An accident involving a pedestrian can be a life-altering event, resulting in severe physical and emotional trauma. When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, the consequences can be devastating, leading to significant medical bills, lost income, and lasting pain and suffering. In such cases, pursuing a pedestrian accident settlement becomes crucial to help victims rebuild their lives and receive fair compensation for their losses.
Pedestrian accident settlements aim to provide financial compensation to those injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of a driver. These settlements typically cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. While no amount of money can fully undo the harm caused, a fair settlement can help alleviate the financial burden and ensure that victims receive the necessary care and support for their recovery.
Pedestrian Accident Liability
Pedestrian accident liability refers to the legal responsibility or fault assigned to parties involved in accidents between pedestrians and vehicles. Liability in pedestrian accidents typically centers around determining who is at fault for the collision. Typically, some of the main factors considered include:
Negligence or carelessness: To establish liability, it must be shown that one or more parties involved in the accident acted negligently. This may involve a driver failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, speeding, or driving under the influence.
Right of way: Determining whether the pedestrian had the right of way at the time of the accident is critical. Laws and regulations governing pedestrian crossings, crosswalks, and traffic signals play a significant role in assessing liability. California has strong laws, which state that pedestrians walking in marked or unmarked crosswalks have the right of way.
Comparative fault: In California, comparative fault is used, allowing each party to be assigned a percentage of fault and receive compensation based on their level of responsibility for the accident.
Liability in pedestrian accidents can be complex, and it often requires a thorough investigation and legal expertise to determine and establish responsibility.
Pedestrian Accidents Can Result in Severe Injuries
Pedestrian accidents can indeed lead to severe and life-altering injuries. When a pedestrian, who lacks the protective mechanisms of a vehicle, is involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, the consequences can be devastating. Severe pedestrian injuries may include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, fractures, internal organ damage, soft tissue injuries, and emotional trauma.
Traumatic brain injuries can result in cognitive and physical impairments, while spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis or loss of function. Fractures and orthopedic injuries may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, potentially causing long-term limitations. Internal injuries and soft tissue injuries can also have serious consequences. Moreover, the emotional trauma associated with such accidents can lead to conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety.
What is the Average Pedestrian Accident Settlement Amount in California?
The average pedestrian accident settlement amount can vary widely depending on various factors, making it challenging to provide a specific figure. The compensation in such cases is influenced by factors such as the severity of the pedestrian's injuries, the circumstances of the accident, and the extent of insurance coverage available.
In general, pedestrian accident settlements may range from a few thousand dollars to several million dollars. Minor injuries that require minimal medical treatment might result in settlements on the lower end of the scale, while accidents causing severe injuries or fatalities typically lead to higher settlements. The extent of a pedestrian's pain and suffering, ongoing medical care, and loss of income also play a significant role in determining the final settlement amount.
Insurance policies held by the at-fault driver, or even additional coverage such as umbrella policies, can impact the potential settlement amount. The availability of witness statements, police reports, and security camera footage can also affect the strength of a pedestrian's case and, consequently, the settlement amount.
It is essential to consult with an experienced California pedestrian accident attorney when pursuing a pedestrian accident settlement. At the Vaziri Law Group, our Los Angeles personal injury law firm can help assess the specific circumstances of your case and work to negotiate a fair and just settlement that adequately addresses your needs and losses. While there's no fixed average, we can help guide you through what can be a complex process to maximize your chances of receiving a fair settlement.
What Factors Affect the Amount of a Pedestrian Accident Settlement?
When negotiating or determining the value of a settlement, several key elements come into play, affecting the final compensation that the injured pedestrian may receive. Here are the most significant factors that can impact the amount of a pedestrian accident settlement:
Severity of Injuries: The extent of the pedestrian's injuries is a primary factor in determining the settlement amount. More severe injuries that result in extensive medical treatment, permanent disabilities, or long-term health issues tend to lead to higher settlements.
Economic damages: The total cost of medical bills, including hospitalization, surgeries, doctor visits, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment, directly influences the settlement amount. The income lost due to the pedestrian's inability to work during their recovery is another significant factor. This includes past lost wages and future lost earning capacity, especially if the injuries result in a permanent disability.
Pain and suffering: Non-economic damages, such as physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish, are challenging to quantify but play a crucial role in determining the settlement amount. The more profound the suffering, the higher the potential compensation.
Liability: Establishing who is at fault for the accident is essential. If the driver's negligence is clear and indisputable, it can bolster the pedestrian's case and lead to a higher settlement.
Strength of the evidence: The availability of eyewitnesses and their testimonies can affect the outcome of the case and, subsequently, the settlement amount. Reliable witnesses who can corroborate the pedestrian's version of events can strengthen their case, and surveillance videos that confirm your account of the incident can also be invaluable. Official accident reports can provide documentation of the incident, too. They often include important details, statements from both parties, and the responding officer's assessment of the accident, which can be used in negotiations.
Insurance coverage: The insurance policies held by both the at-fault driver and the pedestrian can impact the potential settlement. Adequate insurance coverage can ensure there are sufficient funds available for compensation.
Future expenses: Anticipated future medical expenses, such as ongoing treatments or surgeries, can be factored into the settlement to ensure that the pedestrian receives compensation for their long-term care needs.
Damages in a Pedestrian Accident Settlement: What is Your Case Worth?
A pedestrian accident settlement aims to provide compensation to the injured pedestrian to cover various damages resulting from the accident. The following are common types of damages that may be included in a pedestrian accident settlement:
Medical expenses: This encompasses all the costs associated with medical treatment, including ambulance fees, hospitalization, surgeries, doctor's visits, medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
Lost wages: If the pedestrian is unable to work due to their injuries, they can seek compensation for lost income, both past and future, as well as potential loss of earning capacity.
Pain and suffering: This non-economic damage category covers physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish resulting from the accident. Calculating pain and suffering damages can be subjective and typically depends on the severity and long-term effects of the injuries.
Property damage: If personal belongings, such as clothing or electronic devices, were damaged in the accident, the pedestrian may be entitled to compensation for the repair or replacement of these items.
Disability and disfigurement: In cases where the pedestrian suffers permanent disability or disfigurement due to the accident, they may be eligible for additional compensation to account for the long-term impact on their quality of life.
Future medical expenses: If the pedestrian's injuries require ongoing medical treatment or future surgeries, the settlement may include compensation for these anticipated costs.
Rehabilitation and therapy: This covers expenses related to physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other forms of rehabilitation necessary for the pedestrian's recovery.
Wrongful death damages: In the tragic event of a pedestrian accident resulting in a fatality, surviving family members may seek compensation for funeral and burial expenses, as well as loss of financial support and companionship.
Attorney's fees and legal costs: The pedestrian's attorney fees and related legal costs may be included in the settlement amount, typically as a percentage of the final settlement.
Get Help with Your Pedestrian Accident Case
If you've been involved in a pedestrian accident, it is critical that you seek the counsel of an counsel of an experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer navigate the complexities of your case and secure the compensation you deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide invaluable support by assessing your case, handling communication between different parties, determining the value or worth of your case and representing you throughout the process.
The knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorneys at the Vaziri Law Group, APC have the experience and expertise it takes to handle all the intricacies of your pedestrian accident case. We work tirelessly to ensure that our injured clients receive maximum compensation for their injuries and losses. We fight to protect your rights every step of the way. Call us today to schedule your no-cost consultation and case evaluation.