Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Bakersfield CA
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating, life-altering events that are often caused by careless or aggressive drivers. These accidents can be particularly dangerous because pedestrians have little to protect them from the force of the impact.
If a motorist hit you while you were walking in Bakersfield, you could receive significant compensation—and the pedestrian accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Mickey Fine can help you get it. Mickey Fine has more than 30 years of experience helping injured Californians and has secured millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on their behalf.
Our team will be ready to handle your case for you and seek the full and fair compensation you need to pay your bills and move on with your life. Call our Bakersfield personal injury lawyers today or visit us online for a free consultation.
Why the Law Offices of Mickey Fine Is the Right Choice After a Pedestrian Accident
With so many pedestrian accident attorneys in Bakersfield to choose from, here are a few reasons why the Law Offices of Mickey Fine is the right choice for your case:
- Affordable representation. We do not want you to worry about how much it costs to hire an attorney after a pedestrian accident. That is why we do not charge our clients any upfront fees. If we take your case, you do not owe us any fees unless we recover compensation for you. We also offer free consultations to potential new clients.
- Personal attention. Some law firms focus on settling cases as quickly as possible before moving on to the next client. At these firms, clients often work with paralegals and other staff instead of their lawyers. We believe you deserve better from your attorney. We provide individual attention to every client, and you can contact your attorney anytime you have a question or want an update on your case.
- Proven results. A lawyer can promise the world, but what they deliver may not live up to those expectations. Our firm has a proven track record demonstrating what we can achieve for our clients.
- Decades of experience. Attorney Mickey Fine has spent more than 30 years representing injured people in Bakersfield. That experience helps us be better advocates for you because we know the ins and outs of these cases.
How Our Bakersfield Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Can Help You
A pedestrian accident lawyer’s job is to protect your rights after an accident while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Some of the ways our Bakersfield pedestrian accident lawyers can help with your case include:
- Investigating the accident. Our highly trained and experienced team can investigate the accident to determine who caused your injuries and how much compensation you could pursue. If you hire our firm, we will move quickly after a crash to preserve as much evidence from the scene as possible.
- Documenting your injuries and expenses. Pedestrian accidents often exact a harsh physical, emotional, and financial toll on a victim. To help you seek maximum compensation, we can use your medical records and other evidence to thoroughly document the accident’s impact on your life.
- Filing an insurance claim. Waiting too long to act after a pedestrian accident could jeopardize your right to compensation. Once we have investigated the crash and documented your losses, we can file an insurance claim against the liable parties and begin settlement negotiations.
- Negotiating a fair settlement. As for-profit businesses, insurance companies want to protect their profits above everything else, which means they may try to find ways to reduce your compensation. Our team knows the tactics insurance companies use to deny or minimize the value of a claim, and we can protect your right to compensation during settlement negotiations.
- Filing a lawsuit and seeking compensation in court. Insurance companies usually prefer to settle a suit instead of risking a trial. However, insurers sometimes refuse to make a reasonable settlement offer after a pedestrian accident. You may need to take the insurance company to court to protect your rights if this happens. We can develop a robust legal strategy for you to use in a trial.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive from a Bakersfield Pedestrian Accident Claim?
Because pedestrians have little to protect them from a car crash, pedestrian accident cases often result in more severe injuries and significant financial losses than other accidents. The worse your injuries and financial losses are after an accident, the more critical it is to hire an experienced and dedicated attorney.
A Bakersfield pedestrian accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation for:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for all medical costs related to the accident, including emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and any future medical expenses.
- Lost Income: If your injuries have resulted in missed work days or a reduction in your earning capacity, your attorney can help you obtain compensation for the income you’ve lost.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages, such as physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, may be considered in your claim.
- Property Damage: If your personal property, such as clothing or personal items, was damaged in the accident, you may be eligible for compensation to repair or replace those items.
- Loss of Consortium: In some cases, if the accident has affected your relationship with your spouse or family members, they may be able to seek compensation for the loss of consortium.
- Wrongful Death Damages: If the pedestrian accident results in a fatality, the surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.
- Punitive Damages: In certain situations where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly reckless or egregious, the court may award punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior.
It’s important to note that California follows a comparative negligence system. If you are found partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced proportionately. Consulting with a personal injury attorney in Bakersfield is crucial to understanding your specific case, assessing the damages you may be entitled to, and navigating the legal process effectively.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics in Bakersfield
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported that 1,034 pedestrians died in crashes statewide during one recent year. The CHP also noted that about 10 percent of all pedestrian accident victims that year were children under 15.
What’s more, news reports claim that the Bakersfield metropolitan area is one of the most dangerous locations for pedestrians throughout the state. The Bakersfield area sees around 60 traffic-related fatalities and more than 2,000 traffic-related injuries each year on average, with a considerable number of these accidents involving pedestrians. Analysts point to Bakersfield relatively high speed limits coupled with its lack of pedestrian infrastructure as the main reasons the area sees so many pedestrian accidents.
Causes of Bakersfield Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can happen for many reasons, including:
- Impaired driving. Drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol are more prone to speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors that can cause pedestrian crashes. Sometimes, an impaired driver may not see a pedestrian in the street until it’s too late to avoid a collision. Alcohol delays a driver’s reaction time and impairs their judgment, and drunk driving car accidents injure or kill many people in the Bakersfield area each year.
- Distracted driving. Too many pedestrians suffer injuries at the hands of distracted drivers. Common driver distractions include talking on a cell phone, texting while driving, eating or drinking, applying makeup, grooming, talking to passengers, using a navigation device, and adjusting in-vehicle controls.
- Drowsy driving. Research shows that going more than 20 hours without sleep affects a driver’s performance to roughly the same extent as driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent, the legal limit in California.
- Speeding. Pedestrian safety advocates often use the phrase “speed kills” when talking about these cases because speeding drivers tend to cause more severe injuries. Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to speeding drivers because there is nothing to protect them from the force of a crash.
- Mechanical defects. If a car’s brakes, steering, or other crucial components fail as it nears an intersection or in a busy area, the driver may not be able to avoid hitting a pedestrian. In these cases, injured pedestrians may have a claim against the company that built the car or the defective part.
- Poor road conditions. Rain, fog, and poor-quality roads can increase the time it takes for a car to safely slow down and stop at an intersection. If motorists do not adjust their driving for poor road conditions, they might hit pedestrians crossing the street in front of them.
Injuries From Pedestrian Accidents in Bakersfield
Pedestrian accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, and the severity of these injuries can vary depending on factors such as the speed of the vehicle, the point of impact, and the circumstances of the accident. Common injuries sustained by pedestrians in accidents in Bakersfield include:
Soft Tissue Injuries: These injuries involve damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Strains, sprains, and contusions are common soft tissue injuries in pedestrian accidents.
Fractures and Broken Bones: The impact of a vehicle striking a pedestrian can lead to fractures and broken bones, including injuries to the arms, legs, hips, and pelvis.
Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These types of injuries can create considerable challenges in a victim’s life and may mean a long road to recovery.
Spinal Cord Injuries: The force of an impact can cause damage to the spinal cord, resulting in partial or complete paralysis, depending on the severity of the injury.
Internal Injuries: Pedestrians may suffer internal injuries, such as damage to organs, internal bleeding, or other injuries that may not be immediately apparent.
Road Rash: When a pedestrian is thrown or dragged during an accident, road rash can occur, causing abrasions and injuries to the skin.
Emotional and Psychological Injuries: Being involved in a pedestrian accident can have lasting emotional and psychological effects, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, and emotional distress.
It’s important to seek medical attention promptly after a pedestrian accident, even if injuries seem minor, as some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately. Documenting and treating pedestrian accident injuries early can also strengthen your personal injury claim.
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident in Bakersfield and have suffered injuries, it’s advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney. They can help you understand your rights, evaluate the potential compensation for your injuries, and guide you through the legal process.
Insurance Issues in Bakersfield Pedestrian Accidents
One reason to hire a lawyer after a pedestrian accident is that they can help you navigate the insurance issues that often arise in these cases.
Some potential insurance issues in a pedestrian accident case include:
- Proving liability. It is rare for a driver or their insurance company to admit fault in a pedestrian accident, and they may try to blame you for the crash. A lawyer can use police accident reports, crash scene photos, eyewitness accounts, expert testimony, medical records, and other evidence to show why you have the right to compensation for your injuries.
- Shared liability. Under California law, you can seek compensation after a pedestrian accident, even if you played a role in the crash. However, if you are partly responsible for a collision, the court could reduce your compensation by your share of the fault. Your pedestrian accident attorney can find evidence minimizing your role in a crash to help you recover maximum compensation.
- Documenting your injuries. No insurance company will pay more in a claim than they have to. Therefore, you need strong evidence of your injuries and financial losses to maximize your potential compensation. A pedestrian accident lawyer can help if the insurance company makes a lowball settlement offer in your case.
- Seeking compensation. The insurer may try to offer a lowball settlement or deny your claim to avoid liability. An attorney can fight for you at the negotiating table or in court to secure a fair settlement or verdict on your behalf.
How Do I Prove Liability in a Bakersfield Pedestrian Accident Claim?
Proving negligence in a pedestrian accident case involves establishing that the driver had a duty of care, breached that duty, and that the breach directly caused the pedestrian’s injuries. Here are the key elements to consider when proving negligence:
- Duty of Care: The first step is to establish that the driver owed a duty of care to the pedestrian. In general, drivers have a legal obligation to operate their vehicles with reasonable care and follow traffic laws, especially in areas where pedestrians are likely to be present, such as crosswalks and intersections.
- Breach of Duty: To prove negligence, you must demonstrate that the driver breached their duty of care. This could involve showing that the driver was speeding, failed to yield to pedestrians, ran a red light, or engaged in other negligent behavior. Evidence may include witness statements, traffic camera footage, or police reports.
- Causation: It must be established that the driver’s breach of duty directly caused the pedestrian’s injuries. If the driver’s actions were the proximate cause of the accident and subsequent injuries, causation can be established. This often involves demonstrating a direct link between the driver’s negligence and the harm suffered by the pedestrian.
- Damages: Finally, you need to provide evidence of the damages suffered by the pedestrian as a result of the accident. This can include medical records, bills, lost wages, and other quantifiable losses. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, may also be considered.
It’s essential to consult with a legal professional to ensure you have a thorough understanding of the specific laws and regulations relevant to your case and to get assistance holding the at-fault driver accountable for your injuries and losses.
What to Do After a Bakersfield Pedestrian Accident
Your health and safety are the top priority. Therefore, you need to get medical treatment for your injuries, no matter how minor they appear. Some internal injuries may not manifest symptoms right away, and you need to ensure there are no underlying issues that may cause problems later. Plus, you will need documentation you suffered an injury and received medical care to file an injury claim. Once you have gotten medical treatment, there are other critical steps to take after a pedestrian accident in Bakersfield:
- Save any evidence from the crash scene. If you have any photos from the accident scene or other evidence, store the evidence in a safe, secure place. This evidence may make the difference between winning or losing your case.
- Hold on to your medical records and receipts. Without your doctor’s notes and other medical records, you may have trouble proving the extent of your injuries after an accident. Keeping these records organized can make a significant difference in your case. Likewise, saving receipts is crucial to recovering compensation for financial losses after a crash.
- Do not post on social media. It is understandable to reach out to friends and family for support after an accident. However, insurance companies can find anything you post and use your posts against you. No matter how innocent your posts are, you do not want to give an insurer an excuse to deny or minimize your claim. The best way to protect yourself is to stay off social media entirely.
- Talk to our Bakersfield pedestrian accident lawyers before speaking with any insurance companies. The driver’s insurance company will likely contact you soon after a crash and ask you to accept a quick settlement. If an insurer contacts you, tell them to talk to your lawyer. The insurer may try to use anything you say to deny liability, so keep the conversation brief while still being polite.
- Hire our Bakersfield pedestrian accident lawyers. Our pedestrian accident attorneys’ job is to protect your rights and help you recover maximum compensation. The sooner you speak to our lawyers, the more we can help and protect you.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Bakersfield Now
Our team understands how painful a pedestrian accident can be and is here to help you seek compensation and justice for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of Mickey Fine today at (661) 333-3333 or visit our contact page to speak with our Bakersfield pedestrian accident attorneys and receive a free case evaluation.
Law Offices of Mickey Fine – Bakersfield Office
930 Truxtun Ave, Suite 110
Bakersfield, CA 93301