According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian traffic deaths are unfortunately on the rise. Accidents killed 5,376 pedestrians in 2015 and injured about 70,000 more. Nearly, 5,300 traffic crashes took the lives of one or more pedestrians. On average, a pedestrian dies nearly every 90 minutes in the United States. In fact, pedestrian fatalities account for roughly 15 percent of all traffic deaths. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian accident, call Burg Simpson’s Colorado personal injury lawyers for help.
The vast majority of these tragic – and completely avoidable – accidents occur at night. Factors at play after dark are the obvious lack of visibility and the higher likelihood of drunk drivers. Because of increased foot and motor vehicle traffic, urban centers and non-intersection areas are also both more likely to suffer pedestrian accidents. Speeding drivers, poor city planning, and other variables all lead to a higher rate 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. Higher vehicle speeds, a lack of proper walkways and farther distances to a medical treatment all factor into the higher rural mortality rates.
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 incidents, call Burg Simpson’s Colorado personal injury attorneys at 303-792-5595 or fill out our FREE Evaluation Form right today!
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 path whenever possible.
- If one is not available, walk along the shoulder, facing traffic.
- Stay alert; do not get distracted with electronic devices.
- Never assume a driver can see you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach.
- Be predictable. Use crosswalks or intersections.
- If a 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 or use a flashlight after dark.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your judgment and coordination just like they do drivers.
If, despite all this, you have been hit by a vehicle while walking along the road, call one of our Colorado personal injury lawyers today at 303-792-5595 or fill out a case evaluation form to discuss with us free.
Similarly, there are a number of precautions that drivers can take to avoid hitting a pedestrian, according to the NHTSA, such as:
- Look for pedestrians everywhere. They may not be walking where they should be and they can be hard to see— especially after dark or during bad weather.
- Always stop at crosswalks or crosswalk signs.
- Never pass vehicles at a crosswalk. They may be stopped for
- Slow down and look for pedestrians. Be prepared to stop when turning.
- Never drive drunk or under the influence.
- Obey the speed limit and slow down if you do see
- Stay focused and slow down when children are usually around, in areas like school zones and residential neighborhoods.
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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 able 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 be able 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 to drive its vehicles, knowing the driver is a danger to the public.
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The experienced wrongful death lawyers at Burg Simpson can discuss with you your specific case and help you understand your claims and your potential damages. Call a Colorado personal injury lawyer at Burg Simpson today at 303-792-5595 and receive a FREE, no-obligation consultation.