Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian crashes are an unfortunate and all-too-common reality in our society today. Each year, thousands of individuals are tragically injured, or worse, killed, while walking on or near the city’s roads. The devastating impact of such incidents is heightened by the fact that pedestrians, unlike vehicle occupants, have no physical barrier to protect them from the force of a collision. The potential for serious, life-altering injuries or fatalities is therefore significantly higher with these types of cases.
The Unique Vulnerabilities of Pedestrians
Pedestrians are inherently vulnerable when walking around vehicle traffic. Unlike motorists enclosed in a protective shell, pedestrians have no such barrier when involved in an accident. This lack of physical protection significantly amplifies the severity of injuries that can result from a collision.
The prevalence and consequences of pedestrian accidents are startling. Based on the estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) pedestrian deaths in the US recently reached their highest level in 40 years. An estimated 7,485 pedestrians were fatally struck by vehicles in 2021, a startling average of 20 deaths each day.
A significant factor contributing to this devastating statistic is speeding. The GHSA reports that the percentage of speeding-related pedestrian accidents involving children aged 15 and younger more than doubled over the preceding three years. In addition, the risk of death for pedestrians rises exponentially with the speed of a vehicle – from 10% at 23 mph to 90% at 58 mph.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are often caused by a combination of factors. Here are some of the most common:
- Speeding: As we discussed in the previous section, speeding is one of the major contributors to pedestrian crashes. When a driver is going too fast, their ability to stop in time or react to pedestrians is reduced. This could result in devastating consequences if a pedestrian is in the path of a speeding vehicle.
- Reckless Driving: This includes aggressive maneuvers like quick lane changes, not signaling, tailgating, and not respecting traffic signs or signals. Such reckless actions can lead to unexpected situations for pedestrians.
- Distracted Driving: Distractions such as using a phone, eating, or adjusting the radio can take a driver’s attention off the road. If a pedestrian is crossing at the same time, the distracted driver may not see them until it’s too late.
- Impaired Driving: Alcohol or drugs can significantly affect a driver’s judgment, reaction times, and overall driving abilities. Impaired drivers pose a serious threat to everyone on the road, including pedestrians.
- Drowsy Driving: Fatigue can also impair a driver’s attention and reaction times. A drowsy driver might not notice a pedestrian in their path, causing an accident.
- Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way: Drivers are obligated to yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks and intersections. However, failure to do so is a common cause of pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrians might also share some responsibility for these crashes when they exhibit behaviors such as not using designated crosswalks to cross the road, being distracted by their phones, or not following pedestrian signals. Environmental factors like poor street lighting, lack of crosswalks, or badly maintained roads can also lead to a pedestrian crash. These conditions might make it difficult for drivers to notice pedestrians in time to prevent a collision.
Typical Injuries Sustained in a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents can lead to a wide range of injuries, from minor scrapes to life-altering conditions. The degree of injury largely depends on factors such as the speed of the vehicle at impact, the location of the collision, and the health status of the pedestrian at the time of the accident.
Here are some of the most common injuries that may result from pedestrian crashes:
Scrapes and Bruises
Often the first and most visible injuries after an accident, scrapes and bruises can range from minor discomfort to severe tissue damage. While they may seem minor, they still require medical attention to prevent complications like infections.
Sprains and Strains
These are common injuries in pedestrian accidents and typically involve damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These can occur in any part of the body, but ankles and wrists are particularly prone.
These can occur in various areas of the body like the arms, legs, ribs, or skull. Broken bones can range from simple fractures that require casting and time to heal, to complex fractures requiring surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
When the force of the collision causes the bones in a joint to be pushed out of alignment, a dislocation can occur. This type of injury is painful and can lead to long-term issues if not properly treated.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Occur when a pedestrian’s head hits a vehicle or the road, resulting in anything from mild concussions to severe brain damage that can affect memory, cognition, and various physical functions.
Spinal Cord Injuries
These can happen if the collision impacts the pedestrian’s back or neck. Depending on the severity, spinal cord injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis.
These can be some of the most dangerous injuries because they aren’t always immediately apparent. Internal bleeding or organ damage can occur due to the force of the impact, requiring immediate medical attention.
In the most unfortunate circumstances, the force exerted by a moving vehicle can lead to fatal injuries. This can even happen at relatively low speeds depending on where and how the pedestrian is struck.
Establishing Fault in Pedestrian Accident Cases
The stakes are high in pedestrian accident cases, especially when it comes to establishing fault. The opposing party’s insurance company will likely do everything it can to shift as much blame as possible onto you. And because many pedestrian crashes tend to result in more severe injuries, insurers often devote extensive resources to fighting these claims in order to minimize their losses.
Engaging an experienced pedestrian crash attorney as early as possible after the accident puts you in the best possible position for your lawyer to build a strong case, prove the other party’s fault, and recover maximum compensation.
Contact Our Reputable Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian crashes present unique risks, often leading to severe, life-altering injuries, and even death. Understanding the root causes of these accidents, the range of potential injuries, and your legal rights as a victim is of paramount importance.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Pennsylvania, Washington DC, or Maryland, Kingbird Legal is here to help. We offer free consultations and case assessments to help you understand your legal options. Reach out to us today and let us support you in your journey towards justice and recovery.
We work on a contingent fee basis. We do not get paid unless you do.
Kingbird Legal specializes in representing personal injury victims in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, catastrophic injury cases, wrongful death, premises liability (“slip and fall”) accidents, medical malpractice and defective product cases.