Fresno Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Distracted driver looking at his phone about to run over a female pedestrian.Passenger vehicles have to share the roads with motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Yet, these bigger vehicles tend to put smaller travelers at risk, especially pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents are far-too-common, and they tend to have the most devastating outcomes because human bodies offer no protection against a vehicle, even at low speeds.

If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you can seek compensation for all of your injuries from the driver who hit you. And, importantly, you don’t have to manage the journey alone. The experienced team at Singh Ahluwalia can act provide our knowledge and experience to support you throughout your litigation process, managing every step of the way. We are passionate about working with California families as they recover from personal injuries, and we can help you too!

Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our lawyers. We speak English, Hindi, Punjabi, and Spanish to help clients of all communities assert their legal rights to hold others accountable.

How Can a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help Your Case?

Personal injury claims are complex and can easily overwhelm someone lacking professional support. When you work with an attorney, you gain an invaluable advocate with years of education, training, and experience.

Pedestrian accidents may involve making complicated provings, such as documenting the extent of future care needed for an injury or asserting the fault of a negligent driver based on state laws and prior case rulings. Hiring an attorney ensures that you have assistance during every step of your claim, increasing the potential value of your future settlement while reducing the effort you put into each step of the claims process.

Benefits of hiring an attorney include:

  • Comprehensive management of your case from start to end: A legal team can help you organize every step of your case, from filing documents to overseeing communication with any other parties involved.
  • Thorough investigation of your accident, including claims of negligence: Your attorney will seek to obtain every piece of available evidence related to your claim. They may hire professional accident reconstructionists, for example, or consult with medical experts who can best-describe your injuries and their likely prognosis.
  • Precise valuation of your damages — in the past, present, and future: A personal injury accident often leads to expenses that the victim may overlook. An attorney will represent your best financial interests; we assess every bit of damages applicable your case to determine what related expenses you may be subject to later, reducing the risk of having unpaid damages after you settle.
  • Protection from common insurance claim traps: An insurance representative may attempt to ask leading questions or inquire about your medical history. In many instances, an injury victim may end up harming their case by offering sensitive information. An attorney can help you avoid these common insurance claim traps.
  • Compassionate representation: Undergoing any legal process can be overwhelming to manage, but having a well-versed support system behind you takes a lot of the weight off your shoulders. The experienced team at Singh Ahluwalia will be there to answer any of your pressing questions, and prepare you for each step of the claims process along the way.
Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with one of our experienced Fresno personal injury lawyers today

Common Injuries Sustained in Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrians face unique dangers because unlike any other type of transportation on the road, they have zero protection. Even skateboarders and scooterists wear helmets! Further, pedestrians are often hard to spot, as they are small relative to other road users and can tend to be in areas drivers commonly overlook.

Pedestrians have to travel with an even higher level of caution, but even with proper awareness, sometimes accidents happen. There isn’t much that a pedestrian can do against a moving vehicle, and the consequences of one driver’s careless actions can be fatal. Pedestrians make up roughly 25% of all traffic fatalities in California.

Although every accident has its own unique details, there are many injuries that medical professionals commonly treat when pedestrians are involved in road accidents. Many of these injuries result in long-term effects, requiring continued treatment like physical therapy or ongoing medications. A pedestrian accident attorney can help you seek all the damages you will encounter along your entire road to recovery.

Some of the most common injuries seen from pedestrian accidents include:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Tissue damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal bleeding

What Can I Recover After a Pedestrian Accident in Fresno?

While every personal injury claim looks different, the vast majority of cases will include the same two categories of settlement awards: economic and non-economic damages. Some cases may also be eligible for punitive damages, which are only provided when the case proceeds to trial and the punitive damages are included by the jury.

Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are designed to punish the offender, with the intent of deterring others from the same line of action. Most cases will not be eligible for punitive damages, but cases where the offender intentionally harmed the victim may possibly see this type of award.

In your claim, you will likely see a combination of economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

These are losses that have a verifiable monetary value. This type of damage oftentimes makes up a large portion of settlement awards because of the high costs of medical treatment and other incurred expenses. Examples of economic damages include medical bills, the cost of continued treatment, lost wages, reduced earnings capacity (loss of the ability to perform your previous job), and replacement of damaged property.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages do not have a set monetary value, but they nevertheless inflict a high cost on the quality of life of the injury victim. Examples of these damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of companionship, and mental anguish.

Proving Liability in California

A Fresno pedestrian accident lawyer can help you identify all liable parties and establish why they should be deemed at fault. Proving that someone owes you a settlement is rarely as simple as taking down their license plate and insurance information. They or their insurer may disagree with your assessment of fault, or they may try to argue that there isn’t enough evidence available to prove fault either way.

To prove liability, most cases will employ the legal doctrine of negligence. Negligence is simple to prove in some cases, but in others, you may struggle to make the needed connections between the person’s actions and the harm you have suffered. Proving negligence is more complicated than most people realize, with four individual elements that must be demonstrated.

The 4 Main Elements of Negligence

Negligence is based on four main showings:

  • Duty of care: The person in question has a duty to act responsibly. Generally, all persons on the road share this duty of care to one another.
  • Breach of duty: Next, said person breached their duty of care.
  • Causation: The named party’s breach in care directly caused the accident.
  • Injury: Finally, the accident caused by another party’s breach in their duty of care resulted in damages that can be recovered.

Comparative Negligence State

California is an “at-fault” state, meaning that whomever is responsible for causing an accident is liable for any costs related to the accident. Typically, the at-fault party’s liability insurance will take on the bulk of this financial responsibility. In a “no-fault” state, a person would deal with their own Personal Insurance Protection (PIP) in the event of an accident, and they would only file a liability claim in the event of a catastrophic injury.

On top of being an “at-fault” state, California is also a comparative negligence state. This means that the state accounts for the fact that not all accidents are one-sided, and sometimes both parties must take a piece of the blame. You are only allowed to bring a case up against the other negligent party if you make up less than 50% of the blame. Further, any actions you took to contribute to the accident (e.g. jaywalking at night) could cause a reduction in your available damages. Fighting allegations of shared fault is a primary reason that hiring a pedestrian accident attorney could lead to a larger settlement.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in California

In 2018, California saw a 26% increase in pedestrian fatalities compared to 2014, reporting almost 900 in that year alone. This alarming increase has an impact on many California families, as the same state report recognized over 14,000 injury reports as well. Injuries related to pedestrian accidents can be severe, leaving a lasting impact on the victim’s life.

There are a wide variety of reasons that a pedestrian accident can happen, but some are more commonly seen than others. Many of the items on the following list are relevant for various types of car accidents in Fresno, as these habits and behaviors are consistently creating a dangerous environment for people on the road.

The most common causes of pedestrian accidents in California are:

  • Distracted driving: Even behaviors thought to be harmless like eating, chatting, or messing with the radio can be enough of a distraction to cause an accident.
  • Speeding: We all have places to be, but driving over the speed limit can quickly put pedestrians in danger, especially when a driver does not give themselves enough time to brake at intersections.
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians right of way: A driver who is irritated, late, or otherwise impatient may not want to wait for pedestrians, and can cause an accident using poor judgment. Sometimes, a driver may also be distracted and fail to yield to the pedestrians right of way.
  • Ignoring traffic lights/signs: Many drivers ignore traffic lights, pedestrian walk signals, and stop signs. They believe that they’ve assessed their surroundings enough to consider it safe to move through the intersection without stopping, even though they could be putting people like pedestrians in harm’s way.
  • Driving under the influence: Consistently, driving under the influence remains one of the top causes for most types of accidents. An impaired driver cannot drive safely, and will always be putting their peers in danger when they get on the road.

What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?

There are a few universally accepted steps that every victim of a pedestrian accident can take to protect the validity of their claim down the line. Each step listed serves the purpose of creating a paper trail, solidifying details of your story that would otherwise be hard to prove. Follow this list of steps to create a solid foundation of evidence for your claim moving forward.

Immediately Seek Medical Attention

The effects of a pedestrian accident can be catastrophic, especially if treatment is delayed. Many first responders will recommend that victims see a medical professional even if they feel no pain, because adrenaline, a hormone released in stressful situations like an accident, can block the sensation of pain.

In the excitement and stress of a pedestrian accident, you may not realize the extent of your injuries immediately, leaving you to move around with possibly severe injuries. See a medical professional immediately, and keep a record of all assessments of your current condition and injuries for future reference.

Document the Scene

One of the best ways to preserve the evidence of your case is to take good-quality photos and videos of the scene. Remember, after the accident scene has been cleaned up, visual documentation is the only way to clearly see what happened. If you are able to move after your accident, take as many photos as possible, including small details like license plates, debris, and tire tracks. It would also be beneficial to keep a visual record of the development of your injuries.

What Do I Do If the Accident Was a Hit and Run?

Nearly 1 in 4 fatal pedestrian accidents is a hit and run. In these unfortunate instances, documentation, witnesses, and representation are even more important. It is essential that you get as much photo and video evidence as you can and report the incident to the police for further investigation. The police can use witness statements, traffic footage, and anything you’ve collected to help them find the suspect. Be sure to get a photo or video of their license plate if you can. A pedestrian accident lawyer can help you understand your most beneficial next steps in these complicated situations.

Contact a Fresno Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Assistance After a Pedestrian Accident!

If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident, call Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law for guidance. We have years of experience helping California families get back to a sense of normalcy after personal injury accidents, and we can be there to support you through yours, too.

Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with a trusted member of our team who can help you get started by scheduling a consultation with one of our lawyers. All consultations are conducted by one of our experienced attorneys.