California is known for its year-round pleasant weather. The mild climate and beautiful views throughout the state make it a popular locale for biking and walking. Unfortunately, a walk or bike ride near a road that carries cars may be interrupted in the most unpleasant way – with a collision. If you or someone you know has been in an accident, reach out to a Sacramento accident attorney to learn what legal rights you have.
The most important thing to do after being hit by a car is to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t initially feel like you’ve incurred an injury, pay attention to any symptoms that arise in the hours, days, or even weeks immediately following the accident. Head injuries commonly present no immediate symptoms, even though there may be brain damage. It’s better to go to get a medical evaluation after an accident even if you aren’t necessarily in serious pain. A Sacramento accident attorney will also use your medical documents to fight for your case.
Once you’re sure you’ve received the appropriate medical treatment, try to gather as much evidence as possible. This can include:
Though you may feel it’s not necessary or perhaps you think it’s an expensive and excessive step, it’s important to seek legal advice after a collision. You never know if the other person will actually behave as nicely as they did in person when the bills start piling up and the insurance companies get involved. Seeking a legal evaluation from a Sacramento accident attorney right after the collision can help you understand your situation and anticipate potential events before they occur.
Pedestrians and bicyclists are at a severe disadvantage in a collision with a vehicle. They have limited to no protection, are typically traveling much more slowly, and are less capable of making a quick movement to get out of the way. For this reason, their injuries are almost always more severe than those of the individuals inside the car. Some of the more common injuries include:
As with car-to-car collisions, it’s important to determine who was at fault and to what degree. California is a partial-fault state, meaning that several individuals can be considered partially at fault for a single collision, instead of just one person or the other. You’ll need an experienced Sacramento accident attorney to help you prove fault.
There are several right-of-way laws in the state of California that are designed to protect pedestrians. This doesn’t mean that pedestrians always have the right-of-way, but they are generally protected and less likely to be considered at fault for a collision. Essentially, drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing the road within any marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. Pedestrians must show that the driver was negligent in order to receive compensation for his or her injuries resulting from the collision. Negligence may include:
Assigning blame in collisions between cars and bicycles can be more complicated as bicycles are meant to act as cars, but end up getting the brunt of the damage in collisions. Even though they are supposed to follow vehicle laws, they are difficult to see and behave much differently than motor vehicles. As with pedestrian collisions, fault is determined by negligent behavior, or the breach of duty of care as defined by California law.
Determining who is a fault is the base of determining compensation and legal consequences for collisions. It can be very difficult to consider all the relevant factors and make a strong case that you were not at all at fault. This is especially true if you were the individual driving the car, and the bicyclist or pedestrian has the advantage of being at a physical disadvantage when making their case. It’s important to seek legal advice from a Sacramento accident attorney that has experience with the type of collision you have been involved in. He or she will know how to navigate the system and how to make a strong argument for your innocence.
When an accident happens, it may seem your whole world has been turned upside down. At The Choyce Law Firm, we understand how emotionally and financially stressful an accident can be. That’s why we’ve dedicated over 15 years in fighting for legal and financial justice for victims of all types of accidents. Give us a call at (916) 306-0636 to speak to a compassionate, professional and dedicated Sacramento accident attorney who can help you.