San Diego Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Pedestrian accidents result in some of the most horrific personal injuries. People lack the protection needed when struck by a vehicle. Thousands of pounds of speeding metal wreak havoc on the human body, even at relatively low speeds. Shamon Law’s San Diego pedestrian accident lawyers fight as long as necessary to win.

At Shamon Law, we understand the pain, lost income, and lost time that comes with being a pedestrian accident victim. We battle the insurance companies to win our clients every penny of compensation to which the law entitles them.

Never accept a low settlement. Insurance companies never offer their best deal until the plaintiff’s counsel compels them. Contact Shamon Law for the San Diego pedestrian accident lawyer you need.

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Why Choose Shamon Law as Your Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers?

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An injury can leave you with mounting medical expenses, lost income, and an inability to participate in your life fully. No accident victim should be left to fend for themselves.

Shamon law understands how important these cases are for our clients. Our experience includes going up against the big insurance companies and winning. We use our expertise to develop powerful cases, negotiate the best possible settlements, and win cases at trial.

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Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

There are many causes of pedestrian accidents, most involving a motorist striking a walker. In addition, pedestrian accidents may involve a cyclist, a motor scooter rider, or a freak occurrence, such as an object falling from a building.

The most common causes of pedestrian accidents include the following:

Traffic Law Violations

Traffic laws keep traffic flowing safely–when drivers obey them. Unfortunately, some California drivers believe these laws are unimportant and speed, run stop signs and traffic lights, and commit right-of-way violations. When these behaviors cause pedestrian accidents, these drivers bear the responsibility.

Distracted Drivers

Distracted drivers leave carnage all over San Diego streets. Rather than watching the road, they text, talk on the phone, eat, read, or peer out the window at any number of distractions. They often need to see a pedestrian in their path and apply the brake too late.

Fatigued Drivers

On the road, fatigue can be as deadly as heavy drinking. Tired drivers may be staring at a pedestrian in their path and still be unable to respond quickly enough to avoid a collision. They may close their eyes for brief periods, stare off, and be slow to comprehend potential dangers.

Unfortunately, some of them fall asleep, a deadly hazard for pedestrians.

Drunk/Drugged Drivers

Unsurprisingly, drunk or drugged drivers cause an excessive number of pedestrian accidents. They often try to navigate through crowded nightlife spots like the Gaslamp, where pedestrians are prevalent. Even in more remote areas, their intoxication may make them completely unaware that pedestrians, such as dog walkers, are about, resulting in careless driving and serious injuries.

Parking Lot Reckless Driving

Naturally, parking lots are full of pedestrians heading to and from their vehicles. Most people have the common sense to drive slowly in parking lots and watch out for pedestrians. They obey stop signs and yield the right of way to walkers, making the lot safe for those on foot.

Then some seem to need more regard for the difference between driving in a parking lot and on a roadway. When drivers proceed at proper parking lot speed, they greatly reduce the chances of a collision and minimize injuries if they strike a pedestrian. When they drive like they are on a roadway, the consequences can be severe and fatal.

Careless Pedestrians

It’s natural to sympathize with injured pedestrians because they are most often seriously hurt. Nonetheless, careless walkers and joggers are sometimes responsible for their injuries.

For instance, jaywalking presents dangers, especially at night. A driver may be unable to see a person until they are too close to avoid a collision. In other cases, a walker or jogger may be listening to headphones and lack awareness of their surrounding, resulting in them straying into oncoming traffic.

While carelessness by pedestrians causes some accidents, most often, the driver is fully or substantially at fault.

Poor Driving Skills

Sometimes pedestrian accidents result from a driver’s poor skills. Inexperienced, aged, and overconfident drivers may misjudge their ability to avoid accidents, resulting in an injured pedestrian. They may also be unfamiliar with the rules of the road, freeze under pressure, or severely underestimate the distance needed to stop at their current speed.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Avoiding pedestrian accidents requires keeping up with routine vehicle maintenance. The ability to stop quickly often distinguishes between a near accident and a fatal one. Worn brakes and tires kill.

Motor Scooter Riders and Cyclists

Motorscooter operators and cyclists are subject to the same mistakes as car drivers. Distraction, fatigue, alcohol, drugs, and poor skills all contribute to motorscooter- and cyclist-to-pedestrian accidents.

Believe it or not, some people get drunk and go for a bike ride, making them a danger to themselves and pedestrians. A few ride with water bottles containing liquor.

Careless Pedestrians

It’s natural to sympathize with injured pedestrians because they are most often seriously hurt. Nonetheless, careless walkers and joggers are sometimes responsible for their injuries.

For instance, jaywalking presents dangers, especially at night. A driver may be unable to see a person until they are too close to avoid a collision. In other cases, a walker or jogger may be listening to headphones and lack awareness of their surrounding, resulting in them straying into oncoming traffic.

While carelessness by pedestrians causes some accidents, most often, the driver is fully or substantially at fault.

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Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Pedestrian accident injuries tend to be severe. The human body lacks adequate protection against thousands of pounds of speeding metal. Unless science figures out a way to reinforce human bones with titanium, pedestrians will always be highly vulnerable.

Typical pedestrian accident injuries include the following:

  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Lacerations
  • Severe blood loss
  • Eye injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Disfiguring scars
  • Road burn

Proving Fault after Pedestrian Accident

Winning a California personal injury claim requires proving four elements of liability. A preponderance of the evidence must show the following:

  • The defendant has a duty of care
  • The defendant breached the duty of care
  • The breach caused the plaintiff harm
  • The harms alleged were caused by the incident

Proving Duty of Care

The law defines a duty of care as a legal obligation to prevent harm to others. In pedestrian accidents, courts assume a duty of care towards pedestrians for all drivers, whether they operate a car, truck, or motor scooter. The same logic applies to cyclists.

In essence, proving a driver has a duty of care comes down to demonstrating that he was operating the vehicle involved in the crash.

Proving the Defendant Breached the Duty of Care

Breaches of the duty of care by a driver cause most vehicle-to-pedestrian accidents. Examples include drivers who disobey traffic laws, drive distracted, under the influence, or recklessly.

Proving the Breach Caused the Plaintiff Harm

Proving the breach of a duty of care is insufficient grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Actual harm must have impacted the victim.

For example, if a driver runs into a pedestrian in a parking lot but no harm results, then no case exists. However, this is rare in pedestrian accidents. Even minor injuries can result in steep medical bills.

Proving the Breach Caused the Harms Alleged

Harms can be economical or non-economic. For instance, an injured pedestrian will likely suffer economic harm due to medical bills related to the accident. Also, he probably experienced substantial pain, allowing him to pursue damages for pain and suffering.

During a personal injury case, your attorney gathers evidence of the damages caused by accident. He needs proof that economic damages, including medical bills and lost wages, are related to the incident. In addition, she must present proof of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Medical records and witness testimony establish intangible damages.

This evidence is very important because, without it, the defense can claim there was another cause for the harm or that it never existed.

California Pedestrian Accident Statistics

California pedestrians should be careful. Many accidents cause severe or fatal injuries. To help avoid becoming a victim, consider the following California pedestrian accident statistics:

  • Most pedestrians occur between 3 pm and 9 pm
  • The fewest pedestrian accidents occur between 3 am and 9 am
  • Twenty-one percent of traffic crash fatalities are pedestrians
  • One-third of children aged 14 and under killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians
  • Two-thirds more men are killed in pedestrian accidents than women
  • The 45 and 54-year-old age group accounts for the most pedestrian fatalities
  • Alcohol use by the pedestrian is a leading cause of the accidents

Compensation for San Diego Pedestrian Accidents

California law allows plaintiffs to seek economic, non-economic, and punitive damages for pedestrian accidents.

Economic damages include the following:

  • Ambulance charges
  • ER bills
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Hospital stays
  • Surgery
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Lost business income
  • Lost self-employment income
  • Lost benefits

Non-economic damages include the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

Punitive damages rarely apply to pedestrian accident cases. They are reserved for cases where the defendant’s actions were egregious and heinous.

Contact a Top-Rated San Diego Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today

Shamon Law never gives up the fight, Call Shamon Law for a free San Diego pedestrian accident consultation.

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San Diego Pedestrian Accident FAQs

California courts assign responsibility for pedestrian accidents according to pure comparative negligence.

According to pure comparative negligence, the plaintiff and the defendant each have a theoretical piece of the liability pie from 0% to 100%. The court can assign all liability to one party or split it proportionally.

For instance, if the court determines the plaintiff is 0% at fault, then the defendant has 0% liability. On the other hand, the court may rule that the plaintiff partially contributed to the accident. In that case, her damages are reduced by the percentage of responsibility she bears.

Imagine that a motorist hit a pedestrian, but the court ruled that the walker was 20% at fault. In that case, the plaintiff receives 80% of their damages.

Appeals occur post-trial. In a pedestrian accident case, the losing side may appeal because the court erred in how it conducted the proceedings in the hopes the appellate panel would order a new trial.

In addition, either side may appeal the damages award. The defense may believe the award is too high, while the plaintiff may appeal that it is too low.

Tribunals decide appeals. Any party unhappy about the tribunal’s decision can appeal to the California State Supreme Court. The court chooses to hear the case based on whether its ruling would have a broad bearing on similar cases in the future.

Pedestrian accidents may be worth anywhere from five figures to eight figures. The variance is large because the scope of damages runs the gamut from superficial injuries to life-altering wounds to wrongful death.

Typical cases resolve in one to two years. We often must file a lawsuit and proceed through the discovery process to build a case. Cases settle at various points in the discovery process. For instance, some resolve before depositions, while others require depositions for us to negotiate the maximum settlement.

When cases go to trial, they take longer than the one to two-year average. Courts have busy calendars, so litigants must wait many months for a trial date. In addition, the trial itself can be time-consuming.

Post-trial, the losing party typically appeals. Appeals can add years to the process, and cases can settle at any time during the appeals process.

Once the appellate panel has ruled, the losing side will often end their legal fight. However, if the loser feels he has a decent shot at the California Supreme Court hearing the case, he may appeal to the high court. In that case, the resolution occurs when the supreme court turns down the case or issues its ruling.

California law requires plaintiffs to file their cases within two years of a pedestrian accident.

When the case is against a state government entity, the plaintiff must first file a formal complaint with the responsible agency within ten months of the accident.

For example, if a city bus strikes a pedestrian, they must file a complaint with the city’s transportation department within ten months. The plaintiff may take the municipality to court if this complaint fails to resolve the claim. However, the two-year statute of limitations still applies.

An exception to the two-year rule existed when the plaintiff was unaware of the damages. For example, imagine that a plaintiff believed no injury resulted from the collision but found out years later that it did result in brain damage. In that case, a court may allow an exception to the two-year rule.

Pedestrian accident lawyers work on contingency. Contingency fee arrangements require clients to pay nothing upfront or out of pocket. Instead, lawyers receive their fees as a percentage of a settlement or award.

For example, a contingency fee is often ⅓ of the settlement. For a $100,000 settlement, the lawyers receive $33,000 paid from the proceeds. No payment is due until and unless the client collects.

Contingency fees free plaintiffs from the burden of hefty retainers, large hourly billings, and lawsuit expenses. Instead, the law firm bears these costs until a settlement or verdict is paid. Because of contingency fee arrangements, clients take no financial risk and can afford to proceed through a lengthy litigation process without breaking under the weight of legal fees.

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