Whether you are walking to work, to school, or simply for pleasure or exercise, it is a relatively safe and healthy practice and one that is consistently encouraged by healthcare professionals for both physical exercise and emotional wellness. However, there are external factors that could potentially lead to an incident resulting in catastrophic, life-altering injuries or even death.
The most common of these include trips and falls, premises liability (inadequate facilities ― e.g., a parking lot riddled with potholes), and accidents involving motor vehicles ― most of which involve negligence on behalf of the driver.
In instances where a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the resulting injuries can be severe – even life-threatening. Fractures, organ damage, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries all commonly result from pedestrian accidents with a motor vehicle and can alter your way of life forever. In the unfortunate event that you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident, you need a law firm that is willing to fight for your rights.
If you or someone you know has been severely injured in a pedestrian accident, Perry Charnoff is here to advocate for justice on your behalf. We thoroughly investigate the events leading up to the incident, and we can use accident reconstruction experts to help us determine possible negligence. Meanwhile, we can use medical experts to weigh in on the severity of your injuries, the length of your recovery, and the amount of care you will require to achieve maximum medical improvement.
We have substantial experience dealing with insurance companies looking to settle with our clients for less than what they are rightfully entitled, and we will put that experience to work for you in negotiating a fair settlement or by pursuing justice in the courtroom during trial. Serious injuries require serious legal work, and we are dedicated to the physical and financial recovery of each and every one of our clients.
Common Causes and Risk Factors of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the overwhelming consistency in each is that they result in catastrophic injury to the victim. The most common accidents we see at Perry Charnoff come as the result of:
- Intoxicated driving
- Failing to obey red lights or stop signs
- Distracted driving
- Turning right at crosswalks without first looking for pedestrians
- Cars parked illegally obstructing motorists’ and pedestrians’ line of sight
Sadly, 4,884 pedestrians lost their lives in 2013 after being involved in motor vehicle accidents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, over 150,000 pedestrians had to be treated at an emergency room as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle. Those aged 65 and older are at the greatest risk, as they accounted for 10% of all pedestrians injured in 2013 and nearly 20% of all pedestrian fatalities in that same year. Children are also more at risk than other segments of the population: 20% of children under the age of 14 who lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents were children. Lastly, nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities involved a motorist or pedestrian with a blood alcohol content greater than the legal limit of .08%.
While the numbers above are alarming, many injuries can be prevented if drivers and pedestrians alike are better informed about when and where they occur most frequently and how to prevent them altogether. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, pedestrian accidents resulting in fatalities are more likely to take place in urban areas between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and midnight during Friday and Saturday evenings.
The reasons for this are obvious: there is more traffic in metropolitan areas, pedestrians are more difficult to see at dusk and after the sun has set, and drivers and pedestrians are more likely to be intoxicated during the weekend. In 2014, 76% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas, but accidents in rural areas are more likely to cause fatalities due to drivers traveling at higher speeds in regions where there is a lessened expectation of pedestrian traffic.
To mitigate the risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident, drivers and pedestrians alike should never travel while intoxicated. Motorists should always obey the speed limit, especially at night, and remain vigilant when approaching or stopped at an intersection or crosswalk.
For their part, pedestrians should always obey traffic signals and never assume that motor vehicle traffic is going to comply with traffic laws. Exercise discretion and err on the side of caution. If you are walking in the late afternoon or after sunset, you should wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight that is illuminated at all times. Never cross the street at an area that is not designated for you to do so, and if a sidewalk or path is not available, walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
Perry Charnoff PLLC
If you or a loved has been struck by a motor vehicle and suffered catastrophic, life-altering injuries as a result of the driver’s negligence, we are here to advocate for justice on your behalf. We offer free consultations to better understand the circumstances of the incident and offer sound legal advice based on the information we receive. Additionally, our contingent fee policy ensures that you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we are able to secure a financial recovery in your case.
The statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim in Virginia is just two years, so please complete this form or call us today at (703) 291-6650 and we can begin work on your case immediately.