You might not give your safety a second thought as you walk from place-to-place around town, but pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to serious injury.
Whether a driver is careless, reckless, distracted, or drunk, if he fails to see you crossing the street in time to stop, you could be seriously injured or killed—and that negligent driver should be held responsible.
Learn about the dangers pedestrians face and how the pedestrian accident attorneys at Mahaney & Pappas help protect your right to compensation when you or a loved one is hit by a car.
Primary Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2017, the most recent year for which data is currently available. On average, a pedestrian was killed every 88 minutes. That's 16 pedestrian deaths per day caused by traffic crashes. Only about 18 percent of these fatalities occurred at intersections.
When the driver of a vehicle is at fault in the crash, it's usually for one of the following reasons:
- Speeding. A motorist exceeding the speed limit is less likely to see a pedestrian and to be able to stop in time to avoid injury.
- Distracted driving. Taking your eyes off the road for even a split second is enough time for a pedestrian to step into a crosswalk without you seeing them.
- Failure to yield. When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, drivers must yield the right of way. If they don't yield and hit the pedestrian, they're usually at fault.
- Ignoring traffic signals. Pedestrians following a walk signal at an intersection rely on drivers obeying a stoplight or sign. Incidents often occur when motorists disobey traffic signals.
- Failing to signal a turn. If a person looks to check if a car is coming before crossing the street, he's relying on drivers to let them know if they're turning. Failing to signal a turn can have catastrophic consequences.
- Not driving for weather conditions. It's harder to stop on slick streets caused by rain or snow, so motorists must allow more time—and distance—to approach an intersection.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Impaired drivers are unable to judge the distance to pedestrian crossings and may not stop in time to avoid hitting someone. They might also have difficulty staying on the road, endangering people on pathways and sidewalks.
As a pedestrian, it's essential to your own safety that you're aware of these dangerous driving behaviors, but if you're struck by a driver doing one of these things, you shouldn't be held responsible. The driver who hit you is liable for your medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering.
Typical Pedestrian Injuries
Clearly, an unprotected pedestrian doesn’t stand a chance against a car or truck in a collision. Even injuries that aren't fatal can still be life-altering. Some common injuries sustained by pedestrians include:
- Broken bones. Being struck by a car and thrown to the pavement is likely to cause a few bone fractures. These injuries are extremely painful, and it can be difficult to heal completely.
- Traumatic brain injury. Striking your head against a car or the road can cause permanent and debilitating brain damage.
- Spinal cord damage. Fractured vertebrae often cut nerves in the spinal cord, causing partial or complete paralysis.
- Amputations. Being run over by a vehicle can sever a limb or result in the need for a surgical amputation.
- Soft-tissue injury. Bruises, lacerations, tears, dislocations, and sprains are some of the more minor injuries that occur in a car accident, but even these require costly medical treatment.
- Emotional trauma. It can be hard to recover emotionally from the trauma of being hit by a car. Expensive therapy may be required for many months following a pedestrian accident.
Whatever injuries you suffer in a pedestrian crash, you'll need experienced legal representation to get the compensation you deserve from the driver at fault.
Get the Help You Need From Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
The pedestrian accident attorneys at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP will review details of the crash that left you injured and determine the best course of action for pursuing damages. We'll fight to protect your rights as an injured victim and secure the compensation you need and deserve to recover. Fill out the contact form on this page or call our Framingham office to speak to someone today about your accident. We're here to help you recover!