Had a collision in an LA crosswalk on my bike with a walker. How can I know who's right?
While cruising on my motorcycle in Downtown Los Angeles, I had a regrettable encounter with a pedestrian crossing at a signalized intersection. Both of us are firmly of the belief that the traffic light signaled in our favor. Given LA's bustling urban scene, I'm left wondering: are there any surveillance systems in place, or perhaps, common investigative techniques used to determine who's right? Furthermore, with the looming possibility of legal ramifications, I need guidance on pinpointing a competent lawyer for this type of case in California. How do I judge a lawyer's credibility and get a ballpark of their fees?
Evaluating the Scene of the Incident
Your situation in the Los Angeles crosswalk brings to light the complications that arise from traffic incidents, especially when both parties involved have conflicting views. The foremost concern here is establishing liability. In bustling urban areas like Downtown LA, many intersections are equipped with surveillance cameras managed by the city or private entities. These recordings can potentially provide conclusive evidence about the incident.
Applicable California Traffic Laws
For your specific incident, you should review:
- California Vehicle Code §21950 – Right-of-Way at Crosswalks.
- California Vehicle Code §21954 – Pedestrians Outside Crosswalks.
- City of Los Angeles Traffic Rules – (Homepage as specific page unknown).
Steps Towards Resolution
- Surveillance Footage: Begin by checking if the intersection has any city-operated cameras. Approach the City of Los Angeles’ traffic department or local police precinct for any available footage.
- Witness Statements: Collect statements from any witnesses present during the incident. Their accounts can play a crucial role in clarifying the sequence of events.
- Legal Representation: Given the complexities, it's advisable to find the right lawyer. A seasoned attorney, especially one with a background in auto accident cases, can guide you through the legal maze.
Legal Costs Breakdown in LA
|Initial Consultation||$250 - $500|
|Basic Representation||$1,500 - $3,500|
|Advanced Legal Representation||$5,000 - $15,000|
|Expert Witnesses & Analysis||$2,000 - $7,500|
|Court Fees & Misc. Expenses||$500 - $2,500|
Note: Costs might fluctuate based on the lawyer's experience, case complexity, and the length of the case.
For a more nuanced understanding, could you share more details about the incident? This can help in suggesting a more tailored approach. Don't hesitate to ask a free legal question if you have additional concerns.
Questions to Reflect On:
- Was there any property damage apart from personal injuries?
- Did you or the pedestrian undergo any medical examinations immediately after the incident?
- Are there any prior incidents or traffic violations on your record?
Q1: Who is generally held liable in a pedestrian-motorist accident in LA?
In California, liability is determined based on "comparative fault." This means both the pedestrian and motorist can share fault. The ultimate responsibility depends on the circumstances of the incident.
Q2: Can a pedestrian be held fully at fault?
Yes, if the pedestrian jaywalked, crossed against a traffic signal, or was otherwise negligent, they can be held entirely at fault.
Q3: What should one avoid doing immediately after such an accident?
Avoid admitting fault, signing any documents without reading, or settling without consulting an attorney.
Q4: How important is immediate medical attention even if injuries seem minor?
It's crucial. Immediate medical attention not only ensures your well-being but also serves as a critical piece of evidence in personal injury claims.
Q5: What if I cannot afford a lawyer?
Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they get paid only if you win. Always discuss payment structures during your initial consultation.