Trusted Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Fresno, CA
Pedestrian accidents can result in life-altering injuries, costly medical bills, financial strain, and pain and suffering. California law allows personal injury victims to pursue just compensation for their injuries and losses. If you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident, support is available.
At Central Valley Accident Lawyers, we are committed to helping personal injury victims obtain justice. We will protect your legal rights and pursue the financial compensation you are entitled to. Call us today to learn more about your legal options.
Do I Need a Fresno Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident in Fresno, you might be wondering whether you need legal representation. Here are a few ways a Fresno pedestrian accident attorney can help your case:
- If you sustained serious injuries that require medical treatment and have resulted in significant medical bills, a pedestrian accident lawyer can help you recover full and fair compensation.
- If the accident involves multiple parties, such as negligent drivers, insurance companies, or even governmental entities responsible for road maintenance, a pedestrian accident attorney can handle the complexity of these cases.
- An experienced attorney understands the intricacies of these traffic laws and can build a strong case on your behalf.
- Insurance companies often try to settle for the lowest possible amount. A Fresno pedestrian accident lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you get a fair settlement.
Top Causes of Fresno Pedestrian Accidents
Unfortunately, there has been an unprecedented surge in California pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian fatalities increased by 9.4% from 2020 to 2021.
Pedestrian accidents can happen due to various reasons, with some common causes being:
Speeding is a factor in 29% of traffic deaths. Drivers exceeding the speed limit have reduced time and space to stop their vehicles to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
Distracted driving claimed 3,522 lives in 2021. When drivers engage in non-driving activities behind the wheel, such as texting, using GPS or the radio, eating or drinking, or conversing with a passenger, they can cause serious accidents.
Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating and weaving in and out of traffic, can put pedestrians at risk.
Alcohol or drugs impair a driver’s cognition and reaction time, significantly increasing the likelihood of accidents involving pedestrians.
Low visibility conditions, such as fog or poorly lit streets, make it harder for drivers to see pedestrians, leading to potential accidents.
Failure to Yield
Drivers must the right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks or intersections. When drivers don’t yield to pedestrians, they can cause severe accidents.
Rain, snow, or ice can create slippery road conditions, making it challenging for drivers to stop in time to avoid hitting pedestrians. Drivers must slow down and take extra precautions in poor weather conditions.
Drowsy drivers have reduced attentiveness, similar to impaired drivers, making them more prone to accidents involving pedestrians.
Common Injuries Sustained in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians don't have any protection against a motor vehicle. Consequently, pedestrians can suffer catastrophic injuries in pedestrian accidents. Some of the common injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents include:
- Fractures – The impact of a collision can cause bone fractures or breaks, especially in the arms, legs, and wrists.
- Head injuries – Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can occur if the pedestrian's head makes contact with the vehicle or the ground.
- Spinal cord injuries – Injuries to the spinal cord can cause paralysis or other long-term disabilities, significantly impacting the victim's quality of life.
- Soft tissue injuries – Sprains, strains, and contusions are common soft tissue injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents.
- Internal injuries – Pedestrians can suffer internal injuries to organs such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys, which might not be immediately apparent. These injuries can be life-threatening if left untreated.
- Psychological trauma – Witnessing or being involved in a pedestrian accident can lead to psychological issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and emotional trauma.
Pedestrian accident injuries often require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care. A Fresno pedestrian accident lawyer can hold the responsible party liable and help you get the medical care you deserve.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be traumatic and overwhelming, but knowing what steps to take afterward is crucial. Here are steps to take after a pedestrian accident:
Get to Safety
Move to a safe location, and ensure you are not in the path of oncoming traffic. If you are unable to move, try to signal for help or ask someone nearby to assist you.
Call the police immediately. Report the accident and seek medical attention for your injuries. Some injuries might not manifest immediately but could become life-threatening, especially if left untreated.
Collect information from the driver involved, including their name, contact details, insurance company information, driver’s license, and license plate number. If there are any eyewitnesses, ensure you get their contact information. Ask them if they are willing to provide their statement on how the accident occurred.
If you can, take pictures of the accident scene, skid marks, broken glass, your injuries, and damage to the vehicles involved. A Fresno pedestrian accident lawyer can help you collect surveillance footage and dash-cam footage if it’s available.
Do Not Admit Fault
Avoid admitting fault or making statements that might be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Stick to the facts when talking to the police, medical professionals, or insurance company representatives. It’s best to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer who will facilitate all communications with the other party and insurance company on your behalf.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Consult with a Fresno pedestrian accident attorney promptly after the accident. Our pedestrian accident lawyers can guide you throughout the legal process, help you gather compelling evidence, and build your personal injury case.
Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws in California
Understanding pedestrian right-of-way laws in California is crucial for both drivers and pedestrians to prevent accidents.
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked. Drivers must yield to pedestrians in these areas.
- Pedestrians must obey traffic signals at crosswalks. When traffic lights indicate "Walk," pedestrians can cross. Drivers must yield until pedestrians have completely crossed the road.
- At intersections without traffic signals, drivers must yield to pedestrians who are crossing within marked or unmarked crosswalks.
- Pedestrians should not suddenly leave a curb and dart in front of a moving vehicle.
Compensation Available in Fresno Pedestrian Accident Cases
Victims of pedestrian accidents are entitled to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. Compensation in a Fresno pedestrian accident case may cover:
Medical Expenses – Pedestrians often require emergency medical care after being struck by a motor vehicle. Compensation can cover medical costs, including hospital visits, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy.
Lost Income – Pedestrian accident victims often miss work due to injuries, leading to lost wages. Compensation can include both current and potential future earnings affected by the accident.
Pain and Suffering – These damages can include pain, emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment of activities, and mental distress.
Property Damage – If personal belongings were damaged in the accident, the cost of repair or replacement should be covered.
Wrongful Death – In fatal pedestrian accidents, compensation can be pursued for funeral expenses, loss of income, and emotional suffering endured by the victim’s family.
Proving Liability in a Fresno Pedestrian Accident
Proving liability in a pedestrian accident is crucial for a successful case outcome. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the driver was negligent. This can often be established through witness statements, police reports, or surveillance footage. To prove negligence, the following elements must be established:
Duty of Care
The plaintiff must establish that the driver owed a duty of care. Both drivers and pedestrians are obligated to follow traffic laws and exercise reasonable care. They have a legal responsibility to avoid causing accidents and harm to others.
Breach of the Duty of Care
The plaintiff must demonstrate that the driver breached their duty of care. For example, if a driver runs a red light and hits a pedestrian crossing the street, the driver breaches their duty of care.
The plaintiff must establish a direct link between the driver’s negligence, the accident, and the plaintiff’s injuries. Surveillance footage, witness testimonies, medical records, and expert testimony can help establish this connection.
The plaintiff must prove they suffered damages as a direct result of the accident. Damages can include pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and mental distress.
An experienced Fresno pedestrian accident attorney understands the nuances of these laws and can build a robust case on your behalf and pursue maximum compensation.
Is a Driver Always at Fault for a Pedestrian Accident?
While drivers are often at fault in pedestrian accidents due to their duty of care, there are situations where pedestrians may share the fault. California follows a comparative fault system, meaning that both parties’ actions are taken into account when determining liability.
If a pedestrian enters a roadway illegally, such as darting in front of oncoming traffic or crossing against a signal, they may share liability. If a pedestrian’s actions contributed to the accident, their compensation may be reduced. For instance, if a pedestrian was texting while crossing the road, they might share a percentage of the fault.
What Will It Cost to Hire a Fresno Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
Personal injury attorneys typically operate on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t have to pay any upfront fees or retainer to hire a Fresno pedestrian accident attorney. This allows victims of pedestrian accidents to pursue their claims without taking on financial strain.
The personal injury attorney will only receive payment if they successfully win your case. Their fee is usually a percentage of the awarded compensation and is deducted from the final settlement amount. If the attorney doesn’t win your case, you won’t have to pay any legal fees.
How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Fresno?
The statute of limitations for pedestrian accident claims in California is generally two years from the date of the accident. It’s crucial to adhere to this deadline for several reasons. Failing to file within the statute of limitations may result in your case being dismissed.
It’s best to initiate the legal process promptly to ensure that crucial evidence, such as police reports and witness statements, is preserved. To ensure you have the best chance of building a strong case, it’s advisable to consult with a Fresno pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
Contact Experienced Fresno Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Fresno, it's crucial to seek legal representation promptly. Drivers who injure pedestrians must be held accountable. At Central Valley Accident Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping injured pedestrians recover compensation for their injuries and losses. Our team of experienced Fresno pedestrian accident attorneys is here to help. Call us today to schedule a no-risk, free consultation.