pedestrian accident

Pedestrian Accidents

Mount Laurel Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

When a pedestrian is involved in an accident, there is nothing protecting them from the force of impact. That means that even a minor accident can cause severe personal injury if a pedestrian is struck by a car.

Although there are a number factors that can cause a devastating pedestrian accident, including inclement weather, poor road conditions, and defective car parts, the majority of pedestrian accidents are caused by driver negligence. In other words, many of these tragic and often fatal accidents can be prevented if motorists pay attention to their surroundings, obey the rules of the road, and avoid unsafe driving behaviors.

If a pedestrian is seriously injured in a car accident, they may be eligible for financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced lawyer can assist them with the claims process.

How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 5,000 pedestrians are killed and over 70,000 suffer serious injuries each year in the United States. Whether taking a walk in the neighborhood, walking to work or school, or crossing a busy intersection, everyone is a pedestrian at some point.

What Can Motorists Do to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?

All motorists have a responsibility to obey the rules of the road and make safety a priority, particularly when there are pedestrians in the vicinity. The following are safety tips that motorists should keep in mind at all times:

  • Avoid distractions. Distracted driving is dangerous under any circumstances, but particularly when there are pedestrians in the area. Talking and texting on the phone, interacting with another passenger, reaching for something in the back seat, or changing the radio station are all examples of behavior that takes a driver’s attention off the road.
  • Do not drink and drive. Alcohol has a negative impact on motorists’ reaction times, coordination, and cognitive functions. Motorists who are under the influence of alcohol are less able to notice pedestrians and stop in time to avoid a devastating collision.
  • Look for pedestrians. Motorists are urged to be aware of their surroundings and look for pedestrians, particularly when driving in residential areas, in school zones, near parks, and in urban areas.
  • Watch out for children. Children do not always pay attention to traffic signs or follow the rules when it comes to crosswalks and stop signs. Small children tend to run into the road or cross the street without looking. Use extra caution when driving in areas where there are likely to be children walking or riding their bikes.
  • Follow the speed limit. The faster a car is traveling, the more severe the injuries are likely to be in the event of a pedestrian accident. Always obey the posted speed limit, particularly in school zones and residential areas.
  • Motorists should not assume that a pedestrian sees the car. When a pedestrian is crossing the street, make eye contact with them to make sure they know that the motorist is giving them the right-of-way.

What Safety Tips Should Pedestrians Follow?

Although motorists have a responsibility to follow the rules of the road, pedestrians are also expected to follow many of the same laws and to be aware of their surroundings at all times. The following are examples of safety tips that pedestrians should keep in mind:

  • Always use the sidewalk if it is available.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far away from oncoming traffic as possible.
  • Obey all posted signs and traffic controls.
  • Never walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle.
  • Although pedestrians have the right-of-way at a crosswalk, always look both ways before crossing.
  • Cross the street at a crosswalk or an intersection whenever possible, as this is where motorists expect pedestrians to cross.
  • Wear bright colors during the day and reflective gear when walking at night.
  • Pay close attention to vehicles backing out of parking lots or driveways.

What Are the Most Common Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident?

Unfortunately, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, the resulting injuries are often severe or fatal. Since there is nothing protecting pedestrians from the force of the impact, even a minor accident can cause serious injuries. The following are examples of common injuries that occur in pedestrian accidents:

  • Lower extremity injuries. Close to half of pedestrians injured in car accidents suffer injuries to the lower part of their bodies, including trauma to the ligaments and muscles, pelvis fractures, cuts and lacerations, and broken bones.
  • Injuries to the head, face, and neck. After lower extremities, these are the second most common body parts that are injured in pedestrian accidents. When the body strokes the windshield or the hood of the vehicle, the pedestrian can suffer neck injuries, jaw fractures, lacerations, concussions, skull damage, and shoulder displacements.
  • Injuries to the upper extremities. These are the third most common type of injuries that occur in pedestrian accidents. Oftentimes, they occur when a pedestrian lands on the hood of the car or is tossed over the vehicle. A large percentage of pedestrians suffer from these types of injuries, including musculoskeletal injuries involving the arms, hands, and wrists, and injuries to the abdomen or chest. The most common types of upper extremity injury that occurs in pedestrian accidents are head injuries, which tend to be severe and often fatal.

What Should I Do if I am Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?

If a pedestrian is injured in a car accident, there are a number of important steps they should take in order to protect their legal rights and collect the compensation they deserve, including the following:

  • Report the accident. If no one else called 911 to report the accident to police, the injured party should do so if they are physically able to move. Police and emergency medical technicians (EMT) will arrive at the scene, and the police officer will create an official report of the accident. In addition, the EMT will determine the severity of the injuries and transport the injured pedestrian to the nearest hospital.
  • Collect evidence from the accident scene. The injured party should take photographs of the accident scene, including the damage to the vehicles, the injuries, debris or skid marks on the road, and any other pictures that may help prove fault. If there were witnesses who saw the accident happen, ask if they would be willing to provide a statement, and get their contact information as well.
  • Seek immediate medical attention. Even if the injuries do not seem severe, it is extremely important for the injured party to be thoroughly examined by a medical professional. Oftentimes, injuries are not obvious immediately following the accident when adrenaline is coursing through the system. If the pedestrian fails to seek medical attention, this can cause problems during the claims process, as the at-fault party can claim that the injuries must not be serious if the pedestrian did not think it was necessary to get medical care.
  • Contact the insurance company. The injured party should notify their insurance company about the accident so the agent can initiate the claims process.

Mount Laurel Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Represent Pedestrians Injured in Accidents

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to contact our Mount Laurel pedestrian accident lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman. We will thoroughly examine the details of the accident and help you with every step of the claims process so you can focus on healing. Our dedicated legal team will address all your questions. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Burlington County and the surrounding areas.