Walking is a great way to get exercise and it’s an environmentally friendly way to get around the city. With California’s lovely weather, taking a stroll or a brisk walk is also very enjoyable. Unfortunately, it can also be very dangerous. Many people who enjoy walking find themselves needing representation from Sacramento pedestrian accident lawyers.
From January to June 2019, 519 pedestrians were killed on California’s roads compared to 464 for the same period in 2018. This is according to The Governors Highway Safety Association and it represented a 12 percent increase. The average increase nationwide was three percent. This means that even though walking offers several benefits, pedestrians are at risk.
Even though thousands survive the impact, they can suffer serious injuries. That’s because they have nothing to protect them if they get involved in an accident with a vehicle weighing 3,000 pounds or even more. If you were injured by a car, truck or motorcycle while walking the street or crossing the road, an attorney can help you to get compensation for your injuries.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Many pedestrians in Sacramento are injured or killed because of negligent or careless drivers. Children under five and people over the age of 65 are especially likely to be struck by a vehicle. Pedestrian accidents can be traumatic not just for the victims but also their families.
Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents are:
- Distracted driving is very common. People these days seem to always be multitasking. Instead of focusing on the road, drivers talk on the phone, text, or even live-stream. They fiddle with the radio and check on their children in the backseat. Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel or their mind off driving can lead to an accident. However, it’s important to note that pedestrians can also be distracted and can, therefore, contribute to an accident.
- Lack of visibility. Many pedestrian accidents occur at dusk and dawn when visibility is poor. Rain can also make it difficult to see an individual walking or jogging along the street. That’s why it’s so important for pedestrians to wear light or brightly colored clothing and reflective gear wherever possible.
- Even though everyone knows that drinking and driving is dangerous, many motorists still take chances. Some also drive after using medications or illegal drugs that impair their ability to drive safely. People who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol can’t accurately judge speed, depth or distance. This makes it more likely that they will get involved in an accident. Pedestrians who are impaired by drugs or alcohol can also stray into the path of traffic or cross the street when it’s not safe to do so.
Injuries Pedestrians Tend to Suffer in Car Accidents
Vehicles have become increasingly safe over the years as manufacturers improve the crash avoidance systems, airbags, and seat belts. However, pedestrians remain as vulnerable as they ever were. When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the individual can sustain:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Torn ligaments
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones
- Knee and leg injuries
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
The severity of these injuries depends on several factors. These include the speed at which the vehicle was traveling, the part of the body that was struck, and the angle of impact. If your injuries are serious, you must ensure you have Sacramento pedestrian accident lawyers fighting for compensation on your behalf. You also need to make sure you take the appropriate steps following the accident.
What Sacramento Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Advise Victims to Do
In the moments immediately following an accident, it can be difficult to know what to do. If you are physically able, you should:
- Report the accident to the police
- Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, the road conditions, and the vehicle involved.
- Take note of the driver’s name, insurance details, and license plate information
- Get contact numbers for eyewitnesses
- Seek prompt medical attention even if your injuries don’t seem serious
- Tell your doctor about all the symptoms you’re experiencing
If you suffer serious injuries, you may not be able to do anything right away. You may simply have to wait for the ambulance to arrive. Since some pedestrians get knocked unconscious, they can’t make phone calls or take photos. In such cases, there are things you should do once you are physically and mentally able. These include:
- Following your doctor’s orders and keeping up with all appointments for check-ups and treatment.
- Contacting lawyer
- Not talking to an insurance adjuster before you’ve consulted an attorney
- Keeping a journal about your recovery process
- Not posting about the accident on social media
These steps are also important even if you were conscious and moving around right after the accident. Doing the right thing improves your chances of getting a fair settlement.
Proving Liability in a Pedestrian Accident
Before you can claim compensation, you need to know who is at fault and to what degree. With the help of your lawyer, you will need to prove that the driver was negligent. This may mean showing that they were speeding, driving drunk, driving while fatigued or driving while using a cellphone. They may also have failed to yield the right of way while you were crossing the street. This may be in contravention of California Vehicle Code 21950(a). If you can prove a driver broke the law, you’ll likely have a stronger case.
Sacramento pedestrian accident lawyers use several pieces of evidence to build a solid claim for compensation. These include police reports, eyewitness statements, photographs of the scene, and video footage when available. Experts can also be called upon to give their opinion on your case. Drivers and their insurance companies will often try to put most of the blame on the pedestrian. Having evidence that shows otherwise is, therefore, crucial.
Contact the Attorneys at TorkLaw Today to Discuss Your Case
If you want the best chance of getting full compensation, you need to contact our Sacramento pedestrian accident lawyers as soon as possible. We can help you recover damages for past and ongoing medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. You shouldn’t have to fight with an insurance company on your own or try to navigate the court system without assistance. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.