San Diego County has seen a sharp increase in pedestrian accidents in the area in recent years. Increases in tourism and encouragement for citizens to walk or bicycle in the name of saving the environment or health combined with increased distractions for drivers such as texting may be at fault for at least a portion of the increase. Either way, California law states that pedestrians and bicyclists have an equally valid right to use public roadways as do drivers of automobiles and victims and the families of victims who suffer damages in pedestrian accidents, regardless of cause, are entitled to adequately explore receiving compensation for their injuries.
San Diego County attorney Ronald B. Laba understands there is a lot of confusion and complications with pedestrian accidents. With this in mind, he recently put together some key FAQs to help those who may be victims to better understand their situation and options.
Q: Are pedestrian accidents common in San Diego County?
A: Very common. There were more than 1,000 pedestrian accidents in San Diego in 2013.
According to the County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency’s most recent statistics, there were 1,008 pedestrian accidents where victims were killed or injured in San Diego County in 2013.
A large number of these accidents involved the incredibly vulnerable groups of children and the elderly. 159 accidents involved people 15 years old or younger and 128 involved people 65 years or older.
Q: Are bicyclists considered pedestrians?
A: Yes. Many may not realize bicyclists are considered pedestrians by the law. Bicyclists are especially vulnerable when it comes to accidents as there were 875 pedestrian accidents involving bicyclists where victims were killed or injured in San Diego County in 2013.
Q? Are the elderly at a higher risk for fatal pedestrian accidents?
A: The elderly are vulnerable to an increased risk for very serious pedestrian accidents. 25 of the 66 unintentional fatal pedestrian accident victims in San Diego County in 2013 were 65 years or older.
Q: Can a San Diego County attorney help victims of pedestrian accidents?
A: Yes. Hiring an attorney after being the victim of a pedestrian accident is not a legal requirement. However, hiring an attorney after your accidently greatly increases your chances of being properly compensated for any injuries you may have suffered.
Pedestrian accidents can be particularly complicated in regards to pursuing acceptable compensation, so excellent legal counsel can go a very long way. Insurance companies are notorious for offering uninformed victims settlements which are much lower than they deserve. Mr. Laba prides himself in assisting victims navigate through these kinds of tactics. The Law Offices of Ronald B. Laba offers a free case consultation for those who have questions.
Q: Are damages recoverable for victims of pedestrian accidents?
A: Yes. A multitude of damages are recoverable for victims. These damages are intended to help injury victims and families who lost loved ones recover financially for their losses.
Damages in a pedestrian accident may include medical expenses and cost of future medical care, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress, and in some rare cases, punitive damages designed to punish drivers who acted with gross negligence or malicious intent.
Q: Can victims still receive compensation even if they are partially at fault?
A: Yes. Compensation may still be available even if you are partially at fault in the pedestrian accident. California is a pure comparative fault state, which means the victim of a pedestrian accident can recover a percentage of damages based on their own liability. The pure comparative fault rule allows pedestrian accident victims to recover damages proportionate to their percentage of fault. That means if a jury award equals $100,000 and an injured pedestrian was found to be 50 percent at fault, the injured pedestrian could still collect 50 percent of the compensation awarded by the jury.
Q: Are San Diego County pedestrian accident attorneys affordable?
A: Yes. At the Law Offices of Ronald B. Laba, we passionately believe injured Californians have the right to access the state’s courts regardless of financial standing. We are committed to being an award-winning firm that is still affordable for all.
Laba has a wealth of experience handling these kinds of pedestrian accidents and fully understands all of the issues that those involved with pedestrian accidents face. He has a track record of correctly evaluating accident situations and guiding those affected in the right direction with their legal rights. He also has a sterling reputation for getting the results victims are looking for in their cases.
The Law Offices of Ronald B. Laba would love to hear from you if you have been involved in a pedestrian accident. Please contact us today and call 844-439-8969 for your free case evaluation.