With the beautiful weather and warmth in Sunnyvale, many people choose to walk to get to where they want to go and for exercise. While walking is good for your health and the environment, pedestrians have a much greater risk of suffering serious injuries or being killed when they are involved in accidents. Unlike the occupants of motor vehicles, pedestrians have nothing around them to protect them from the sheer physical forces that are released in accidents.
Pedestrian fatalities are becoming increasingly common and have increased by 41% since 2008, according to CNBC. In 2018, the Governors Highway Safety Association reports that an estimated 6,227 pedestrians were killed in accidents. During the first half of 2018, California, Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Arizona together accounted for half of all of the pedestrian fatalities that occurred. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you should talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer Sunnyvale at the San Jose Personal Injury Attorneys to learn about your rights.
Liability in Pedestrian Accidents
While many people assume that pedestrians are primarily to blame when they are involved in accidents, motorists are frequently at fault. Drivers may fail to see pedestrians or to stop to allow them to cross at crosswalks or intersections without crosswalks. Motorists are required to yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street in crosswalks. Many accidents happen when motorists are distracted and fail to notice pedestrians. They can also occur when motorists fail to obey traffic control devices or fail to see pedestrians when the motorists are turning onto different streets.
Pedestrians can also be at fault in pedestrian accidents. They may be liable when they cross the street at the midblock instead of crossing at an intersection or in a crosswalk. Pedestrians should also make certain to watch for traffic when they are crossing the streets and avoid listening to music on headphones or texting while they walk near traffic.
Even when a pedestrian shares some of the blame for his or her accident, he or she may still recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit. California has a pure comparative negligence law. Under this law, you can recover compensation for your injuries even if you contributed to the accident’s cause. Your award will be reduced by the percentage of fault that the jury assigns to you. For example, if you suffer $100,000 in damages, and the jury finds that you were 20% at fault, your award would be reduced by 20% to $80,000.
Dealing with insurance companies
Insurance companies frequently contact injured pedestrians soon after they learn about their accidents. An insurance adjuster may contact you and might seem sympathetic. However, you should remember that the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, so his or her loyalties lie with his or her employer. You should never agree to give a recorded statement about what happened to you or to sign a medical authorization for the insurance company. The companies like to get recorded statements so they can use the statements that you make against you in your claim. They use medical authorizations to delve into your entire medical record to blame your injuries on a different incident. Finally, you should not agree to a settlement offer without reviewing it with your injury lawyer. Insurance companies may offer very low amounts in an attempt to settle claims quickly while people are not represented.
Get help from an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer Sunnyvale
Being injured or losing a loved one in a pedestrian accident can be devastating. You should talk to an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Sunnyvale as soon as possible after the accident. Contact the San Jose Personal Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 408.217.1778.
Under California law, it is possible to recover financial compensation for past and future pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, past and future loss of income, and punitive damages.