According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) statistics on pedestrian fatalities in 2017, the main causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Failing to yield right of way
- Crossing a roadway or intersection improperly
- Standing, lying, playing, or working in a roadway
- Having poor visibility
- Being under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication
- Running into the road
Pedestrians are also killed from distractions (texting, calls, etc.), physical impairments, walking the wrong way, or being on roads/highways that prohibit pedestrians.
If you or a loved one was injured because another vehicle hit you, you may have grounds to hold the driver liable for your injuries or damages. You can work with a personal injury lawyer from our firm to build your case.
The Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2017, which equates to one death about every 88 minutes. In addition to those killed, about 137,000 more pedestrians were injured in accidents that year.
Some of the main causes of pedestrian accidents include:
Failing to Yield Right of Way
“Right of way” refers to the legal right of a pedestrian or motorist to proceed with precedence in a particular location or situation. For instance, if a traffic signal directs a pedestrian to proceed onto the crosswalk, a motorist must allow the pedestrian to cross the road before driving through the intersection or crosswalk area.
Failure to yield right of way occurs when either a pedestrian or motorist commits a traffic violation by proceeding without giving precedence to the other party – for example, if a car does not yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Crossing a Roadway or Intersection Improperly
Even in right-of-way situations, a pedestrian may cross a roadway or intersection improperly. A person may attempt to cross the street somewhere other than the designated crosswalk (also known as jaywalking). Alternatively, they may attempt to cross the road at the last minute before a light changes or in front of oncoming traffic.
When a pedestrian crosses a roadway improperly, drivers may have little to no time to react. Consequently, a driver may hit a pedestrian, causing severe injuries. If a pedestrian behaves negligently and causes a collision, the driver may want to consider hiring a car accident attorney in Lafayette.
Standing, Lying, Playing, or Working in a Roadway
It can be difficult for a driver to avoid an accident with a pedestrian who is standing or lingering in the roadway. Even if a car swerves to miss the pedestrian, the driver behind the vehicle may not see them in time. A pedestrian who is standing, lying, or playing in a roadway may be held responsible for the accident.
Driver negligence can be deadly for roadside workers. Workers are typically required to wear visible gear and place signs on the road that alert drivers of their presence. Likewise, drivers are required to practice extra caution around a worksite on the road.
Having Poor Visibility
Several factors can reduce visibility on the road, which can lead to drivers getting into accidents with pedestrians. Examples of these factors include:
- Poor weather conditions
- Objects or vehicles on the side of the road
- Pedestrians wearing dark clothing at night
- Poor headlights on a vehicle
- Bright lights shining in a pedestrian’s eyes
When poor visibility is an issue in an accident, liability may fall on pedestrians, motorists, or other parties, such as the city or a road crew. However, poor visibility should also cause a pedestrian or motorist to exercise caution. Failure to do so is what often leads to pedestrian accidents.
Drugs, Alcohol, or Medication
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a contributing factor in thousands of car-related accidents each year. According to the CDC, about 17 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents in 2017 involved a driver who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher.
Drugs and alcohol can impair judgment, making walking across the street or operating a vehicle more difficult. Either a pedestrian or a motorist who has had too much to drink or has been using drugs could cause an accident.
Running or Darting into the Road
Children and adolescents may dart into a road with no regard for oncoming traffic. This can lead to accidents in virtually any part of town. When a pedestrian darts out into the road, the driver may have insufficient time to react properly. Consequently, they may strike the pedestrian and cause massive injuries.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
You May Qualify for Compensation If You Were Injured as a Pedestrian
If you were injured while crossing the street or working on the roadway, you may qualify to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. You can file a car accident claim or lawsuit even as a pedestrian and demand compensation based on the damages you suffered.
Compensable damages may refer to financial losses, physical pain, or emotional damage you endured during or after the accident. For example, depending on the circumstances of your case, your compensable damages may include:
- Medical expenses: This can apply toward emergency room care, surgeries, and prescription medications you needed to treat your injuries. However, if you were severely injured and still require treatment for a long-term injury, we can also help you estimate future medical expenses you might face, such as costs for doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, or medical equipment (e.g., a wheelchair).
- Income loss: When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian is completely vulnerable, so they can suffer catastrophic injuries that take weeks, months, or years to heal. Some may even be permanent. If you had to take time off from work, whether paid or unpaid, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the at-fault party to cover lost wages and benefits. If your injuries permanently affect your ability to work, you may also claim reduced earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering: This type of damage generally refers to physical and emotional pain. However, it can also serve as an umbrella term for other non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, psychological trauma, permanent disability, physical disfigurement, and diminished quality of life.
- Property damage: If your property was damaged in the accident (e.g., your home’s fence or mailbox), you may request funds to cover the cost of repair or replacement.
You may qualify for other damages not mentioned in the article, such as damages related to a loved one’s passing.
Wrongful Death Damages in Pedestrian Accident Cases
Unlike cyclists, pedestrians do not typically walk around cities wearing helmets, so they have little to no protection against vehicles in accidents. This can leave them vulnerable to fatal injuries. If you are mourning a loved one, we extend our condolences to you and hope to help you fight for the compensation you need.
You can file a wrongful death action to pursue compensation for:
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Loss of parental guidance
- Medical debts left by the decedent
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of inheritance
A Personal Injury Lawyer From Our Team Can Manage Your Case While You Recover
If you work with a lawyer from our team, we can manage your case for you, which would allow you time to recover from your injuries or address other immediate matters. While you recover, we can:
- Investigate the accident to identify the liable party or parties
- Retrieve evidence on your behalf that shows who’s at fault and liable for your damages
- Speak with insurance companies, lawyers, and other involved parties on your behalf so that your case remains protected
- Negotiate a settlement for you
- Prepare your case for court to present in front of a jury if necessary
- Provide legal counsel should you have questions about how to move forward
You can learn more about our legal services in a free consultation. One of our team members can also discuss our fee agreement system.
Where do Pedestrians Get Hit the Most?
There are some places and conditions that make pedestrian accidents more likely. According to NHTSA data reported by the National Safety Council (NSC), most pedestrian traffic deaths in 2019 happened:
- In urban settings (82%)
- Outside of intersections (73%)
- In the dark (80%)
Of course, pedestrian accidents can happen anytime and anyplace, so you should always be aware when you’re walking.
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Get Help From a Lafayette Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Lafayette or Alexandria, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help you. We represent car accident victims in settlement negotiations or personal injury lawsuits.
If a negligent driver struck you while you were a pedestrian, we may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. You may also be able to recover compensation if you were a driver who was injured in a car accident caused by the negligent actions of a pedestrian.
To get started with your case, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers at (337) 777-7777 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team. We may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee basis with no upfront payment required.