakersfield, California?
Pedestrians always having the right-of-way is a common myth. However, most accidents between pedestrians and motor vehicles occur when the pedestrian has the right to proceed. It is worth understanding this distinction, as being hit by a car does not guarantee that you will have a viable compensation claim.
In California, the law explicitly gives pedestrians the right-of-way in two situations. These include when a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. Even then, a pedestrian could share in the fault of a collision. This is because pedestrians also have duties regarding crossing the road. VEH § 21950 prevents pedestrians from:
- Suddenly stepping off the curb
- Walking in the path of a vehicle in a way that creates an immediate hazard, or
- Unnecessarily stopping in a crosswalk
Whether or not you are partially to blame for the accident could impact your financial recovery. An attorney could evaluate all of the facts of the case to determine if you share in any fault.
How do Pedestrian Accidents Happen in Bakersfield, California?
Pedestrian accidents happen for many reasons. While these accidents can occur at any place where cars and pedestrians cross paths, some circumstances are more likely than others to result in a collision.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), pedestrian accidents primarily occur at night and in urban settings. More than 75 percent of all fatal pedestrian accidents occur on the open road. Less than a quarter of these accidents happen within the boundaries of an intersection. These accidents are most common at night time during the weekend.
Regardless of when these accidents occur, the cause of a pedestrian accident is typically related to negligence. Careless motorists often fail to yield in crosswalks or do not keep an eye out for pedestrians crossing their path. When negligence is to blame, our firm could hold the motorist accountable for an accident.
You Could Recover Damages Following a Pedestrian Accident in Bakersfield
You could have the right to pursue a civil lawsuit if you were struck by a car while traveling on foot. If you were not at fault, it is only fair that you recover compensation from the negligent party.
The team at Nadrich & Cohen is ready to fight for fair compensation for your injuries. If you are ready to learn more about how a pedestrian accident lawyer taking cases in Bakersfield could help, reach out today for a free consultation.