Pedestrian accident victims are often denied their claims by the insurance company or treated unfairly, but a capable and experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles can make a difference.
While it is the drivers who are most at risk when it comes to road accident statistics, a significant chunk of injuries and accident-related fatalities happen to pedestrians as well. Such accidents can leave the accident victims facing severe injuries such as spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries, excessive medical expenses, loss of income, loss of joy in life, loss of consortium, and even wrongful death. Since pedestrians are pretty much unprotected against the impact of a vehicle, they can suffer from catastrophic injuries and thus face inflated medical bills and other costs in the aftermath.
Even though California follows the at-fault statute for car accident liability, it is hard for pedestrians to be able to extract a fair settlement from the liable parties in Los Angeles. If you handle your case on your own and settle with the insurance adjuster, you probably won’t even be able to cover the long-term costs of your medical treatment. Also, in some cases, you may be able to demand punitive damages if there was gross negligence involved. But you might miss these opportunities if you take matters into your own hands. In some cases, especially accidents involving serious injuries, it might be more fruitful for you to hire a pedestrian accident attorney to represent you throughout this process.
An experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Los Angeles can make all the difference! At McDonald Worley, our lawyers offer decades of combined experience and will go to all legal lengths to ensure that you are rightly compensated.
But how can a pedestrian accident lawyer make a difference, you may ask? Read on to find out!
What Damages Do Pedestrians Usually Suffer In Auto Accidents?
The first and foremost thing that an attorney will do for you is to estimate the damages you’ve sustained because of the accident. This will affect your overall compensation sum for your personal injury claim. The damages incurred upon the victim reflect the intensity of the accident and thus allow your pedestrian accident lawyer to create an estimate for the compensation demand in your case. Note that this demand sum is not the same for all, your pedestrian injury attorney will assess your damages and then create an estimate accordingly.
Here are the common losses incurred upon pedestrian accident victims, by the at-fault party:
This is quite obvious – vehicle accidents typically incur some degree of physical hurt to the victims, and in the case of pedestrian accidents, the damage can be intense. In many cases, accident victims require immediate medical attention. In the other cases, the damaging effects of the injuries can persist for some time, necessitating long-term care.
Common injuries include:
- Visible injury types such as bruises and cuts
- Bone fractures and broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Joint dislocations
- Muscle damage
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck injuries
And so on…
Catastrophic injuries resulting from distracted driving (high-speed accidents especially) can be fatal, or at the very least, highly damaging. Fair compensation for an accident from the responsible party, of course, includes much more than covering the medical bills and costs.
Loss of Income
This is another consequence of pedestrian accidents – you’ll probably be unable to resume your work routine for days or weeks. The liable party must compensate you for all the lost wages and other losses in earning (long-term) caused by partial or complete disability. Loss of income adds to the burdens of an already injured individual who is facing immense physical and emotional troubles as is. Also, coping with the expenses associated with the crash damages with added financial burden can be near impossible without adequate financial compensation.
While this may not apply in all cases, in some situations, a pedestrian can face property damages as well. For instance, if you had a laptop on you when the accident happened, or maybe your mobile phone got busted during the crash. In such cases, property damage is an added financial burden for the victim.
While the medical bills and other receipts/records can help us account for all the material losses that an individual has sustained in a crash, the same cannot be said for physical pain, emotional stress, and life-altering situations. None of these damages can be measured in terms of dollars, but they do cost you peace of mind, can reduce the quality of your life, and may even compromise your enjoyment of life. As per the personal injury laws in Los Angeles, California, your lawyer can factor in these non-economic damages in your pedestrian accident claim.
This is usually done by multiplying the economic damages with a factor of 1.5 to 5.
Reasons to Hire a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer For Legal Representation
Now comes the important part – why hire an attorney for the legal process?
If you’re asking this, you’ve probably been reached out to by the insurance adjuster representing the negligent driver, promising that you will be taken care of by them. This is a trap! Don’t fall for it. Insurance companies representing the negligent parties don’t want to compensate you fairly for your damages, they just want to get it over with. If you accept a minor handout from them, that’s it – it all ends there, and then you’re on your own.
Or, you could reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney, get a free, no-obligation consultation, and then seek a fair settlement from an at-fault driver.
Here are some things that a pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles can do for you, if they are able to take on your case:
- A complete investigation of the accident
- Inspection of the causes, i.e., were traffic signals violated, was drunk driving a factor, etc.
- Analysis of the evidence produced by you
- Adding to the evidence where needed
- Legal representation at all stages of the process
- Demanding maximum compensation in the settlement negotiations
- Pursuing a pedestrian accident lawsuit, if needed
Your lawyer will not only help you understand your position in the case but will also make sure that all your rights are respected throughout. Having a pedestrian accident lawyer can make a huge difference when negotiating with the insurance adjuster, and while getting one involved can delay your compensation a bit, you can rest assured that you will be fairly reimbursed. If you choose to handle the claim on your own, you might miss out on some opportunities to recover compensation.
Also, most personal injury lawyers don’t charge any upfront fees for their services but instead work on a contingency fee basis.
Demanding Compensation For Your Losses
Next comes the most important part: demanding fair compensation.
Your compensation sum must cover all the economic losses caused by the accident as well as the non-economic damages as we have discussed earlier. Your pedestrian accident lawyer will first begin assessing your medical bills and other expenses, sum them up, and then factor in any long-term medical care costs, and the damages caused by any long-term or permanent disability. This is important as it will allow you to be reimbursed for the full extent of your losses.
If you rush to accept a settlement, the insurance company may try to give you a low-ball offer.
Here’s what your lawyer will demand compensation for, if applicable:
- Medical bills
- Costs for medications
- Long-term therapy/care costs
- Disability compensation
- Lost wages compensation
- Compensation for loss of earning potential
- Loss of joy in life
- Loss of quality of life
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Reimbursement for loss of consortium in the case of wrongful death
Of course, the insurance adjuster won’t be all too pleased to be met with all such demands, but that’s inevitable. insurance companies want to minimize their loss, and paying you in full for all your losses kind of gets in the way of that. Thus to be able to demand fair compensation, it can be helpful to seek out legal help and prepare your supportive arguments ahead of time.
And, of course, if the negotiations fail, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and seek further legal action via the court.
See If a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at McDonald Worley Can Help!
Speaking of legal action, you should not wait to reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney, because personal injury cases have a statute of limitations. This means that your case will be dismissed (when you file it) if you fail to forward your claim within the statutory time period, which is 2 years for California. The legal team here at McDonald Worley is committed to helping clients however possible without putting any financial burdens on them in the form of legal fees. We work on a contingency fee basis which means that you’ll only have to pay if we win.
Call us now for a free initial consultation!