While cars are still the dominant form of transportation in the U.S., walking is once again gaining in popularity, not only as a form of exercise and enjoyment but also as an eco-friendly alternative to other forms of transportation. Yet, as more pedestrians hit the pavement, pedestrian traffic accidents are also on the rise. A report by the Governors Highway Safety Association finds that in 2019, pedestrian fatalities hit a 30-year high. Unfortunately, pedestrians can easily become the victims of reckless or negligent drivers.
The moment a car hits a pedestrian, that individual’s life dramatically changes. Pedestrian accidents can be catastrophic, resulting in life-altering injuries, even death. Coping with the physical trauma is damaging enough, but the financial trauma can also take a heavy toll. Thankfully, victims don’t have to go through this frightening and overwhelming journey on their own. That O’Fallon personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC can help.
At OnderLaw, LLC, our team of experienced O’Fallon pedestrian accident attorneys can review the circumstances of your accident, build a solid case establishing liability, and work towards recovering the maximum amount of compensation available for your situation. You need money for your medical expenses, time away from work, and pain. The team at OnderLaw, LLC wants to help you get it.
Before you trust the negligent driver’s insurance company to give you an estimate about what your injuries are worth, talk to a seasoned attorney with OnderLaw, LLC. Let’s work together to get you the money you deserve. Call us today at (314) 963-9000 to take advantage of our free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in 2017 a pedestrian was killed in a traffic accident once every 88 minutes. In addition to those numbers, it is estimated that at least 137,000 pedestrians were treated for injuries in emergency rooms across the United States. That is an alarming number of serious accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles. These types of accidents are becoming more prevalent as more people explore on foot, both for the health benefits and to lower their carbon footprint.
How do these types of accidents take place? In most cases, an inattentive driver is to blame. A report by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration finds that the overwhelming majority of traffic accidents are caused by driver error. At least 94 percent of traffic crashes are caused by a driver making an error either in recognition, performance, or decision making. Some of the most common errors related to pedestrian accidents tend to be:
- Distracted driving is one of the foremost safety concerns for pedestrians and other people using the roadways. Any distraction that takes a driver’s eyes or attention off the road, even for a moment, is a safety hazard to surrounding drivers and pedestrians. Texting, phone calls, using a GPS unit, or even eating while driving can all have disastrous results for a pedestrian.
Drunk or impaired driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is nothing short of reckless. Narcotics and alcohol can numb the mind, impair vision, and slow reaction time. In many cases, an impaired driver doesn’t understand they’ve struck a pedestrian until it is way too late. Statistics from the Missouri Highway State Patrol show that in 2019, drinking and driving resulted in serious injuries and loss of life for both pedestrians and drivers.
- Speeding is considered an aggressive driving behavior that can unnecessarily put people’s lives at risk, especially pedestrians. Statistics from the Missouri State Highway Patrol found that at least ten pedestrians were killed as a result of speeding, and 44 others suffered injuries in 2019. Excessive speeding can make a vehicle more difficult to control. It can also greatly impact the amount of time it takes to slow down.
Parking lot and intersection accidents
- Nowhere are pedestrians and cars more frequently found together than in parking lots. Although speeds tend to be slow, the sheer number of cars and pedestrians traveling through parking lots makes them prime locations for accidents to happen. Driveways and intersections, especially four-way intersections, are also dangerous areas for pedestrians.
Left-hand turn accidents
- Drivers attempting to make a left-hand tend to focus more on traffic patterns and looking in both directions before making a turn. Unfortunately, being so focused on other cars can leave them blind to pedestrians trying to use the crosswalk.
School zone accidents
- Drivers are supposed to exercise caution in active school zones, slowing down during certain hours and heeding all bus signs and signals as they let children off at their stops. Regrettably, not all drivers pay attention, and smaller pedestrians, such as young children, tend to become victims.
Construction zone accidents
- Construction zones are dangerous places, particularly those in high traffic areas or on interstates. Workers are regularly required to enter the roadway in order to dig, drill, pave, paint, and even direct traffic. Changes in speed limits and traffic patterns can throw off drivers, which can lead to serious accidents with construction workers who are on foot.
Poor weather condition or visibility
- The weather isn’t always predictable. Sometimes pedestrians can be caught out in poor weather conditions, which makes it difficult for drivers to see them. Poor visibility combined with slick or dangerous road conditions can be a deadly combination for pedestrians. The same goes for poor visibility in general. It can be extremely difficult for drivers to see pedestrians at night, especially if the pedestrian is wearing dark colors or blends into the surrounding landscape in some way.
Most Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are exposed, out in the open, and have little in the way of “safety equipment.” When a driver behind the wheel of a three-ton or more vehicle hits a pedestrian, there is nothing to take the force of the impact except flesh and bone. It is no wonder that pedestrian injuries are some of the most catastrophic. These types of injuries can significantly alter a victim’s quality of life and can result in serious scarring, disfigurement, and disabilities.
Some of the most common injuries that pedestrians tend to suffer in crashes include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Other neck and spinal injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Road rash
- Wrongful death
What Are the Damage Available for Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident?
Calculating damages following a serious pedestrian accident can be complicated. Several considerations need to be taken into account before arriving at the appropriate dollar amount of compensation required to cover all your expenses. Who is most at fault and the severity of a victim’s injuries can all have an impact on compensation in a pedestrian accident case.
While it takes a skilled attorney to come up with a solid figure for your particular situation, in general, many victims injured in pedestrian versus car accidents can potentially recover money for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
Once compensation has been calculated, distributing it is governed by a Missouri regulation known as “pure comparative fault.” This rule gives victims the opportunity to seek compensation for their injuries from an at-fault party. It works by assigning fault to each person involved in an accident. A person’s compensation is then tied to the proportion of responsibility they bear for causing the accident. Courts are bound by the pure comparative fault rule and it also strongly governs how insurance adjusters calculate what a victim may be due.
For example, if a driver is distracted and hits a pedestrian, they may be considered the at-fault party. However, it comes out that the pedestrian was not in a designated crosswalk when they walked across the street, they also bear some liability for the accident. The driver may be held 80 percent accountable and the victim 20 percent accountable. The pure comparative fault rule means that the victim can collect the total amount of damages, minus their portion of responsibility. If damages are $100,000, then they can collect $80,000.
Contact an Experienced O’Fallon Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
For many pedestrians caught in this type of life-changing event, it isn’t about the money. It is about accountability and getting a piece of your life back. No amount of money can make up for what you’ve gone through, but you deserve full and fair compensation for your medical expenses, loss of income, and trauma. You also deserve to know that the negligent driver who caused the accident is being held responsible for their actions.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we help victims, or their surviving family members get both compensation and a sense of justice. Our skilled team of pedestrian accident attorneys will thoroughly review your situation and walk you through the steps of the legal process.
If you want more information about how we can help you get the maximum compensation possible following an O’Fallon pedestrian accident, contact us today by calling (314) 963-9000. We even offer a free case evaluation to help get you started. Before you accept any financial offer, consult with an experienced attorney and find out more about your legal rights.