Camarillo Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Camarillo’s outlet mall is a major destination for Southern California shoppers, including you and your family. You love being able to do your back-to-school shopping in just one trip, but the traffic—both to the mall and in the parking lot—can be horrendous. Sometimes shouting matches erupt over the limited parking spots, which of course can be stressful. But when motorists don’t watch out for pedestrians, it can get downright dangerous. Pedestrians don’t have much protection when pitted against a heavy piece of steel machinery, even at slow speeds.
When pedestrians are hit by motorists, it’s almost always due to carelessness, whether they’re distracted by their mobile phone, driving too fast, or simply not exercising proper care in general. When their carelessness (or negligence, in legal terms) injures a pedestrian, it can be serious and even fatal.
Below, we’ll discuss the basics of pedestrian accidents, including liability and claims, and why you should consider working with a winning Camarillo pedestrian accident lawyer at Walch Law.Liability for Camarillo Pedestrian Accidents
Since the human body is no match for an automobile, motorists have a particularly high “duty of care” with respect to pedestrians. This means they have a legal obligation to exercise extra caution when they’re in the presence of pedestrians by following traffic laws and yielding to foot traffic. Failing to exercise this duty of care is a breach, or a failure to act in a way consistent with that of a reasonable person.
Most (but not all) pedestrian accidents are due to driver negligence, which makes them liable for any injuries that occur as a result. The elements of a negligence claim are:
- Defendant (at-fault party) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (injured party)
- Defendant breached that duty (failed to watch for pedestrians)
- Plaintiff’s injuries were in fact caused by this breach
- Defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the injury, meaning the plaintiff would not have suffered their injuries if not for the breach
- Plaintiff suffered actual damages, such as bodily injury
Ideally, pedestrians also need to exercise caution by paying attention to cars and crossing at crosswalks (or walk signals at intersections) in order to avoid accidents in the first place. But because of the higher standard of motorists’ duty of care to pedestrians, the onus is ultimately on the driver. With respect to the fourth element above, injuries that would have occurred regardless of the motorist’s negligence (for example, someone sprains their ankle running across the street in high heels prior to being hit by a car) may not be claimed by the plaintiff.
Accidents can sometimes get pretty complicated, which is why you’ll want to work with a Camarillo pedestrian accident lawyer before filing a claim. Also, you’ll want to avoid accepting an early settlement offer from the defendant’s insurance company, as it may not adequately cover your actual damages.Calculating Damages for Pedestrian Injuries
The term damages refers to the monetary claims related to the injuries you have incurred as a result of the defendant’s liability. These usually include emergency medical expenses, follow-up medical care, physical therapy, and lost wages. But it’s not always clear what the long-term effect of your injuries will be, especially for head injuries and other situations where it often takes a while to get a complete picture of what’s wrong. Injuries also may have a ripple effect on seemingly unrelated facets of your health.
Other damages may not be so apparent. For instance, what impact will the injury have on your future earning potential? What about disfigurement, chronic pain, or the need for a cane? These types of injuries may linger for the rest of your life and should be accounted for when you file your claim.
While your Camarillo pedestrian accident lawyer can help you get a more complete picture of your damages, they may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of consortium (intimacy and affection)
Can you identify exactly what led to the accident that left you injured? Do you know exactly how much the losses associated with your injuries are worth in terms of damages? The answers to these questions are usually much more complicated than they may at first seem. That’s why you should consider working with an attorney. If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian, call the legal experts at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation today. Over 45 years of experience and a 98%+ success rate means that Walch Law is the law firm you want to hire following a pedestrian accident. GET IN TOUCH WITH US NOW to learn more.