1. JaywalkingJaywalking occurs when a pedestrian does not use a crosswalk and instead crosses a road at a different point. Crosswalks are almost always at intersections and corners, but there are some placed in the middle of the street that can be operated by someone pressing a button. Jaywalking is dangerous because drivers do not generally expect pedestrians to cross at random locations in the middle of the road. They may come out from in between cars or they may be partially hidden by the environment. Often, there is no traffic light that can safely allow the pedestrian to cross. Pedestrians are commonly struck when not in properly marked crosswalks.
2. Driving Under the InfluenceUnfortunately, many drivers operate vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. They suffer from lowered inhibitions, decreased reflexes, lack of focus, and other problems that make driving extremely dangerous. Drunk drivers usually try to concentrate on the road and often do not see pedestrians who are crossing the street or even nearby it. Some others simply run off the road and crash into people who are on the sidewalk. Pedestrians may also be under the influence and not be able to walk straight or control their bodies. They may fall in the middle of the street or tumble into the road. Some pedestrians have even been found lying down in dangerous areas; many fatalities occur from people who have simply passed out and were struck by oncoming traffic. Below is a list of the top 10 causes of pedestrian accidents:
3. Reversing or Pulling OutWhen drivers reverse or pull out of driveways, parking lots, and parking spaces, they may not adequately look at both the street and the sidewalk. They are primarily concerned with not being struck by a passing car, but they may not take enough care to ensure that they do not place any pedestrians in danger. Drivers who back out and turn my not see a person in the rear view mirror and hit him. Further, the driveway or exit may be partially obscured or blocked by buildings or plants, preventing drivers from adequately spotting pedestrians.
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4. RubberneckingRubbernecking is the act of paying attention to an accident, incident, traffic violation, or other occurrence on the road; drivers will slow down and cause a large back up on the street due to their heightened interest in the accident. This lack of attention can easily cause drivers to crash into pedestrians. Even though traffic is slower moving, drivers’ eyes are not on the road, and a crossing pedestrian could be hit head on or while a car is turning.
5. Environmental ConditionsEvery day, many pedestrians are hurt because some kind of weather prevents them from being seen by the drivers. They may be hit while in fog, heavy rain, or snow. Other times, pedestrians are simply struck because it is night time and the area is not particularly well lit or the individuals were wearing dark clothing. Drivers may have headlights that are too dim or they may have glares in their windows that temporarily blind them. Further, in some weather conditions, it is harder to control the vehicle; snow and rain may make the car swerve or fishtail.
6. Left Hand TurnsLeft hand turns generally involve the drivers looking at oncoming traffic and not any pedestrians that may be crossing the road in front of them or even off at an opposing crosswalk. For example, if a driver is in a left turn only lane that has no specific traffic light, he will likely creep closer and keep his eye on approaching cars. A pedestrian will have the signal on the crosswalk to cross due to the lack of a light, and any turning vehicles must adhere to the pedestrian’s right of way. Many drivers do not follow this right of way and will speed through the turn at the first opportunity, resulting in an accident.
7. Stop Sign NegligenceDrivers may not always fully stop at stop signs. They may roll through them and carry on, or they may mistakenly allow someone else to proceed instead of pulling out. Some drivers do not see pedestrians crossing the road near the stop signs; as a result, these pedestrians can be hit by numerous cars. It is the responsibility of these drivers to always carefully examine the road for both cars and pedestrians before they proceed through stop signs.
8. SpeedingSpeeding is the leading cause of all types of accidents, including pedestrian crashes. Drivers generally tend to go over the speed limit regardless of where they are; on the highway, it may not be as dangerous because everyone is traveling at the same rate of speed. However, in residential areas, even going a few miles per hour over the limit can be enough to not stop in time or to cause a pedestrian to be unable to move out of the way. Speeding drivers may hit pedestrians as they turn corners, drive in parking lots, and more.
9. Distracted DrivingDrivers are often distracted by many things at once, but one of the most common distractions is cell phones. People often text and drive or use the phone to navigate traffic, answer emails, check the news, or even use it for work, such as with Uber and Lyft driving or Amazon deliveries. Pedestrians may also be distracted and on their phones while walking, which can be equally as dangerous; they may walk into crosswalks when they shouldn’t or they may stray into the path of a vehicle. It is imperative that everyone be focused on their surroundings when they drive or walk.
10. Faulty Traffic LightsAlthough not as common as the other causes on this list, faulty traffic lights may encourage pedestrians to walk at the wrong times or not stay illuminated long enough. For example, some crosswalks will signal for a pedestrian to cross at the same time as drivers can make left hand turns across the same street. This can cause confusion and accidents. Additionally, there are specific crosswalks that allow pedestrians to activate. These crosswalks usually light up yellow on the road or have a solid yellow light for cars to adhere to. If the crosswalks do not light up or if the lights signal something else, pedestrians could easily be hit by passing cars that did not notice them.
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Potential Injuries from Pedestrian AccidentsBecause pedestrians are completely unprotected, they are much more likely to suffer severe and debilitating injuries in crashes. They may be hit from numerous angles, pinned to other vehicles or objects, flung across the street, dragged behind the car, run over, and more. The injuries we have seen from pedestrian accidents include:
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Sprains and strains
- Severed limbs
- Internal organ damage
- Crushing injuries
- Nerve damage
- Torn muscles
- Knee and hip damage
- Brain damage
- Closed head injuries
How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?A pedestrian accident falls under a normal personal injury lawsuit if you intend to take legal action. As a result, you only have two years from the date of the injury to sue for your rightful damages. If you wait too long, you won’t be able to collect any compensation at all. This two-year limit was established to keep claims from becoming stagnant and to prevent them from being filed well after evidence has been lost or damages have been all but cleared up. You may be able to have an extension to the statute of limitations, though. If you were underage at the time of the accident, your deadline would not begin counting down until you turned 18. You would also not have to adhere to the deadline if you were physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to file a lawsuit, but the time limit would begin once you returned to some kind of functioning health or awareness. Additionally, if the responsible driver fled the state or country, the statute would be suspended for as long as he is gone and not resume until he returns.
Worth of Your Pedestrian Accident CaseAs a victim of a pedestrian accident, you are entitled to numerous kinds of compensation for your damages. Our lawyers will help you receive full coverage for the injuries you suffered in the incident. We will make sure to pursue the maximum settlement available under the law. You may be able to receive:
- Coverage of medical expenses from the past and future
- Reimbursement of lost wages from the past and future
- Pain and suffering damages
- Property damage
- Wrongful death expenses if a family member or loved one passed away in the accident
- Punitive damages if the defendant willingly caused harm or acted with gross and reckless negligence
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