Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Albuquerque, New MexicoLast updated on: October 20, 2020
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Every day, pedestrians on the New Mexico roadways are involved in pedestrian accidents. In busy cities like Albuquerque, residents like to get out and enjoy the beautiful city. However, the more people there are out exploring the streets, the more potential there is for the negligent behavior of others to cause an accident. However, knowing a little bit about pedestrian accidents or what to do if you have been involved in one may be able to help potential or recovering victims.
WHAT IS A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT?
A pedestrian accident is an accident involving a pedestrian and some other type of force. This force could be a car, a bicycle, a skateboard, or any other type of vehicle. In 2017, about 137,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments across the country for non-fatal crash-related injuries according to the CDC.
Pedestrian accidents can range in severity and, unfortunately, these accidents are sometimes even fatal. The reason pedestrian accidents can be so severe is that in most situations, there is an imbalance in the strength of each force. A human being is not nearly as strong or as powerful as a moving car or someone speeding down the road on a bicycle. One of these objects has more strength or even a protective shield of metal around it, while you alone do not have that same protection. That is why it is so important to be aware of your surroundings and make sure that you are taking proper safety precautions when moving around busy city streets on foot.
PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT STATISTICS IN NEW MEXICO
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), New Mexico had the highest pedestrian fatality rate in 2017, with 3.53 deaths per 100,000 people. Vehicles in Albuquerque struck more than 400 people alone, leading to 34 of the 68 total car accident fatalities in the city. The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), in 2018, cited 84 total deaths as the result of pedestrian accidents and 510 accidents involving injury.
COMMON TYPES OF PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT INJURIES
Both pedestrians and other roadway users can be injured when a car hits someone. The type and severity of a person’s injury depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Pedestrians who are hit by a car traveling 15 MPH or less are not likely to sustain fatal injuries. However, the risk of more serious injury increases in situations where a driver is speeding beyond that limit.
These are the most common injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents:
COMMON PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT CLAIMS
There are many different types of pedestrian accidents as well. The following is a list of some of the common types of pedestrian accidents:
Getting Hit by a Car or Other Vehicle in a Crosswalk
Drivers are required to yield to the right of way of pedestrians who are using crosswalks. However, distracted drivers sometimes fail to check the crosswalks while other drivers purposely don’t yield to pedestrians because they think cars should have the right of way. Every pedestrian has an inherent expectation that motorists will stop for them when walking on a crosswalk, but the reality is that some drivers ignore the rules, fail to stop, and cause serious accidents and injuries.
Getting Hit by a Car or Other Vehicle While Riding a Scooter, Bike, or Skateboard
Cycling, scooter, or skateboard accidents can be an extremely dangerous type of pedestrian accident. This is because rather than a car or other vehicle hitting a person, who moves at a slower speed, the vehicle is coming into contact with another moving vehicle of sorts. The collision of two high-speed forces can be catastrophic. This type of incident occurs due to increased speeds, distraction, lack of visibility, and other hazardous road conditions.
Getting Hit by a Car or Other Vehicle on a Sidewalk
Drivers often make the choice to speed, unlawfully pass other drivers on the road shoulder, or just don’t pay attention to where they are going. In these cases, drivers can end up losing sight of the marked road and can hit pedestrians who are safely traveling along sidewalks. This is less common than getting hit while walking in a crosswalk, but it certainly can and does happen.
Children Getting Hit by a Car or Other Vehicle
Children are especially vulnerable to the dangers of being hit by a car, a bicycle, or any type of motor vehicle. Children love to play outside near the street, but unfortunately, this makes them more susceptible to getting hit if a driver is not paying close attention or doesn’t have time to yield. It is important to keep a close eye on your children while they are playing outside and to educate them about the importance of pedestrian safety.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT
Here are a few steps you can take after being hit by a car to not only make sure you are safe, but to make sure you put yourself in a position to recover the legal compensation you deserve:
Call the Police
You should contact law enforcement as soon as you can. The police play an important role in getting emergency dispatch to the scene to tend to injured parties. They also play a pivotal role in documenting the accident. The police may file an official report on the accident. This report can be very helpful later on when filing a personal injury claim.
Seek Medical Attention
After suffering an accident, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention. Injuries can range from mild to severe, but even mild injuries need to be evaluated by a medical professional. A medical professional can also play an important role in documenting your injuries, which can be used as evidence in your claim.
Document the Scene
Preserving necessary evidence is key to prevailing on your claim. Beyond speaking with the police and getting a medical professional to evaluate your injuries, do everything you can to document the scene of the crash. This can include simple tasks such as taking pictures or making quick notes of important memorable details.
Call an Attorney
Those filing personal injury claims can get easily taken advantage of by opposing parties and insurance companies. If a car has hit you, the best way to make sure you are being treated fairly and are being offered the compensation you deserve is to hire an experienced attorney. Our Albuquerque pedestrian accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group may be able to help.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
COMPENSATION IN A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT CASE
Every accident is unique, and any number of factors could affect the value of your claim. However, in general, certain types of damages may be available to you after an Albuquerque pedestrian accident. You may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages for your claim. Economic damages compensate you for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other financial injuries. Non-economic damages are sometimes referred to “pain and suffering.” Calculating pain and suffering is not an exact science, but often attorneys multiply your economic damages by a number that represents the severity of your suffering.
Some states also allow for the possibility of punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the liable party for conduct that is particularly egregious in the hopes that it will deter others from acting similarly.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
New Mexico places a three-year statute of limitations of pedestrian accident claims. This means that a victim seeking to recover compensation for their injuries must bring their claim within three years from the date of the accident. Failure to bring a claim in this time frame could bar you from seeking compensation for your injuries.
CALL THE ALBUQUERQUE PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP
If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident, the experienced Albuquerque lawyers at Zinda Law Group may help you seek compensation for your injuries. We believe that injured victims should not need to worry about affording legal representation, which is why you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.