Walking is supposed to be healthy and environmentally friendly, but there are potential dangers, especially in a busy city which has never really been adapted for pedestrian use.
The very real dangers of being hit by a vehicle make walking near a busy highway, or crossing one, a risky exercise. Pedestrian accidents can be very serious and can result in severe financial hardship unless you can recover damages from the driver who hit you.
Contact a personal injury attorney to see what your legal options are.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
The majority of pedestrian accidents happen when someone walks across the road at a crosswalk and is hit by a driver who fails to yield the right of way.
In a busy city, it is also possible to be hit by a vehicle that is driven by a reckless driver, or someone who has lost control of their vehicle and it swerves off the road and mounts a sidewalk.
Injuries can easily be fatal, as it is quite likely that when a pedestrian is hit by even a slow moving vehicle he or she will be pushed over and possibly pushed, crushed or run over.
After a car crash, a pedestrian would likely have multiple injuries, including:
- crushed tissue and bones
- severe lacerations
- spinal injuries
- brain injuries
Pedestrian Accidents: Who’s at Fault?
There are few exceptions to the most likely scenario that the driver who hits a pedestrian is at fault.
All drivers need to keep a look out for pedestrians, especially on busy city streets, on approach to crosswalks, when making a turn at an intersection, when close to a school, or entering a car park where pedestrians are likely to be walking to and from their own vehicles.
There are a few situations in which a driver who hits a pedestrian may not be entirely at fault. For example, if a pedestrian walks out into a road without looking.
This could be something that might be a possibility where elderly people are living close by or in a shopping area.
Children sometimes run out into the road without thinking what they are doing.
More rarely, a vehicle may swerve off the road to avoid a collision with another vehicle and end up hitting a pedestrian instead, or the vehicle may have a defect and this could cause the vehicle to mount the sidewalk.
The degree of fault does affect a personal injury claim. If the pedestrian is even partly to blame for the accident, it may mean that a claim is either not permitted or the amount claimed is reduced by the percent blamed on the actions of the pedestrian.
The exact rules on contributory negligence depend on the state in which the accident took place.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
All pedestrian accidents can become complicated. The driver at fault may claim that the pedestrian was partly to blame or even wholly to blame.
The time period after a serious injury may mean that it is hard to obtain sufficient evidence of what actually happened. Whatever the circumstances, it is not a smart move to try and negotiate directly with the at-fault party or his or her insurer all by yourself.
Use an experienced personal injury attorney to do the negotiating.