As you bike to work in the morning, you feel overjoyed for the very fact that it's Friday. You begin to mull over your activities for the weekend, but then all of a sudden, a quickly approaching car snaps your mind back to the present. You try to avoid it, but it's too late, and the car strikes your bicycle and sends you flying and hitting the ground. You have just been involved in a pedestrian accident due to a careless driver.
Pedestrian accidents can quickly disrupt your daily routine, as they may lead to serious injuries that result in a difficult and long recovery period. However, if you have been hurt in a California pedestrian collision stemming from another person's carelessness, you have the right to seek justice.
The difficult aftermath of a pedestrian accident
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, about 5,000 pedestrians passed away as the result of car accidents, and about 76,000 of them suffered injuries as a result of these collisions in 2012.
If you were the victim in a pedestrian accident, you might be unable to work for an extended period of time, which can take a financial toll on your family -- especially if you are the sole or primary breadwinner. In addition, you may rack up hefty treatment-related medical bills. Fortunately, if the driver of the motor vehicle was acting negligently or recklessly behind the wheel -- such as by speeding or driving too quickly for traffic conditions -- you may be able to recover damages for your injuries.
Insurance company settlements
Following your accident, the reportedly at-fault driver's insurance company may end up offering you a lowball settlement. The problem with quickly accepting an insurance company settlement is that these companies strive to make their claim payments as low as possible. As a result, you will likely be accepting a settlement offer that really should be much higher considering the circumstances surrounding your accident.
When addressing a pedestrian collision, insurance companies often make a claim of contributory negligence, which allows them to justify paying you an extremely low settlement amount. Contributory negligence basically means that if you contributed to your pedestrian accident, you will be permitted to recover only the percentage of damages for which the driver was responsible.
Based on this premise, the insurance company may assert that you were not following road rules at the time of the crash and thus are not entitled to a larger damage amount. However, an applied understanding of the law may help you to pursue the full amount of benefits to which you are rightfully entitled following your unfortunate incident.