Pedestrian accidents can involve any injury that occurs while a pedestrian is walking on or near the street, in a crosswalk, or while exiting or entering a vehicle.
While most pedestrian accidents involve a collision with an automobile, they can also involve a large truck, bicyclist, or motorcyclist. If you sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident, you could have the right to bring a claim for damages.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, the Long Beach pedestrian accident attorneys at The Beliz Law Firm can help.
Case Spotlight126,500 Settlement amount
Classic Car Show Accident
The Beliz Law Firm settled a negligence lawsuit against a classic car show. The client was attending a classic car show in the Inland Empire. The client entered a roadway to attain a better view of the various hot rods and muscle cars that were parading along. Unfortunately, a 1966 Ford Mustang performed a burn out and struck the client. The client was hospitalized with skull and leg fractures.
The client signed with an attorney that sent him to medical providers for back pain. The client signed with a second attorney that also sent the client to doctors for the back pain. The new attorney filed a lawsuit against the driver and the car show, among others. The driver of the Mustang did not have auto insurance for the vehicle. For over three years, there was no settlement offer from any defendant.
The Beliz Law Firm was brought into the represent the client. After reviewing the medical records and realizing there may be a traumatic brain injury, the client was sent to a neurologist, who confirmed the diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury, and other brain experts to determine the severity of the client’s injuries.
After many witness depositions regarding the facts of the case and getting a motion for summary judgment to be granted in the client’s favor, the Beliz Law Firm took the case towards trial. About a month before the case was set to go towards trial, the defendants wanted to go to mediation. In a span of 9 months, the Beliz Law Firm was able to settle the case against the classic car show and the other defendants for $126,500.00.
Accidents involving pedestrians typically result in severe to catastrophic injuries. This information probably comes as no surprise, given that pedestrians lack the same safety protections that motor vehicle occupants have. In many circumstances, a pedestrian feels two collisions, one with the vehicle and one with the ground. Regardless of how severe your injuries are, you may still be eligible to recover compensation in a pedestrian accident. Don’t assume you are not eligible to pursue a claim just because you don’t have catastrophic injuries.
California Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise in recent years in California. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, nearly 7,500 pedestrians died in California between 2009 and 2018, and the state’s fatality rate is almost 25% higher than the nationwide average. With more and more people out walking for exercise and commuting, it’s possible that pedestrian fatalities may continue to increase.
Looking at local data on pedestrian accidents, Long Beach had 73 pedestrian deaths over a recent five-year period. Some parts of the city trend higher when it comes to catastrophic pedestrian accidents. Pacific Avenue and Seventh Street were among the streets with the most pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. The reason is that they are common passthrough areas for drivers trying to avoid local freeway traffic.
East Pacific Coast Highway and Long Beach Blvd also had more deaths. The areas with the lowest fatalities included East Long Beach and Bixby Knolls, both of which have less dense populations than other parts of Long Beach.
Being extra alert at night is crucial since half the reported Long Beach pedestrian and bicycle fatalities occurred between 6 PM and 12 AM.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Understanding how pedestrian accidents occur can help prevent additional catastrophic losses in the future. Some of the most common causes of accidents that our Long Beach pedestrian accident attorneys see include:
- Distracted driving. Whenever a driver takes their attention off the road, even for a split second, it is considered distracted driving. Examples of distracted driving include texting, making a phone call, looking at GPS, changing the radio station, eating or drinking, putting on makeup, etc.
- Speeding. People driving above the speed limit increase the risk of colliding with a pedestrian. A driver is less likely to spot a pedestrian until it’s too late if traveling over the speed limit.
- Rolling stop. Someone who doesn’t stop or rolls through a stop sign could hit a pedestrian crossing the street.
- Other traffic violations. Drivers who make illegal U-turns, drive recklessly in a school zone or fail to follow posted traffic signs can also put pedestrians at risk.
- Driving under the influence. A driver drinking or taking drugs can endanger everyone else on the road, including pedestrians.
- Driving while fatigued. Someone who is tired, especially at night, may not see a pedestrian in time to stop should they be crossing the street.
- Unmarked crosswalks. Not all crosswalks are marked, which means drivers may not remember to look for someone crossing the street at an unmarked crosswalk before proceeding.
Not all pedestrian accidents are solely the driver’s fault. Pedestrians can be distracted or walk out between cars and jaywalk. A pedestrian under the influence of drugs or alcohol may stumble out in the street where a motorist may not be able to stop. Other factors may also contribute to pedestrian accidents, such as adverse weather, road hazards, and defective auto parts.
Determining Liability in California Pedestrian Accidents
Your Long Beach pedestrian accident lawyer will explain how determining liability will impact your ability to bring a successful personal injury claim. Before you will receive any financial compensation, you need to prove who was responsible for your injuries. Being a pedestrian doesn’t mean the driver is automatically 100% at fault.
California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means you can be partially at fault and still collect compensation for your damages. However, the amount you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if a jury finds you 30% at fault, you could collect 70% of your damages. If you are 80% at fault, you would receive only 20% of your damages.
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Potential Compensation in a Pedestrian Accident
In a pedestrian accident, the compensation you could collect includes economic damages and non-economic damages. Your economic damages are your expenses and financial losses that result from the accident. They may include:
- Medical expenses to date;
- Future medical treatment;
- Lost wages to date;
- Future loss of earning capacity;
- Rehabilitation costs; and
Your non-economic damages can be harder to calculate because they do not have tangible financial losses associated with them. They are your physical and emotional losses and can make up the largest portion of a personal injury settlement or jury award. Some of the most common types of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Disfigurement and scarring,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Psychological trauma.
Providing strong evidence for your demand for damages is crucial to a successful personal injury claim. Your potential compensation is directly linked to the skill of your pedestrian accident lawyer. That’s why you need a legal advocate who has not only the experience but the skills to fight for the maximum compensation possible.
Some cases may settle outside of litigation, while others do not resolve until a trial date is set. Choose an attorney who has the courtroom experience and necessary resources to represent you at trial if that’s what is required.
Some firms believe in quantity over quality and push to settle claims quickly so they can move on to another case. At The Beliz Law Firm, we will always do what’s best for you and your case. If that means going all the way to trial, we aren’t afraid to step into the courtroom against the defendant’s insurance company.
Statute of Limitations for a California Pedestrian Accident
In California, the statute of limitations for a personal injury loss, such as a pedestrian accident, is typically two years from the date of the accident. If your claim is against a government entity, you may have only six months to file an administrative claim. Failure to file a lawsuit before the deadline expires will likely result in the court dismissing your case. The courts are not very forgiving when you miss the statute of limitations deadline. Our Long Beach pedestrian injury attorneys will help ensure you file your lawsuit on time.
How a Long Beach Pedestrian Injury Lawyer Can Assist You
When you hire a pedestrian accident lawyer at The Beliz Law Firm, we will immediately open an independent investigation and work tirelessly to build a strong case. Having a skilled lawyer represent you is crucial in these types of accidents. The defendant’s insurance company will do its best to place as much fault on you as possible. Remember, their primary goal is to reduce or eliminate any exposure for the insurance company.
Insurance adjusters know you don’t have any legal experience, so they will use that to their benefit. They may deny your claim outright or offer you much less than your case is worth. The adjuster will try to get you to consent to a recorded statement without legal representation in hopes you will say something that they can use against you in their liability investigation. However, if you have a pedestrian injury lawyer representing you, your attorney will handle all communication with the defendants. That includes negotiating your potential settlement.
Your attorney will handle all the complex legal aspects, so you can concentrate on healing and getting back to work. We will request all your records, gather all other evidence, conduct a scene investigation, and hire industry experts if needed. Depending on the severity of your injuries, we may need to hire someone who can prepare a report on your future loss of earning, disability, disfigurement, etc.
Contact Our Long Beach Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Today
Pursuing a pedestrian accident claim is complicated. It would be best if you did not attempt to handle it independently. Let the experienced team at The Beliz Law Firm assist you. Attorney Michael Beliz has over 15 years of experience representing injured victims like you fight for the compensation they deserve. If you sustained injuries in a pedestrian loss, contact our office to schedule an initial consultation.
Michael Beliz previously worked at two of the most prominent plaintiffs’ personal injury firms in Southern California, handling all types of personal injury matters. If you have a different kind of personal injury claim, we can also assist you. Some of the other types of California personal injury claims we handle include:
If you suffered injuries due to another party’s actions, don’t hesitate to contact The Beliz Law Firm today. Let us review your case and advise you on the best course of legal action.
What Else Should You Look For In A Long Beach Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
When you’re looking for the best legal representation for your personal injury case, you want to find someone you can trust.