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Hit by a car? Watch this! (Pedestrian accident)

Struck by a Car? West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

At West Coast Trial Lawyers, we strive to deliver justice to victims of personal injury. Our legal team has over 100 years of collective experience in handling personal injury cases. With our track record of recovering more than $1.5 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will get you the compensation you deserve for your losses.

We run on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that if we do not win, you do not owe us anything. To schedule a free consultation, we welcome you to contact us by calling (888) 395-7234 or filling out our online contact form. We are available 24/7 to answer calls or respond to contact form submissions.

How Common Are Fatal Pedestrian Accidents in the United States?

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in 2021, a total of 7,485 pedestrians were fatally struck by a driver in the United States. This is the largest number of pedestrian deaths caused by motor vehicles within 4 decades. 

The report further goes on to mention how speeding drivers have doubled the number of pedestrian deaths in children who are 15 and younger. In 2018, 6 percent of this age group was involved in a pedestrian accident, while in 2020, the percentage increased to 12 percent. 

These pedestrian deaths mostly occurred during the nighttime as poor or dim lighting was likely present. A majority of these fatal accidents took place on interstates and roads that were not suited for pedestrians to walk on. 

It appears as though pedestrian deaths have become more common now than ever as each year surpasses the number of deaths compared to prior years. In 2020, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported a total of 6,516 pedestrian deaths caused by traffic-related accidents in the United States. 

Based on the number of pedestrian deaths reported by both organizations, there has been a 15 percent increase in fatal pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles in just one year. 

These alarming statistics have caused people to grow worrisome over how common pedestrian deaths are becoming. Many organizations have pleaded to drivers to practice safe driving to reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities. For instance, California’s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) released a statement urging drivers to:

  • Follow the speed limit;
  • Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; 
  • Avoid using your phone while behind the wheel;
  • Give pedestrians the right-of-way at a crosswalk or intersection; 
  • Make a full stop at the crosswalk stop line to give other drivers an easier time of detecting pedestrians who are attempting to cross the street; 
  • Look out for pedestrians when driving at night or in bad weather conditions; and 
  • Cautiously back up your vehicle so pedestrians can safely walk across. 

Steps to Take After Getting Hit by a Car

Many pedestrians like to take a stroll around the city, travel by foot to go to school or work, or to get a good workout by jogging or running. These actions typically have a pedestrian surrounded by drivers, which can be a safety risk as the pedestrian is unaware of whether the vehicles passing by are being operated by a responsible or negligent driver.

Even if a pedestrian is doing all that they can to ensure they are safe and sound when performing such activities, it may still not be enough to guarantee that they will not get struck by an oncoming vehicle. Despite the fact that drivers are required to fulfill their duty of care by maintaining a safe environment for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists, not many of them choose to obey all traffic laws.

Unfortunately, there are drivers that breach their duty of care by performing negligent actions, such as speeding, driving while under the influence, and texting and driving. These selfish actions can result in serious or fatal injuries, which may ultimately result in the driver facing legal repercussions. 

If you were struck by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim against them for injuries and damages. In order for you to build a strong claim, you will need to acquire important information and evidence.

Below, we have created a list of steps we highly encourage victims of a pedestrian accident to consider taking in order to better your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.

  • Call the police if you notice any injuries or damages. Once the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they will conduct a police report. Make sure to request a copy of the police report to include as evidence in your personal injury claim. 
  • Seek medical attention from the paramedics. They will examine your injuries to determine what type of treatment you will need to help with your recovery. If your injuries appear severe, you will be transported to a hospital where you will be taken care of. If your injuries do not require you to go to the hospital, you should still get checked by a doctor to ensure the problem doesn’t progressively worsen over time. Your doctor visits and/or hospital visits will be saved on file and can be used as proof that you were, in fact, injured by the reckless driver.
  • Obtain evidence at the scene of the accident. If you are physically capable of moving, you should try to take pictures or video footage of your injuries, damages, and the location of where the accident took place. 
  • Collect witness information. If you notice any witnesses nearby, ask them for their contact information. Remember, witness testimonies can greatly support your personal injury claim.
  • Get the driver’s information. This includes their driver’s license details, license plate number, contact information, and insurance information.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Having legal representation will make the process of handling a personal injury claim much easier. Your attorney will help build up your claim and negotiate with insurance companies to get you a fair settlement offer. While your attorney is taking care of all of the hard work, you will have more time to focus on recovering from your injuries. 

What to Do if Your Loved One Was Killed by a Reckless Driver

As previously stated, pedestrian deaths involving motor vehicles are becoming more and more common as each year goes by. If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident caused by a reckless driver, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim for damages. 

In California, those who are given the right to pursue legal actions for the loss of a loved one must be a surviving family member, such as:

  • The surviving spouse or domestic partner;
  • The surviving children; 
  • The grandchildren of the children (if the deceased victim’s children are also deceased); or 
  • Anyone who is entitled to the decreased victim’s property by intestate succession. 

You will be required to provide evidence that supports your claim of the defendant's negligence being the primary cause of your loved one’s death. The three elements of negligence you must show proof of include the following:

  • The defendant owed the victim a duty of care;
  • The defendant breached their duty of care; and
  • The defendant’s unlawful actions resulted in the victim’s death.

If successful, you will be granted compensatory damages, such as economic damages and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are typically not granted in a wrongful death case unless the plaintiff is able to prove that the defendant’s behavior was considered as overly negligent or malicious. 

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