Phoenix Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
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While most people agree that pedestrians have the right of way, this is not necessarily at the forefront of every driver’s mind. Arizona has more than 200 pedestrian deaths per year, making it the state with the fourth highest number of pedestrian deaths in the United States.
Even though the country is continuing to make roadways safer for pedestrians by adding more crosswalks, signalization, refuge islands, and other traffic safety measures, pedestrian accidents can still occur even when the pedestrian does not run out into traffic. Often, pedestrian accidents occur when drivers fail to yield to the pedestrian’s right of way.
What to do if you have been hit by a car in Phoenix
If you are the pedestrian in the accident, your ability to take action right after you have been struck by a vehicle could be very limited. However, there are some steps you should take, if you can, to have the best chance of preserving the strength of your claim. A pedestrian accident attorney will know how to use the information you are able to give to dive more deeply into your case and answer the relevant legal questions.
Report the Accident
As soon as you are able, report the accident to the police. If you are seriously injured, alert someone to call for an ambulance and the police on your behalf. The investigating officer will come and gather information from the parties involved in the crash.
In a few days, the report will become public record. You will then be able to request a copy of the report online and keep it with your other records related to the accident. In addition to the public record, keep your own personal record of the event if it is possible for you to gather the information in the moment, at the scene of the incident.
Be sure to get the name and contact information of the motorists involved in the accident as well as the names and contact information of any people who witnessed the accident. Most pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas, so it is likely other people saw the accident occur. If you have a device that can take pictures, you should try to get pictures of the accident scene.
Seek Medical Attention
Of course, if you are in critical condition, you should instead get medical help as soon as you possibly can. Even if you do not notice any injuries immediately, make an appointment to see your doctor relatively soon after the accident occurs to ensure that you do not have any underlying injuries.
Once your doctor has diagnosed and begun treating your injuries, keep a record of your injuries. Note any bills associated with hospital visits, rehabilitation, other treatment, and don’t forget to record whether you have any missed wages from taking time off of work to keep your appointments.
Types of injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to injuries from crashes. These injuries can vary based on the speed of the vehicle and the type of vehicle. However, the following injuries are some of the most common that pedestrians experience.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries such as contusions, lacerations, sprains, and strains are very common consequences of pedestrian accidents; the size and the weight of the automobile almost guarantee that a pedestrian struck by a car or truck will have serious bruising from the collision. It is also possible for pedestrians to be thrown from the scene of the impact, causing them to suffer lacerations and contusions from the fall. Finally, the phenomenon of “road rash” occurs when the body slides across the abrasive and uneven surface of the sidewalk or roadway, which can lead to permanent scarring or missing chunks of flesh.
Cars come equipped with safety features like airbags and seatbelts to protect motorists from the force of an impact. Pedestrians, on the other hand, are absolutely defenseless unless they happen to be wearing protective padding. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), fractured bones are the largest single group of injuries suffered by pedestrians in accidents, with 37% of injured pedestrians suffering a bone fracture.
Pedestrians are unique from motorists because they do not have impact protection, and even most cyclists and bikers wear helmets in anticipation of a wreck. Pedestrians do not often wear any protective gear, let alone helmets. Therefore, pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to head injuries.
A head injury may result in a concussion in a best-case scenario, but speed and weight of the vehicle may cause an impact that leads to a traumatic brain injury, paralysis, blindness, or even death. The FHWA estimates that about 19% of the injuries suffered in pedestrian accidents occurring on roadways produce head injuries.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury can permanently impair a pedestrian’s quality of life, sometimes even causing a condition as serious as permanent paralysis. Spine and back injuries occur between 6.2% and 8.3% of the time in collisions between pedestrians and motor vehicles. This is significant, since it still means about one in every thirteen wrecks causes a spinal injury to the pedestrian involved.
As stated before, Arizona loses more than 200 lives a year from wrecks involving pedestrians. If your loved one was killed by a negligent or even reckless driver on a roadway in Arizona, you can still bring a lawsuit if you are an immediate family member or the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.
Who is at risk of being in a pedestrian accident?
While it is always troubling when someone is in a pedestrian accident, certain groups are overrepresented as those disproportionately struck by cars. Older adults aged 65 or more and children are overrepresented in pedestrian accidents, but the conditions under which the accidents occur are very different for the two groups.
20% of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 10% of all pedestrian injuries happened to pedestrians aged 65 or older in 2017. Older adults are in the age group most often involved in pedestrian-only accidents, meaning no vehicle struck the pedestrian. These are either due to ice or other conditions that cause the pedestrian to fall.
Nearly 30% of all pedestrian injuries occur in children under the age of 15. Even more disturbing, of the total percentage of pedestrians struck by vehicles on roadways, 39 percent are children, and 37 percent of pedestrians struck in non-roadway locations were also children.
How to prevent pedestrian accidents
Given these troubling statistics, you might wonder what you can do to reduce your odds of being hit by a car. Motorists should also seek to reduce their chances of being in an accident with a pedestrian.
As a Pedestrian
There are several things you can do to be safe as a pedestrian.
- When you are walking at night, make sure vehicles can see you; carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing to increase your visibility.
- Cross streets at designated crosswalks instead of jaywalking.
- Avoid distractions that could stop you from seeing or hearing oncoming traffic.
- Avoid walking on the road if you can.
- When you do walk on the road, walk on the side facing oncoming traffic.
As a Motorist
As a motorist, you can help pedestrians stay safe by being a responsible and diligent driver. Alcohol-impaired drivers and pedestrians account for almost half of crashes that involve a pedestrian death. So, never drive with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit, and always be prepared for alcohol-impaired pedestrians, especially at certain times of the year: Halloween and New Year’s see the most pedestrian deaths.
How a Phoenix injury lawyer can help you recover
An injury lawyer will try to argue your case in a way that will get you the most compensation possible. The lawyer can help you gather evidence and file your claim. Most cases settle instead of going to trial, and your attorney will negotiate with the other party to win you a settlement.
Under the law, injured pedestrians are entitled to compensation to cover their damages, such as their lost wages at work and the substantial medical bills related to treating their injuries. They may also be eligible to receive money for other damages, such as recovery for their pain and suffering, compensation for disfigurement, and possibly punitive damages if the driver was reckless enough. A victim of a driver’s negligence who enlists the help of a personal injury lawyer who is experienced with these types of cases will have someone on their side to ensure they have the best hope of getting full compensation as mandated by Arizona law.
Get legal help from a Pedestrian accident lawyer in Phoenix
At Zinda Law Group, our injury attorneys are ready to fight for your rights and your recovery. We have the expertise and means to help you seek the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other injuries.
If you have been unexpectedly struck by a car, you will want to focus your time and energy on your rehabilitation. Let us help you start your road to legal and financial recovery by calling us at (800) 863-5312; our Phoenix injury attorneys will schedule your free consultation and help you decide how you should proceed. We prioritize the results we can get for you by offering our No Win, No Fee Guarantee, so that you do not pay us unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.