Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Roswell, New Mexico
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH ROSWELL PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT LAWYERS
One of the oldest rules in the book is that pedestrians have the right of way. Even if signage is unclear or the pedestrian is jaywalking, the driver of a vehicle should do everything possible to avoid hitting the pedestrian. Roswell pedestrian accident lawyers know what measures motorists are supposed to take to avoid hitting pedestrians and can tell you whether the driver in your Roswell car accident acted negligently. While cities are gradually becoming more pedestrian-friendly, the measures those cities are taking cannot prevent all pedestrian accidents. In fact, increasing numbers of people are being hit by cars each year.
If you or a loved one were a pedestrian involved in an accident in Roswell, NM, talk to a Zinda Law Group Roswell pedestrian accident attorney. Call (800) 863-5312 and schedule your free case evaluation at a time that is convenient for you.
What causes pedestrian accidents in Roswell?
The causes of pedestrian accidents in Roswell seem as varied as the people who are walking. It would be impossible to list them all. Nevertheless, here are just a few of the most common causes of injury to pedestrians throughout New Mexico.
Drinking While Traveling
Drinking and driving harms both drivers and pedestrians. Unsurprisingly, most pedestrian deaths occur during times of year when alcohol is flowing and people are walking: Halloween and New Year’s.
In 47% of car crashes that kill pedestrians, either the pedestrian or the driver had been drinking. In 33% of crashes that kill pedestrians, the pedestrian had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08%, which is the legal limit for driving. In 17% of those crashes, the driver had a BAC of at least 0.08%.
Distracted While Driving
In addition to intoxicated driving and walking, distracted driving can cause drivers to hit pedestrians. Distracted driving involves any activity that takes the driver’s attention off of the road. Such activities can include texting or talking on the phone, eating or drinking, scanning the radio, or using a navigation app on your phone to reach your destination.
A few seconds to do something that seems quite important does not seem like such a big risk to take. But if you take your eyes off the road for five seconds while traveling at 55 miles per hour, you have driven the length of a football field without looking at the road.
Finally, drivers who do not follow the rules of road present a serious danger to pedestrians. Running red lights, going the wrong way on a road, failing to signal, and failing to adjust speed and braking in response to poor weather conditions are all ways that drivers can fail to follow the rules of the road. If the driver who hit you while you were walking caused the accident in one of these ways, tell a Roswell personal injury lawyer.
Who is typically involved in a pedestrian accident in NM?
Anyone can be involved in a pedestrian accident, but certain groups are overrepresented in them. The groups that are especially at risk of being struck by cars include adults over the age of 65, children, and people of color.
Adults Over 65
A significant portion of those affected by pedestrian accidents include older adults. In 2017, 20% of pedestrian deaths and 10% of pedestrian injuries happened to adults over the age of 65 who were traveling on foot.
That being said, most often these accidents are pedestrian-only accidents, which means that a vehicle did not strike the person who was injured. The pedestrians in this age group usually fall due to other conditions, such as ice.
That does not mean that no one is to blame for those accidents. For example, a store’s parking lot could have a dangerous, unmarked curb or low lighting that causes someone to trip. A personal injury lawyer in Roswell can help you decide whether someone else’s negligence caused your accident in circumstances like those.
The statistic for the number of children harmed by cars is troubling: almost 30% of pedestrian injuries happen to children under the age of 15. Children can behave more erratically on roadways when they have not yet learned that roads are dangerous. They might chase after a toy or a person who enters the roadway.
People of Color
A report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association shows that pedestrians of non-white and Hispanic races are struck and killed out of proportion based on their share of the population. People traveling on foot who were classified as white and non-Hispanic comprised a significantly lower portion of those killed by vehicles than would be expected based on their percentage of the population.
Injuries from pedestrian accidents
Unlike motorist victims in car accidents, pedestrians do not have any protection between themselves and the vehicle when they are hit. Naturally this makes their injuries all the more severe when they are in collisions with heavy vehicles. The types of injuries that pedestrians receive in accidents are affected by the type of vehicle and the speed at which the vehicle was traveling.
Clearly, the most severe injury that a victim of a pedestrian accident can receive is death. In 2021 in New Mexico, 99 pedestrians died, which is an increase from 81 in 2020 and 83 in 2019. If your loved one died as a result of a driver’s negligence, you can bring a wrongful death claim on his or her behalf. Talk to an attorney about which family member can bring a wrongful death claim and the type of compensation that may be available to the victim’s family.
Pedestrians typically do not wear any protection that cyclists or skaters might wear, such as helmets or elbow and knee pads. Therefore, there is truly no protection between pedestrians and the road, making them extremely vulnerable to head injuries.
At the very least, a pedestrian who suffers a head injury in a collision could experience a concussion. However, a pedestrian who collides with a moving motor vehicle can end up blind, paralyzed, or even dead. Approximately 19% of injuries that pedestrians suffer in accidents on roadways produce head injuries.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries can be permanent in nature. Between 6.2% and 8.3% of collisions—or, about one in every fourteen collisions—between pedestrians and cars involve spine and back injuries. Serious spine injuries can mean permanent paralysis for the victim.
Less Severe Injuries
Just because a pedestrian did not receive a spinal injury or a head injury does not mean that the victim does not deserve to be compensated for their injuries. Less serious injuries such as road rash and lacerations can leave scars; and fractured or broken bones can require extensive treatment. In fact, the injury that pedestrians receive most often when they have been hit by a car is fractured bones.
What should you do if you have been hit by a car?
As we have discussed, a pedestrian’s injuries after being struck by a car can be life-threatening. The chances of you being able to take any immediate actions after the accident may be slim. However, if you are conscious and able to move, there are certain steps you can take that will make your recovery much easier down the road.
Taking immediate action after the crash allows you to gather all of the evidence you can while the scene of the accident is fresh. Immediate action can help preserve the strength of your claim.
Unable to move, or perhaps you were transported by ambulance to a hospital? Don’t worry. A Roswell pedestrian accident attorney can help you put together the pieces if you were unable to document or regain access to the accident scene earlier.
Get Medical Help
If you were seriously injured, the first thing you should do is get emergency medical help. While this means you will not be present for a police report and will probably not gather evidence on your own at the scene of the accident, your life could depend on emergency treatment.
It is not worth risking your life even if you know you could get better evidence for your claim by staying. Call 911 if you can or have someone else call 911.
Even if you do not need emergency medical care, visit a doctor shortly after the accident and let him or her know what happened to you. You might not notice injuries right away, but some injuries take a while to show.
As you receive treatment for your injuries, keep a personal record of which care providers you have visited, the diagnoses and treatment you received from them, and the costs of your visits and treatment. This all can serve as evidence of how serious and expensive your injuries are.
Report the Accident
If you are not seriously injured after the accident, you can report the accident to the police. An officer will arrive to take down the names, contact information, and insurance information of those involved with the crash.
You can also gather all of this information for yourself to keep as a personal record. Take pictures of the accident scene if you have a device with a camera.
The police officer’s crash report will become public record a few days after the accident, and you can request a copy of the report online. In the report, you should see some account of how the accident occurred with an indication of who might be at fault.
File Your Claim
Once you have enough information to explain how the crash happened and who was involved, you can reach out to an attorney to see what you can do next. Keep in mind that in New Mexico, victims of personal injury have three years from the day of the accident to file their claim against the person who injured them. This time restraint is called a statute of limitations.
The attorney you consult should be able to give you an idea about whether your claim will be successful in court. Have they handled pedestrian accident cases before? They should also be able to approximate how much compensation you might be able to expect out of a settlement.
4 safety tips for pedestrians
With pedestrian deaths on the rise, it is important for pedestrians to know how to safely avoid accidents with vehicles. The following are ways that pedestrians can make themselves safer when they are walking near traffic.
1. Make Yourself Visible
Many pedestrian accidents occur at night when it is difficult for motorists to see people walking. Make yourself visible by carrying a flashlight and wearing bright clothes. If you have reflective clothing, wear it.
2. Avoid Jaywalking
Instead, cross at an intersection or at a designated crosswalk. If the crosswalk has a button that will make the signs light up as you cross, press it.
3. Avoid Walking On the Road
If there is a path or a sidewalk, use it. If you must walk on the road, walk on the shoulder toward oncoming traffic. That way, you will see vehicles coming toward you and can dodge the vehicle if needed.
4. Don’t Be Distracted
Avoid distractions that could impair your vision or hearing, especially if you have been using alcohol or drugs. Listening to music through earbuds or watching videos on your phone can make you less alert to your surroundings.
If you took all the proper precautions as a pedestrian but were still hit by a car because the driver did not take the proper precautions, talk to a Roswell pedestrian accident attorney near you. He or she can help you determine whether the driver was at fault for the accident, and what you can do about it if they were.
safety tips for motorists
We have already discussed the dangers of drinking and driving when it comes to pedestrian accidents. It cannot be said too often: Do not drive if you have had too much to drink. Three alcoholic drinks in one hour is enough to put most 160-pound people at or above the legal limit to drive.
The faster the vehicle travels, the more likely a driver is to strike a pedestrian and the more severe such an injury will likely be. Drivers should stick to the speed limit and pay extra attention when the speed limit is higher. Also, most pedestrian deaths happen in urban areas, so drivers in the busier areas of the city should be prepared to encounter drunk pedestrians, especially during holidays.
Stay alert and do not drive while distracted. Follow the rules of the road and drive more carefully during inclement weather. All of the safety tips described here benefit not only pedestrians but also other drivers on the road.
Talk to a Roswell pedestrian accident lawyer at Zinda law group
Since you now know about the statute of limitations in New Mexico, you are aware that you do not have long to decide whether you should bring your personal injury claim to court. A Roswell pedestrian accident attorney can help you decide whether you will be successful if you attempt to receive compensation from the person who hit you.
During your free consultation with a Roswell pedestrian accident lawyer, you will describe what happened to you and what you know about the person who hit you. Then, the personal injury attorney in Roswell can give you a rough idea of whether or not you could receive compensation for your injuries.
An experienced attorney can possibly give you a rough estimate of how much compensation you might be able to recover. Even the most experienced attorney, though, will need more information before he or she can give you a more accurate estimate of that nature.
CALL ZINDA LAW GROUP ATTORNEYS AND GET THE HELP YOU NEED TO WIN YOUR PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT
You deserve not only to be compensated for your injuries, but also to have the help of a lawyer who cares about the outcome of your case and respects your goals. If you are looking for a nearby personal injury attorney, Roswell Zinda Law Group attorneys are ready to take your call at (800) 863-5312.
If you hire one of our lawyers, you can benefit from the security of our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. This means that you do not owe us unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.