Pedestrians do not always get along well with motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), close to 6,000 pedestrians were fatally injured in car accidents in 2017. Almost 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms after getting hit, equaling out to one pedestrian accident for every four minutes.
During the holidays, there were even more vehicles and pedestrians on the roads. It appears everyone is in a rush, with no one thinking about safety. Walkers and joggers should be cautious year-round. It is recommended to check carefully before crossing streets and walking in parking lots, avoid walking on dark roads, never jump out in front of a car, and obey traffic signals and signs.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
These accidents run the gamut from minor to fatal. They often occur in parking lots, when a driver is backing up and does not see the pedestrian or the driver might not see the pedestrian crossing their path. Crosswalk accidents are also common and can happen when the vehicle does not give the pedestrian the right-of-way.
One of the most dangerous situations is loss of control accidents. This is when a driver loses control of their vehicle and sideswipes or otherwise hits a pedestrian. The victim can become crushed or end up trapped beneath the vehicle. Any of these can become a hit-and-run if the driver crashes into the pedestrian and flees the scene. This is usually because the driver fears the consequences. Depending on the severity, this can be a felony in Pennsylvania.
Most pedestrians survive these accidents, but not necessarily unscathed. Abrasions, contusions, sprains, fractures, and broken bones are usually not life-threatening, although complications can occur. More serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and amputations, can be detrimental to one’s quality of life. Although it may not be visible to others, emotional trauma from a pedestrian accident can last a lifetime. The risk of fatality from a pedestrian accident is also high.
Though pedestrians have a responsibility for their safety, they are vulnerable when walking outside, particularly in busy areas. If a motorist is driving under the influence, texting or talking, speeding, or otherwise breaking the law, they may be liable for the accident. It will have to be proven that the driver caused the crash, and this requires evidence. After attending to medical needs, victims should obtain the driver’s contact information, details about the vehicle, photographs, and witness testimony. The insurance company will require this proof if the victim wants to prove driver negligence.
The pedestrian’s actions can also contribute to the accident. For example, if a walker is crossing a street when a no crossing sign is flashing, the driver’s liability may be limited. Situations like this can lead to a judgment of shared fault, where each party is partially responsible for the accident. The victim in this case would receive a lower compensation percentage.
Chester County Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Protect the Rights of Pedestrian Accident Victims
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The Chester County pedestrian accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. represent victims of all types of motor vehicle accidents, and we are ready to help you. Complete an online form or call us at 610-565-3701. Our offices are in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, and we service clients from Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.