You may have heard the old adage “the pedestrian has the right of way,” but is this always true?
It’s easy to assume the party with the most damage is the victim and the party with the least damage is liable for all the damages, but most pedestrian injury lawyers in Sherman Oaks deal with cases that are much more complex than that.
If you hit a pedestrian with your car or if you were a pedestrian who was hit by a car, you’re going to need the best Sherman Oaks pedestrian accident attorney to push as much liability away from you as possible. This is crucial to your financial wellbeing after the accident, as you will likely need compensation to pay for your physical and emotional damages. The liable party will be the one that is determined to not be at fault.
Determining Liability in a Pedestrian Accident
The pedestrian accidents that come to mind are scenarios where the driver is clearly at fault. Situations where the driver is at fault include running a stoplight or stop sign, failing to yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk, and making a right turn on a red light without yielding to pedestrians.
Besides the above examples, determining fault can be a little murky. In general, someone on foot can avoid a traffic collision better than someone behind the wheel. While cars are confined to the roadway and have less mobility when it comes to swerving and skidding to a stop, pedestrians have more freedom when and where they step onto the roadway.
When the pedestrian accident happens, emergency medical professionals and police officers should be called to the scene. This is to give first aid to both parties and to investigate the accident. Based on eyewitness testimony and the evidence at the scene, such as skid marks, traffic signals, and the point of contact between the pedestrian and the vehicle.
The responding officer will also interview both parties to get an idea of what happened leading up the accident.
After the accident, you will probably get a call from the other party’s insurance agent, and you should say as little as possible. They will likely give you a settlement number in hopes that you agree, but any Sherman Oaks accident attorney will tell you that this is a low-ball offer and that you can win much more by fighting back.
California’s Shared Fault Laws
Each person on the road is expected to exercise a reasonable level of care. This includes obeying traffic laws and signals. If someone fails to act with care for the safety of others on the road, then they are acting with negligence.
Even pedestrians are expected to exercise this level of care. This includes paying attention to walk signals. A pedestrian who is hit by a car while jaywalking into oncoming traffic is going to have a more difficult argument for compensation than someone who was at a crosswalk.
As you already know, determining fault is essential to whether or not you get financial compensation. In some states, fault is not black and white.
California follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence, meaning that fault can be split amongst the parties involved. Insurance adjusters will give each party a percentage of fault, and the amount of damages that each party has to pay is directly correlated to this amount.
For example, if the driver was 80% at fault and the pedestrian was 20% at fault, then the driver will have to pay 80% of the damages.
Hiring an Attorney
California’s shared fault laws make it even more important to hire a good accident injury attorney in Sherman Oaks. A good injury attorney will be able to argue for a lower of fault. Your attorney will also be able to expand the amount of damages you can claim by adding up each way you have suffered as the result of the accident.
Any time an accident results in emotional, financial, or physical hardship from an accident, you should work with an attorney to take legal action against the negligent party.
The personal injury attorneys at Okhovat Law Firm work hard to win our clients the maximum compensation. We provide for our clients legal counsel, support, and the highest level of care that comes as a relief in a time of stress. Not only does this firm have a reputation for getting clients the results they need, but also for:
- Having a proven track record
- Providing one-on-one contact with clients
- Not charging fees unless the case is won
- Taking a personalized approach to every case
Whether you were injured in a car accident or slip and fall, or if you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased loved one, you can feel confident with Okhovat Law on your side. Before, during, and after every legal consultation, we will answer any questions to provide you with the best service and support possible. Don’t wait and lose your opportunity to file a claim for compensation. Instead, give us a call at 310-362-6740 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.