Los Angeles boasts wonderful weather, great scenery, and a climate that is highly conducive to walking. However, Los Angeles is not designed with the pedestrian in mind. In fact, it is routinely determined to be one of the most dangerous places in the country for pedestrians, meaning that every time you step out of your door and decide to travel by foot in LA, you are at risk of serious injury, or even death, from a pedestrian accident. This is unfortunate information for anyone who hopes to take advantage of the sunny Southern California weather and get out on foot.
If you do choose to travel on foot around the city, it is important that you know about the legal support you are able to access if you are one of the unfortunate pedestrians who are involved in a collision (between 2012 and 2016, there were more than 14,200 pedestrians injuries in Los Angeles and 439 pedestrian fatalities). Los Angeles is poorly designed in terms of pedestrian safety, and while they are taking aggressive steps towards correcting these problems, it is not a perfect implementation of Vision Zero LA.
Contact The Capital Law Firm as soon as possible in order to discuss your case during a free initial consultation, where we will be able to talk about the accident, your injuries, and the path forward towards the financial compensation that you deserve. Read more below to get some general information about pedestrian accidents, common injuries, and some causes of these crashes. The following information is intended to provide you with an overview of this situation, but the best way to get answers is to work directly with us on your case.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Los Angeles
If every cause of a pedestrian accident could be identified and studied, it could possibly mean that these types of accidents could be eliminated entirely. In fact, that is the goal of the Vision Zero initiative that Los Angeles and many other cities around the country have pledged to, so that their pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable travelers can move about the city without fear of being hit by a car. Vision Zero, and many city designers, believe that the issue lies with poor urban design more so than with dangerous drivers or reckless pedestrians, but these still play a factor.
The following are just a few examples of some common causes of pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles, but whether or not your situation is mentioned here, contact us now to get started on your case immediately.
It is common knowledge that a significant number of drivers engage in distracted driving on a daily basis as they check their emails, respond to text messages, adjust their GPS, and even eat or do makeup while driving. Each of these behaviors is extremely risky and has been shown, in some cases, to be even more dangerous than drunk driving. In some cases, proving that a driver was distracted during the collision may be hard to do when it is just your word against theirs, so it is important to gather any possible eyewitness accounts who can confirm that the driver was engaging in risky behavior while driving.
Drunk or Drugged Driving
Driving a passenger vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 (.04 for CDL drivers who are operating a commercial vehicle), or under the influence of any mind-altering substance such as marijuana, prescription drugs, or other intoxicants, is prohibited by law in the state of California and the United States altogether.
If you suspect that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, make sure that you tell the police at the scene about this suspicion. They will likely perform a battery of tests anyway to confirm that alcohol or drugs were or were not part of the crash, but it is still important that you point out your own concerns to ensure that they check. Any citations or an arrest on the accident report will go heavily in your favor during your personal injury claim.
Poor Weather Conditions
Although LA is known for sunny weather (284 days per year, on average), this means that LA drivers have less experience driving in adverse weather conditions and may be prone to speed or otherwise driving in a way that limits their control over their vehicle. This reckless behavior, combined with reduced visibility, can lead to dangerous conditions for drivers and pedestrians alike.
The driver’s insurance company may claim that the weather conditions equate to less fault for their driver in some instances, but when you are being represented by an experienced and aggressive personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, you can be confident that your case will be heard and properly represented as the insurance company tirelessly attempts to limit your settlement amount.
Why Someone Might Need A Lawyer After a Pedestrian Accident
After any accident where there is an insurance company involved, working with an experienced attorney is one of the best steps that you can take in order to get the money that you truly deserve. This is because insurance companies and insurance agents prioritize the financial welfare of the company over the needs of a victim, and take active steps to reduce the settlement amount in any way possible.
Without the help of an attorney, you will be left trying to focus on making a full recovery from your injuries at the same time that you are working on time-sensitive processes with your claim, filing seemingly-endless paperwork, and attempting to negotiate your position against aggressive insurance representatives. This stress will have a negative impact on your recovery to begin with, but will also take your attention away from what is important: getting your life back on track after this terrible situation.
When you hire a personal injury attorney, you will be able to reduce the amount of stress that you take on, give yourself valuable time to focus on recovery, and have professional representation throughout the entire process so that you can fight to get the money you truly deserve.
Pedestrian Accident FAQ
The following are just a few of the questions that we commonly answer during our free initial consultations with potential clients. We think that it is important that each prospective client has an opportunity to speak with our firm directly, without financial obligation, in order to understand their options, realize that there is a path forward, and learn about how we can help them get there. Keep in mind that the specific answers to your questions will vary depending on a range of details, but the following are intended to provide you with a general idea of how we will answer these questions.
Should I settle my case with the insurance company?
Personal injury cases rarely go to trial, meaning that they end in a settlement agreement between the involved parties either before or after a lawsuit is officially filed in the California courts. Many people incorrectly believe that they only need an attorney if they are going to file a full lawsuit, or will need to go to trial, but in reality, your attorney will be a valuable resource every step of the way.
When the insurance company makes its initial settlement offer following the claims investigation, it will be positioned as the best you can do or the total value of your situation. This is never the fact, though, and you will now need to begin a series of negotiations based on what you TRULY deserve for your accident.
How much is my case worth?
In order to determine the value of your injuries and accident, we will need to go through an ongoing investigation into the economic and non-economic impacts that your accident has had on your life. This includes the obvious impacts like medical bills, lost wages, and other measurable financial effects of your accident, but the reality is that your damages go far beyond bills and expenses.
In addition to calculating all of the measurable monetary effects of your accident, we will work to quantify your pain and suffering, as well as a variety of other “non-economic” factors that, while not easily calculated, are just as important as your medical expenses.