Pedestrian deaths and injuries caused by traffic-related accidents have become a serious issue in Los Angeles County. In 2016, Los Angeles County had more fatal pedestrian crashes than any other county in the United States. Vehicle speed heavily contributed to the significant increase in fatal pedestrian collisions.
In 2019, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reported that there were 519 pedestrian deaths that took place in California between the months of January and June. With the alarming amount of reports of pedestrian deaths in California, it is no wonder that it is one of the top five states accounting for almost half, 47 percent, of all pedestrian deaths.
Even a quick walk down the street can become a life-changing event if a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle. In essence, when a driver’s negligence causes injuries, or in this case, death to a pedestrian, the aggrieved individual and their surviving family members may be entitled to damages by filing a wrongful death claim.
If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident in Los Angeles, our experienced team of pedestrian accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are always here to help. We will recover all of the compensation you are entitled to so that you can focus on your recovery and on the ones you care most about.
According to California’s wrongful death law, which is covered under the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, a wrongful death is characterized by “a cause of action for the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” It also outlines the family members who are entitled to recover damages if a loved one was killed because of someone’s wrongful act. Those family members who are entitled to bring a wrongful death claim in court include:
A successful wrongful death case will involve proving the following:
Surviving family members are entitled to bring a wrongful death claim in court for acts based on negligence, gross negligence, recklessness, and especially for a deliberate wrongful act.
Damages in a pedestrian wrongful death claim are meant to compensate surviving family members for the loss of tangible and intangible forms of support they reasonably should have expected to receive had the victim not lost his or her life in a pedestrian accident.
How does the court determine how much surviving family members must be compensated for? The period of time during which these damages are recoverable is typically the shorter of:
When it comes to determining life expectancy, factors such as lifestyle, overall health, and job occupation will be taken into consideration by the court.
Economic Damages vs Non-Economic Damages
Economic damages may include:
Non-economic damages may include:
Non-economic damages will be awarded at the court’s discretion and are based on common sense and evidence. There is no set amount or tried and tested standard for determining a dollar amount.
A surviving family member cannot recover punitive damages in a wrongful death claim. There is only one exception, which is if the deceased was killed because of a felony homicide for which the defendant was already convicted. A surviving family member would have to file a “=survival” cause of action on behalf of the decedent’s estate in order to recover punitive damages.
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a pedestrian accident, an expert Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you get compensation for the losses you have suffered, which includes medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.