People are heading out on foot more and more, whether on a leisurely walk for recreation, running for exercise, or heading to the store or work as a physically and environmentally healthy mode of transportation. Yet, traveling on foot poses danger to all pedestrians, and pedestrian accidents remain among the most dangerous of all traffic accidents. Pedestrians have no protection during an accident. When a car, truck, bus, or motorcycle strikes them, injuries are often severe and sometimes catastrophic.
Negligent or reckless drivers generally strike pedestrians because they don’t prioritize safety while driving. If you have suffered injuries during a pedestrian accident as a result of a careless motor vehicle driver, the law permits you to seek damages in civil court.
Contact an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer at Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman to discuss your accident and injuries, determine your eligibility for compensation, and devise the best course of action for your individual circumstances. Call us today at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) to schedule a free consultation.
Dolman Law Group’s and Sibley Dolman’s Results in Personal Injury Claims
The skilled legal team at Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman have extensive experience representing clients who have sustained injuries because of the negligence of others, including those who have suffered injuries in pedestrian accidents. The firm’s dedication to client advocacy, case preparation, and seeking justice has led to the recovery of millions in damages from settlements and verdicts.
Some recent case results include:
- $165,000 for a client who suffered a herniated disc as a result of a motor vehicle accident
- $425,000 for a client who sustained a lower back injury after a car accident
- $500,000 for a client who suffered a brain injury in a severe car accident
- $750,000 for a client who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a rear-end car accident
- $1.75 million for a client who suffered a shoulder injury and mild brain injury in a truck accident
- $1.58 million for a client when a car accident caused two herniated discs to pinch his spinal cord
- $3.2 million for a client who suffered a brain injury in a semi-truck accident
These results only serve as examples and cannot guarantee an outcome for your pedestrian accident case. Each claim has distinctive characteristics that can increase or decrease its value, making it impossible to predict a financial outcome.
Yet, you can count on the fact that the experienced personal injury lawyers at Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group can aggressively pursue the best outcome possible for your individual circumstances. In addition to investigating your case and negotiating with the associated insurance company and/or defendants, we can litigate your case when settlement isn’t an option.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
A wide array of scenarios might lead to a dangerous or fatal pedestrian accident, with motorists almost always responsible. Some common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
When drivers get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or taking drugs, they put everyone on the road at risk for accident and injury, including pedestrians. When drivers are impaired, they cannot take in all the information that comes at them while driving. Similarly, they cannot react as quickly and struggle with judging distance. Even if a drunk or drugged driver sees a pedestrian in time to slow their vehicle, they might not be able to react in time to prevent an accident.
Failure to Yield to Pedestrians
Motor vehicle drivers have an elevated duty of care to pedestrians when they are behind the wheel. The vast majority of pedestrian accidents occur because drivers fail to uphold their duty and don’t yield to pedestrians, potentially causing injury or death, especially at crosswalks.
Sometimes the failure to yield to pedestrians occurs as a result of distracted driving. Recent crackdowns on texting and driving across the nation have led to an overall reduction in these accidents. Before the new laws, texting and driving was a secondary violation that required law enforcement to pull a driver over for something else, such as speeding or a broken taillight, before issuing a citation. Unfortunately, cell phone use isn’t the only distraction that can lead to a dangerous pedestrian accident.
Some other culprits include:
- Adjusting vehicle features such as radios, seats, climate control, and sunroofs
- Eating or drinking
- Reaching on the floor or in the backseat for dropped items
- Tending to backseat passengers
- Having arguments or heavy conversations with occupants
- Personal grooming such as brushing hair and putting on makeup
- Focusing on an event outside of the vehicle, typically a traffic accident
Any activity that takes a motorist’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind away from driving can lead to a traffic accident, putting pedestrians at risk for injury or death.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), responsible for regulating the trucking industry, has devoted ample resources on studying the relationship between sleep and driving because truckers often have demanding schedules that interfere with a good night’s rest. Regardless of whether a driver is operating a big rig or driving a personal vehicle, those who don’t get enough sleep risk an accident.
The FMCSA found that 18 hours without sleep impairs a person’s body to the same extent that a 0.08 blood alcohol level causes impairment. This means drowsy or fatigued drivers cannot react to pedestrians, or might fall asleep at the wheel and cause a fatal accident. Fatigue and drowsiness can also be a result of untreated sleep disorders, poor health, and the improper use of prescribed medications.
Many different driving behaviors might fall under the umbrella of reckless driving, but each shares the same characteristic—complete disregard for the law and safety of others on the road. Reckless drivers who speed excessively, don’t slow down for inclement weather, dart in and out of traffic, and don’t generally follow traffic regulations, risk striking a pedestrian and causing serious or catastrophic injuries.
In these situations, pedestrians usually don’t see the accident coming and have little time to get out of the way and avoid injury. Reckless and careless drivers don’t pay attention to everything around them, so it’s unlikely they are looking for pedestrians; and, if one is present, they are traveling too fast or making dangerous maneuvers that don’t give them the time to react and avoid striking someone in the road or on a sidewalk.
Poor Road Maintenance
Some situations do exist where those responsible for road maintenance might share liability for a pedestrian accident with one or more motorists. When roads are unkempt and have potholes or sinkholes, a pedestrian might trip and fall when crossing traffic and suffer injuries after a vehicle strikes them.
Similarly, when traffic control devices, including signs and signals, are missing, or not working properly, vehicles might not stop when they are supposed to and strike pedestrians crossing the road. Pedestrians always have the right of way, but when traffic control devices fail and blind intersections, drivers might not be able to react quickly enough to avoid an accident.
Defective Vehicles or Vehicle Parts
When a vehicle has a mechanical failure because of a defect, the driver can lose control, leading to a treacherous traffic accident. Automobile and automobile part manufacturers have a responsibility to put cars and car parts on the market that are safe for consumer use. Yet, sometimes defects occur during the design and manufacturing stages of a vehicle or vehicle part.
Often, it’s too late to fix the defect and manufacturers don’t typically know about it until people have been hurt or killed. Some defects that especially might cause pedestrian accidents include failed braking systems or brake pads and defective tires that can lead to blowouts and loss of control.
Seeking Damages After a Pedestrian Accident
Sustaining injuries in a pedestrian accident gives you the right to bring a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident. If your lawyer negotiates an agreeable settlement, or the court rules in favor of the plaintiff, you might receive compensation for a variety of losses you incurred as a result of your accident and injuries.
Some common recoverable damages in pedestrian accidents include:
- Medical treatment costs including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, X-rays and other diagnostic imaging, surgery, aftercare, travel to and from the doctor, and prescription medication
- Future medical costs when a pedestrian accident caused a severe injury requiring multiple surgeries, extensive recovery, or a permanent disability which requires the accident victim to receive continued treatment and care
- Rehabilitation costs to help an accident victim recover lost function(s) and learn how to cope with any permanent loss, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and mental health services
- Costs of assistive devices such as canes, wheelchairs, walkers, and artificial limbs
- Lost wages for time away from work as a consequence of hospitalization, treatment, and recovery
- Lost earning capacity when a pedestrian accident causes a catastrophic injury, preventing an accident victim from returning to their job or seeking gainful employment in the future
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Other economic and non-economic costs which might apply to specific cases
- Punitive damages when the pedestrian accident is a result of willful harm or gross negligence
If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you might be eligible for compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. The law entitles eligible survivors to recover some of the above damages as well as funeral expenses and burial or cremation costs. Your attorney can answer any questions you might have and advise you on the best course of action for you and your family.
Get the Legal Help You Need After a Pedestrian Accident
The knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyers at Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group remain empathetic to the challenges you might be facing in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident. Our firm can help you hold at-fault parties accountable for their actions. We can handle the details of your claim, investigate the circumstances of your accident, and gather relevant evidence such as medical records and police reports.
We can also contact potential witnesses, take statements, and build the strongest case possible against the defense. You can focus on recovering from your injuries, while we deal with tricky insurance carriers to reach a settlement agreement, or fight for you in the courtroom when settlement isn’t an option. You deserve compensation for your pedestrian accident injuries and the losses you incurred as a result.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a pedestrian accident, you shouldn’t have to deal with the financial burden when another party caused your injuries. Contact Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group online or at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) today for a free case evaluation with one of our skilled pedestrian accident attorneys.