Few things are more frightening than the thought of being hit by a car. Yet California pedestrian accidents are quite common. In fact, there are more than 14,000 pedestrians injured each year in California, and nearly 900 are killed. Out of all traffic accidents, pedestrian accidents can result in some of the most serious injuries, including broken bones, brain injuries, and spinal injuries. At Krolikowski Law, we proudly represent people who have been seriously injured in pedestrian accidents. With over 15 years of experience handling these cases, our Orange County pedestrian accident lawyer has a keen understanding of the laws that govern these claims, as well as how to pursue compensation for his injured clients.Pursuing Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident
When a motorist hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian may be able to obtain financial compensation for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. Like other claims of negligence, a pedestrian injury claim requires a plaintiff to establish each of the following elements:
- The driver owed the pedestrian a duty of care;
- Through some action or inaction, the driver violated the duty owed to the pedestrian;
- The driver’s conduct was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- The pedestrian suffered some type of legally recognizable injury.
Typically, the first element is not strongly contested, since drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road, including pedestrians. Similarly, the fourth element is often easily established through the presentation of medical bills and testimony from the accident victim. However, drivers and their insurance companies often dispute the second and third elements of a negligence claim.
To overcome these challenges, an accident victim and a pedestrian accident attorney in Orange County should be prepared to show that the driver was negligent in some way, and that the driver’s negligence caused their injuries. This may be because the driver was speeding, was distracted, or failed to yield the right-of-way, among other examples. If the driver was cited by police for violating a traffic law, this may help prove a pedestrian’s claim, although it is not necessary.How Comparative Fault Affects a Pedestrian’s Claim
Rarely will a motorist fully acknowledge their role in causing an accident. Instead, defendants in pedestrian accident cases routinely try to shift the blame away from themselves and onto the pedestrian. Defendants do this because, under California’s comparative negligence laws, a plaintiff’s recovery amount will be reduced by their own percentage of fault. Thus, by shifting responsibility for an accident away from themselves, a defendant limits the amount of money that they will owe to the plaintiff. This is one reason why it is important to hire an Orange County pedestrian accident attorney who can fight for your rights.
California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that an accident victim will not be prevented from recovering damages for their injuries, regardless of their role in causing the accident. A pedestrian could be 50 percent or more responsible for an accident and still recover some compensation. Of course, any award obtained would be reduced by their percentage of fault.
While California law is favorable to victims in that their own fault will not prevent them from recovering compensation for their injuries, it is still vital to the ultimate success of a claim to limit a defendant’s ability to shift blame onto an accident victim. Attorney Krolikowski has extensive experience handling pedestrian accident cases, and he is familiar with the common tactics used by defendants to shift blame onto accident victims.Contact an Orange County Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact Attorney Adam Krolikowski at Krolikowski Law. For more than 15 years, Attorney Krolikowski has proudly represented pedestrians, bicyclists, and other victims who have been injured due to negligent driving. Having helped thousands of clients, Attorney Krolikowski is comfortable both at the negotiation table and in the courtroom. You should not feel pressured to accept a settlement offer that does not fairly compensate you for your injuries. To learn more, contact Krolikowski Law at (949) 274-9915 to schedule a free consultation with a pedestrian accident lawyer in Orange County today.