Understanding how the law works when it comes to pedestrians and motor vehicles can be confusing for both pedestrians and drivers. Numerous laws are in place to protect both parties.
With that being said, right away, it’s important to say that you, if you were a pedestrian in an accident that caused you serious injury, even if you were partially at fault for the accident because you were walking outside the crosswalk or running across the street, still may be able to sue the driver of the motor vehicle for damages. What you must prove in your case is that the driver of the motor vehicle was also partially at fault.
Apportionment of liability in California
Again, it is definitely possible to sue for compensation in a pedestrian personal accident case even if you were partially at fault because you are walking outside of the crosswalk or running across the street. But in order to understand exactly how much damages you can sue for in a personal accident pedestrian case like this, you also must understand “apportionment of liability.”
This is a term that refers to the way in which damages are awarded in an accident case where two or more parties are at fault. Essentially, if you are able to prove that another party was partially at fault for the accident, you will receive damages equal to the percentage that that party was responsible.
In other words, if the jury or judge evaluating your personal injury case decides that you were 20 percent responsible for the accident because you ran across the street or because you were walking outside of the crosswalk, you would only receive 80 percent of your claim.
Understanding who’s at fault for pedestrian accident
As you can see, what’s important in a personal injury case like this if proving who exactly was at fault. Even if you ran across the street or were walking outside of the crosswalk, an irresponsible and careless driver may have also been at fault for your accident because they weren’t looking where they were going or were otherwise distracted.
After a serious accident like this, it is not uncommon for pedestrians to incur serious medical injuries. They may require multiple medical appointments, surgeries, time away from work and lost wages or the inability to further seek out employment. If this happens to you, even if you are partially at fault for your accident, you still deserve compensation from the at-fault driver.
But in order to legally deserve this compensation, you need to prove that the driver of the vehicle was partially at fault. This is not easy to do on your own without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. For this reason, it is advised that you seek and retain legal counsel as soon as you can after your accident. Naturally, you’ll need to take care of your health and safety first. Attend all your necessary medical appointments and ensure that you are healthy, and after you’ve done this, call a personal injury lawyer who is experienced and reputable in your area as soon as you can.
Consulting with a personal injury attorney
A positive thing about personal injury law is that it generally operates on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t need to pay most attorney fees if you do not win your case. At your free consultation, you’ll be able to explain your case to your personal injury lawyer, and they will tell you whether you have a legitimate case to bring to court. If you do, your lawyer can help you prepare evidence to prove the fault of the driver. This may take a lot of time and preparation.
They will want to look over photos, eyewitness accounts and other information from the actual accident. They may consult with medical experts to speak on your injuries as well.
This legwork and paperwork is difficult to do on your own. Instead of wasting time and losing compensation that you deserve by a trying to bring a case yourself, always speak with a professional car accident attorney. And remember that even if you were partially at fault, you may still deserve compensation.