You’re on your way home from the store. You’re crossing through a crosswalk. Suddenly you hear the screech of tires. You see the car. You brace for impact. The next thing you know you’re thrown onto the hood of the car. Before you know it, you’re up and over the roof and you’re on the ground. You’re terrified there might be another car. You try to get up, but you can’t. The pain is just too bad. Someone starts rushing toward you, trying to help. Your vision starts tunneling. Soon, everything goes black. You have flashes of consciousness in the ambulance. But, nothing was sustained. You wake up in the hospital. You have a badly broken leg, ligament damage to your knee, a broken arm, a concussion, and probably a traumatic brain injury. Your whole world is spinning. Things are coming at you really fast. You’re probably wondering what to do.
Can I recover for my damages if I have been hit by a car?
California law allows for people who have been injured by the negligence, recklessness, and/or intentional acts of others to recover for their injuries. Intentional acts include things like battery and assault. Battery means a harmful or offensive contact, without consent, that causes harm. If someone punches you in the face, that’s a battery. Negligent acts mean that a person owes you a duty of care, they breached that duty of care, which caused your damages. People owe others all kinds of duties of care. If you’re driving down the road you owe all the other people on the road a duty of care. That duty of care means that you have to act like a reasonably prudent person would under the circumstances. Reasonably prudent people take care not to hurt others. So, if a person runs a red light because they are responding to a text message, then they have failed to act like a reasonably prudent person. They are said to have breached their duty of care. If that breach of duty of care causes you damages, you may be entitled to damages regardless of whether you are injured in a pedestrian accident, a bike accident, or a car accident.
What can I recover if I have been hit by a car?
If you have been hit by a car you can recover damages. Civil courts cannot throw people in jail. But, civil courts can award money damages. Money damages can include economic damages, and non-economic damages.
Economic damages includes things like:
- Your lost wages (both past and future) as a result of the accident;
- Your medical expenses (both past and anticipated) as a result of the accident;
- Reimbursement for damaged property as a result of the accident (say you’re walking along and someone runs you over while you’re carrying your laptop, you’re entitled to money to compensate you for that); and
- Funeral and burial costs if tragically someone passed (that is called a wrongful death).
Non-economic damages include things like:
- Pain from the accident;
- Suffering from the accident; and
- Emotional distress caused by the accident (this can be significant since many people who are injured while walking become afraid to walk, which is kind of an important part of most people’s lives).
What do I do if I have been hit by a car?
The shock of getting hit by a car is traumatic. One minute you are walking along. The next minute, you’re getting hit by at least 2,000 pounds. That’ll do bad things to a human body. The main thing to do is recover. After that? You can seek justice.
You’ll want a lawyer who will fight for you. Pedestrian accident attorney John McCarthy has dedicated his life to helping people who have been hurt by the intentional, reckless, and careless acts of others. He is focused on bringing your case to trial to getting you the justice you deserve whether that takes weeks, months, or years. Pedestrian accident attorney McCarthy is a champion for people. He knows that corporations and insurance companies make their money by taking in more money than they pay out. He knows that they will do everything they can to pay you as little as possible. But, he will do everything he can to maximize the value of your case.
We take cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that we don’t get paid unless we get you paid. We offer a free, confidential, case evaluation form. The form goes straight to Attorney McCarthy’s inbox. John makes it a point to review and respond to every inquiry, usually within 24 hours. After reviewing the inquiry we typically set up a free consultation, or, if we decide we’re not in a position to help, send resources to help understand the law, find an attorney, and even represent yourself.
There are statutes of limitations. Those statutes of limitations put a deadline for how long people have to make claims or files lawsuits. Typically people have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in California. However, some of those statutes come up fast (some as little as 6 months) and you will want to talk to an attorney before then. So, why wait?