What Are My Legal Rights if I’m Hit by a Car While Walking?

Hit By a Car While Walking in California 

Personal injury lawsuit for pedestrian accidents | Hit By a Car While Walking
Walking is a great way to exercise. It is low-impact, accessible, and good for overall health. However, walking the streets of Santa Ana can be dangerous, too. Speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving can turn an innocent stroll into a deadly one. When negligent drivers fail to drive safely and watch out for pedestrians, they cause serious injuries and death to the most vulnerable road users. If you or a loved one was hit by a car while walking, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver who owed you a duty of care. Our Santa Ana pedestrian accident lawyer can help you take legal action against the responsible party. Call Riverview Accident Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. 


California Pedestrian Accident Statistics

While car accident fatalities have decreased over the years, mainly in part due to safer vehicles, pedestrian fatalities continue to trend upwards. In 2021, a quarter of all fatalities in California were pedestrians, making the state the 3rd deadliest in the country.

In 2022 alone, 504 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes in California, according to data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. More large vehicles on the road has contributed to the rise in pedestrian fatalities, as well as dangerous driving behaviors like speeding, reckless driving, and street racing. 


What Should I Do After Being Hit By a Car?

Car accident with a motor vehicle and pedestrian crossing
A pedestrian-car accident is a scary and traumatic experience, but knowing what to do after can help you protect yourself and your legal right to compensation. 

If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 immediately and wait for an ambulance to arrive. Seek medical treatment immediately and keep copies of your medical and hospital bills. If you did not sustain serious injuries, take the following steps that can help with your claim. 

  • Exchange contact information and insurance company details with the driver who hit you. 
  • Do not apologize or admit to any fault. 
  • Gather evidence of the accident scene, including photos and/or videos. Take pictures of crosswalks or traffic signals as well as any injuries. 
  • Get the contact information of any witnesses. 
  • Call your insurance company to tell them you were in an accident. 
  • Obtain a copy of the police report. 
  • Consult with a pedestrian accident lawyer. 


Can I File a Claim As An Injured Pedestrian? 

If you sustained pedestrian injuries due to a driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate someone who has suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence or intentional acts. The claim aims to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages, essentially helping the injured party to be “made whole” again. 

California is an at-fault state, which means that the person responsible for an accident is liable for the damages. In an accident, the at-fault driver’s car insurance typically covers the expenses related to injuries and property damage. Victims can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to seek compensation for their losses.

Injured pedestrians will have to prove the elements of negligence in order to recover damages:

  • The driver owed the pedestrian a duty of care.
  • The driver breached the duty of care by negligence.
  • The driver’s breach caused the pedestrian injuries.
  • The injured pedestrian suffered financial losses. 


Can a Pedestrian Be At Fault?

Driver breached duty when pedestrian hit
As a pedestrian, you have a responsibility to follow traffic laws and refrain from putting yourself in danger. Pedestrians should always cross at crosswalks, look both ways, and watch for turning vehicles. 

The following actions may place an injured pedestrian at fault or partially at fault in the event of a collision: 

  • Jaywalking
  • Walking where pedestrians are prohibited
  • Stepping into the path of oncoming vehicle traffic 
  • Entering a marked crosswalk where you do not have the “Walk” sign 
  • Walking while impaired or distracted 

Pedestrians must also take extra precaution at night. Reduced visibility means drivers may not see a pedestrian walking or crossing the street. If you are going to walk at night, wear white or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight. 

If you share some degree of fault, you can still file an insurance claim against the driver who hit you. California’s comparative negligence laws allow a person to recover compensation even if he or she partially at fault. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault and the total damages are $50,000, you would be able to recover up to $40,000.  


How Much Are Pedestrian Accident Claims Worth?

The value of a pedestrian accident claim largely depends on the severity of the accident, the losses suffered by the victim, and the available insurance coverage. In cases where a pedestrian suffers severe and catastrophic injuries, their settlement will be substantial enough to cover future medical care and physical therapy.

Injured pedestrians in California can recover two types of damages in a pedestrian-car accident case: economic and non-economic. They include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Personal property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost income and future loss of earning capacity
  • Funeral and burial expenses if victim did not survive


Talk to a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Pedestrian accidents in Santa Ana
If you were hit at a pedestrian crossing in Santa Ana, it is important to know that you are not alone. Pedestrian accidents are very serious matters. While you should seek medical attention, communicating with the driver’s insurance company directly can be frustrating and inconclusive. Therefore, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.  

A lawyer can advise you on whether you had the right-of-way and if the driver should have yielded to you. They can conduct a full and thorough investigation and gather evidence, such as the police report, to support your claim. Negotiations with the insurance company can be complex, but with legal representation you can feel confident knowing an expert is fighting on your behalf. Speak to our pedestrian accident lawyers and learn about California personal injury laws by calling us at (657) 655-6045