Pedestrian accidents can be the result of a variety of problems ranging from negligent drivers to bad weather to dangerous road conditions. Whatever of those issues played a role in your situation, you've likely endured substantial harm as a result of the collision. To get just compensation, make sure you've retained an experienced Santa Barbara pedestrian accident lawyer who can help you use all the tools available to you.
Just 50 miles to our south, a 58-year-old Santa Barbara man lost his life a few months ago trying to cross an Oxnard street on foot. The driver of the vehicle that hit him fled after the collision. The pedestrian died at the scene as a result of his injuries.
Law enforcement officers caught up to the driver a short time later and he was charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit and run, both felonies.
This type of scenario is regrettably common. Based on data from the state's Office of Traffic Safety, pedestrian deaths made up "25.6% of all state traffic fatalities." Of those who died while using the roads on foot, roughly 23% of those people were the victims of hit-and-run drivers, according to the OTS's statistics.
If you, as a pedestrian, were hurt by a vehicle driver who fled the scene and was not caught, your personal injury case can be especially challenging, but it is far from impossible. The law gives you a two-year window to file your injury lawsuit, which means you have 24 months to identify who that hit-and-run driver was.
What Can Be Done After a Hit-and-Run Injury Accident
A skilled legal advocate can provide invaluable assistance in both investigating the crash itself and investigating the identity of the hit-and-run driver. This includes obtaining eyewitness statements and video footage from nearby traffic and security cameras. Even just a fleeting image that yields a partial license plate may be enough to identify the owner of the vehicle and from there pinpoint who was driving where the accident took place.
Additionally, your legal representative can go over various options that may exist to help you get much-needed compensation. These may include, among other things, (1) filing a claim with your own auto insurance company based on the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy or (2) proceeding to court against "John Doe" defendants while you continue to investigate the identity of the driver.
Furthermore, the details of your case may point to yet another option -- pursuing a claim against a third party. For example, if the evidence from your accident indicates that the crosswalk where the hit-and-run driver struck you was inadequately maintained (faded or worn away crosswalk paint, malfunctioning or inoperable "walk" signals), then you may have a viable claim against the governmental entity responsible for that area's maintenance and upkeep.
Whatever the difficulties of your case, don't assume that your case is too small or that success is beyond reach. The diligent and knowledgeable personal Injury lawyer in Santa Barbara at the law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP are here to be your trusted partner every step along the way and to help you get a positive outcome. Contact one of our helpful attorneys at 805-617-1365 or through our website to get a free case consultation.