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Advocating for Injured Pedestrians
In a collision with a 4,000 lb. motor vehicle, a pedestrian is vulnerable, and can suffer serious or fatal injuries. Pedestrian accidents have been on the rise in recent years. Pedestrian traffic deaths in the U.S. soared to 6,721 in 2020, despite a significant decrease in driving during the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
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What Are the Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
GHSA attributes the 4.8% increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2020 to dangerous driving behavior rampant on the roads during the global pandemic, along with infrastructure issues. Factors contributing to collisions involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian include:
- Speeding: The faster a vehicle is moving, the more time and distance will be needed to bring it to a stop. A driver who is exceeding the speed limit may be unable to stop in time to avoid a deadly crash with a pedestrian. Speeding makes it more difficult for pedestrians to judge whether a gap in traffic is safe. The impact of a collision with a faster moving vehicle and a pedestrian is also greater.
- Impaired driving: Drug or alcohol-impaired drivers make it dangerous for others to be on the roads – particularly pedestrians, as they have no protection in a crash. GHSA states that alcohol impairment was involved in nearly half the pedestrian fatalities in a recent year.
- Distracted driving: Driver distraction is more prevalent today, when most drivers carry smartphones wherever they go. Texting while driving requires manual, visual, and cognitive attention, and poses an extreme risk to pedestrians and others on the roadways at risk.
- Failure to yield to pedestrians: Many pedestrian accidents are caused by inattentive, distracted, impaired, or aggressive drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks or run red lights or stop signs. Children can be injured when drivers fail to yield to school buses unloading passengers with their stop signs arm extended.
- Failure to check blind spots: All vehicles have blind spots, where other vehicles, objects, and pedestrians are not visible to the driver. When a driver fails to do a head check, a pedestrian or bicyclist could be hit.
- SUVs: Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) pose increased risks to pedestrians because of their height. When the front end of a lower vehicle hits an adult pedestrian, it tends to cause injury to the lower extremities (hips and legs), which can be serious but is not usually fatal. As the front end of an SUV strikes a pedestrian higher on the body, it is more likely to cause death.
What Injuries Are Common in Motor Vehicle-Pedestrian Collisions?
Injuries can be serious when a moving motor vehicle hits a pedestrian. The type and severity of injuries will depend on several different factors, including the type of vehicle, the size of the victim, the speed the vehicle is traveling, and where the victim’s body is thrown with the impact. Common injuries in pedestrian accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Fractured bones
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal injuries
- Severe lacerations
- Loss of limb
What Types of Damages Can Pedestrians Receive for Their Injuries?
Damages for a particular pedestrian accident will depend on the circumstances of the case. Potential pedestrian injury damages may include past and future medical expenses, lost wages or earnings, loss of future earning potential, physical pain and suffering, emotional trauma, disfigurement, and diminished quality of life. Our Charleston auto accident lawyer can advise you of the damages you may be entitled to claim.
Why Is It Important to Consult With a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
Your best chance of recovering full compensation after a serious pedestrian accident is to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side. Contact Allen Law at (843) 882-5005 to schedule a free consultation. Our founding attorney, Julian Allen, has more than a decade of legal and trial experience.