Injuries suffered by pedestrians who are struck by cars, trucks, buses, or motorcycles can be serious and life-altering. More than 4,000 people die each year nationwide as pedestrians, and an additional 70,000 pedestrians suffer injuries each year. Because pedestrians do not have the same protections with seatbelts, airbags, and an automobile surrounding them, the injuries often suffered by pedestrians can be severe: pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than vehicle occupants to be killed in an automobile accident.
Like many accidents caused by another’s fault, the victims most likely to be injured in a pedestrian accident are teens, young adults, and elderly individuals. In addition, a common contributing factor to accidents that cause injury or death to pedestrians is alcohol, as almost half of the reported deaths of pedestrians in accidents involved alcohol consumption by either the driver or the pedestrian.
Steps can be taken to lessen the number and severity of pedestrian-related accidents. First and foremost, it is best to walk in areas where there are sidewalks that are well removed from busy streets. Those out on walks, especially at night, can wear bright or reflective clothing and wave flashlights to alert oncoming motorists to their presence. Streets and roads should only be crossed at crosswalks, and pedestrians who are crossing the road should not assume that motorists see them. Finally, it is important to help children and the elderly as they attempt to cross streets, and make sure your teens are paying attention to their surroundings when encountering traffic.
A pedestrian that was injured because of the fault of another person or business may have a personal injury action against the wrongdoer’s insurance company. A pedestrian injury claim may arise if a driver fails to yield to a walker’s right of way, fails to obey traffic signals or signs and collides with a pedestrian, drives erratically or drives too fast where pedestrians are present, drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol and crashes into a pedestrian, engages in distracted driving by texting, talking on the phone, or doing some other activity, or taking action that causes harm to a pedestrian.
Individuals who have been injured as pedestrians in an accident may receive compensation for their medical expenses, their pain and suffering, their inconvenience, their lost wages, their lost earning capacity, and a variety of other losses that may result from the driver’s negligence. In addition, depending on the circumstances, the injured party may be entitled to punitive damages due to the defendant’s reckless or willful conduct that shows a casual disregard for the pedestrian’s rights.
Insurance companies that are defending accident claims regarding pedestrians typically claim that the pedestrian was partly responsible for the injuries they suffered. In addition, defendants often claim that a pedestrian “assumed the risk” of being hit by oncoming motorists. An experienced pedestrian injury attorney can help you adequately respond to these claims and pursue the compensation that you deserve.
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian-related accident, please contact our Virginia Pedestrian Injury Lawyers, either Kirk D. Becchi at (540) 437-1243 or Jonathan T. Wren at (434) 817-3100. We offer free consultations, and we’d be happy to meet with you at our office, your home, or at the hospital.
You will not owe any legal fees unless we recover money for you.