Being hit by a car while walking down the street or across a crosswalk is a terrifying experience, and unfortunately, one that is not all that uncommon in the San Fernando Valley. Indeed, the Center for Disease Control shares that over 4,700 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2012, and another 76,000 pedestrians were injured. According to the CDC, “this averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 2 hours, and a pedestrian injury every 7 minutes. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip.”
Pedestrian Accident Risk Factors
While pedestrian accidents injure men and women of all ages, certain demographics are more at risk for being hit by a car while walking. These include:
- Older adults – Pedestrians ages 65 and older accounted for 20% of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 9% of all pedestrians injured in 2012.
- Children – More than 1 in every five children between the ages of 5 and 15 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians in 2012.
- Alcohol – Alcohol involvement for the driver or the pedestrian was reported in 48% of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian death. In these instances, 34% of pedestrians killed had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of greater than or equal to .08 (the legal limit) and 14% of drivers had a BAC of greater than or equal to .08.
- Speed – Higher vehicle speeds increase both the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck by a car and the severity of the victim’s injury.
- Time of Day – Most pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas, non-intersection locations, and at night.
If you or a loved one was injured by a driver who was drunk, speeding, texting, or otherwise driving negligently, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries with the assistance of a skilled pedestrian accident attorney.
What to Do Immediately After a Pedestrian Accident
Not surprisingly, most drivers that hit pedestrians are extremely upset immediately after the accident. Some drive off, without checking to see if the pedestrian is okay. This is called a pedestrian hit and run accident.
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, or witness one, it is important to stay calm. Remember that safety comes first. With this in mind, it is crucial to immediately move an injured person to a place of safety, if they are able to be moved. If not, wait until medical help arrives.
After being hit by a negligent driver, be sure to exchange contact information (such as name, phone number, insurance info, etc…) and write down the contact information of any witnesses. If the pedestrian is not incapacitated, exchange your name, phone number, and insurance information with them. Take lots of photos of the scene, or ask a witness to do so if you are unable.
Who Is at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
When a driver hits a pedestrian, a big question is: Whose fault was the accident? Generally, fault is determined by the law of negligence. A person who fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care under the circumstances may be considered “negligent.” In California, you might be able to recover financial compensation for injuries you suffered as a result of another person’s negligence.
For more information, or to discuss filing a potential pedestrian accident lawsuit, contact personal injury attorney Barry P. Goldberg today.