While walking is an environmentally friendly and health-conscious way of getting around, it also presents some serious risks. According to the National Safety Council, each year, there are almost 14,000 fatal pedestrian accidents in the United States. In addition, another 137,000 pedestrians required emergency medical treatment after being struck by a car or truck.
As a pedestrian, you should be able to trust that drivers will take your safety seriously. When a negligent driver hits you while walking or crossing the street, you can pursue a pedestrian accident claim. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help you understand your rights, what you may be entitled to, and how to effectively bring your case against a negligent driver.
At the personal injury law firm of Console & Associates, P.C., we proudly represent pedestrians and their family members in personal injury cases against negligent motorists. Our compassionate and skilled team of pedestrian accident lawyers has more than 25 years of experience helping accident victims pursue the much-needed compensation they deserve so they can begin moving on with their lives after a devastating accident. By holding negligent drivers accountable, we can do our part to make the roads a safer place for everyone.
Given that there are more than 150,000 pedestrian accidents each year in the United States, several government agencies have taken an interest in learning how these accidents occur and what can be done to prevent them.
The National Safety Council (NSC) recently released comprehensive pedestrian accident data. According to the NSC report, about 82% of all pedestrian accidents occur on urban roads, while just 18 percent occur on rural roads. Of course, this is not surprising as there are generally more pedestrians in crowded urban cities than sparsely-populated rural areas. However, the rate of urban pedestrian accidents has dramatically increased in recent years. For example, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that, back in 1975, the split between urban and rural pedestrian accidents was much closer, with 59% occurring in urban areas and 41% in rural areas.
Pedestrian accidents are also much more likely to happen on open roads rather than at intersections. According to the most recent data, only about a quarter of all pedestrian accidents take place at an intersection. In large part, this is because motorists expect pedestrians to cross at intersections. For example, there may be a stoplight or a crosswalk that brings the presence of a pedestrian to the attention of a driver. However, when pedestrians cross at places other than intersections, drivers may not be expecting them to cross, even if there is a crosswalk.
The majority of pedestrian accidents, or about 80%, take place at night. Again, this is no surprise, as it is harder for motorists to see a pedestrian when it’s dark outside. However, the fact that it is harder to see a pedestrian does not give a driver an excuse not to pay full attention to the road.
At Console & Associates, P.C., we recognize that the weeks and months after an accident are an incredibly difficult time for you and your family. We are here for you to help in any way we can. If you have questions, we can help you find the answers. And if you decide to bring a pedestrian accident claim, we can effectively handle your case from beginning to end.
Pedestrian accidents don’t “just happen.” They are almost always caused by the negligence of one or more parties. Drivers have a particularly hard time seeing pedestrians, and even when they do see a pedestrian, they may not have time to avoid a collision.
This is especially true if they are speeding, distracted, or intoxicated.
When drivers speed, they have less time to react to a pedestrian who happens to be crossing the road. And drivers who are speeding around a corner may not see a pedestrian who is crossing mid-block. When a driver finally sees a pedestrian, the fact they are speeding will make it difficult—if not impossible—to avoid hitting the pedestrian.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of all traffic accidents. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that, in 2019, distracted drivers caused more than 3,100 fatalities. Pedestrian crashes are no exception. A distracted motorist is less likely to notice a pedestrian crossing the road and, by the time they do, it may be too late.
Drunk driving seriously impairs a driver’s reflexes and decision-making abilities, dramatically increasing the chances of a pedestrian accident. In fact, 42% of all fatal pedestrian accidents involve alcohol intoxication. Some drunk driving pedestrian accidents occur when an intoxicated driver loses control of their vehicle and it ends up jumping a curb, crashing into an unsuspecting pedestrian.
These are just a few of the common reasons for pedestrian accidents. At Console & Associates, P.C., we’ve handled all types of pedestrian accident claims, including those caused by speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, as well as those resulting from negligent truck drivers, rideshare drivers, and even motorcyclists.
For the most part, local governments are responsible for designing the roads that travel through a city. Along with this responsibility comes a legal duty to maintain the roads in a safe condition. When it comes to pedestrian accidents, a local government may be liable if it fails to provide adequate notice of a crosswalk to oncoming motorists. A city may also be liable in a pedestrian accident lawsuit in the event of a defective traffic light, a road sign obscured by trees, faded crosswalks, or potholes on the road’s surface that cause a pedestrian to fall. However, when it comes to government entities and pedestrian accidents, liability is not always easy to determine.
At Console & Associates, P.C., one of the first things we do when you bring us onto your case is to conduct a full investigation into the accident to determine all potentially liable parties. This is critical to the success of your claim because it prevents one defendant from shifting liability for the accident onto another defendant that was not named in your lawsuit.
Pedestrian accidents are some of the most serious motor vehicle accidents because pedestrians have nothing protecting them from the physical impact. As a result, you may find yourself missing weeks of work, and even when you can return, you may not be able to perform all the duties of your old job. This can add to the financial burden you are already experiencing due to the medical expenses from the accident.
Filing a pedestrian accident claim can help you recover compensation for your accident-related injuries. While every case is different, courts award two types of pedestrian injury compensation: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to the out-of-pocket costs you were forced to pay as a result of the accident. They also include any money that you would have otherwise earned but couldn’t because of your injuries. Examples of non-economic damages include:
Non-economic damages are those that compensate you for the emotional and psychological impact that the accident had on your life. While these damages are harder to quantify than economic damages, they are equally important. For example, a court may award non-economic damages for any of the following:
Identifying the full extent of your economic and non-economic damages is crucial to the overall success of your claim. You only get one chance to bring a pedestrian accident claim, and at Console & Associates, P.C., we will do everything we can to make sure that you receive fair compensation for what you’ve been through.
To be sure, the moments after a serious pedestrian accident can be a blur. Your life was suddenly turned upside down, and you understandably may not be thinking about bringing a lawsuit against the driver who hit you. At the same time, there are some important steps you can take to preserve your ability to recover. If you have any questions about what your next step should be, reach out to a pedestrian accident law firm.
After a pedestrian accident, the first thing you should do is call 911 or the local police department to report the accident. Reporting an accident not only triggers an emergency response team who will check you out to determine if you need any immediate medical care but will also serve as documentation that the accident occurred.
It is always a good idea to conduct your own “mini investigation” before leaving the scene of an accident. While police officers will investigate the crash, there may be things they miss. If possible, get the names and contact information of any witnesses and snap a few photographs of the area where the accident occurred. You can also take pictures of the vehicle that hit you, focusing on any damage. If you have visible injuries, you should also photograph them before heading to the hospital.
Once you report the accident, emergency responders will arrive on the scene to see if you need any life-saving medical treatment. Even if your injuries were not life-threatening, first responders might still offer to take you to the hospital. If so, go ahead and take the ambulance ride. Some very serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spine injuries, may not be immediately apparent, and getting checked out by a doctor can rule these out. Even if you haven’t already been to the doctor after the accident, it’s not too late to go now.
If you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, state law would determine whether or not your car insurance company would be involved. Regardless, the company that insured the driver who hit you will likely reach out to you to discuss the accident and your injuries, even if you don’t have to speak with your own auto insurance company.
Remember, the insurance company (even your own) is not on your side and wants to settle your case for as little as possible. Thus, you should be cautious in what you tell them. While you should always be honest, refrain from subjective admissions or qualified statements that could later be used against you. It is generally better to reach out to a pedestrian accident lawyer before speaking with the insurance company.
When you are ready, the next step is to contact an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer for assistance with your pedestrian accident claim. An attorney will conduct an investigation into the accident, potentially uncovering important evidence that can lead to a higher pedestrian accident settlement. Your lawyer will also take over all the heavy lifting, so you can focus on your recovery.
Quality legal representation is key to a successful case. Pedestrian accident law is complex, and the stakes are very high. Thus, the insurance company will have several highly skilled lawyers assigned to your case. You deserve the same. In fact, a 2014 study conducted by the Insurance Research Council found that claimants who worked with an experienced attorney recovered 3.5 times more in damages than those who pursued the claim on their own.
At Console & Associates, P.C., we have seen too many accident victims get taken advantage of by borderline-unethical insurance companies. Our job is to fight for you so you can keep your focus on getting your life back to normal. We’ve secured many pedestrian accident settlements on behalf of our clients and look forward to discussing how we can help you with your case.
After suffering debilitating injuries, your financial situation may not be what it was before the accident. However, at Console & Associates, P.C., we believe that this should not prevent you from obtaining justice. Thus, we offer all our clients a “No Fee Promise,” which means we will not bill you for our legal representation unless and until we can secure compensation on your behalf. We also offer a free legal consultation where we will happily answer all your questions and explain the recovery process in clear, understandable terms.
If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident, Console & Associates, P.C. is here for you. We can help you accomplish two important things.
First, together, we can make the roads a safer place by discouraging the negligent driving behavior that led to your injuries. And second, we will do everything we can to get you the money that you need to start moving forward with your life after the accident. When you bring Console & Associates, P.C. on your legal team, we will take on all the burdens that come along with bringing a pedestrian accident claim. We will also provide you with frequent updates about your case and are always happy to answer your questions.
While many pedestrian accidents are solely the fault of a driver, some involve the negligence of the injured pedestrian. If this describes your situation, don’t worry—you can still very likely recover damages from the other responsible party. However, the court will reduce your total recovery by your own percentage of fault.
For example, if you suffered $200,000 in damages but were found to be 20% at fault, your realized recovery amount would be $160,000. That said, if the judge or jury finds that you were primarily responsible for the collision, you may be prevented from recovering anything. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can help you understand these complex laws and explain to the judge, jury, or insurance company why you weren’t the one responsible for the accident.
While the exact number of pedestrians killed in car accidents in 2020 is not yet available, the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that there were about 6,700 pedestrians killed in traffic collisions. This represents an increase of about 5% from the year before. Notably, this figure does not include backup accidents, parking lot accidents, and accidents occurring on private property.
Yes. While you should always cross the street at a designated crosswalk when one is available, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries if you were hit outside a crosswalk. Motorists owe all pedestrians a duty of care to drive safely and responsibly. Just because you were not in a crosswalk does not absolve a driver of their responsibilities.
Of course, depending on the situation, you may face claims that you were partially responsible for the accident. Different states have different laws, and some states may limit your ability to pursue a claim if you were even partially responsible for causing the accident. In many states, however, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries unless you are found to be primarily responsible for the crash.
There are two main ways that courts come up with pain and suffering damages. The first way, called the “multiplier method,” takes the total amount of economic damages and multiplies them by a number, usually between 1 and 5. The more serious your injuries, the higher the multiplier. The other way is referred to as the “per diem method.” Per diem is a Latin phrase meaning “per day.” Thus, under the per diem method, the court will determine a daily amount of damages and multiply that by the number of days until you are expected to reach a full recovery.