-Pedestrian Accidents

Anytime a pedestrian is hit by a car there is a good chance that they are going to sustain an assortment of injuries. While some injuries might not be that serious, others could be life-threatening. Even if the person is doing nothing more than backing out of their driveway, there is a good chance that the injuries sustained are going to be significant. However, that chance of being severely injured is going to rise tremendously if the vehicle was traveling at a significant rate of speed.

According to the CDC, over 150,000 people were treated for injuries at the hospital for crossing the street in 2013. Close to 5,000 people were fatally wounded. That averages out to one death every 2 hours across the US.

According to the Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law team, an injury lawyer from Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law, Pedestrians that have been hit by a car can end up experiencing injuries to their abdomen, chest, extremities, and head. There are a number of factors that come into play when determining the severity of the injuries, such as how fast the driver was going, what type of vehicle they were driving, where they were hit and how old the pedestrian is. Some of the more common injuries sustained from pedestrian accidents are:

  • Head trauma
  • Internal bleeding
  • Pelvic injury
  • Spinal injury
  • Fractures
  • Death
  • Internal injury

Recovery can often be a long and drawn-out process. The intense pain of recovery coupled with the rise of medical costs can leave the individual struggling just to make it through from one day to the next. When injured in a pedestrian accident, there is a chance that the individual is going to have to go through some type of physical therapy.

Understanding Driver Negligence

When injured in a pedestrian accident, you have to first establish that the individual who was driving the vehicle was supposed to provide you with a certain duty of care. What does this mean for you? It means that the individual was expected to drive their vehicle with a reasonable amount of care to prevent causing injury to someone else.

There are a number of different factors that could end up causing a car accident to occur that involved a pedestrian, such as:

  • Being inattentive or distracted for any reason. Distractions can come in an assortment of different forms. It could be that the driver was messing with their cell phone or other electronic device.
  • The driver was speeding. Not only is speeding dangerous for a pedestrian who might be walking along, but it is also dangerous for the driver. Injuries are far more severe when the driver is going at an increased speed

There is no way to determine what might be ahead. A patch of ice or an object in the road could cause the driver to lose control and end up crashing into someone else.

Pedestrians are often hit by a car when they are simply trying to get across the road. This could be because the driver did not yield when they were making a turn. Drivers are supposed to yield to the pedestrian. They need to make sure no one is walking across the crosswalk before speeding through.

If a driver disobeys a traffic sign or signal, there is a good chance an accident will occur. This is neglect on the fault of the driver. They know that when a light is red, they need to stop. If there is a stop sign present, it is up to them to follow the traffic laws properly. Drivers who do not use turn signals also end up causing accidents. There is no way for a pedestrian to know if that driver is going to be coming their way or not. They cannot predict what the driver’s intentions are. This can end up leading to a lot of accidents from negligence on the driver’s part.

If the traffic conditions are bad, the driver should take their time and slow down. They should not be driving at an accelerated rate of speed under snowy and icy conditions. Exercising caution can go a long way in preventing a pedestrian from being injured. Any driver not paying attention to driving conditions and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could end up finding themselves in serious trouble with the law. These individuals have a duty to drive with care, especially when the weather outside is less than desirable.

Make Sure to Seek Legal Counsel if Hit By a Car

The best thing you can do when you are injured in any type of pedestrian accident is to speak with a Phoenix personal injury lawyer. They will go over what happened with you and determine whether they believe you have a valid case or not. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries. Do not assume that you have no other option than to try to handle it on your own. There is always someone out there who is willing to fight for your rights and investigate the specifics of the accident to determine what happened and what went wrong.

If you have sustained serious injuries in a pedestrian accident while you were walking on a roadway, then you might be somewhat confused as to your rights — after all, it may not be clear whether you were actually entitled to walk on the roadway (under Arizona law) at the time of the collision.

Arizona regulates pedestrian roadway use quite stringently.  Let’s take a look at the basics.

Sidewalk Use is Highly Controlled

Section 28-796 of the Arizona Revised Statutes governs pedestrian use of roadways in situations where sidewalks may or may not be present.  More specifically, Arizona statutory law prohibits pedestrian use of roadways when there are sidewalks on (or adjacent to) the roadway at-issue.

Where no sidewalk has been provided, pedestrians are allowed to walk along the roadway, but this accessibility is limited.  Pedestrians may only walk:

  1. On the left side of the roadway, or
  2. On the shoulder of the roadway, facing traffic that may be approaching from the opposite direction.

Further, you may not stand in a roadway — even briefly — to solicit a ride.  For example, it is illegal to step onto the road to call a taxicab.  You must stay on the sidewalk (assuming that a sidewalk has been provided).

Arizona Comparative Negligence

In the event that you did, in fact, violate the various statutory regulations concerning sidewalk use and pedestrian roadway use, then Arizona law may not necessarily preclude you from suing and recovering damages for your injuries — though your recovery will likely be influenced quite significantly.

Arizona applies pure comparative negligence rules.  In other words, an injured plaintiff may bring an action for damages in situations where they are at-fault, even if they are 99 percent at-fault for their own injuries.  Critically, however, the total damages will be reduced by their proportional fault contribution.

For example, suppose that you are hit by a car while traveling on a roadway without a sidewalk.  Your damages total $100,000.  As it turns out, you were walking in the same direction as traffic, and therefore were violated section 28-796(b) of the pedestrian roadway regulation.  The court determines that you are 50 percent at-fault, and that the defendant-driver is 50 percent at-fault.  You are entitled to recover $50,000.

Contact a Skilled Phoenix Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Assistance With Your Claims

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys bring to bear over six decades of combined experience handling claims relating to motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian accidents, and have successfully resolved numerous lawsuits over the years, including those that involve pedestrian roadway collisions.

Unlike many other personal injury firms, we are committed to the provision of client-oriented legal advocacy — as such, we make ourselves available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you may have, and we even offer discounted contingency fees so that our clients can keep more of what they secure through a verdict or settlement.  This approach has brought us a significant amount of success over the years, reflected in our case results.

Interested in learning more about your claims?

Call (602) 535-1900 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney at Hirsch & Lyon.  We look forward to helping you move forward with your lawsuit.

If you have been injured due to a pedestrian accident at a crosswalk, you may not only be entitled to recover damages from the defendant-driver who collided with you — you may also be entitled to recover damages from the person/entity that owns or otherwise controls the crosswalk on which you were injured.  Crosswalks attract pedestrian traffic, as they are intended to be “safe zones” for pedestrians.  When crosswalks represent a hazard to pedestrians, however, with no adequate warning of the dangers therein, then the defendant who owns or controls the crosswalk may be held liable.

Crosswalk injuries fall under the premises liability framework.  What this means is that you’ll have to show that the crosswalk was unreasonably dangerous for those making use of the property.  By introducing evidence that the crosswalk was designed or maintained in such a way that it presented a danger to pedestrians, you can more effectively litigate your injury claim.

There are a number of factors that contribute towards making a crosswalk dangerous.  Let’s explore a few common ones.

Visibility Issues

Crosswalks must be reasonably visible to oncoming traffic at all times.  There are a number of visibility issues that can crop up: vegetation growing in adjacent property may be poorly trimmed and may therefore interfere with sight-lines, or there may be inadequate street lighting.  If visibility of the crosswalk is a serious concern even after certain measures have been implemented, signs should be installed to give drivers warning of the crosswalk ahead.

Traffic Flow Requires Additional Measures

Depending on the street, traffic flow may be high volume, high speed, and otherwise complicated (i.e., the street has many mergers close to the crosswalk) by various factors.  In such cases, the standard safety measures implemented at a crosswalk may not be enough.  Additional crosswalk safety measures — such as blinking crosswalk lights — may be necessary to sufficiently manipulate traffic flow and create a safe environment for pedestrians.

Failure to Consider Pedestrian Age, Health, and Ability

Crosswalks do not exist in a vacuum.  Reasonable crosswalk design considers the type of pedestrian foot traffic that will be using the crosswalk.  For example, if a crosswalk is built next to an adult disability center, then it should take into account that many of the pedestrians using the crosswalk will have to use the crosswalk in a slower and more deliberate manner.

Crosswalk Signals Not Working

A well-designed crosswalk must be properly maintained in order to remain safe for pedestrian use.  In fact, if a crosswalk has existing signals that suddenly stop working, or is otherwise in disrepair, it could serve as a “trap” that lures in pedestrians who believe that the crosswalk is safe to use.  If the property owner (or possessor) fails to maintain the crosswalk in safe condition, and a pedestrian is injured as a result, they could be held liable.

Inherent Danger Revealed by Accident History

A substantial pedestrian accident history at the crosswalk is proof that it is inherently dangerous and therefore needs to be modified or removed.  If a property owner is aware of a high volume of pedestrian accidents occurring at the crosswalk, it will operate in some cases as notice of the dangerous condition of the crosswalk.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident due to the fault of another, you may be entitled to recover damages as compensation for your injuries, pursuant to Arizona law.  Your pedestrian accident case should be handled with seriousness and care.  To ensure that your case is handled effectively, contact an experienced Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney here at Hirsch & Lyon.  Call (602) 535-1900 today.  Initial consultation is free — our attorneys will assess your claims and help you navigate the litigation process.

We look forward to speaking with you.

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