Pedestrians are completely vulnerable and usually suffer severe injuries when they are involved in accidents with motor vehicles. Pedestrian accidents occur while people are on sidewalks, stepping off curbs, exiting buses or taxis, walking through parking lots, jogging down the street, or standing on roadsides.
According to a recent report by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,432 pedestrians were killed and another 69,000 injured on public streets and roadways in the United States in 2011. On average, one crash-related pedestrian death occurred every two hours, and an injury every eight minutes.
The San Francisco Bay Area holds the dubious distinction for the highest number of pedestrian deaths in the country – more than 434 between 2007 and 2011. More than one-third of those accidents – about three times the national average – happened in crosswalks.
Crosswalk Injury Accidents
Crosswalks often provide pedestrians with a false sense of security. The truth is many crosswalks are insufficiently marked and lack flashing lights, stop signs, or other warnings to alert drivers well in advance to slow down and yield to people who are crossing the street. Although Federal standards have changed to allow pedestrians more crossing time, many cities have failed to adjust the timing of their crosswalk signals. For slower walkers and people crossing with children, this can spell trouble, especially on large multi-lane streets and highways.
Historically intersection design has focused more on moving traffic efficiently rather than on the safety of pedestrians. This is beginning to change, but cities are sometimes slow to implement design modifications that help reduce risks for pedestrians, or they fail to properly maintain sidewalks and walkways so they are safe for pedestrian use.
If you have been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, seek the counsel and advice of a legal firm thoroughly experienced in the specific complexities of pedestrian-related cases and proven in the courtroom. Personal injury attorneys Barr and Mudford can clearly explain your legal options and handle the critical details associated with your case while you focus on your recovery and well-being.
Contributing Factors to Pedestrian Injuries and Wrongful Death
In addition to poorly designed or maintained crosswalks, a significant number of pedestrian accidents are caused by drivers who are impaired, inexperienced, distracted, and, in many cases, driving too fast. In fact, the faster a vehicle is traveling, the greater the likelihood of death if someone is hit. Even the difference between 40 mph and 30 mph can be the difference between the injury and death.
Although both pedestrians and drivers have a responsibility to ensure safety at crosswalks and intersections, in most cases driver negligence or hazardous walkway conditions are the primary causes of pedestrian injury, and you are encouraged to see an attorney as soon as possible. Timely action is critical because vital evidence can be lost if too much time passes between the time of the accident and taking legal action. California’s two-year statute of limitations is also a reason to avoid delays.
Suffering a serious injury in a pedestrian accident impacts you and your family, and you are entitled to seek compensation for your immediate and long-term medical care. Contact Redding personal injury attorneys Barr and Mudford for a free consultation and let’s talk about your case. Call (530) 243-8008 or (800) 528-2020 or send us details by email. We’ll get back to you right away.