The Consequences of Not Hiring a San Jose Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Warning Sign isolated on clean blue skySome pedestrian accident cases may involve one party claiming damages from the other party (sometimes a car driver) who caused the collision. However, this is not always the norm. When the other party is refusing to accept fault or if the insurance company is denying the pedestrian accident claim, hiring legal help will be necessary. Otherwise, injured victims will be left paying for their own costly medical bills and other expenses correlating to the crash.

Do I Need to Hire a San Jose Pedestrian Accident Attorney?

Not sure if a San Jose pedestrian accident attorney can benefit your case? Consider these 5 consequences of not seeking legal counsel before settling on a final decision.


1. Missed Opportunity for Pedestrian Accident Victims to Recover All Quantifiable Damages

A pile of envelopes with delivery stamps saying balance overdue symbolizing bills and debt on an isolated white background - 3D renderFollowing an incident, it is not unusual for an insurance adjuster to contact a pedestrian accident victim to immediately settle the case. The goal is for them to avoid negotiations by offering compensation for current medical expenses and property damage.

However, what may not be known to the injured party is that they are entitled to much more than some bills or out-of-pocket expenses and can account for:

  • Current and Future Medical Expenses: This includes costs associated with immediate care, ongoing treatment, rehabilitation, medication, and assisted live-in care.
  • Lost Wages and Earning Capacity: Compensation is available for missed work due to injuries, as well as long-term reductions in earning potential.
  • Pain and Suffering: Physical and emotional trauma resulting from the accident are considered non-economic losses, but can certainly be compensated.
  • Disability and Disfigurement: If long-term disabilities or disfigurement are sustained due to the pedestrian accident, compensation for the lasting impact is available to victims.
  • Loss of Consortium: A spouse or partner may seek compensation for the impact the accident has on their relationship.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: The diminished ability to participate in activities due to the accident can be compensated.

Pedestrian accidents can lead to significant medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  

Understanding the full extent of your damages is crucial to securing fair and full compensation.  A pedestrian accident lawyer investigates accidents to identify and document such losses, maximizing the potential settlement.

Accepting early offers from the insurance companies cannot be rescinded, and once agreed upon, the pedestrian loses the right to seek additional compensation. 


2. Unsuccessful in Proving the Other Party’s Liability

Motion blur of a car speeding towards the junction with Stop signPedestrian accidents occur for many reasons. According to the San Jose police department, the city has historically carried a high percentage of fatal auto and pedestrian accident cases.

To recover financial compensation, the cause of the accident must be identified and negligence must be proven. Negligence is often associated with the following common causes of San Jose pedestrian accidents:

  • Driver Inattention: This includes failing to yield right-of-way (especially in crosswalks), distracted driving (phones, devices), driving under the influence (drugs, alcohol, fatigue), and neglecting to use turn signals.
  • Reckless Driving: Motor vehicles that are speeding, reckless maneuvers, and overtaking other vehicles can significantly reduce reaction time to stop for crossing pedestrians.
  • Vehicle Defects: Malfunctioning brakes, tires, or other critical components can cause accidents even with a responsible driver.
  • Roadway Issues: Poor design (unexpected crosswalks, obstructions), inadequate maintenance (lack of sidewalks, shoulders), and engineering flaws can create hazardous situations for pedestrians.

Negligent drivers are often to blame for most pedestrian accidents, but failing to prove their negligence will result in losing the case. 

Proving Negligence of How Pedestrian Accidents Occur

Distract 4 near Berryessa and District 5 in east San Jose are noted as containing some of the most traffic and pedestrian fatalities, as well as severe crashes of the 10 council districts in San Jose. 

With driver negligence at the root of many traffic accidents, help from an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can prove liability by presenting the four factors of negligence. 

First, it must be presented that the driver (defendant) owed a duty of care to act reasonably and avoid harming pedestrians. Second, it must be demonstrated that the driver breached that duty by failing to act with reasonable caution, such as by disobeying traffic signals. 

Third, there must be clear causation, proving the driver’s breach directly caused the pedestrian accident, resulting in the fourth factor of suffering injuries and other damages.


3. Mistakenly Accept a Low Settlement Offer

Dishonest businessman telling lies, lying businessperson holding fingers crossed behind his backDirectly coordinating with the insurance company runs many risks, as they can be misleading and deceptive.

To minimize costs while maximizing profits, an insurance adjuster will intentionally undervalue the severity of injuries and the overall aftermath of a pedestrian accident, ensuring victims that there will not be an opportunity for a better offer.

Without knowing the true value of their cases, many victims mistakenly accept grossly inadequate settlement offers. This is a common occurrence when not consulting with a pedestrian accident lawyer first. 

To combat these tactics and recover maximum compensation, it is vital to seek expert legal guidance. A San Jose pedestrian accident lawyer will protect clients’ rights by aggressively negotiating with insurance companies and preventing an unfair deal from being made. 


4. Deficiency in Evidence Collection

san jose pedestrian accident attorneys can help with personal injury claimsIn addition to proving the other party is guilty of negligence, a sufficient amount of evidence must be compiled to support the pedestrian accident claim. This step is vital, as it illustrates how the pedestrian accident happened and why. 

This is a task that will not only be difficult to accomplish without any prior experience in handling personal injury cases but will also prove to be challenging while suffering from serious injuries. 

However, to strengthen a case, a law firm will also work with expert witnesses for their testimony in their respective fields. 

For example, an accident reconstructionist can recreate a model of the accident, illustrating how the event escalated. Or, a medical doctor can confirm the severity of the injury and the long-term effects it will have on victims. 

Missed evidence that can dramatically alter a case are police reports, surveillance footage, accident scene photos, and eyewitness statements. A San Jose pedestrian accident attorney can collect such evidence and more to prove the other party’s liability.


5. Failure to Acknowledge Long-Term Consequences of Serious Injuries

Get legal representation to pursue compensation for a permanent disabilityFollowing a personal injury accident and most car accidents, injuries are often apparent and are diagnosed with an immediate medical treatment plan. Insurance companies typically will not refute these types of injuries or compensation for medical bills. 

However, it is the potentially permanent or persisting impact of sustained injuries that must really be taken into consideration. While an initial settlement may cover current medical expenses and doctor visits, it will not take into account the cost of an ailment that could progress with time or infection from surgery. 

There are a variety of injuries that may arise from a serious pedestrian accident, as well as a range of physical consequences to consider. Common pedestrian accident injuries and ailments include the following:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Impacts from a vehicle or the ground can cause TBIs, leading to coma, cognitive decline, or physical limitations. Symptoms may appear immediately or develop over time.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Collisions can severely damage the spine, disrupting communication between the brain and body. This can result in partial or complete paralysis, permanently impacting mobility.
  • Amputation and Crush Injuries: Crushed limbs or complications from an injury can cause permanent disability and disfigurement.
  • Severe Lacerations and Abrasions: The impact of the crash can cause deep cuts, requiring stitches, skin grafts, and permanent scarring.
  • Orthopedic Trauma and Fractures: The force of a collision can cause broken bones and other orthopedic injuries. These may require surgery, rehabilitation, and overall mobility limitations. 
  • Pedestrian Fatalities: Fatal pedestrian accidents can cause surviving family members psychological trauma and financial stress.

Once personal injury claims are settled, it cannot be undone. This means that any future medical costs will be left for the victim to cover. It is vital to consider the devastating physical, mental, and financial devastation pedestrian accidents can cause to victims and their families.


To Learn About Your Case, Contact a San Jose Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Storm clouds make for a dramatic sunset over sprawling San Jose.If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident in Santa Clara County, navigating the legal system and maximizing compensation can be overwhelming.  A San Jose pedestrian accident lawyer can advocate for your rights, handle complex insurance matters, and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

Sometimes, committing to work with a personal injury law firm can be daunting, but the consequences of attempting to take on the big insurance companies alone can significantly hurt a pedestrian accident case. 

We understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges ahead. To learn how we can alleviate these stresses and help you achieve an optimal outcome, please schedule a free consultation with our San Jose law firm today. 

Our award-winning legal team at Valley Accident Lawyers can discuss your case and detail how we plan to help you win your case. 

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