Pedestrian accidents are a common occurrence on the roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicles kill one pedestrian every two hours. In addition, a pedestrian is injured by a vehicle every eight minutes. These alarming statistics exemplify millions of dollars in damages. When necessary, the injured party must involve the court in order to secure compensation from the responsible party.
Who are Pedestrians
The NHTSA defines a pedestrian as an individual “on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down.” Where allowed by law, these individuals have just as much right to travel on the roadways as vehicle drivers. The law requires that pedestrians follow traffic laws and regulations, just like vehicle operators. However, when pedestrian accidents occur, it is usually due to the failure of a driver to proceed in an appropriate manner. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian who is lawfully crossing the street inside of a crosswalk;
- Making a right turn on red without first checking to ensure that no pedestrians are crossing the street;
- Driving recklessly with disregard for traffic signals and rules;
- Driving at an unreasonably high rate of speed; and
- Backing out of a parking space without checking to ensure that no pedestrians are in the line of movement.
Common Pedestrian Injuries
When a vehicle hits a person’s body, there are general areas of the anatomy that are commonly injured, including:
- Injuries to the legs and knees are the most common, due to the location of a car in relation to the person’s body. These include fractures to these areas and broken bones;
- Pelvic fractures and bruising;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, brain swelling and blood clots;
- Scalp injuries to include lacerations, contusions and scrapes; and
- Lacerations and bruising to the face.
Proving the Case
The initial step toward compensation involves filing a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to pay your claim, it may become necessary to file a case with the court. If this occurs, you must prove that the at-fault vehicle driver acted negligently. This requires a finding that:
- The driver owed a duty of care to operate the vehicle in a careful manner and abide by the relevant traffic laws;
- The driver acted in a way that breached that duty;
- The breach was the proximate cause of the injuries; and
- You were injured in the incident.
To prove these elements, you may need to present photographs, diagrams, your accident’s official police report, and witness statements. Due to the rules and requirements of the court, this task can become difficult, so the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney is vitally important.
Work with an Arlington Heights Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you were a pedestrian who was injured by a vehicle, the personal injury attorneys of SAM law office, LLC can advocate for the compensation you need. Contact our team of experienced personal injury attorneys to discuss the merits of your case.