Every year, according to the World Health Organization, the lives of approximately 1.35 million people are cut short as a result of road traffic accidents. The same report also indicates that between 20 and 50 million more people suffer non-fatal injuries, with many incurring a disability as a result of their injury. Sadly, more than half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. The number of pedestrians hit and killed on U.S. roads has surged to the highest level in almost three decades. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) Administration, in 2016 alone, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States. This is about an average of one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.5 hours. Additionally, almost 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2015. The sad reality is that Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash. A pedestrian in this sense is a person on foot, walking, running, hiking or sitting when a car accident occurs.
Pedestrian accidents are an everyday occurrence. Other than simply falling off a walkway, being hit by vehicles either at marked or unmarked crosswalk is quite common too. These are some of the causes of these accidents:
The law is that drivers of vehicles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing roadways within any marked crosswalks. The same would apply even to unmarked crosswalks at intersections. However, drivers and pedestrians share equal responsibility to keep themselves and others safe. Thus, pedestrians also owe a duty of care for their own safety. Walking or moving into the path of a vehicle will be taken to be negligence on the part of the pedestrian.
It is better to be safe than sorry. Being safe is not however the responsibility of the driver only. More often than not, pedestrians also share in the blame for the occurrence of accidents. Here a few tips that can help avert future accidents:
As a pedestrian, you have to ensure that you exercise reasonable care and caution for your own safety. Should an accident occur, it may be found that you failed to exercise reason care and contributed to your own injuries if you are not careful.
Operating a vehicle imposes on you a heightened responsibility for other people on the road. Here are a few highway tips you may find helpful:
While pedestrian accidents are most commonly caused by vehicles, there are still non-vehicular pedestrian accidents. Poor maintenance of a road, sidewalk, parking lot, or other construction can equally be a cause.The person/ entity that is responsible for the injury suffered by the pedestrian can be held liable. Such liable person may be the driver of the vehicle or the party responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, road, or parking lot. A pedestrian may recover damages for injuries suffered if it can be proved that the negligence of another caused or contributed to the injury suffered.
To prove this, it must be established that the defendant:
If you are a victim of a vehicle-pedestrian accident or if you witness a pedestrian accident injury, there are a few key things you should do:
Anyone involved in an accident should retain an attorney as soon as possible. This is because personal injury claims are subject to a strict statute of limitations and the clock is ticking on the time you have to bring a legal claim. Do not settle for just any lawyer. Ensure that you have a competent, qualified personal injury lawyer on your side. At Oshan and Associates, our lawyers are professional and highly skilled at personal injury law. You can contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation. You don’t have to pay a dime unless you win. Call us at 206-355-3880 or fill out our online contact form as soon as possible to get the best legal representation.