There is plenty to see when walking around Modesto, from movie studios to historic theaters. The city’s mild temperatures are conducive to year-round walking, adding to the area’s reputation as a healthy, family-friendly place to live.
Modesto is relatively safe to navigate, unlike other cities, but accidents still occur. A reckless motorist can crash into you even when you use crosswalks and obey traffic signals. When you are hit and injured by a careless driver, a Modesto pedestrian accident lawyer could fight for compensation to make you whole again. Call our talented personal injury attorneys for help today.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Modesto
The pedestrian is at a disadvantage in a motor vehicle accident, often suffering catastrophic harm due to having no physical protection from the car. Injuries could include broken bones, head trauma, or spinal cord damage, leaving the injured walker or jogger with a lifetime of expensive care.
The driver could be responsible for the pedestrian crash when they engaged in any of the following actions behind the wheel:
- Texting or talking on a phone
- Ignoring traffic signals, such as red lights
- Failing to use signals when turning or changing lanes
- Failing to yield to the pedestrian crossing the street lawfully
- Driving intoxicated or under the influence of illicit or prescription drugs
A Modesto attorney will review the police report, medical records, witness statements, and plaintiff’s account to build a case for negligence following the on-foot accident.
Who is Responsible for a Pedestrian Crash?
Motorists have a legal duty to ensure the safety of anyone they share the road with. To prove negligence and recover damages, the plaintiff, with the help of their legal representative, must prove the defendant had a duty to them but breached the duty by acting carelessly. Additionally, the defendant’s actions must directly cause the crash that injured the plaintiff.
What Compensation is Available in a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
After succeeding in the pedestrian wreck claim, the plaintiff is entitled to economic and non-economic compensatory damages. Economic damages are measurable, such as medical care, long-term rehabilitation, and property damage. Non-economic damages put a value on losses that are not measurable, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of consortium.
The plaintiff can ask for punitive damages when the defendant’s actions fit California’s criteria. Under California Civil Code Section 3294(c)(1), if the defendant intended to cause the incident or acted with total disregard for the walker or jogger’s safety, the court can require them to pay punitive damages.
Thus, these damages are not meant to compensate the plaintiff but to dissuade the defendant and others from committing similar acts. For instance, if the defendant’s blood alcohol level is 3.0% when the legal blood alcohol level is .08% or less by weight, their behavior could qualify as egregious, warranting punitive damages. While these damages are rare, an experienced lawyer in Modesto can review the facts of the pedestrian collision case to determine whether they are justified.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries
The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after an injury involving a motor vehicle accident is generally two years from the date of the accident. When the plaintiff is younger than 18, the statute does not go into effect until they become a legal adult.
Other exceptions apply, such as when the defendant leaves California before being served with the lawsuit, is incapacitated, or the pedestrian dies and their family files a wrongful death suit. Failure to file a complaint within the law’s limitations will prevent the plaintiff from recovering compensation for injuries caused by the negligent driver. Fortunately, a seasoned Modesto attorney understands these procedural deadlines and can ensure the lawsuit for a pedestrian accident is filed on time.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Modesto For Help
Your life can change in a split second—for example, when you are walking and a reckless driver crashes into you. During this time, you should focus on healing from your injuries. Our capable and energetic attorneys can help get you the money you need for your care.
When you are injured in an accident through no fault of your own, one of our Modesto pedestrian accident lawyers can review your circumstances and discuss a potential strategy to recover compensation. Call our team today to schedule your consultation.