The most vulnerable people on America’s roadways are not the drivers of trucks, SUV’s, or cars. The most vulnerable people are pedestrians. The young child, the senior citizen or the disabled individual trying to get from one side of the street to the other is at great risk of injury if a fast moving vehicle happens to strike that person. The scary part about pedestrian accidents is that even a slow moving car can cause devastating injuries due to the disproportionate size and weight of a vehicle to a person. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident you will need seasoned pedestrian injury attorneys to handle your case. Here at Kraemer, Manes and Associates we have a team of knowledgeable attorneys and legal professionals ready to fight for the recovery that you deserve. Give us a call at anytime for a free consultation concerning your injury.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reported that in 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in accidents on the roadway, while approximately 76,000 pedestrians suffered injuries in auto accidents. Every 7 minutes someone in America is injured in an auto accident. Auto and pedestrian accidents happen far too often and they can have devastating consequences for the person that is hit.
Common injuries in pedestrian accidents
A typical American sedan with a 6 cylinder engine weighs between 3500-4000 pounds. No matter how large of a person you are, a car is going to injure you terribly if it strikes you. If the person struck is lucky enough to survive, here are some of the common injuries that he or she may suffer:
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
These are serious injuries and you will need serious and dedicated attorneys to help you take on such a case.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents
There is a litany of reasons that a vehicle may accidentally strike a pedestrian on the road. The sad truth is that the majority of such accidents could have been prevented if the drivers of the vehicles obeyed the rules of the road and exercised caution in their vehicles. Below is a list of some of the major contributing factors to vehicle-on-pedestrian injuries:
- Drunk driving. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of all auto related accidents and deaths. Drunk drivers are less aware of their surroundings and less able to steer their vehicles making a vehicle-on-pedestrian accident a more likely occurrence.
- Distracted driving. A number of impacts involve drivers who were texting, eating or otherwise not focusing on the road itself.
- Driving at unsafe speeds. Driving over the speed limit is often a contributing factor in vehicle-on-pedestrian accidents.
- Passing a school bus. When a driver passes a school bus she has limited visibility and there is a high chance that students are walking in and around the bus, creating a great risk for those students or others walking in that area.
- Poor road conditions such as ice or snow. Skidding and sliding can contribute to pedestrian accidents because hitting the brakes or other steering maneuvers will not be as effective in bad road conditions.
- Low night visibility. If you walk in the road at night it could be difficult for vehicles to see you. This is why it is important to walk on sidewalks, especially at night.
- A disregard for crosswalks. When a driver disregards sidewalks or fails to give the crossing pedestrian the right of way there is a higher probability of a vehicle-on-pedestrian accident.
- Improper signaling. With proper signaling pedestrians can adjust their actions to anticipate where the vehicle will go next. Without proper signaling pedestrians and drivers are more prone to making mistakes and causing an accident.
Law of negligence governs
The law can operate in many ways to hold a driver responsible for hitting a pedestrian, but most often the law of negligence will control the case. Negligence requires the injured person to prove that four elements were present in the driver’s conduct. Those four elements are duty, breach, causation and damages.
The law states that every driver of a car has a duty to operate his or her vehicle with reasonable care. If a driver does not operate her vehicle with reasonable care, she has breached that duty. For example, if a driver disobeys a speed limit of 45 mph and is driving at 60 mph, she is not operating the vehicle with reasonable care and she has breached her duty. If that breach, the fast rate that she is driving, causes her to hit a pedestrian and injure him, she has committed negligent conduct. An experienced and knowledgeable injury attorney will be able to tell if negligent conduct has occurred after a close examination of the case.
PA negligence laws
In Pennsylvania, if there has been an accident involving a pedestrian and a driver both parties may have to bear a portion of the responsibility. This is called comparative negligence. Comparative negligence works to assign different degrees of fault to each party in an accident. For example, assume that a driver is driving 15 mph over the speed limit when he strikes a pedestrian. If the pedestrian was following all the rules of the road, the driver may be 100% at fault, but if the pedestrian was jaywalking and not crossing the road at a designated crosswalk he may bear a portion of the responsibility for the accident. This is true even if the pedestrian was the only one injured in the accident. In Pennsylvania, if the injured party who brings the case in court is found to be 51% at fault for the accident, he is barred from recovering any compensation. Skilled pedestrian injury attorneys will be able to determine where fault should lie and will be able to aggressively advocate for the injured party.
Navigating your insurance claims
It is an unfortunate truth that insurance companies will often do everything that they can to deny a claim and save money. If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident you may be able to recover under your regular health insurance, your auto insurance, or perhaps even a different form of insurance. However, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to be uncooperative in these claims. Your injury attorney should be able to help you process your claim with an insurance company and force them to come to a fair agreement.
What you can expect to recover in an injury claim
If you or a loved one has been injured, or killed, in an auto accident, there is little that can be done to make up for such a loss. However, the attorneys at Kraemer, Manes and Associates will do everything they can to get you a monetary settlement and help to ease the pain of a devastating loss. You may be entitled to the following forms of compensation in your injury case:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future wages
- Property damage
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Funeral expenses
Depending on the severity of your injury you may be entitled to some of these forms of compensation or all of them.
Tips for pedestrians on the roadways
There are many steps that a person can take when walking on the sidewalks and roadways to minimize the risk of being in an accident:
- Wait for proper signaling at crosswalks to cross
- Do not jaywalk
- Stay on the sidewalks
- Wear reflective clothing if out at night and on a bike, skateboard, etc.
- Look both ways before crossing a street
- If a parked vehicle impairs your vision, attempt to find a different place to cross the street
- Avoid distracted walking
Pedestrian injuries on the rise
Pedestrian injuries are becoming more and more common and two of the main reasons are distracted driving and distracted walking. With a greater number of people having internet access on their cellphones and ipads more and more people walk and drive on the streets with a distracted state of mind. Most people have their minds focused on checking their email or sending a text message rather than seeing what is ahead of them on the road or sidewalk. This increased number of accidents has caused insurance companies to deny a greater number of claims. More than ever you will need tough injury attorneys to ensure you get a fair settlement from the insurance companies and the party at fault.
How Kraemer, Manes and Associates can help you
After suffering a life changing injury the last thing that you should have to do is fight day and night for fair compensation. Put the fight in our hands and allow Kraemer, Manes and Associates to do the heavy lifting. We will evaluate your case, negotiate with the insurance companies, and if necessary, take the at-fault parties to court. We will do everything we can to ensure you get fair compensation for the injuries that you have suffered. Our combination of experience, knowledge and dedication uniquely position us to handle cases of this nature. Please give us a call, day or night, for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.
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