Orange County Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Are you a pedestrian who was injured in an Orange County traffic accident? If so, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent party who caused your accident. Contact the experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorneys at the Law Offices of John Rapillo today for a free consultation.
When we meet for your initial consultation we will review your case, assess causation and liability, and explain your legal rights. We will also answer any questions you may have about your claim or our office. The sooner you contact an experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorney, the sooner you can get the compensation you need to recover.
Pedestrian Accidents Overview
California is a dangerous state for pedestrians. As it turns out, Orange County is a dangerous county for pedestrians. It has a warm and inviting year-round climate, tons of outdoor activities, shopping, and a gorgeous coastline. Who wouldn’t want to walk as much as possible and take in the beautiful outdoors? Unfortunately, residents and tourists who choose to walk rather than drive are at a greater risk of harm. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car accident than occupants of a car.
In 2015, there were 162 fatal traffic accidents in Orange County. Pedestrians accounted for 51 of those deaths. Pedestrians account for more than 30% of traffic accident fatalities in Orange County. Pedestrians who are able to walk away from an Orange County traffic accident will still likely be faced with incredibly painful and long-lasting injuries. An experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorney can help accident victims recover damages to compensate for the harms that have been imposed.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
If you are injured as a pedestrian in Orange County there is a good chance that you’ll be transported to the hospital. Once you have gotten over the initial shock of your accident we suggest that you take the following steps. Doing so will help to maximize the compensation you recover through a personal injury claim for damages.
- Get a full medical evaluation. If you have not already received a full and thorough medical evaluation, ask for one. This evaluation can (1) help to rule out any potentially life-threatening internal injuries and (2) document the injuries you sustained in the accident. Details provided in your evaluation – including comments and observations from medical professionals – can help to strengthen your claim.
- Ask for a police report. Some accidents may not seem “bad” enough to justify calling the police. It is important that you do so. A police report may not be admissible as evidence in court, but it can provide important information about your accident. It can also be used as leverage in settlement negotiations.
- Do not speak with insurance company representatives. Insurance companies will try to take advantage of the traumatic situation. They will try to talk to you into accepting a lowball offer. Do not agree to speak with them before contacting an attorney.
- Contact an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney. Hiring an attorney is an important step after an accident. Your attorney will review and investigate your case, fight for a meaningful settlement offer, negotiate with insurance companies, and take your case to court (if necessary).
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The sheer number of pedestrians enjoying Orange County is probably enough on its own to increase the risk of harm on Orange County roads. However, studies have shown that the design and construction of Orange County roads also contribute to the extraordinary rate of pedestrian injuries and deaths. Southern California neighborhoods were designed to accommodate a heavy and constant flow of passenger vehicle traffic. These Orange County roads were built with the belief that the primary method of transportation would involve cars, trucks, motorcycles, and buses. These high-speed roads are also becoming more congested as the economy improves, further placing pedestrian in harm’s way.
A pedestrian has a 10% chance of dying if they are hit by a car traveling 20 MPH. What happens when pedestrians are forced to walk along roads that are designed high-speed traffic? The risk of death skyrockets. A pedestrian who is hit by a car traveling 40 MPH has an 80% chance of dying because of that accident. The chances of survival decline as the speed of the vehicle at the time of impact go up.
The fact that Orange County has poorly designed roads for pedestrian traffic is just one contributing factor. Drivers of passenger vehicles and trucks can also cause pedestrian accidents in Orange County. Similarly, pedestrians can also contribute to an accident. Common causes of pedestrian accidents include
- Aggressive driving;
- Distracted driving (talking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking, applying makeup, smoking);
- Distracted walking (not paying attention at crosswalks, texting while walking);
- Failing to use marked crosswalks;
- Failing to cross at intersections;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol;
- Walking under the influence of alcohol;
- Improper lane changes;
- Failing to stop completely at intersections;
- Poorly lit roads;
- Impassable or nonexistent sidewalks;
- Bicycles riding on sidewalks, and more.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians who are injured in Orange County traffic accidents are at a greater risk of suffering a serious and/or debilitating injury than those injured while in a vehicle. For over 35 years, the Law Offices of John Rapillo has helped injured pedestrians recover damages for injuries including broken bones, lacerations, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, loss of limbs, and paralysis.
We have also helped families of fatal Orange County pedestrian accidents recover compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one. If you are a pedestrian that has been injured in an Orange County accident contact the Law Offices of John Rapillo today for a free consultation. We can help to get you the compensation you need to recover after an accident.
Determining Liability For a Pedestrian Accidents
Orange County roads create a dangerous environment for pedestrians. However, other factors must contribute to this environment to cause an accident. When you are injured in an Orange County pedestrian accident you can seek to recover compensation from whoever caused the accident. Potentially liable parties following an Orange County pedestrian accident can include:
- Drivers of passenger vehicles and trucks;
- Employers of passenger vehicle drivers and trucks;
- Passenger vehicle and truck manufacturers;
- Equipment manufacturers; and
- The Orange County government.
Pedestrians can also be liable after an accident. If you are a pedestrian who is injured in an Orange County accident, but it is later determined that you contributed to the accident that caused your injuries, your ability to recover compensation may be limited. California follows the rule of comparative fault.
This means that you are not prohibited from recovering compensation even if you are partly responsible for an accident. However, your ability to recover compensation will be reduced by the percent of the accident that is determined to be your fault. For example, let’s say that you are struck by a car while crossing the street. You weren’t using a crosswalk at an intersection at the time of the accident, so you are found to be 40% at fault for the accident. Your ability to recover compensation from the driver would be reduced by 40%.
Recovering Damages After an Orange County Pedestrian Accident
If you have been injured in an Orange County pedestrian accident you should not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney. At the Law Offices of John Rapillo, we understand the hardships that can follow a tragic or life-changing accident. Injuries can be painful and you may face a long road to recovery. As medical bills mount and you are forced to miss time at work, the financial pressure can become overwhelming. Our Orange County pedestrian accident attorneys can help you relieve that financial pressure. A personal injury claim for damages can help you recover the compensation you need to get back to your life.
For the past 35 years, the Law Offices of John Rapillo has helped pedestrian accident victims recover compensation that has made a difference in their lives. We can help you fight to recover the compensation that can make a difference in your life, too. We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis. This allows you to hire us without worrying about costly up-front legal fees. We only get paid if we recover a settlement offer or award on your behalf. We want you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Let us focus on your financial recovery. Contact our office today for a free, no-commitment consultation.