Data released by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute has suggested that L.A. motorists cause more pedestrian and cyclist fatalities per year than anywhere else in the United States. With a third of all fatalities in Los Angeles involving pedestrians, the city’s statistics represent a tripling of the national average.
Injury attorney Sean Salamati understands the life-altering consequences of a pedestrian accident for victims and their families. That is why he stands prepared to offer comprehensive case evaluations, aggressive advocacy and the compassionate client service you deserve in the aftermath of a devastating injury. Though pedestrians may be at a disadvantage while out on the streets, that need not be the case when it comes to asserting their rights before the law.
Key facts about pedestrian accidents
Considering the massive size and weight disparities that exist between pedestrians and vehicles of all types, it is not surprising that resulting collisions can produce profound harm. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012 alone, 4,743 pedestrians died in traffic crashes, with another 76,000 sustaining injuries. The majority of pedestrian fatalities happen in urban areas, with those aged 65 and over accounting for 20% of the total. Children are also at heightened risk of being injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, and therefore it is incumbent upon all of us to take essential preventive measures while sharing the streets.
Other relevant factors pertaining to pedestrian accidents include:
- Most pedestrian deaths happen at night
- Most accidents happen not at intersections but in other areas
- Weather typically does not play a role
- Alcohol (either affecting the pedestrian or the driver) is frequently involved
Common pedestrian accident injuries
When a pedestrian is struck by a motorist or even a bicyclist, the physical injuries all too often prove catastrophic.
Common harm sustained by those on foot in Los Angeles accidents of this type include:
- Severe bone fractures, including leg bones and the pelvis
- Traumatic brain injury
- Damage to tissue and blood vessels leading to amputation
- Lacerations and scarring
- Permanent disfigurement
- Post traumatic stress disorder
Those fortunate enough to make full recoveries often require months or even years in which to do so. Others may be left with lasting physical and cognitive impairments preventing them from resuming a normal life. For most, mounting medical bills, lost wages and ongoing therapy and rehabilitation costs combine to place massive strain on their personal and family finances.
Pedestrian accident liability
When attempting to determine liability in a pedestrian accident, it is important to remember that pedestrians have a responsibility to adhere to all laws and conduct themselves responsibly and cautiously while on the streets. It is vital for them to make use of crosswalks, observe traffic signals and to remain in areas designated for their use. Though drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians, that does not absolve those on foot from the duty to exercise appropriate care. Failure on the part of a pedestrian to do so may relieve a motorist of liability in the event of an accident.
However, should a driver fail to follow traffic laws, operate a vehicle while impaired or otherwise act in a negligent manner which causes a crash with a pedestrian, he or she may indeed face criminal as well as civil liability. In such circumstances, it is necessary for an injury victim to enlist the aid of a pedestrian accident lawyer who can diligently work to preserve key evidence, interview all witnesses, review medical records and build a strong argument for substantial compensation.
The same is true in situations where it appears that a pedestrian accident may have been caused by improperly maintained roads, environmental hazards or other conditions stemming from a municipal or other entity. A skilled car accident attorney can investigate the root causes of the incident and work to hold responsible parties accountable.
Compensation available for injured pedestrians
The law affords injured pedestrians the right to pursue financial compensation.
Damages obtained as a result of filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit can provide funds to cover:
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Home accessibility modifications
In cases involving fatalities, it may also be possible for dependents to receive a wrongful death payout for lost financial support, emotional distress and funeral costs.
Pedestrian car accident lawyer L.A. trusts
Motor vehicle accident victims in Los Angeles can take heart in the fact that experienced, aggressive legal help is only a phone call away. If you or someone you love have sustained serious harm in a pedestrian accident, California attorney Sean Salamati is ready to provide the guidance and advice necessary to make informed decisions about your case. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation to discuss your legal options, call 800.957.9898.