7 Indicators That You Need to Hire a Bakersfield Pedestrian Accident Attorney

How Do I Know if I Need to Hire a Bakersfield Pedestrian Accident Attorney? A walk sign on park

The purpose of filing a personal injury claim is for victims to be reimbursed for their current losses as well as obtain compensation for anticipated damages that are a direct result of the incident. 

Because pedestrian accidents can cause serious damages, it is not uncommon for an insurance company to fight these claims and negotiate a much smaller settlement amount. In other instances, unique factors may compromise the case’s success.

When a claim is being questioned, legal counsel will be necessary. Here are seven instances in which a Bakersfield pedestrian accident attorney will benefit a case. 


1. Involved in a Hit-and-Run Accident  

speeding car fleeing accident scene

It is an illegal offense to flee an accident scene. If a driver hits a pedestrian and does not prioritize the pedestrian’s safety by calling the police and reporting the accident, the hit-and-run driver can face criminal charges. However, the driver must be identified, first.

After a hit-and-run pedestrian accident, the victim should immediately notify the police and share as many details about the accident as possible, including the driver’s appearance, the direction the driver fled, and a description of the vehicle (make, model, color, etc.). 

This will help the authorities find and locate the driver. A Bakersfield pedestrian accident lawyer will review the case and evaluate the full extent of damages, including economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. 

If the hit-and-run driver is not identified, an attorney can evaluate the victim’s auto insurance policy and apply benefits, like uninsured motorist coverage, to get the victim compensated for sustained injuries. Working with a pedestrian accident attorney ensures all applicable benefits are utilized.


2. Suffered Injuries

Health care billing statement with stethoscope, bottle of medicine for doctor's work in medical center stone background regarding an injured person suffering from physical injury of a car accident

The city of Bakersfield ranks as the seventh most hazardous areas for pedestrians, tallying 2,000 car-related injuries every year.

Following a pedestrian accident, securing a comprehensive medical evaluation from a doctor is absolutely crucial. This should be done regardless of the assumed severity of injuries.

Severe injuries, like internal bleeding or a punctured organ, may not present immediate, obvious symptoms. However, they can be life-threatening, which is why early diagnosis and medical treatment are critical.

Also, some pedestrian accident injuries, like traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and spinal cord injuries can worsen if not properly treated early on.

Proper medical care and physical therapy can grow to be very costly. Extensive therapy, including physical and occupational therapy, may be required for long-term recovery.  While health insurance can help, even with co-pays, a single therapy session can affect an injured victim’s finances.

Working with an experienced Bakersfield pedestrian attorney will take these expenses into account when calculating how much the at-fault driver’s insurance company will owe in the personal jury settlement.


3. A Permanent Disability Developed

man in wheelchair from personal injury physical injury

It’s important to consider the long-term effects an injury can have on a victim. For example, if an individual is unable to return to work due to permanent disability that resulted from the accident, lost wages or diminished earning capacity must be considered.

Additionally, victims may be forced to accept lower-paying positions with reduced hours, hindering career progression.

Pedestrian accidents can result in severe injuries such as amputations or cognitive impairments. These significantly impact the ability to work and can alter the victim’s quality of life.

When evaluating the value of pedestrian accident cases, a personal injury attorney will account for these types of losses and prove their validity, as well.


4. Insurance Is Not Offering a Fair Settlement

Damages claim form and pen. Insurance concept.

If the other party is refuting liability, it will need to be factually proven with evidence that the driver was at fault. 

After reporting a pedestrian accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company assigns an insurance adjuster to investigate the incident, determine if compensation is owed, and establish how much should be paid out.  

It is crucial to understand that insurance companies prioritize minimizing payouts, not an injured victim’s best interest. This can result in a claim being significantly reduced or denied entirely.

However, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney will also investigate to prove fault and damages the insurance company owes. By gathering a comprehensive understanding of how the accident occurred, legal representation will prove fault on the other party.

A dedicated legal team will analyze medical records and bills to determine the extent of injuries and potential compensation. Additionally, consulting with Bakersfield pedestrian accident attorneys experienced in personal injury protects clients’ rights throughout the claims process.

They will also handle all communication with the insurance company to promote a full and fair settlement. 


5. Suffered Property Damage

Damaged mobile phone with cracked touch screen.

Following a pedestrian accident, victims are entitled to reimbursement for all damaged personal belongings. This can include items like a smartphone, headphones, or a tablet.

A Bakersfield pedestrian accident claim should provide enough means to either repair or replace the damaged items, as California law allows victims to seek the full extent of damages. This includes the expected costs to replace damages, like property damage.

A pedestrian accident attorney will maintain detailed records of all out-of-cost expenses with invoices and receipts. It will also be advised not to discard any of the damaged items until the pedestrian accident case has concluded.

Having clear documentation strengthens pedestrian accident claims and facilitates an accurate assessment of damages.


6. Both the Driver and Pedestrian Are At Fault

Push button to cross road crosswalk sign in USA

In the event the pedestrian also shares fault with the driver, compensation may still be recovered. 

For instance, a pedestrian could share responsibility for a crash due to jaywalking on a busy street or for not wearing bright or fluorescent clothing while walking at night 

California operates under a comparative negligence system. This means any party involved in a pedestrian accident in Bakersfield can seek compensation for damages. However, the percentage of fault attributed to pedestrian directly impacts the final awarded amount.

If a jury determines the plaintiff is partly to blame for the pedestrian accident, they can recover compensation at a reduced percentage rate. For example, if the plaintiff is deemed 10% liable, the final awarded amount would be 90% of the total damages.

Bakersfield pedestrian accident lawyers advocate for a fair assessment of the accident, ensuring clients receive some compensation. This is necessary because insurance companies will be aggressive in placing as much blame as possible on pedestrians. 

By securing legal counsel, pedestrians involved in accidents where fault is shared will be better equipped to navigate the legal process. 


7. Pedestrian Accidents Resulting in Wrongful Death

Lady justice. Statue of Justice in library. Legal and law background concept

In the devastating event of a loved one’s passing due to a pedestrian accident, the surviving family can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, this process is complex.

Seeking legal counsel from an attorney specializing in wrongful death cases is crucial. Their expertise is vital in:

  • Preserving evidence essential for building a strong case
  • Initiating legal proceedings within the statute of limitations
  • Obtain witness testimonies to prove fault

The pedestrian accident lawyer will also recover the full extent of damages. In a wrongful death case, damages will vary from a non-fatal pedestrian accident case. Damages can include, loss of companionship, loss of emotional support, and mental health treatment costs.

Out-of-pocket expenses pertaining to the wrongful death are also considered. This includes burial costs, funeral expenses, and any medical expenses for treatment administered before the victim’s passing.


How a Bakersfield Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Will Help You

Fountain pen and cheque

Consulting with an attorney experienced in personal injury cases is vital throughout the claims process.  Bakersfield pedestrian accident attorneys will:

  • Protect your rights: They ensure clients understand their options to avoid making statements that could jeopardize pedestrian accident claims.
  • Facilitate communication with the insurance adjuster: Bakersfield pedestrian accident lawyers handle all communication with the insurance company, protecting clients from being misled into agreeing to biased, unfair deals.
  • Negotiate a fair settlement: Legal representation strengthens a Bakersfield pedestrian accident claim when it comes to negotiations, because lawyers understand the true value of the case.
  • Appeal a denied claim: If the insurance company denies a pedestrian accident claim, an attorney can effectively challenge their decision and pursue the fair compensation that is owed.

Seeking legal counsel early on significantly increases the chances of recovering maximum compensation, accounting for lost wages, property damage, medical treatment for physical injuries, and other damages.


The Top Bakersfield Pedestrian Accident Attorneys 

Consulting an attorney experienced in pedestrian accident cases in Bakersfield is highly recommended. Our personal injury law firm specializes in car accident cases, including pedestrian accidents.

Seeking legal counsel strengthens a case and increases the chances of securing a maximum settlement that reflects the full extent of sustained damages.

Contact Horizon Accident Lawyers in Bakersfield, CA

To learn how our Bakersfield pedestrian accident lawyers can help, schedule a free consultation today.


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