LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Sebastian Gibson | May 22, 2010

California Pedestrian Accident Law And Placing the Fault for Injuries to Pedestrians

California pedestrian accident lawyers see the catastrophic injuries and deaths that occur when drivers are negligent or distracted and fail to notice a pedestrian crossing the road. Even with flashing yellow lights that some crosswalks are equipped with in California, pedestrians are regularly struck when drivers fail to be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists walking their bikes. Recently in Southern California, a pedestrian was struck when the driver of a large SUV failed to see the small child in front of her large vehicle. But that is simply one instance of many situations that can result in a serious or catastrophic injury to a pedestrian. Today, it matters more than you think who you call for your pedestrian accident. When it matters most, you should call a law firm that specializes in pedestrian accident injury cases. In pedestrian accident cases where a pedestrian accident victim has sustained a serious injury, there is typically a vehicle accident report completed by the local police department, sheriff's department or highway patrol. A police report is not required in order to pursue a claim against the insurance company that insured the party at fault. However, having a police report that puts the fault for the accident on the other party, is certainly helpful. In the event both a driver and a pedestrian are partly at fault, the situation falls within the bounds of comparative negligence in California which allows an insurance company to apportion the blame for the accident based on the comparative negligence of the parties. Situations in which a pedestrian can be found to be either partly or solely to blame for an accident occur when a pedestrian walks right out into traffic without looking or crosses the road late at night in the middle of a block while wearing dark clothing. When a pedestrian is walking in an area without sidewalks, the pedestrian should walk facing traffic and if they are walking at night, they should wear light clothing to afford drivers every opportunity to see them. A pedestrian who crosses the street outside of a crosswalk and who is hit by a car will almost always be put at fault for the accident. However, if as a result of the accident, the pedestrian suffers serious injuries or death and the driver who hits them was speeding, drunk or not paying attention, insurance companies will often still pay out damages to the victim or to his surviving family members in the event of a death of the pedestrian. As with car and motorcycle accident claims, it is still very important to hire a pedestrian accident attorney with years of experience who can obtain the maximum amount of damages for a victim and guide a person through the maze of dealing with insurance company tactics. It says a lot when you can find a law firm that receives referrals of big cases from other attorneys. Often such a law firm has a record of obtaining extraordinary results over decades. Most pedestrian accident lawyers offer a free consultation and will take such cases on contingency, meaning that they get paid only a percentage of your settlement (usually 33 1/3%) and only if they are successful. Such attorneys also routinely advance any costs, such as the cost of obtaining your medical records and other expenses to prove your injuries and are reimbursed for these costs only if they obtain a settlement.

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