If you are injured as a pedestrian, chances are your injuries will be severe, even if the vehicle was moving at a slow rate of speed. In the aftermath of such an accident, there are a number of issues that you’ll need to address.
How Will Your Medical Expenses Be Paid?
California is considered an “at-fault” state for motor vehicle insurance purposes. That means that, when you have been hurt in any type of a motor vehicle accident, you must first look to your insurance company for reimbursement or coverage. As a pedestrian, that will typically be your health insurance provider. If your health insurance provider pays for your medical bills, and you subsequently obtain a judgment against the driver for your injuries, you can expect that your insurance company will seek reimbursement from your damage award of any medical expenses paid.
Who Should You Sue?
The person driving the car is obviously a potential defendant. As a general rule, whenever a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian, it’s assumed that the motor vehicle operator was at fault. That’s not always the case, though. While the motorist will almost always be responsible for hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk, the motorist can also be responsible for injuries to a pedestrian not in the crosswalk, if it can be shown that, with reasonable action by the driver, the accident could have been avoided.
However, there are other parties that may be potentially responsible:
- The municipality may have some responsibility—for example, if there was a traffic light out or the accident occurred because the roadway was not properly maintained, you may have a cause of action against the city, town or county. You may also have a claim against a governmental entity if you can show that the crosswalk was placed in a dangerous or inappropriate location.
- The vehicle manufacturer may have responsibility—if the accident happened because of a malfunction or defect in the driver’s car, you may be able to recover damages under a theory of product liability.
Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates
To discuss your legal needs with an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll-free at 1-800-228-0507. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Se Habla Espanol.