California: A Dangerous Place for Pedestrians?
Each year more than 64,000 pedestrians are injured from auto versus pedestrian accidents in the United States, and nearly 5,000 are killed. While every pedestrian accident is different, the cause of the accident is often driver negligence. These victims are left to face substantial medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), California is, unfortunately, one of the top states for pedestrian accidents, along with Florida, Texas, and New York. Of the 64,000 injured pedestrians across the United States, 20,000 of the injuries were sustained in California. With these staggering statistics, it is increasingly important for injured pedestrians to seek representation after an accident.
How Do Pedestrian Accidents Usually Occur?
Pedestrian accidents can, unfortunately, happen at any time, and in any place. Most people would assume that pedestrian accidents primarily occur in busy intersections, but non-intersection accidents account for most pedestrian accidents. Commonly, pedestrian accidents involve the following situations: school children walking to and from school, elderly persons crossing busy streets, and pedestrians crossing the street using both marked and unmarked crosswalks.
California pedestrian injuries are usually caused by distracted drivers — especially drivers who are texting, speeding, and not paying close enough attention to the road. Any driver who is distracted due to a cell phone, another passenger, a radio, etc. is extremely dangerous to not only other drivers on the road but also pedestrians that are relying on the safety of drivers. A distracted driver in a fast-moving vehicle can cause irreparable damage to a pedestrian. One frightening statistic puts the danger of speeding in perspective: 85% of pedestrians hit by cars traveling 40 miles per hour are killed.
How Can You Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?
In an effort to prevent pedestrian accidents, the Department of Transportation lists these important safety reminders on their website:
– Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked or unmarked crosswalks in most situations. They need to be especially careful at intersections where the failure to yield right-of-way often occurs when drivers are turning onto another street and a pedestrian is in their path.
– When possible, cross the street at a designated crosswalk. Always stop and look left, right, and left again before crossing. If a parked vehicle is blocking the view of the street, stop at the edge line of the vehicle and look around it before entering the street.
– Increase visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing retro-reflective clothing that helps to highlight body movements.
– It is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.
You’ve Been Involved in a Pedestrian Accident. What’s Next?
Without quality legal representation, victims of a pedestrian accident may find it difficult to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional suffering resulting from pedestrian accident injuries. It is extremely important to have quality legal representation on your side. The attorneys at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. have extensive experience in handling pedestrian accidents and are ready to answer your questions today.
Here are a few critical things to remember if you are a pedestrian
accident victim or you witness a pedestrian accident injury:
– Insist that a report is filed with the authorities
– Obtain contact information, insurance, license plate and driver’s license numbers of everyone involved
– Gather witness information
– Take photographs
– Seek medical attention
– Contact a reputable attorney
– Do not give statements to an insurance representative
– Sign nothing without first discussing your rights with a knowledgeable attorney
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, please contact one of our pedestrian injury lawyers for a free case consultation. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys are prepared to investigate your accident and help you recover the compensation you deserve.