When a motor vehicle collides with a person walking on foot, the consequences are often catastrophic. Victims of some of the worst pedestrian accidents don’t survive, and survivors can face a myriad of life-altering injuries, ongoing medical expenses, and months or years of being unable to make a living while in recovery. They must often deal with insurance companies unwilling to provide adequate coverage to ensure they receive needed care and physical therapy.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people who have suffered pedestrian injuries in motor vehicle collisions, construction accidents, and other types of negligence. Our legal team has assembled answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning pedestrian accidents, which we hope will help injured individuals and their families make an informed decision about their legal options.
Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
The Prevalence of Pedestrian Accidents and Where They are Most Likely to Occur
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average a pedestrian is killed every one-and-a-half hours in traffic accidents nationwide. Most pedestrian fatalities—80 percent—occur in urban areas.
There were an estimated 6,227 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in 2018, the highest number in nearly three decades, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Illinois ranked ninth among states in the number of pedestrian fatalities in 2018, with a 19-percent increase over 2017.
Pedestrian deaths nationwide have been rising while all other traffic deaths have been gradually declining. Blame has been placed on the prevalence of larger vehicles on the roads and both pedestrian and motorist distractedness with mobile devices.
Most pedestrian accidents resulting in injury occur on sidewalks, in marked crosswalks and in intersections controlled by traffic signals and signs. In most cases the pedestrian is where they are supposed to be, but the motorist fails to use care or yield to the pedestrian when driving through intersections and crosswalks, or backing out of a driveway.
Common Injuries Suffered by Pedestrians Hit by Vehicles
In the pedestrian injury cases our law firm handles, we continually see similar injuries sustained by our clients who were struck by a motor vehicle:
- Bone fractures including broken ribs, legs, arms, and other broken bones caused by impact with a truck, car, or motorcycle.
- Spinal cord injuries where a piece of the backbone is ruptured, damaged, or jolted out of place from impact. Typically, these injuries result in severe pain and loss of muscle function, and can even lead to partial or complete paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries that can leave the victim with severe, life-altering disabilities affecting hearing, vision, cognition, motor function and behavior.
What can I do to Avoid Being Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
NHTA recommends that pedestrians always follow these guidelines:
- Obey all traffic signs and signals, and stick to sidewalks or pedestrian paths whenever available. If a path or walkway is not available, walk along the shoulder of the road facing oncoming traffic, as far from the roadway as possible.
- Cross streets and roads at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area, wait for a gap in the flow of traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for approaching traffic as you cross.
- Stay off freeways, restricted-access highways, and other pedestrian-prohibited roadways.
- Avoid walking streets and roads while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; they impair your judgment and reflexes.
- Perhaps most importantly, when traveling on foot in the vicinity of motor vehicles, never assume a driver sees you. Be on your guard at all times. Remain alert and not distracted by handheld devices.
What Should I do if I am Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident?
The first priority is your immediate safety and well-being. Call 911 for emergency medical treatment even if you believe you are unhurt or not badly hurt. You may not be aware of the severity of your injuries until after the adrenaline you are experiencing from the accident begins to wear off in the hours or days following the crash. Receiving a prompt diagnosis from a doctor at a hospital will not only protect your health but preserve your future right to obtain adequate financial compensation for the treatment of your injuries.
Once police arrive on the scene, they will investigate the incident, get information from you and others involved if possible, and fill out an official report documenting what happened. If friends or companions are available, have them collect contact information from any individuals who witnessed the event.
Once you are safe and have had your medical needs attended to, speak with an experienced pedestrian injury attorney. Engaging qualified legal counsel has a number of advantages if you are involved in a pedestrian accident. First, it will give you the legal resources to go up against auto insurance companies with ample resources of their own. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, we bear the up-front cost of building your legal case at no out-of-pocket charge to you. We have the financial resources to successfully represent you and ensure you have professional experts on your side. Personal injury cases are messy, complicated affairs and require professionals to sort through the facts, identify your claims, develop them and present them to a jury. We will keep you informed of developments during every stage of your case. Retaining counsel will ensure you have a passionate representative on your side fighting against deep-pocketed defendants.
Our law firm offers every potential client a free, no-obligation, initial case consultation. Our pedestrian accident attorneys accept all cases on contingency, which postpones payment for our legal services until we resolve your case. If we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf, you owe us nothing. Call us today at (888) 424-5757 so our team of attorneys can explain your legal options and how you can receive the financial compensation you deserve.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Pedestrian Safety
- Governors Highway Safety Association, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2018 Preliminary Data
- National Safety Council: Injury Facts
- CDC: Motor Vehicle Safety/Pedestrian Safety
- National Transportation Safety Board: Pedestrian Safety