San Diego can be something of a pedestrian paradise, with beautiful weather, architecture, and beaches to enjoy on a walk. In fact, walking remains one of the healthiest methods of transportation, as long as the pedestrian is able to enjoy safety measures in the city design, such as proper sidewalks, clearly marked crosswalks, footbridges, and other features intended to maximize pedestrian safety. San Diego has taken many steps to improve safety, including a recent $75,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, intended to be used to increase awareness of safety measures for pedestrians.Still, there have been pedestrian accident cases, and San Diego pedestrian accident attorney helps to get the money you deserve.
Unfortunately, no amount of resources will ever guarantee safe transit, whether it is on foot, by plane, car, or rail. Accidents happen, and although there is nothing that we can do to avoid any possibility of being involved in an accident, it can be very helpful to know that there are professionals available to help victims of these accidents get the money that they deserve after being injured. Working with a personal injury and San Diego pedestrian accident attorney is one of the most important steps that you can take after an injury to make sure that your financial health is as much of a priority as your physical health.
Read more below to learn about how the team at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC can help you through this difficult, and likely overwhelming process of filing an injury claim, completing a claims investigation, and handling a series of settlement negotiations—all while trying to focus on recovering from your injuries. When you work with an experienced personal injury lawyer for this process, you can prioritize your health with confidence, knowing that there is a dedicated legal professional fighting for your financial interests.
Contact us now to schedule your free initial consultation with our San Diego pedestrian accident attorney. During this consultation, we will be able to have a conversation about your accident and injuries specifically and provide you with insight on what to expect moving forward. Our history of experience with representing pedestrian accidents in San Diego will be a major benefit to your case and will give you the confidence that you deserve while trying to move forward with your life after this unfortunate situation.
What To Do After Being Injured As a Pedestrian
The most important thing to do after an accident is to make sure that your medical issues are addressed immediately, meaning calling 911, working with the EMTs on the scene, and seeing a doctor as soon as possible (either at the emergency room or by seeing your primary care physician immediately). Once you have gotten your medical needs stabilized, there are many more steps for you to take before you are able to resolve this situation completely.
In addition to addressing your medical needs, it is a good idea to contact a San Diego pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. The more time your lawyer has to investigate your case, the more information they will have available to use as leverage during negotiations.
Making a Statement to Police
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may either make a statement to the police at the scene of the accident, or you may make a statement afterward when you are able to. Regardless of when you make your statement to be included in the accident report, it is very important that you make no statements that could be misconstrued as an admission of responsibility for the crash. This can even include things like making an apology, or other seemingly-innocuous statements that cast doubt on the situation that can come back to haunt you later on.
When making your statement, remain objective and only provide the facts as you are able to. Do not give any personal observations or opinions on anything. However, if you believe that the driver was acting recklessly or irresponsibly, possibly by texting while driving or operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, it is important that you inform the officers so that they can investigate these concerns.
If you have already hired an attorney, they will be able to help you make a statement that clearly indicates the situation in a way that will benefit (or at least not impede) your upcoming injury claim.
Filing an Accident Claim With Insurance
One of the next steps you will need to take is to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Filing the claim is fairly straightforward, but the process happening in the background of the claim is quite complicated, and unfortunately designed against your favor. When a claims adjuster is assigned to your case, they will spend the next few weeks investigating the accident from all possible angles in order to gather as much information as possible.
While this seems very helpful, it is important to note that the underlying goal of a claims investigation is to find every possible way to limit the amount that you receive in a settlement. When the insurance adjuster completes their investigation, they will make you an offer for a settlement that is shockingly lower than what you truly deserve. An insurance company’s primary goal for any claim is to limit the amount of money paid to a victim, in order to maximize revenue for the company and maintain a lucrative business model—not to pay victims what they deserve.
Hiring a San Diego pedestrian accident attorney before you file your claim is a good idea for a variety of reasons. One such reason is that during the time that the claims adjuster is investigating your accident, your attorney will be able to use this time in order to complete their own investigation. As you will learn in the following section, determining the amount of damages that a victim deserves is a complicated process, meaning the more time your lawyer has to do this calculation, the stronger your case will be.
Negotiating a Proper Settlement With An Attorney
Once the insurance company makes its offer, it may seem like a hopeless cause to try getting more money from them, but this is not the case. When you have a personal injury attorney representing your case, they will use this initial offer as a starting point for negotiations. If you hired your attorney around the same time that you filed your claim, your attorney will have been able to use that time in order to gather a wealth of information and documentation that will support the counter-offer they will submit to the insurance company.
In addition to preparing for negotiations, you and your lawyer will be able to use the claims investigation time to develop a strategy for settling. As the damages that you are entitled to become more clear during calculations, you will be able to work to identify the amount of money that you can reasonably accept for an out-of-court settlement, and weigh the costs and benefits of pursuing a case in the California courts if negotiations prove unsuccessful.
More than 95% of personal injury cases settle, meaning that your odds of needing to file a complaint are quite low. However, if you are unable to reach an agreement during negotiations then the next step will be to take your case to the California courts.
Filing a Complaint
If negotiations are unsuccessful, or if there is another reason that you and your attorney have determined that the courts are better suited to handle your situation, then your attorney will file an official complaint in the courts, which the defendant will then be able to respond to. Your complaint will include such information as the nature of the accident and your injuries, why you hold the defendant accountable for the accident, and how much money you are demanding as damages. From there, the courts will need to see that you have made an effort to negotiate and give the defendant another opportunity to settle.
Filing a complaint does not mean that you will be going to trial. Once your complaint has been acknowledged by the defendant, you will go through a pre-trial process that includes sworn depositions and other steps in a discovery period, as well as an additional opportunity to negotiate with a mediator. Only then will you and your attorney need to set your sights on a trial.
Common Injuries After a Pedestrian Accident
A pedestrian accident can result in some unpredictable, and catastrophic, injuries. Being struck by a moving vehicle that could weigh in excess of 3,000 lbs can be absolutely devastating, and there are a nearly immeasurable number of factors that go into the actual injuries that you may suffer. However, some common injuries that we represent our clients for are as follows:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Lacerations and road rash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding, bruising, or hematomas
- Whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries
- Pain and suffering
Whether or not you see an injury in these examples that resembles your own, contact us as soon as possible to learn about how we can help you get the justice that you deserve for your suffering.
Recent Statistics about California Pedestrian Accidents
2019 marked a reduction for San Diego pedestrian deaths compared to 2018, but the fact remains that there is still a serious risk and danger for those traveling on foot. According to research by the San Diego Union-Tribune, there were 22 pedestrian deaths in 2019, down from 34 deaths in 2018. When serious injuries are included in these statistics, these accidents have gone from 294 to 213. San Diego has targeted zero traffic-related fatalities or serious injuries by 2025, as part of the nationwide initiative Vision Zero. These ambitious statistics have proven a challenge to the city, but they have so far dedicated more than $50 million to the efforts and will continue to work towards this goal.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pedestrian Accidents
The following are just a few of the common questions we get during the free initial consultation that we offer for victims of pedestrian accidents. The answers provided below are intended to give you a general idea of how your own case will look like, but the best way to get specifics is by scheduling your own consultation as soon as possible.
What Damages Can I Collect in My San Diego Pedestrian Accident Claim?
The central issues of any personal injury case are the damages that the victim is entitled to, and some are easier to calculate than others. In a personal injury case, the victim is seeking what is known as compensatory—or actual—damages, intended to compensate the victim for actual losses that they have suffered. These damages are designated as either “economic” or “non-economic” compensatory damages, and each is considered and calculated during an accident claim.
Economic damages are meant to repay a victim for the measurable economic losses, such as all injury- and accident-related costs, income-based impacts, and any other financial impact. This may even include things like services that the victim needed to pay for that they performed themselves before the injury, such as laundry, grocery shopping, or driving.
Non-economic damages seek compensation for the “subjective” impacts of an accident, such as the pain and suffering that comes with an injury, or the possible depression or anxiety that a victim may experience after an accident. There are a variety of methods that we may use in order to calculate these damages, but it is important to recognize that these damages are no less important, even if they are harder to quantify.
Why do you need a pedestrian accident lawyer?
Working with a lawyer is not mandatory in the United States, but it is strongly recommended that you do so. When you are working with a defendant in a personal injury case, you can be certain that they are taking every possible step to limit the amount of money that they ultimately have to pay for your accident. At the same time that they are mounting this aggressive defense, you are focusing on trying to recover from serious injuries and get your life back on track. Trying to focus on your legal issues at the same time can be very overwhelming.
In addition to the reduction of stress that a San Diego pedestrian accident attorney provides you with, their experience in these types of situations is irreplaceable. A good personal injury lawyer has years of experience working with insurance companies, calculating damages, filing claims, and managing negotiations successfully, and you can be confident that their involvement in your case will be a great help.
Why should I work with Injury Trial Lawyers, APC?
Injury Trial Lawyers, APC (ITL) has been representing clients for their personal injuries since 2004, and have a record of successes to prove our experience and value. Our award-winning team will handle your case from start to finish, meaning that you can count on having a relationship with the people on your case, Trust is key throughout this entire process, and we focus on establishing that trust early and maintaining it throughout our work together.
The best way to find out how we will be able to work together is by speaking directly with each other during a free initial consultation. Contact us now to schedule yours today, and get started on fighting for the money that you deserve.