The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 70,000 pedestrian injuries and more than 4,000 pedestrian deaths are caused by vehicle accidents every year. That means that on average, a vehicle injures a pedestrian every eight minutes and kills one every two hours.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the experienced attorneys at Leventhal Sar LLC can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. We work on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t get paid until you do. Contact us today by completing the form on this page or calling 720.667.3030 to discuss your case for free. Our Denver office welcomes accident victims from Cherry Creek, Aurora and throughout Colorado.
Rights and Duties of Pedestrians
A pedestrian can be defined as anyone on foot, walking, hiking, jogging, running, sitting, lying down or in a wheelchair on public streets, highways and private property. As a pedestrian, you have the right-of-way at intersections and crosswalks, regardless of whether the crosswalks are marked or not.
However, you should always be alert and watch for other vehicles and road hazards. Even if you have the right-of-way, you must act reasonably and prudent under the circumstances.
Pedestrians have certain duties when traveling along sidewalks and roads, including:
- If there is a sidewalk along a roadway, a pedestrian must walk on it.
- If a public roadway does not have a sidewalk, a pedestrian must walk along the shoulder of the road, facing traffic.
- Pedestrians must use common sense and be aware of their surroundings. They must do whatever is reasonable and prudent to stay out of harm’s way.
Most pedestrian accidents are the result of driver negligence. The NHTSA estimates that distracted driving is responsible for more than 10 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents each year, along with thousands of serious injuries. This includes behaviors such as texting, eating or putting on makeup.
Driver negligence comes in other forms as well, such as:
- Excessive speed
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Driving while intoxicated
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian
- Car equipment failure, such as brakes and tires
Studies show that pedestrian accidents are most often caused by reckless, careless or distracted drivers. However, drivers do not hold all the blame.
Pedestrian accidents have increased over recent years, particularly in large urban areas like Denver. While the increase in these accidents is influenced by a larger walking population, many of these accidents are the result of distracted pedestrians stepping out in front of moving vehicles. Texting, checking emails and status updates aren’t just perilous driving habits: They are dangerous behaviors when performing other tasks in general.
Other dangerous pedestrian practices include:
- Failing to walk on the sidewalk
- Walking along a high-speed thoroughfare
- Walking outside of crosswalk markings
- Jaywalking or crossing diagonally across a road
- Ignoring traffic signals
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
In automobile and pedestrian collisions, the results are almost always inevitable. Pedestrians don’t have the safety of a large vehicle to protect them and their injuries are typically severe and one-sided.
While most pedestrian injuries occur at the primary point of impact, others happen secondarily. Secondary injuries result from the force of an impact propelling a pedestrian into another solid object. For example, the initial impact with a vehicle may break a pedestrian’s leg, but the impact from being flung against a nearby brick wall could result in a fractured skull.
Some of the most common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Brain injury: Brain injuries can cause attention deficits, memory loss, mood swings, headaches and frustration. More serious cases can impair limb function, inhibit normal speech, cause emotional problems and even leave a victim in a comatose state.
- Back and neck injury: The abrupt, violent movement placed on the body during a collision with a vehicle can inflict any number of back and neck injuries. These injuries can include pinched nerves, broken vertebrae, compression fractures and more.
- Paralysis: The forceful impact of a vehicle can cause a spinal cord injury and even paralysis. Victims may be impaired permanently or temporarily, depending on the severity and type of the paralysis. Paralyzed individuals require extensive medical treatment, which can involve surgeries, nursing care and intense rehabilitative therapy.
- Broken bones: Fractured and broken bones are very common injuries in pedestrian accidents. Some breaks are treated easily with a cast. However more severe and complicated cases can require surgery and rehabilitation, leaving the victim incapacitated for weeks or even months, unable to work.
- Death: The sudden loss of a loved one is one of the most devastating events anyone can experience. Not only are precious relationships lost forever, families can be left without the financial means to manage daily life and pay unexpected medical and funeral bills.
What to Do If You’re an Injured Pedestrian
In the moments following your accident, you will likely be confused, anxious and frightened. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your response to the situation may be impacted. Assuming you are coherent and able to move, here’s what you need to do:
- Gain your composure and get out of the street. Considering the violent shock of your collision and sudden rush of adrenalin, your first instinct may be to unleash your rage on the driver. Of course, that won’t help you or your case. Take a moment to breath and gain control of your emotions. Then move out of the street. When the police arrive, you’ll look more sympathetic and be better able to communicate with the driver.
- Keep the driver at the scene. Even if you think you’re unharmed, don’t let the driver leave. Not all injuries are immediately apparent, especially when you’re in shock and full of adrenalin. It’s sadly common for victims to think they’re basically fine and shrug off a driver, only to find later that they suffer from a broken rib or worse. If it’s a hit-and-run, try to snap a picture of the car with your phone or at least make a mental note of its make and color.
- Call the police. Contacting the police once you’ve gotten home and gained your composure won’t help you. You need to call when you’re still at the scene of the accident.
- Gather information and evidence. While waiting for the police to arrive, get the driver’s contact information, driver’s license and insurance information. Then start snapping pictures of the car, the intersection, traffic lights, signs and anything else you see. Ask any witnesses for their contact information as well.
- When the police arrive, make sure your voice is heard. Many police accident reports focus on the driver, and do not include a statement from the pedestrian. Ensure your account of the accident has been taken, and don’t be shy about politely asking to review the officer’s facts.
- Seek medical attention ASAP. Getting into an E.R. immediately after your accident can help both your recovery and your case. You may suffer injuries that you aren’t aware of yet and an early hospital visit ensures you receive the important treatment you need right away. It also helps your case and insurance claim by getting documentation of your injuries.
- Start an insurance claim. Open a claim with the driver’s insurance company. Do not give them anything but the most basic information about what happened. Tell them you were hit as a pedestrian, and tell them the day, time and city in which the accident occurred. That’s it. They will try to pry more details out of you, but don’t share anything until you’ve consulted with your lawyer. You should also start documenting your expenses: medical bills, lost wages, therapy appointments and any other costs accrued as a result of your accident.
- Contact Leventhal Sar LLC. Our pedestrian accident attorneys welcome clients from Denver, Cherry Creek and Aurora, and we’re happy to discuss your case for free. We work on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t get paid until you do. Our knowledgeable and diligent lawyers are experienced with courtroom litigation and negotiating with insurance companies.
Damages for Your Injuries
Whatever caused your accident, our pedestrian accident lawyers will investigate your case to determine the responsible parties and build your best possible case to recover the maximum compensation you deserve. You may be eligible to receive compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and earning potential
- Loss of spousal or parental support
- Pain and suffering
At Leventhal Sar LLC, we strive to take the worry out of your legal case so you and your family can focus on healing. We will conduct a comprehensive investigation of your case and advise you on your best legal strategy moving forward. We understand that ultimately, the decision whether to take a settlement or pursue a trial is yours, and we will give you all of the information you need, including our recommendations, in order to make a decision you are comfortable with.
Have you been seriously harmed as a pedestrian because of a negligent driver in Cherry Creek, Aurora or Denver? Contact Leventhal Sar LLC today online or at 720.667.3030for your free consultation with our experienced pedestrian accident attorneys. We will aggressively fight for your rights, and we don’t get paid until you do.