According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian traffic deaths are on the rise. In 2018, 6,283 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, and thousands more are injured every year. On average, a pedestrian dies every 88 minutes in the U.S.
The vast majority of these tragic – and completely avoidable – accidents occur at night. After dark, factors at play include the obvious lack of visibility and the higher likelihood of drunk drivers. Due to increased foot and motor vehicle traffic, urban areas and non-intersection crossings are both more likely to result in pedestrian accidents. Speeding drivers, poor city planning, and other variables all lead to a higher rare of pedestrian accidents in urban areas.
That is not to say that rural areas do not have their share of accidents. Even though there are fewer pedestrian accidents overall outside of cities, pedestrian injuries are usually much more serious and more likely to be fatal. Rural mortality rates are impacted by higher vehicle speeds, a lack of proper walkways, and farther distances to medical treatment.
When a wrongful death occurs because of a pedestrian accident, Burg Simpson’s lawyers can help families recover from these tragic losses. If you have lost someone in one of these devastating incidents, call Burg Simpson’s experienced pedestrian accident attorneys at (866) 234-7768 or fill out our FREE case evaluation form today.
What Pedestrian Can Do to Avoid Accidents
The NHTSA lists several things pedestrians can do to stay alive when they are sharing the road with drivers, such as:
- Use the sidewalk or designated path whenever possible
- If a walkway isn’t available, walk along the shoulder, facing traffic
- Stay alert, do not get distracted by electronic devices
- Never assume a driver can see you. Make eye contract with drivers as they approach
- Be predictable; use crosswalks or intersections
- If crosswalks or intersections are not available, find a well-lit area, wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross
- Be visible. Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials at night. Use a flashlight after dark.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking as they impair your judgment and coordination
What Drivers Can Do to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents
Similarly, there are a number of precautions drivers can take to avoid hitting a pedestrian, such as:
- Look for pedestrians everywhere. They may not be walking where they should be and can be hard to see, especially after dark or in bad weather.
- Always stop at crosswalks or crosswalk signs
- Never pass vehicles at a crosswalk. They may be stopped for pedestrians.
- Slow down and look for pedestrians. Be prepared to stop when turning.
- Never drive drunk or under the influence of drugs
- Obey the speed limit and slow down if you see pedestrians
- Stay focused and slow down when children are usually around, in areas like school zones and residential neighborhoods
What Damages Can Be Recovered in Pedestrian Accident Claims?
Injured pedestrians may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party or their insurance company for:
- Economic losses, including past and future medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, and out-of-pocket costs
- Non-economic losses, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental and emotional distress, inconvenience
- Permanent impairment and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium by an affected spouse
The families of pedestrians killed by the negligence of a driver also may be eligible to recover economic damages (e.g. wages and other income the deceased would have earned, emergency and hospital care, funeral and burial expenses) and non-economic damages (loss of comfort, care, affection, love, companionship suffered by the survivors of the deceased).
In some circumstances, such as when a driver is impaired, using a cell phone, or speeding, a jury may decide to award punitive damages to the injured pedestrian. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer. Sometimes a company that employs a driver can be held responsible for damages, including punitive damages, when the company fails to properly hire, train, or supervise their drivers, or entrusts a driver with its vehicles, knowing the driver is a danger to the public.
Contact a Burg Simpson Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Now
The experienced pedestrian accident and wrongful death attorneys at Burg Simpson can discuss the specific circumstances of your case and help you understand the claim and your potential damages. Call a personal injury lawyer at Burg Simpson today at (866) 234-7768 or fill out our FREE case evaluation form.