Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
When Accidents Involve Autos and Pedestrians!
Pedestrian accidents are defined as an accident between a car and a person either on foot or riding a bicycle; they happen more frequently than most people realize. These occur on a daily basis and cause both serious injuries and fatalities. Auto accident lawyers handle pedestrian accidents similarly to any other collisions. Yet personal injury attorneys stress that the circumstances surrounding this type of accident can be different than those of a typical car accident.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents Are Common
Each year, pedestrians and bicyclists are involved in hundreds of thousands of accidents with automobiles each year. These incidents result in over 150,000 injuries1 and more than 5,500 fatalities2 annually among walkers and bicyclists combined. Although it is a small number in comparison to those injured and killed in car accidents, these are still startling and serious statistics about the dangers pedestrians face every day.
Rights and Responsibilities
Auto accident lawyers advise that people who are walking or riding bicycles have certain rights and responsibilities that govern their safety. These rights include having the right-of-way at marked crossings and sidewalks as well as on public roadways except in areas where it is specifically noted that pedestrians are not allowed. In addition, walkers and bicyclists must adhere to public safety laws that include using crosswalks when available, avoiding jaywalking, staying within designated footpaths and riding areas, and observing extra caution and common sense in unmarked areas.
Who Is Liable In These Incidents?
Because people on foot or riding bicycles have a right to safety, personal injury attorneys find that liability in pedestrian accidents frequently lies with the vehicle driver. State laws specifically note that automobile drivers must proceed with necessary caution to avoid walkers and bicyclists, whether encountering them at marked crosswalks or anywhere else.
Even though the automobile driver is often found liable in pedestrian or bicycle accidents, this is not always the case. Auto accident lawyers do recognize that injured pedestrians and bicyclists must prove that a driver behaved negligently and caused the events that led to the accident. People walking or riding bikes can be found liable due to their failure to obey the law if they endanger themselves and are injured.
Compensation for Injuries
People injured in pedestrian accidents can file claims with the responsible driver's insurance company to receive compensation for their injuries. Proving the negligence of the drive is necessary in order to receive any injury compensation. Personal injury attorneys must provide a clear account of what happened and present compelling evidence to prove a client's claim. Important evidence in pedestrian incidents would be accident reports, photographs, eyewitness accounts, and clothing just as they would be in any other motor vehicle accident.
Unfortunately, cars injury pedestrians and bicyclists every day. Even though there are laws in place to protect those on foot or riding a bike, auto accident lawyers stress the importance of sharing the roads safely and attentively to prevent these events. Those injured in pedestrian accidents should immediately contact experienced personal injury attorneys to discuss their individual situation and determine if a claim should be filed to pursue compensation for their injuries!
1Centers For Disease Control - Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety - Pedestrian Safety Statistics, 20132Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center - Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Statistics, 2014