As per the Governors State Highway Administration, there were an estimated 6,590 pedestrian traffic deaths in the United States in 2019. That would be the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in almost 30 years. Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and California had a total of 47% of those deaths. More than 200,000 pedestrians across the country were believed to have been injured after being hit by motor vehicles that year.
Common Causes of Pedestrians Being Hit by Vehicles
Drivers are required to operate their vehicles in a safe and careful manner at all times. They’re required to use due care and caution for the safety of others who are on or about the roadway, including pedestrians. Here are some common causes of pedestrians being hit by vehicles:
- Distracted Drivers: Operators of vehicles who are distracted by phone calls or texting are less likely to see pedestrians who are entering or on a street.
- Turning Drivers: Motorists who are turning left or right sometimes don’t see pedestrians in intersections, especially when traffic conditions are heavy.
- Leaving a Private Drive or Parking Lot: Vehicles turning in or out of a private drive or parking lot can be in a hurry to get into a lane of traffic. They often don’t look to see if pedestrians are nearby.
- Backing: Vehicles that are in reverse gear and backing up present a hazard to pedestrians in parking lots.
- Driving Too Fast for Traffic or Weather Conditions: Everybody is in a hurry when it’s raining, sleeting or snowing. When visibility decreases, stopping distance increases.
What to Do if You’re in a Pedestrian Accident
If you’re a pedestrian and you’ve been hit by a car, much of what you should do depends on how seriously you’ve been injured. If you’re conscious and able to move, call 911 immediately. If you can’t call 911, ask somebody at the scene to do that for you. You’ll want both police and paramedics to be sent to the scene. Never get talked out of calling the police under any circumstances. Then, take the following steps:
- Have the paramedics take you to a nearby emergency room where you can be examined and treated. Follow all emergency room instructions.
- Contact your car insurance company and advise its representative that you were hit by a car as a pedestrian. You might need to make an uninsured motorist claim, especially if the driver who hit you left the scene.
- Don’t take any calls or respond to any messages from the insurer of the person who hit you. Doing so might operate to significantly decrease the value of any case that you might have, especially if you give a recorded statement.
- Contact a reputable personal injury lawyer. Arrange for a consultation and case review. Most personal injury lawyers offer consultations at no cost. Whatever you say to that attorney is privileged and confidential. If you’re comfortable with him or her, retain that attorney to represent you in pursuing compensation for your injuries and damage.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Victims of pedestrian accidents are exposed and unprotected from severe injuries. Here are some common injuries that they may suffer:
- Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
- Multiple fractures, especially to the legs and hips.
- Joint dislocations.
- Damage to internal organs.
- Nerve damage.
- Abrasions with infection.
Expect the insurer of the driver who hit you to try and shift some or all of the blame for your accident over onto you. Don’t take that risk and give them the opportunity to try to do that. Arrange for a no cost confidential consultation with a trusted and effective personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. After your questions have been answered and your legal options have all been explained to you, retain that attorney to represent you for the injuries and damages that you suffered.