Automobile-Pedestrian Injuries and Death
Pedestrian Injuries and Death in Mississippi
From 2003 to 2012, there were 47,000 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in the United States. This number has steadily risen over the years, and, according to a report by the American Society of Landscape Architects, most of those deaths could have been prevented with safer street designs. In 2013, 4,735 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes, with an additional 66,000 pedestrians being seriously injured. The four most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians are all in the state of Florida: Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando. In the state of Mississippi, there were 18 pedestrian deaths in 2013.
While younger children once had higher rates of pedestrian deaths and injuries, teens are now at the greatest risk, with a death rate twice that of younger children and in total, accounting for half of all child pedestrian deaths. There is an 85 percent chance of death when a pedestrian is struck by a car traveling 40 mph, although this number drops to about half that at 30 mph and 5 percent at 20 mph. This means that driving slower on busy city streets not only reduces the chance of having any accident at all, it greatly reduces the chance of a pedestrian death in the event the pedestrian is struck by a car.
Typical Injuries Suffered by Pedestrians Struck by an Automobile
Of course the seriousness of the pedestrian’s injuries will depend a great deal on how fast the car was going at the time of the impact and whether the car struck the pedestrian full on, or bumped the pedestrian with the side of the vehicle. Broken or fractured bones are common with leg injuries including torn cartilage and tendons or fractured kneecaps and femurs. Should the pedestrian be thrown into the air, it is likely that brain injuries and brain trauma can occur.
The pedestrian may suffer injuries to the back, internal injuries to the kidney, spleen or liver, and temporary or permanent disfigurement. The pedestrian may be partially disabled for a relatively short period of time or may end up with a permanent disability that will change their life forever. Because pedestrian accidents are nearly always serious, it is extremely important to receive proper medical care.
Causes of Pedestrian/Automobile Accidents
Some pedestrian accidents occur because of the distraction or negligence of the automobile driver, in other cases pedestrians simply fail to exercise the necessary caution around automobiles or follow basic traffic rules. Some of the primary factors involved in pedestrian/automobile accidents include:
Pedestrian accidents could be caused from negligence or inattention on the part of the driver or pedestrian error. Pedestrian error includes:
- In some cases, the pedestrian may ignore stop signs or stop lights, hoping they can make it across a busy street without getting hit.
- Pedestrians who step out from behind parked vehicles are taking a particular risk, as oncoming cars have no way of anticipating such a move. This is known as jaywalking and should be avoided, however drivers nonetheless have a responsibility to watch for such actions.
- Far too often, a parent will be standing on the sidewalk, waiting to cross the street with one or more children when one of the children will suddenly dart into the street. While parents must hold tightly to small children who are unaware of the dangers, drivers must also anticipate such actions and stay alert.
- Pedestrians should avoid walking with headphones on in the city as the music could prevent the pedestrian from hearing an oncoming car or even the warning sounds of a horn.
Driver error is actually a much more common cause of pedestrian/auto accidents. Driver error includes:
- In some instances, a driver may simply disregard a pedestrian walking across the street if that pedestrian does not have a green “walk” light. This is a very dangerous choice on the part of the driver. Teaching a pedestrian a “lesson” is certainly not worth the risk of seriously injuring or killing a human being.
- Drivers may be in a hurry, making the decision to speed through a red light or a stop sign. Tragic consequences can result from such an action—there is never a good enough reason to disregard traffic signals and the safety of others.
- Driver distraction is a serious cause of pedestrian injury. We have become a nation of multi-taskers, therefore we are rarely doing the single thing we should be doing while behind the wheel—paying attention to our driving behaviors and the drivers and pedestrians around us.
- Drivers who exceed the speed limit are particularly dangerous when pedestrians are in the area. Drivers who exceed the speed limit are particularly dangerous when pedestrians are in the area. Drivers who engage in any type of aggressive driving (failing to yield, making an illegal turn, etc. can also be very dangerous. Any of these behaviors can result in an innocent pedestrian being struck and possibly killed.
- Drivers who drive while impaired can cause a serious accident with other drivers or with a pedestrian.
- Drivers who are unfamiliar with an area may be so focused on reading maps or street signs that they don’t notice a pedestrian until it’s too late.
While pedestrians are generally considered to have the right of way, should they blatantly ignore traffic signals they can make it virtually impossible for an automobile driver to avoid hitting them. Drivers must, however, approach all pedestrian crossings with extra caution, and should slow down in areas where pedestrians are present. Distracted driving as well as walking while distracted appear to be a problem; a survey of 1,000 adults indicated that 60 percent of pedestrians admit to texting, talking on the phone, e-mailing, or listening to music while they walked. Many believe that distraction—both for pedestrians and drivers—could be eclipsing other serious issues such as impaired driving or walking.
Compensation You May Receive Following Your Pedestrian Accident
If you are a pedestrian who was injured by a driver, you may be entitled to past and future medical expenses related to the injuries sustained in the accident. This can include your doctor and hospital bills, ambulance fees, rehabilitation and therapy expenses, expenses related to surgical procedures and reimbursement for prescription drugs. If you were forced to miss work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the wages you would have earned. You could additionally be entitled to payment which compensates you for the physical pain you suffered following your accident.
In many cases, serious injuries can lead to severe emotional distress, anxiety, depression and stress; if this is true in your case, mental anguish may be a factor in your final compensation. Payment for loss of consortium could be a part of your compensation if your injuries were so severe you were unable to engage in normal marital relations, and, in the case of a fatality of a loved one, funeral expenses could be included in the final settlement. If you are a pedestrian who was struck by a negligent or reckless driver, you need immediate and expert legal help. Pedestrians struck by thousands of pounds of metal and glass—even at low speeds—carry a high risk of serious or catastrophic injury or death.
Legal Help for Your Pedestrian Accident Injuries
A qualified attorney who has a great deal of experience in automobile accidents and pedestrian accidents in particular, can be your best ally throughout the months ahead. A knowledgeable attorney from Stroud, Flechas & Dalton will be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other damages applicable for your situation. Don’t wait, hoping everything will turn out fine, rather protect your future and your health by getting a legal professional from Stroud, Flechas & Dalton on board early on. You need immediate and expert legal and you need it quickly. Call Stroud, Flechas & Dalton at (662) 536-5656 today.