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Pedestrian Car Accident Consequences

Everyone is a pedestrian as we walk on the road at some point for our specific needs. Unfortunately, there are a lot of accidents and deaths involving pedestrians. According to the US Department of Transportation, 6,516 pedestrians died, and about 55,000 people sustained severe injuries nationwide. Most accident cases occur in cities, on roads far from intersections, and at night. Drivers who hit pedestrians may face civil and criminal consequences. Penalties may include fines, probation, restitution, license suspension, or imprisonment, depending on the specific circumstances. If you struck someone with your car or became a victim of any such incident, you should contact us soon. At the Phillips Law Offices, our pedestrian car accident lawyers can assist you in claiming your rights. We can evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and guide you throughout the process.

Causes of pedestrian Car accidents in the nation

Regardless of place and time, a person on foot is at higher risk for injury than one sitting inside a motor vehicle. Since a pedestrian does not have the same level of protection as a car driver, the injuries sustained in an accident can be life-altering. In the US, most pedestrian fatalities happen at night in populated areas and away from intersections. The primary causes of pedestrian-automobile collisions are as follows:

Distracted driving

Numerous pedestrian car accidents happen when the driver is not closely monitoring the road. Talking on a phone, texting, emailing, adjusting the radio or air conditioner/heater in his car, navigating, or attending to kids in the backseat are all distractions that can happen while driving. Pedestrians are at risk when a driver diverts his attention from the road for even a few seconds.

Left-hand turns

There are reportedly three times more people hit by cars turning left than right turns. Even at intersections with signals and crosswalks, left-turn accidents happen. It is because when making left-hand turns, drivers have to be conscious of checking for oncoming traffic. They have to drive, see other vehicles, and at the same time, check for pedestrians. Failure to do so could result in a devastating auto or pedestrian accident.

 Pedestrian negligence

While driver distraction may contribute to accidents, distracted pedestrians are equally responsible in some cases. A person walking down the street is probably not paying enough attention to the traffic around them if they look down at an electronic device (phone, computer, music player). Since gadgets are hazardous for pedestrians and drivers, they should avoid using them on the road.

Excessive speeding

When a car runs fast, the driver might not have enough time to stop for an approaching pedestrian. Due to the speed, they might not see any nearby walking or standing person when they stop at a traffic signal. As a result, the potential severity of pedestrian injuries is high with an overspeeding vehicle.

Drunk driving

Alcohol or drug-impaired drivers are much less likely to notice a pedestrian on the road. Due to the high feeling, they might not react and drive adequately. Injury to pedestrians is significant when driving after drinking or using narcotics.

Reckless driving

Inexperienced drivers are less likely to be aware of potential pedestrian crossings. The risks of a pedestrian accident also increase by illegal u-turns, disregarding posted directional signs, and excessive speeding. Besides reckless driving, the absence of clearly marked crosswalks may cause a driver to fail to notice pedestrians and cause accidents.

Several factors, including busy intersections and road debris, put pedestrians at high risk. Therefore, you must take the necessary precautions to safeguard yourself while walking. For instance, if you need to cross the street, do so at the crosswalk at the intersection. While crossing, you are more noticeable to oncoming traffic. Additionally, you should carry a light or wear bright clothing if you are cycling or walking at night to ensure visibility.

Knowing about Pedestrian Injuries

Car Accident
Pedestrian Car Accident

When a car hits a person crossing the street, they are defenseless. As a result, pedestrian accidents often result in severe injuries, including:

Lower extremities

The lower body parts of pedestrians are among the areas most likely to make initial contact with the moving object. Injuries to the lower body occur in up to 50% of pedestrian accidents. Broken bones, amputated limbs, lacerations, fractures of the pelvis, and trauma to the ligaments and muscles are common injuries.

Face, head, and neck

The neck, face, or head is the second body part that often sustains injuries. They get affected when these body parts collide with the hood or windshield. Injuries to the neck, face, or head occur in 38% of pedestrian accidents. Common examples include shoulder displacement, jaw fractures, vertebral injuries, neck injuries, brain stem damage, and concussions.

Upper extremities

An upper extremity injury affects 27% of pedestrians on average. The arms, wrists, and hands are prone to numerous musculoskeletal injuries. Besides, injuries to the chest or abdomen could also happen if a pedestrian gets tossed over the car or falls on its hood.

Steps to take after a pedestrian Car Accident

Pedestrian accidents may happen anytime or anywhere. Stay calm even if you are the victim or the negligent party. It may be challenging because of being hit by a moving vehicle. However, remaining courteous is critical for assessing injuries and taking stock of the situation. Some of the vital steps to take after an accident are as follows:

Determine injuries

If you hit a pedestrian, you should be concerned about that person’s safety. You must stop your vehicle and seek medical aid for anyone who needs it. While it is impossible to turn back time and prevent an accident from happening, leaving the scene could make matters worse for you and the pedestrian you hit.

Every state has laws requiring motorists to stop at the scene of an accident, present identification, and offer any necessary assistance (like calling 911). Drivers who hit a pedestrian and don’t stop put that person in danger, and they run the risk of facing criminal charges for hit-and-run driving. The severity of the crash determines the specific penalties for evading drivers. Drivers who flee the scene of an accident that causes serious injuries or fatalities can be charged with a felony and given a prison sentence in almost all states.

Police reporting

Now that you have stopped your car in a safe place, it is time to assess the situation. Call 911 immediately if anyone in the collision needs medical assistance. Most of the time, dialing 911 will summon law enforcement. However, you also need a police report for legal processes following a pedestrian accident. To record the incident, a police officer will ask questions and write a police report. Criminal and civil cases both heavily rely on police reports. Take care of your words because any statements you make are proof of the incident.

Gathering evidence

The best way to defend your legal rights is to gather evidence supporting your claim. Take pictures of your car and the accident scene from all angles, including close-ups and distance. If someone saw what happened, ask them to become your witness. Whether pictures, witnesses, or medical bills, preserve the evidence. When you get home, write down all details about the accident. If you face legal or other repercussions later, you can refer to your notes to refresh your memory.

Intimating insurance company

Finally, inform your insurance provider about the pedestrian accident. According to your policy, you must immediately notify your insurance provider of any incident that could result in coverage; otherwise, you risk losing that protection. You should probably report the accident to the local police and the department of motor vehicles in your state if the pedestrian or anyone else involved sustained injuries. Eventually, connect with your auto insurance provider and give details about the collision.

Determining liability in a pedestrian Car accident

Pedestrian Car Accident Consequences
Pedestrian Car Accident

When multiple factors are at play, determining the liability becomes more complex. For instance, the collision occurred when the pedestrian attempted to walk in a prohibited zone or when the person crossed the street illegally. In such cases, the car driver is not entirely to blame as the pedestrian is also accountable for the accident. As a result, contributory and comparative negligence standards apply under the state’s shared fault statutes.

Criminal courts intend to assess whether a person has broken a criminal law (a law prohibiting harming or endangering others) and, if so, to punish the offender. The government (represented by the prosecutor) must prove the charges against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal court. The majority of car accidents do not result in criminal charges. Drivers who act recklessly and disregard the safety of others, on the other hand, may be charged with a crime.

On the contrary, civil courts deal with individual disputes, such as claims arising from car-pedestrian accidents. In a civil case, one party (the plaintiff) sues another (the defendant) and requests that the court grant one or more forms of relief, such as financial damages. Whether or not a driver has criminal charges for the accident, the injured pedestrian can still sue in civil court.

Hiring a pedestrian Car Accident Lawyer

pedestrian car accident claims are typical and require legal intervention. Depending on the facts of each case, drivers could face civil and criminal consequences. Pedestrians who sustain injuries could have coverage in their health and disability insurance plans or worker’s compensation insurance if the incident happened at work. They might also submit a claim to the driver’s insurance provider. Regardless of the condition, hiring a qualified Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer is wise to determine who is at fault and what are the legal options.

An injured pedestrian (plaintiff) will attempt to show that the driver (defendant) was negligent in a personal injury lawsuit. However, if the pedestrian dies in the accident, the surviving family members of the deceased person may file wrongful death lawsuits against the at-fault driver. If you hit a pedestrian with your vehicle and have been charged with a crime (or even think you might be), talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Our skilled attorneys at Phillips Law Offices are available round the clock for your assistance. No matter how critical your case is, we can look for a solution to resolve it at the earliest. For a free consultation contact us now.

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