Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Jen kissed her daughter, Tricia, on the head on the way out of the house. She was running late for work and had meeting notes to review and deadlines to meet.
Tricia didn’t have to be at her high school for an hour; it was only a few blocks away. She played a game on her phone while she finished her breakfast. Then, when her reminder went off on her phone, she grabbed her book bag, locked the front door, and set out for school.
As Tricia was approaching the crosswalk near her home, another teenager going to the same high school was texting while driving. She didn’t look up in time to see Tricia crossing the street, but she heard and felt the awful thud when she hit Tricia.
Most car vs. pedestrian accidents happen in intersections as a pedestrian crosses the street. To understand the injuries, look at the three stages of impact.
- The average car weighs over 3,000 pounds. If the driver was going the speed limit in a school zone, a collision is survivable, but that’s still 3,000 pounds of metal colliding with flesh and bone. The car’s height determines the initial point of impact, but it is usually at the knee joint, thigh, or pelvis.
- The car’s momentum forces the victim’s legs forward rapidly while her upper body hits the hood or windshield, depending on speed and vehicle height. The greater the speed, the more damage this can inflict on the torso, including ribs, back, internal organs, neck, and head.
- The force of the second impact can launch Tricia’s body forward to hit the ground if the vehicle brakes. In a taller vehicle, the driver may even roll over the victim’s body before he or she can hit the brakes and come to a stop.
The tragic truth is that approximately 7,000 pedestrians die annually in the United States due to pedestrian vs. auto accidents. Many more are severely injured.
As Tricia was in the crosswalk, she had the right of way, and the distracted driver was at fault, but even in these cut-and-dry situations, a motorist’s insurance company will still try to avoid paying her medical bills. Insurance companies are businesses, meaning their first duty is to their shareholders and clients. That means they will try to pay the least amount possible toward Tricia’s medical bills despite the severity of her injuries.
Some of the most common injuries pedestrian accident attorneys see in vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents are:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): Everything about us, from our memories to our personalities to vital skills and bodily functions, are stored or controlled by the brain. Whatever part of the brain gets damaged, the information or operation of that portion of the brain is compromised. You could forget how to speak or reason, lose the ability to move independently, or even forget those nearest and dearest to you.
- Spinal Injuries: The spinal cord carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body. If that connection is damaged or severed, the bodily system attached to those nerves ceases to function. Permanent nerve damage also leads to sensations of pain, pressure, burning, tingling, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, and possibly paralysis.
- Skeletal Injuries: A car can break bones in the legs, pelvis, back, ribs, arms, and neck. This is painful and possibly life-threatening if the pain grows severe enough to cause shock or the fracture cuts an artery.
- Internal Organ Injuries: All vital organs can be damaged either by direct impact or because the sudden movement causes the organ to bounce around inside the confines of the victim’s body. Damage to organs may be irreparable. It can lead to internal bleeding, loss of organ function (requiring organ extraction), or death.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Road rash can be painful, as can other soft tissue injuries, as limbs bend in directions that exceed their natural limits.
When Should You Contact A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Now! Getting a favorable outcome in your accident injury case depends on it. You should expect the following in the days just after the accident:
- The driver’s insurance company will try to prove the pedestrian was at fault in some way to either negate the claim, lessen the settlement, or even seek damages against the accident victim. In this case, Tricia obeyed the traffic law by walking at the crosswalk. She was also visible if the driver had been paying attention.
- The insurance company calls both parties to get a recorded statement regarding the accident. They will use anything you say, even taken out of context, to better position themselves for the fight. They’re looking for a weakness in your case during one of the most stressful moments of your life.
- The next step is to offer you a quick settlement. These injuries can cause lasting damage that needs medical attention over weeks, months, or even years. The insurance company knows this, having dealt with cases like yours many times. They offer you a lowball settlement, hoping you won’t realize how expensive these injuries can get with hospital bills, surgeries, doctors’ visits, physical therapy, and similar services.
Our experienced Salt Lake City area pedestrian accident attorneys will protect your rights and guide you every step of the way. We offer:
- Free Consultation: To set you on the right path.
- Communication Review: So Big Insurance can’t pressure you into an early and smaller settlement before you understand the actual cost of the accident.
- Full Investigation: We do all the legal legwork, provide proper documentation, and use that information to negotiate with the insurance company.
- Insulation From Opposing Counsel: Our pedestrian accident attorney will stand by you at every meeting and phone call with the insurance company, so they can’t twist your words.
Why Choose LifeLaw’s Pedestrian Accident Lawyers?
With other law offices available, why would you choose the Salt Lake City pedestrian accident attorneys at LifeLaw? Our firm provides many services you won’t find in other offices.
Committed to Listening to Your Story: Our most common reviews say we listen to our clients. Listening is a common courtesy, but beyond that, we couldn’t effectively serve you without understanding your situation.
- How has the accident limited your daily activities?
- Are you losing work hours and wages by going to doctor visits?
- Is your boss understanding?
- Are the medical co-pays piling up?
- Are you getting the best medical treatment for your injuries?
- Do you need to make alterations to your home to accommodate medical equipment, like building a ramp or widening a doorway for a wheelchair?
- Do you have access to the medical equipment you need?
- Do you need a babysitter when you must be at the doctor’s office or legal appointments?
- If the worst should happen, do you have what you need to plan for the funeral?
We listen carefully to the details of the accident, how it affected and continues to affect you, and what your goals are for the legal case. You will be heard and understood at LifeLaw.
Experienced with Utah’s Traffic and Personal Injury Laws: Our pedestrian accident lawyers are all Utah residents with a deep understanding of local weather, traffic, terrain, policies, legislation, and other factors affecting your case. They’ve been serving our community for decades with nearly a century of experience between them. They’re your neighbors and have a vested interest in the welfare of their community–including you. They’ll be there to fight for your rights so you don’t spend the rest of your life paying for someone else’s mistake.
Resolved: Insurance companies fight hard for their bottom line. We fight harder for your physical and financial future.
Accessible: We’re available in person, by email, or over the phone. We can meet you at the hospital if you cannot travel to us. Every client is a VIP, and we feel it is vital that you be able to reach us to give us updates or ask questions regarding your case.
Client-focused: Our excellent staff is here to help lift your burden and ease your way to physical and financial healing.
Respectful of your Time and Needs: Your time is precious so we avoid pulling you away from work or home unnecessarily. We’ll do the investigation and legal legwork and call you when you need to appear or sign paperwork. You shouldn’t lose time or money over minutia.
Some Safety Tips For Drivers
- Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people on the road. Look for them on sidewalks, corners, stepping out between vehicles, and on the shoulder of the road. Your vigilance could save a life.
- Consider the environment. It’s hard to see pedestrians in the dark or bad weather, especially if they’re wearing dark clothing. We live in a 24/7 society with job shifts at all hours of the day and night. Someone could be walking to or from work at 3 a.m.
- Crosswalks are dangerous places for pedestrians. They aren’t always marked by a stop sign or light. Consequently, drivers might not notice them in time to yield to pedestrians. As you drive, watch for crossing signs, lines on the road, and people whenever you approach an intersection. Control your speed so that you can always stop if someone enters traffic.
- Stop before you reach the crosswalk so pedestrians have safe passage and don’t have to walk outside the lines. Stopping here also gives other drivers a better view so they don’t try to pass you and hit the pedestrian.
- Never drive distracted. Life can be hectic but focus on the road when you get behind the wheel. Texting, making cell phone calls, applying makeup, shaving, eating, and other activities can wait until you reach your desired destination.
- Only drive if you’re awake, alert, and sober. There are many other options to get you safely home and to protect the other drivers and pedestrians on the road if you aren’t up for driving. Options include taxis, uber or Lyft drivers, designated drivers, or a family member or friend.
- Follow all traffic laws, especially speed limits. The allowed speed drops in places where you are likely to hit a pedestrian. These locations include areas around schools, residential neighborhoods where kids could dart out in front of your car, parking lots, and buildings with high traffic. The rate of pedestrian fatalities drops dramatically when the vehicle speed is below 25 mph.
- Be careful when backing up. Children aren’t always visible through the back window or in your mirrors. Pedestrians often assume you see them, but sometimes it isn’t easy to see around long or tall vehicles. Back-up cameras are a great help, but a child breaking away from Mom could still cross your path before you can stop if you aren’t moving slowly.
Tips For Pedestrians
- Assume no one sees you. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Wait until you meet the driver’s eyes and the vehicle stops before stepping in front of the car.
- Follow all the rules of the road and obey all signs and traffic signals. Use the designated crosswalks and wait for your light to turn green before crossing.
- Sidewalks are safest, though you should still stay alert. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the shoulder or bike lane as far away from the traffic as possible.
- Walk facing traffic so you can see them coming. If they don’t see you, you have more time to take evasive action.
- Look before and while crossing the street for any vehicle that might pose a threat.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not readily available, choose a crossing point that gives you maximum visibility in both directions to gauge distance, speed, and your ability to cross unharmed. Make sure it is well-lit, if possible, so drivers can also see you.
- Wear light clothing or reflective materials when walking at night.
- Be aware of vehicles backing up that may not have a clear view of you. This is especially important in driveways or parking lots or in situations where a car is trying to turn around. Give them space to maneuver till they have a clear view of you.
- While walking home is better than driving drunk, walking while under the influence of alcohol or drugs also poses a risk as it slows reaction times and can cause you to lose your balance. Stay alert, walk with a friend, and wait until you’re sober enough to be steady.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I do immediately after being involved in a pedestrian accident?
Call the police and seek medical treatment. Calling the police ensures that the accident is well documented and all of the driver information and witness statements are accounted for. If your injuries are severe enough go to the hospital in an ambulance. Take photos and videos of injuries, and property damage, and lastly get an attorney. An attorney will help you navigate the remainder of the case allowing them to worry so that you do not have to.
2. How can I report a pedestrian accident to the police?
If you call the police at the accident scene, they will come and document everything. Calling the police and having them at the scene ensures that an official police report has been created. This report will have information on who the officer thinks is responsible, as well as witness statements and all of the information for all parties involved.
3. What information do I need to collect from the driver and witnesses after a pedestrian accident?
Be sure to collect the driver’s contact information (name, phone number, email address), insurance details, vehicle information (make, model, license plate number), as well as a photo of their license. Gather other information from witnesses of the scene, including names, addresses, their statements, and phone numbers. If it is safe to do take photos and videos of the scene, as well as any weather or road conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
4. Should I seek medical attention after a pedestrian accident, even if I don't feel seriously injured?
Yes. Even if you may not be experiencing symptoms of an injury immediately, getting a proper medical evaluation from a professional may reveal injuries that are not on the surface. A settlement from a personal injury case typically comes from how injured you are, seeking treatment immediately can help get you properly evaluated and a treatment plan created for your recovery.
5. How does insurance coverage work for pedestrian accidents?
Insurance coverage is largely the same for a pedestrian accident as it would be for a motor vehicle accident. The pedestrian would take a claim out of the at fault drivers auto insurance, and if they do not have insurance the pedestrian would use their UM (Unindured Motorist) or UIM (Underinsured Motorist) coverage to seek compensation.
6. Can I file a personal injury claim as a pedestrian hit by a vehicle?
Yes. You have every right as a pedestrian to pursue compensation for your injuries caused by the negligence of a driver.
7. What evidence is important to gather for a pedestrian accident?
You should try to gather photos and videos of the accident scene if it is safe to do so. This documentation can be incredibly helpful in demonstrating the damages that were incurred, as well as help display who is at fault.
8. Do I need a lawyer after a pedestrian accident, and how do I choose one?
Yes. An attorney will help you fight against the interests of the insurance company responsible for paying a potential injury settlement. Without an attorney, the insurance company can use their own practices to minimize your injuries and your settlement amount. Picking an attorney can be a difficult process but LifeLaw Personal Injury will always put you at the forefront, making sure you feel heard and understood every step of the way.
9. Who is liable if a pedestrian is hit outside of a cross walk?
Determining liability for who is at fault involves assessing the actions of both the pedestrian and the driver. A pedestrian may be liable if they were jaywalking or failed to exercise reasonable care for their safety. Drivers, however, have a duty to avoid accidents, and can be held liable if they were negligent, such as driving distractedly or speeding.
You can learn more at this link: https://lifelaw.com/liable-if-pedestrian-gets-hit-by-a-car-outside-crosswalk/