Among the most serious traffic accidents are those involving pedestrians because pedestrians are completely vulnerable to serious or fatal injuries when struck by a moving vehicle. Human flesh and bone is no match for a vehicle’s mass and structural strength. Even a slow-moving vehicle can cause fractures and major injuries to a pedestrian. The fact is that at one time or another, everyone is a pedestrian using the same roads as cars, trucks, motorcyclists and bicyclists. Unfortunately, this can be a deadly combination. Thousands of pedestrian deaths occur each year and tens of thousands of pedestrians are injured, oftentimes children. On average, a pedestrian is killed every 2 hours. Just recently, this office has successfully represented clients in pedestrian accidents involving a fatality as well as non-fatal accidents with significant injuries including fractures and traumatic brain injury.
Driver negligence can often be attributed to many pedestrian accidents and “who was at fault” is frequently disputed. Since texting, distracted driving, speeding, illegal turns, failure to turn on headlights and alcohol can all be causes of these types of accidents, it is essential that your attorney quickly and thoroughly investigate the accident. For instance, oftentimes, a client will come to us after sustaining severe injuries in a pedestrian accident where the police report claims the pedestrian was at fault. In many of these cases, we have been able to demonstrate through talking to witnesses, taking depositions, etc. that the pedestrian was not at fault and it was the other driver that was speeding, texting, or making an illegal turn when they crashed into our client.
As stated above, Pedestrian Accidents often involve serious injury or even death. As a result, the damages you could recover in a lawsuit can be significant. Damages may include your past, present and future medical and rehabilitation costs, wage loss, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, compensation for disfigurement, humiliation, mortification, etc.
In June, 2019, the Michigan Legislature did a tremendous disservice to injured pedestrians that did not have their own automobile insurance or live with a relative at the time of the crash that had automobile insurance. Prior to June, 2019, those types of pedestrians would have had unlimited, lifetime No-Fault benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility. Now, benefits are capped at only $250,000. Since the change in the law went into effect, this office alone has had numerous clients that suffered serious, debilitating injuries as pedestrians and exhausted the entire $250,000 just through their initial hospital admission; leaving nothing left to pay for the care and treatment they will require the rest of their lives.
Here are some tip to stay safe:
- Make yourself visible to drivers - wear bright colored clothing and/or reflective materials, carry a flashlight and stand where drivers can see you
- Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections
- Don’t assume just because you have a “Walk” sign that vehicles will stop. Pay attention to approaching vehicles
- Ditch the earbuds or at the very least, turn down the volume when crossing the street or walking through a parking lot
- Be aware of your surroundings: Listen for engine noises and horns. Look for backup lights when walking near parked vehicles
- Don’t talk on your cellphone while crossing the street
- Try to always walk on the sidewalk
More safety tips and resources for Pedestrians can be found at National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
If you are a pedestrian who has been injured by a vehicle, you may have the right to recover significant money against the negligent driver for your damages, including excess wage loss, excess medical expense and damages for pain and suffering. For these reasons, it is important that you find the right attorney that knows the law and how to successfully pursue a pedestrian case. Contact the Davis Law Center for a free consultation.