Did you know that even an ordinary routine can turn into a disastrous experience? Pedestrian accidents can happen anytime, whether you’re just taking a quick stroll or simply walking to work.
According to Pedestrian accident law firm Belgum, Fry & Van Allen LLP, these accidents can be serious and may lead to lifelong injuries or death. In fact, California’s pedestrian fatality rate is almost 25% higher than the national average.
Victims of pedestrian accidents may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim to cover various losses. In a fault based system like in California, the person at fault (responsible for causing the accident) and their insurance company are typically responsible for covering the damages, including medical costs, compensating them for wages they lost, and covering general pain and suffering.
In this article, we will go through the complexities of pedestrian accidents, its common causes, injuries it can inflict and uncover how those affected can seek justice.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
As a pedestrian or a driver, you have to be aware of these common causes in order to take necessary precautions and avoid potential accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Many drivers are often preoccupied with their phones or other distractions, which can lead to a loss of focus and result in accidents involving pedestrians.
- Failure to Yield: Some drivers fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks or intersections, causing collisions and injuries.
- Impaired Driving: Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs have reduced reaction times and impaired judgment, making them more likely to cause accidents involving pedestrians.
- Poor visibility: Especially during the night or in inclement weather conditions. Drivers may not see pedestrians in time to avoid a collision.
Types of Injuries From Pedestrian Accidents
According to auto accident lawyerJack D. Franks, pedestrian accidents can result in minor cuts and bruises to more severe fractures and head trauma. When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, the impact can cause immediate injuries, such as lacerations, abrasions, and contusions. These injuries may seem minor, but they can still require medical attention and may leave lasting scars.
Pedestrian accidents can also lead to more serious injuries, such as broken bones. The force of impact from a vehicle can cause fractures in the arms, legs, pelvis, or even the spine. These injuries often require surgery, immobilization, and rehabilitation to heal properly.
Head trauma is another common injury seen in pedestrian accidents. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, their head may strike the ground or the vehicle, resulting in concussions, traumatic brain injuries, or skull fractures. These injuries can have long-term consequences and may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Aside from physical injuries, pedestrians involved in accidents may also suffer from emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety. These psychological injuries can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life and may require therapy or counseling to address.
Understanding Legal Liability in Pedestrian Accidents
Legal liability in pedestrian accidents can vary depending on the circumstances and the actions of the parties involved. One of the most important factors is whether the driver or the pedestrian acted negligently or recklessly. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, while recklessness involves a conscious disregard for the safety of others.
In general, drivers have a duty to exercise caution and follow traffic laws when driving near pedestrians. If a driver fails to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk or drives at an excessive speed, they may be held liable for any injuries caused.
On the other hand, pedestrians also have a duty to exercise reasonable care for their own safety. If a pedestrian darts out into traffic without warning or crosses the road against a traffic signal, they may be partially or fully responsible for the accident.
Legal liability in pedestrian accidents can be complex, and each case is unique. The specific laws and regulations in your jurisdiction may also impact the outcome. Consulting with a personal injury attorney who specializes in pedestrian accidents can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Legal Options for Pedestrian Accident Victims
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, you may have legal avenues to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.
One of the legal options available to pedestrian accident victims is filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. This can include the driver of the vehicle that struck you or any other individual or entity whose negligence contributed to the accident. By filing a lawsuit, you can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Another legal option is pursuing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This involves negotiating a settlement with the insurance company to receive compensation for your injuries and damages. On the flip side, insurance companies often try to minimize the amount they pay out, that’s why it’s best to have an experienced personal injury attorney negotiate on your behalf.
Aside from those, if the pedestrian accident was caused by a defective product, such as a faulty crosswalk signal or a malfunctioning vehicle part, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit.
Seeking Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Seeking compensation is meant to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.
To pursue compensation, you should first gather evidence to support your claim. This may include photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, medical records, and any other relevant documentation.
Next, you should notify the at-fault party’s insurance company and file a claim. You have to provide a detailed account of the accident, your injuries, and the damages you have suffered. The insurance company will then investigate the claim and determine the amount of compensation they’re willing to offer.
If the insurance company fails to provide a fair settlement, you may consider filing a lawsuit. Consulting with a personal injury attorney who specializes in pedestrian accidents can greatly increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. They’ll guide you through the legal process, negotiate with the insurance company, and represent your interests in court if necessary.
Pedestrian accidents can happen. These accidents can lead to a variety of injuries and may result from several common causes. Understanding both the causes and types of injuries associated with pedestrian accidents can help promote safety and help take preventive measures.
Knowing the legal liability and your options for seeking compensation is key in these situations. Remember to consult with a lawyer who can guide you through the process and help you receive the compensation you need for your pedestrian accident injuries.