When people think about traffic accidents, they usually think about crashes between two cars or between other vehicles on the road. But traffic accidents frequently occur involving pedestrians as well. In fact, in 2014, there were around 4,000 traffic accidents involving pedestrians in Pennsylvania, and around 4% of those accidents resulted in fatalities. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to serious injuries if they are involved in a traffic accident. If you or someone you love was hurt as a pedestrian in an accident, you should get in touch with one of our experienced Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyer right away.
Roads are Designed to Keep Pedestrians Safe
There are many ways that the roads in Philadelphia are intended to accommodate pedestrians so that they can walk around the city safely. Crosswalks, road signs, and other methods are used to keep pedestrians safe from drivers. If a pedestrian is involved in an accident with a car or another vehicle, the pedestrian will almost always be hurt, because the human body is no match for a heavy moving vehicle. This is why there are measures taken to protect pedestrians, because as a pedestrian, you could sustain serious injuries in an accident like several broken bones, head and brain trauma, spinal injuries, paralysis, permanent disabilities, and even death.
Accidents between a Pedestrian and Motor Vehicles almost always lead to Injuries
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents still occur with some frequency and almost always lead to pedestrian injuries. Over 70,000 pedestrians are injured every year while walking, and almost 4,000 of them ultimately die as a result of injuries or on impact. Many of these accidents occur at night when visibility is low, and many of these pedestrians are children playing or elderly people who cannot move out of the way quickly. If you or someone you love was hit by a car or another vehicle as a pedestrian, call a Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyer right away to assist you with your case.
Pedestrians Always Have Right Of Way
Vehicles are not always considerate of pedestrians on the road, often assuming that they have the right of way. Traffic laws, however, dictate that pedestrians always have the right of way if they are crossing in a marked crosswalk because they run the risk of serious injury if they are hit with a car or vehicle. Cars that ignore stop signs or red lights and run through a crosswalk with a pedestrian are clearly at fault for whatever injuries the pedestrian receives as a result of the accident. The same laws apply to motorcycles, bicycles, and scooters that ignore the rules of the road where pedestrians are concerned. Sometimes, bike riders will hop onto the sidewalk to get around traffic or will ignore stop signs and red lights. If this results in an accident with a pedestrian, the bike rider is at fault.
There are certain things that pedestrians can do to protect themselves while out walking, including wearing reflective gear at night, crossing the street only in designated crosswalks, and not walking in the street if there is a sidewalk available. However, even these measures do not always prevent pedestrian accidents, and it is never your fault if you were injured by a vehicle if you were following these guidelines. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in the Philadelphia area will fight for you and defend your rights.
If an Insurance Company is Involved, Hire a Lawyer
An attorney is especially important when the insurance companies get involved. The insurance company of the vehicle is going to do everything they can to prove that you were somehow at fault for the accident. Without a skilled lawyer, it is easy for them to take advantage of you. But your lawyer will ensure that this does not happen and that the driver of the vehicle is clearly proven to be at fault.
After this is determined, you can begin to pursue your claim for compensation. This is extremely important for accident victims because often, the financial burden of medical bills can be crippling, especially if you are too injured to return to work and earn an income. However, it is extremely important that you visit the hospital to take care of your health, because even if you only have a headache or feel dizzy, it could still mean a serious injury.
Your lawyer will be able to make sure that you can receive the full compensation you deserve to cover the costs of your hospital stay or ER trip, surgery, medications, and/or physical therapy. However, in some cases, the drivers liability insurance may only allow for a certain amount of compensation to be awarded to you which probably will not cover all of your medical expenses. In this case, your attorney will assist you in using other means of getting the full compensation you need for your medical bills and your pain and suffering, including tapping into the drivers personal assets.
Especially in busy areas like downtown Philadelphia, pedestrians are very common as people walk to and from work, parking garages, restaurants, and businesses. Although sidewalks and crosswalks provide generally safe spaces for people to walk, accidents do still happen. If a motorcycle jumps onto the sidewalk to avoid traffic, for example, or if a car runs a red light and enters a crosswalk while someone is walking through it, a pedestrian could get hit and seriously injured. Because pedestrians almost always have the right of way, a driver is expected to slow down and yield to pedestrians and is responsible for any injuries caused if they fail to do so.
Why are Pedestrian Accidents so Serious ?
The reason that pedestrians can suffer very serious injuries in traffic accidents is because unlike a driver or passenger in a vehicle, a pedestrian does not have the protection provided by the frame of a vehicle. Furthermore, it is unlikely that a pedestrian will be wearing a helmet or other protective gear while walking. Pedestrians do not stand much of a chance against relatively fast moving vehicles and may find themselves facing very serious and painful injuries.
Pedestrians who have been hurt in a traffic accident could face injuries ranging from broken bones, cuts and abrasions, bruising, and concussions to serious and potentially life threatening injuries like loss of limbs and head or spinal injuries. Some patients may suffer from mental issues after the accident like depression or anxiety, and both physical and mental injuries may make it difficult for accident victims to work and earn a wage to pay their medical bills. In serious cases, head, neck, or spinal trauma can result in disabilities or paralysis, which will have effects lasting a lifetime and require extensive medical treatment.
Protect Your Rights if You Were in a Collision with a Vehicle.
Unfortunately, sometimes pedestrian accidents are not taken as seriously as other car accidents. Police, doctors, and insurance companies may assume that the pedestrian was at fault for some reason, maybe by walking in the wrong place or not paying attention to traffic. This is extremely unfortunate and upsetting because pedestrians are often not at fault at all. They will have valid claims against the person in the vehicle who hit them, and their rights should be protected so that they receive the full compensation amount they deserve for their medical bills and other expenses or damages.
If you have been hit as a pedestrian, be sure to seek medical attention immediately, even if you think you were not seriously hurt. The police can write a report and gather information about the accident while you are being treated for your injuries. Once you have been seen by a doctor, get in touch with a pedestrian accident attorney right away.
Our Lawyers Can Help You
By contacting one of our experienced Philadelphia pedestrian accident attorney, you will be put in touch with a lawyer who understands how upsetting these accidents can be and will protect your rights. First, your attorney will help determine exactly what happened during the accident and will help you gather evidence to prove that you were not at fault for your injuries. Your own insurance policy may provide coverage for your injuries as a pedestrian in an accident, or the person who caused the accident may have insurance coverage to compensate for pedestrian injuries. Your attorney will then help work with the insurance company to make sure the company does not try to say that you were at fault or offer you less compensation than you deserve.
Our attorneys are sensitive to the fact that being a pedestrian in an accident can be a painful and traumatic experience. That is why we work exclusively to assist accident victims and never work for insurance companies. Once you contact us, we will put you in touch with an attorney experienced in pedestrian accidents who will provide a free consultation at your home or hospital or at our office. Your attorney will represent you and your rights every step of the way to get you the best result available in your case.