If you or a loved one have been hurt in a pedestrian car accident, there are specific steps you need to take to ensure you get the justice you deserve through an insurance claim or a lawsuit. The damages a plaintiff can collect could vary based on injuries, call our pedestrian accident lawyers today for a free consultation to determine the liability of the accident, and next steps to take. Car accidents that involve pedestrians getting injured increase every year, especially with the emergence of new technology. In the year 2019, 134 pedestrians were killed in a car accident in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles County Public Health) In 2016, Los Angeles had more pedestrian fatalities than any city in America, and 20% of those pedestrians were under the age of 18. (Los Angeles County Public Health)
Studies have shown that urban and populated cities, such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Fresno, have higher percentages of pedestrian car accidents occurring due to the traffic congestion and increased street distractions. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration- NHTSA)
Where and When Are Pedestrian Car Accidents Likely to Occur?
Car accidents have a “close to home” effect, where the familiarity with surroundings can lead to accidents taking place within just a couple miles from home. The majority of pedestrian car accidents took place at non-intersection streets. The time frame between 6pm to 9pm is when the majority of pedestrian car accidents occur. During this time many drivers are returning home from work. Further, the dark sky makes it difficult to properly see the road.
Causes of Pedestrian Car Accidents
The main cause of pedestrian car accidents stem from distracted drivers. Not only does this include cars, but pedestrian accidents also include motorcycles, trucks, buses, etc. Below are some specific examples that commonly cause pedestrian car accidents.
- Driver not stopping at stop signs to let the pedestrian cross the street
- Driver not yielding the right of way to the pedestrian crossing the street
- Driver speeding above the limit, and failing to stop in time when noticing a pedestrian
- Driver under the influence
- In about 49% of reported accidents in America, the driver or pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol (NHTSA)
- Driver was distracted
- Driver was texting behind the wheel
- Driver was eating behind the wheel (Although not illegal, it is a major cause of car accidents)
Non-Driver Fault Accident Causes
- The crosswalk location may contribute to the accident. In that case, past accidents in that location could be assessed to determine if the city is contributorily at fault.
- The crosswalk may have unmaintained shrubbery that would make it hard for the driver to see oncoming pedestrians.
- The car may have had a manufacturing defect. For example, this occurs when the driver tried to stop, but the car’s or brake’s defect prevented him from stopping. In this case, an investigation is done to determine the car’s defect, and the manufacturer of the car could be held liable rather than the driver.
Injuries Suffered in Pedestrian Accidents
Since each accident could be different, there are various injuries a pedestrian could suffer. However, there are some common injuries:
- Deep cuts
- Head injuries that could lead to a concussion
- Facial injuries, with the most common being eye vision
- Damage to internal organs, which could lead to internal bleeding
- Broken bones, especially at the lower half of the body, making it hard to walk or sit
Damages in a Pedestrian Car Accident
The seriousness of the pedestrian’s injuries are what determine the damages of the case or settlement. If the treatment is minimal and temporary, damages would be less than injuries that need long term treatment. Damages include medical costs, lost wages as a result of being injured, and pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is the physical discomfort and emotional distress suffered. For more information about pain and suffering damages from a car accident, visit our page here.
When a pedestrian passes away, the estate will bring a wrongful death case. In California and Nevada, wrongful death damage recovery includes funeral expenses, lost income, cost of past medical care, etc.
According to the NHTSA, there are some steps a pedestrian could take to help prevent any accidents:
- Try to make eye contact with oncoming cars at all times. Do not assume the driver could see you.
- Use crosswalks when crossing the street. Pedestrians have a right to use sidewalks, and the driver must always slow down and yield to oncoming pedestrians.
- Do not look down at your phone while walking.
- If you’re walking at night, hold a flashlight or wear reflective clothing so you are visible to oncoming cars.
- Never turn your back on oncoming traffic.
According to the NHTSA, there are steps a driver could take to prevent any accidents:
- When backing up, always look back for any oncoming pedestrians.
- If you see a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, slow down to see if there is a pedestrian walking. Most likely, the car is waiting for a pedestrian to cross the street.
- Never drink and drive.
- Slow down when driving at night or during rainy weather conditions.
- Do not text and drive.
- Do not drive above the posted speed limit.
What to Do if You Are a Pedestrian Hit by a Car
Due to the commonality of pedestrian car accidents, it is always important to be prepared and understand the next steps if you are unfortunately in an accident. Our experienced car accident attorneys at Hiedari Law Group have tips on what to do if you find yourself in such a situation.
- When the car accident occurs, call for help as soon as possible.
- The injured pedestrian should only be moved if they are in a dangerous environment. If the victim is safe, they should not be moved so their injuries do not worsen.
- Collect the names and phone numbers of any witnesses that saw the accident.
- Document the accident as much as possible by taking photos of the damage.
- If you are the driver, be careful when making a police statement.
- If you are the pedestrian victim, give your statement to the police if possible.
- If you are the pedestrian victim, seek medical assistance after the accident to determine the seriousness of the injuries.
- Before talking to the insurance company, talk to an attorney.
- Call our experienced car accident attorneys for a free consultation. Our attorneys will assess the accident, and could assist you in determining fault.
Our experienced attorneys are specialized in car accidents, and can help get you the representation you deserve. Contact Heidari Law Group today for a free case evaluation.
***Disclaimer: This blog is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this blog, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.