Walking down the street seems like one of the most basic, simple tasks in the world. Even in California, where cars are so ubiquitous, we still have to walk to and from our destinations between car rides, and many people like to take a stroll down to the store or the beach or a friend’s house from time to time.
Because walking as a pedestrian is so common, we tend to think of it as extremely safe. After all, people walk down the street every day. How dangerous could it be?
Unfortunately, the reality is that walking as a pedestrian isn’t always as safe as we assume it to be. Pedestrian accidents—usually between a pedestrian and a car—are incredibly common. According to the CDC, 5,977 pedestrians were killed by cars in 2017, and an estimated 137,000 pedestrians were treated in ERs for injuries caused by cars.
Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take very high speeds for a car to harm a pedestrian. Cars can cause serious injuries to pedestrians at speeds as low as 10 miles per hour. At 40 miles per hour, a speed that would be considered relatively slow to most drivers, a struck pedestrian has an 85% chance of being seriously injured or killed.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
Often, pedestrian accidents are caused by negligent behavior. Sometimes the negligence is on the part of both the pedestrian and the driver, like in cases where a pedestrian illegally crosses in front of traffic. Often, though, pedestrian accidents are mostly or even solely the fault of the driver, usually caused by negligent behavior while driving. Negligent behaviors that can lead to pedestrian accidents include:
- Texting while driving
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Failing to heed traffic rules
- Failing to use turn signals
- Running red lights
- Making blind turns
- Driving while tired or sleep deprived
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
What Injuries Can a Pedestrian Accident Cause?
Pedestrians who are hit by cars are at a unique disadvantage, since they are completely unprotected. As such, their injuries tend to be more severe than those sustained by car passengers. Even at relatively low speeds, pedestrians have much higher chances of serious injuries and death than their counterparts inside the vehicle.
Pedestrian car accidents can cause a range of injuries, including:
- Scrapes and gashes
- Fractures, sprains, and breaks
- Muscle and tissue damage, including tears
- Nerve damage
- Neck and back injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Organ damage and internal bleeding
- Paralysis and quadriplegia
Many pedestrians who are injured by cars and other vehicles sustain at least some of these injuries. While some injured pedestrians manage to walk away with relatively minor damage, many injured pedestrians are not that lucky. Pedestrians who sustain serious injuries can quickly incur enormous medical costs, not to mention lost income from not being able to work while they heal. In some cases, these injuries can cause lifelong debilitation as well as chronic pain and suffering, which can drastically reduce a person’s quality of life and permanently rob them of the ability to support themselves and their families. Being injured or having a family member injured in this way can leave people in enormous debt with no way out.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way, and you don’t have to do it alone. If you were injured as a pedestrian in a car accident, there’s a good chance that the accident was not your fault, but was instead at least partially the fault of the person driving the car. If you or a loved one was injured as a pedestrian in a car accident, Personal Injury Attorney John Rosenberg is here to help. Attorney Rosenberg is an experienced, knowledgeable, and skillful attorney who has been serving communities in California for many years. If you are in Woodland Hills, CA or the surrounding area and you would like a free consultation about your pedestrian injury case, call (818) 530-1770 today.
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