In Los Angeles a pedestrian hit by car can receive compensation if he decides to file a claim. If you have suffered a pedestrian accident and need medical treatment to recover damages, do not hesitate to contact us.
Lluis Law Los Angeles injury lawyers are experts with more than 50 years of combined experience. We help victims obtain justice and fair compensation. We can identify the person responsible for the accident and make them pay for the injuries caused.
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Can I get compensation as a pedestrian hit by a car (with or without hit and run)?
Yes. According to California traffic laws, every driver who causes an accident of any kind must compensate the victim. This also applies to bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents or pedestrian accidents. Regardless of whether the outrage occurs with or without leaving from the accident scene.
Simply file a claim for damages to demand compensation. Even public transport accident claims can be filed against public entities and individuals.
How to claim compensation as a pedestrian hit by a car
The usual thing is to demand compensation for personal injury against the driver or owner of the vehicle, through a lawsuit. Normally these accidents occur on the street or on roads, in parking lots and at crosswalks.
Such compensation is requested by filing a claim with the insurance company of the responsible. Also, through a civil or criminal lawsuit, as the case may be for personal injuries.
Prove that the driver was negligent to obtain your compensation as a pedestrian hit by a car
First contact your own insurance company. Then do the same with the driver’s one. Report the accident and file your claim for injuries.
Without solid evidence the claim will fail. Therefore the next step is to prove that the driver was negligent and caused the accident.
Put yourself in the shoes of the insurance company and consider what they will be thinking.
Has the driver breached the duty of care? Are driver actions the direct cause of my injuries? Was he negligent? Are there more factors that could exempt me from guilt?
Prepare your documentation
Having your documentation well organized will help you a lot. Take into account the following aspects to consider. The goal is to blame the driver as responsible for the accident and receive a fair compensation.
This is what you should include in your accident file:
Police report: If the police went to the scene, there must be a police report. This report is of vital importance as it has a lot of weight vis-à-vis insurers.
This report includes the opinion about the guilt of the officer investigating the case. Also contains a drawing of the accident, summons issued to the driver and witness statements.
Witness statements: Whether they come from the police report or your investigations, these are important evidence. The statements of independent witnesses are key in resolving many lawsuits.
Driver statements : Ideally, record the driver’s statements with your smartphone. In any case, if you or the witnesses remember them, write them down.
Statements such as “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you comming” or “I was on the phone” have been admitted as overwhelming evidence of responsibility in many cases.
Medical records with their respective bills: All your medical records are important, especially those for admission to the emergency room. These are records of important tests that spin the injuries with the accident.
Keep your bills and medical visits including the cost of drugs. This involves a large part of the calculation of the amount of your compensation for abuse.
Accident clothing: Keep unwashed clothing as worn on the day of the accident. Your clothing can be important evidence if it is bloody or torn. It may contain car paint or traces of the accident too.
Lost wages: Talk to your employer and ask for a written statement. In this, indicate the lost working days, vacation days used for recovery and more. Also future earnings that you lost because of the accident and the injuries suffered.
What compensation is obtained for hit and run?
The type of injury and its severity are determinants for the recovery of damages in a pedestrian accident with injuries or death. The compensatory damages claimed mean that the claimant can return to their previous health or welfare conditions. Under that criterion, damages to recover include:
- Medical expenses, including hospitalization, surgeries, medicines, exams, rehabilitation therapies, etc.
- Wages lost.
- Loss of ability to generate profits.
- Occupational and physical therapy.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of consortium (accompaniment of spouse or legal partner).
- Loss of the limb (mutilation).
- Healing / disfiguration.
- Property damage.
What to do if a pedestrian is hit by a car in Los Angeles?
California law penalizes negligent drivers who cause injury to others when driving. Of course, to win a case it is necessary to prove the driver’s negligence. To do this, the victim or his surviving relatives must prove that:
- The driver had the duty of pedestrian care as established by law;
- The driver’s negligent conduct violated that duty of care;
- The negligence of the responsible driver was a key factor in causing the accident. Therefore, injuries or wrongful death of the pedestrian.
Talk to a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles to advise you and help you understand your rights as a victim.
Steps to follow when you get hit by a car being a pedestrian
The first thing is to call 911 to ask for help and report the accident. Make it clear that you have been hit by a car.
Seek immediate medical attention
As we have indicated in other articles, many injuries are not visible at first sight. Temporary shock can mask serious, internal injuries, hemorrhages and trauma. Therefore, never refuse to receive medical attention at the scene of the accident. Tell the paramedics of each symptom you feel even if it seems mild. We talk about your health and this is not a game.
If you are not transferred to a hospital, go to your private doctor. Failing that, to an emergency room or health center as soon as possible.
In addition to health reasons, delaying or refusing medical care can seriously affect your claim process. Do not give the insurer the perfect excuse to deny your claim. They may argue that your injuries were neither as serious nor were they caused by the accident.
In most cases we will talk about first impact injuries caused by the accident. The second impact occurs when the pedestrian is thrown at another object that adds more injuries. For example, he is hit by a vehicle that already causes bone injuries. Immediately after it hits a lamppost that causes more fractures.
Gather evidence at the scene
Collecting evidence right after an accident will help you a lot with your claim. Keep in mind that accident scenes do not last long so it is important to act quickly.
If you were too shocked or injured as is logical, ask a friend or a police officer to gather information for you.
Obtain the data of the driver who hit you: That is, full name, address, email and telephone numbers. Also request insurance information.
Gather information about the vehicle that hit you :
- Vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Owner’s name and contact information.
- Make, model and year of the vehicle.
- Driver’s license number.
Photographs and videos: These are excellent sources of evidence. If you are in shock or injured ask another person to do it for you. Be sure to take pictures of the car that hit you as well as the injuries. Actually every photo or video that shows what happened will be useful.
Witnesses: Ask eyewitnesses to write what they saw and sign their written statement. Another option is to record the witnesses with the camera of your smartphone. Make sure that the recording includes their full name and contact information.
Who is responsible for pedestrian accidents?
In order for the driver’s insurance company to pay you the compensation for the abuse, you must prove that the driver is the one to blame for your injuries.
These injuries can be expensive as well as serious and it is fair that you get compensation. Whether from pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and the injuries themselves.
Drivers have a duty to be careful
This refers to the obligation to obey traffic laws and be attentive to their surroundings. The law requires that they use common sense and act in a reasonable manner. Special care should be taken with children as these are small, fast and difficult to see.
In fact, it is required to be especially attentive to the presence of children because of the unpredictability they may cause.
If the driver does not follow this duty to be careful, he is considered negligent towards the law.
Have no question that the insurance company will deny your claim without reliable evidence that the driver was negligent. This negligence must be proven as the direct cause of your injuries.
Comparative negligence in pedestrian accidents
Sometimes the driver is not solely responsible for the pedestrian accident. However, this does not mean that the pedestrian is exempt from the appeal.
Most states, including California, have comparative negligence laws. This means that the injured pedestrian can claim even when the pedestrian himself is partially guilty of the accident.
Compensation to the pedestrian will be reduced to account for your share of fault.
You can check this for your specific case by contacting our expert lawyers in traffic accidents and compensation.
Main causes of pedestrian accidents
Among the most frequent causes of vehicle accidents with pedestrians is the violation of traffic regulations. When drivers do not allow pedestrians to cross this type of accident usually occurs. Although the California Vehicle Code 21960 VC so establishes.
Pedestrian and vehicle accidents can include some of these causes:
- Carelessness of the driver when using the mobile phone, eating or drinking inside the vehicle.
- Ignoring stop signs.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol ( DUI ).
- Not giving enough space for pedestrians to get into a parked car.
Other causes of pedestrian accidents
- Skaters, cyclists or motorcyclists running on the sidewalks.
- Other distracted pedestrians (use of phones or music devices).
- Dogs loose without their masters.
- Bus accidents or trucks that leave the road and take the sidewalks.
- Passengers who open the doors of their cars.
- Dog attacks.
Negligent conduct in a pedestrian accident is punishable as in a car accident. Whether you have been hit by a car in the street or another negligent person caused the injuries.
Before talking with the insurance company of the responsible party, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer. The pedestrian accident lawyer will best guide you to pursue damages and achieve fair compensation.
Rights and obligations of pedestrians
As a general rule, pedestrians have a preference in pedestrian crossings, sidewalks and public roads. No matter where you live. However, pedestrians also have duties to fulfill:
- These must obey traffic signs, crosswalks and other devices that protect them.
- If there is a sidewalk on a road, they must walk using that sidewalk.
- If there is no sidewalk on the road, the pedestrian must walk on the side of the road, facing traffic.
- Common sense must be present. That is, be aware of your surroundings and do what is reasonable for your safety.
- In spite of having a passing preference, you must act carefully and be alert.
Main injuries when a pedestrian gets hit by a car
Injuries in pedestrian accidents can be of various types. These always depend on the nature of the accident and the factors involved. Some of the most common injuries in pedestrian accidents are:
- Bone fractures.
- Open wounds, bruises and lacerations.
- Cranial injury and brain trauma.
- Injuries to the neck or spine.
- Mutilation of upper or lower limbs.
What sentence can you pay for hit and run?
When common car accident injuries take place and the responsible driver flees the scene of the accident, the penalty is higher. In the crash and escape accident, another driver, a pedestrian, an animal or some static object may be involved.
The driver who caused the accident is obliged to stop, as are the other drivers involved in the incident. Leaving the scene of the accident without identifying yourself or helping the possible victims is considered a crime in California.
No driver can leave the accident scene, unless he is seeking emergency assistance. Criminal penalties imposed by a crash and escape can be very serious, such as:
- Fines ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 20,000, depending on the state.
- Prison according to the type of accident and the injuries caused. A crime of shock and escape can be punished with up to 15 years in prison.
- Although a crash and escape can be classified as a misdemeanor and not as a felony. However, a misdemeanor such as this can be punishable by a fine of up to $ 5,000 and one year in prison.
- Administrative sanctions through the State Department of Motor Vehicles. For example, the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license
- Civil sanctions. The victim can file a claim for damages in court.
It is also likely that the responsible insurance company decides to cancel the car insurance policy.
Does the police investigate hit and run cases?
Depending on the type of accident and its severity, the police will investigate the accident. When there are seriously injured or dead people, the authorities open an investigation. Otherwise, this investigation must be done by the hired accident lawyer.
How often do the police find the hit and run drivers?
Very often since being a case of injury or death, police officers are required to follow a thorough investigation.
How long does it take to resolve a case of hit and run?
These cases can be resolved in weeks or perhaps several months, depending on the progress of the police and private investigation. Compensation in California will depend on the time it takes for the injuries to stabilize. Like the sequels and expenses related to injuries.
If you or a loved one need the help of a pedestrian accident lawyer in Los Angeles, contact any of our expert attorneys for a free case review.