More than 70,000 walkers are hurt every year, and more than 4,000 of those are actually killed by motor vehicles.
Although many cities have reconfigured their downtowns in the past few years, the U.S. is still not what one would call extremely pedestrian-friendly. Whether in cities like Philadelphia with drivers who run red lights or turn on red after hardly stopping, or in suburbs with no sidewalks and drivers texting while they cruise, many contexts in the U.S. lend themselves to pedestrian accidents.
Add in the hazards of walking near work sites, staying out of the way of motorcycles, scooters and bicycles in the city, and walking at night along streets that suddenly are not well it in certain areas, and you have a perfect mix for getting injured while walking.
In fact, pedestrians are the one category of people on the road who have experienced an increase in deaths recorded, not a decrease.
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one to a pedestrian accident, get in touch with a good personal injury lawyer to begin to discuss a plan for recovery. As you can guess, most pedestrian accidents occur in high traffic areas and at night, with young children and the elderly most at risk. It is not exaggeration to say that the elderly almost take their lives into their hands when walking in certain urban areas these days.
If you are a regular walker or need to walk somewhere to get to a destination, take these tips to ensure your chances of safe passage:
- Wear reflective clothing. Inexpensive shirts, pants and vests can be purchased that make you much more visible at night.
- Cross only at intersections. Many pedestrian accidents occur when people try to cross busy roads where motorists are not expecting them to cross
- Stay on the sidewalk if one is available.
If you are struck by a vehicle while walking, you can bet that the insurance company of the motorist will do all it can to prove you were at fault.
You will need a personal injury lawyer on your side to fight for you and to prove that you were following safety rules while walking. You also need to be cautious when it comes to insurance companies trying to get you to settle for less than what you deserve.
Many will try to persuade you to accept a settlement that might seem generous at first glance, but you later realize that it will not come close to paying for your future medical bills or lost work wages as you do rehab, etc.
Many times, the type of injuries that you suffer as a pedestrian might not show up in full force until days after the accident. This is especially true of concussions or spinal and back injuries. You might think that the soreness, dizziness or headaches will go away, but they could become progressively worse. That is why you should not conclude too quickly that your medical costs are finished after a brief visit to the doctor, during which s/he tells you to “take it easy” for a few days as you heal up.
You might have other injuries that will take a few days to be in evidence, and then you could face months of lost work time due to migraines and dizziness, or expensive surgery to repair a disc injury. You really never know until several weeks after the accident--all the more reason to get a good pedestrian accident attorney on your side.
Another factor to keep in mind is the limit that many drivers’ liability insurance policies have for payouts to pedestrians who have been injured. Your costs could soar much higher than such limits, and you will need a personal injury lawyer to guide you as you seek to tap into other sources of compensation.That could, of course, include the driver’s personal assets.
A Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyer will be quite helpful in establishing what exactly happened during the accident and what costs you will face both short and long term. Let a legal professional interview witnesses and make any necessary statements to the insurance company. Your lawyer will know how to best steer your case to get you the compensation that you need.
There is a far higher likelihood of justice being done if a personal injury lawyer is involved. Contact us today at 215 735 4800 to make your case in a pedestrian accident.