Determining Liability in a Pedestrian Accident Case

Posted on 03/15/24

in Personal Injury

Pedestrian accidents often leave victims with extensive losses, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, and more. However, recovering compensation after a pedestrian accident can be challenging. In order for a victim to successfully receive monetary compensation, they have to prove that the other party caused the incident. Determining liability for a pedestrian accident claim involves multiple steps.

Gathering Evidence After the Incident

The more evidence available after a pedestrian accident occurs, the more likely it is that liability becomes clear. There are various types of evidence that can help establish fault after a pedestrian accident in California. This evidence can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Photographs taken by individuals at the scene of the incident
  • Video surveillance footage from cameras on nearby businesses, homes, or dashcams
  • Statements from those involved in the incident or from any eyewitnesses who saw what happened
  • Any accident report or police report filled out at the scene
  • Medical records associated with any injuries the pedestrian sustained

Working Through the Four Elements of Negligence

Ultimately what your Oakland pedestrian accident lawyer will attempt to establish with the evidence is that the four elements of negligence are present period without these four elements being present, securing compensation is nearly impossible.

  1. Duty of Care. Your attorney will work to show that you were owed a duty of care by the person who allegedly caused the injury (the defendant). This duty of care will look different depending on the exact situation, but let us suppose the pedestrian accident was caused by the negligent actions of a driver. Anytime a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they automatically owe a duty of care to others around them. This includes individuals in other vehicles, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. A driver’s duty of care involves them following all traffic laws and not operating recklessly.
  2. Breach of Duty. Various ways that a driver can breach their duty of care to pedestrians include driving while distracted or impaired, speeding, failing to use traffic signals, or failing to stop at a stop sign or stop light. The role of gathering the evidence we mentioned previously is to adequately show that the at-fault party breached their duty of care.
  3. Causation. After showing that the alleged negligent party likely breached their duty to the pedestrian involved, an attorney will need to show that the breach of duty is what actually caused the injury to occur.
  4. Damages. An attorney will work with medical and economic experts to adequately show that the pedestrian accident victim sustained some sort of monetary losses as a result of the incident.

Speaking to an Attorney for Help

We strongly recommend that pedestrian accident victims seek assistance from an attorney who can help them through every aspect of this process. Determining liability for a pedestrian accident claim is challenging and often involves working through the court system to obtain the necessary documentation. Pedestrian accident claims must be filed properly and on time, per insurance carrier deadlines and the overall personal injury statute of limitations in California.