Pedestrian Accidents in Philly
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- Philadelphia pedestrian accident statistics
- Types of pedestrian accident injuries
- Safety tips for drivers and pedestrians to avoid pedestrian accidents
- Pennsylvania’s plan to improve roadway safety
- Pedestrian injury cases in Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Statistics
In 2009, 37 pedestrians were involved in fatal accidents in Philadelphia alone. In the U.S., 4,109 people were killed in 2009, and there were 4,280 traffic-related pedestrian fatalities in 2010, 4% more than the previous year. The vast majority of accidents occur at night, when the pedestrian is not crossing at the intersection, and in urban areas, such as Philadelphia.
If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident, or a loved one was killed, statistics aren’t the first thing on your mind. We’re so sorry for your loss or injury, and we’re committed to getting you the compensation you deserve, so you can pay for the expenses that will arise, like hospital bills.
Pedestrian/vehicle crashes account for 3.3 percent of all reported crashes, but are responsible for 13.9 percent of all traffic crash deaths.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
A pedestrian accident can often mean head injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and lacerations, as well as death. All of these present a significant expense to victims and their families, and a pedestrian accident lawyer can help assure that victims are getting the compensation they deserve, and in cases of hit and run drivers, intoxicated, or otherwise impaired drivers special attention is granted to assure that both civil and criminal cases are pursued.
In order to receive the best possible representation, it is important that your pedestrian accident lawyer gets involved as soon as possible any time there is an injury. Collect as much information as you can when the accident happens, including whether you noticed that a driver was using a cell phone at the time of the accident. A driver’s regular auto insurance might cover some expenses, but it may also leave many things out of the equation, including long-term suffering or future injuries that become more likely after an initial injury. There may also be limits on compensation for lost wages or future earning potential.
Criminal charges against a reckless driver also fall short when it comes to making sure victims and their families are taken care of. These charges, while they can give victims and their families some peace of mind, are mainly designed to seek justice for any crime that may have been committed against society, and to take steps that will hopefully prevent another accident. Evidence discovered in a criminal case can certainly be used, but it may only truly help a victim when it is examined by a pedestrian accident lawyer.
Most injuries and deaths occur when pedestrians cross roads where there are no traffic control devices contributing to 122 deaths and 2,066 injuries (2014).
Safety Tips to Avoid Pedestrian Accidents
The best reaction to a pedestrian accident is to avoid them, and pedestrians, as well as drivers need to do their part. Stay on the side of the road, and whenever possible, use the sidewalk. Pedestrians should never walk on a limited access highway that is designated as a no pedestrian zone. They should cross the street at designated crosswalks during the appropriate times, rather than between intersections is also important not only for your own safety, but as a way to set an example for children who may come to believe that there are no rules to follow.
Young children should be well supervised when playing in a yard with easy access to the street, and they should be reminded frequently to look both ways before crossing the street, even when there is a walk signal. They should also be reminded never to go into the street after a pet or a toy. Similarly, a parent should not put themselves at risk by darting after a child. And since most pedestrian accidents occur at night, it’s important to wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight when out at night.
Pedestrians are more likely to be injured during daylight hours, but more likely to be killed during evening and non-daylight hours.
Pennsylvania Plan to Improve Safety
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has developed a Strategic Highway Safety Plan with the goal of decreasing all roadway accident injuries and deaths including pedestrian ones. Specific areas with a high number of crashes resulting in pedestrian injuries and death will be identified. The reasons for the crashes at the particular sites will be identified and specific remedies put in place to reduce the risk of injury and death.
Pedestrian Injury Cases in Pennsylvania
The law generally favors pedestrians to motor vehicles. Pedestrians are less strong, and usually move at slower speeds than vehicles. As a result, pedestrians generally have the right-of-way as long as they are complying with the road laws.
If a pedestrian is crossing at a crosswalk, the pedestrian unequivocally has the right-of-way. Drivers are required by law to yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk. Similarly, if a pedestrian is crossing with a light according to road signs, the pedestrian has the right-of-way and drivers must yield to the pedestrian.
If a pedestrian is injured while on the road and in compliance of the relevant rules, the pedestrian may have a personal injury claim. If badly injured, the pedestrian should immediately seek medical attention. In Pennsylvania, many insurance policies are “no-fault.”
In no-fault cases, the pedestrian’s own auto insurance will pay the medical expenses, no matter who was at fault in the case. If the injuries exceed the amount of money on the insurance policy, the pedestrian’s private insurance may cover the expenses. If the pedestrian does not have private health insurance, an attorney can make the expenses part of the personal injury claim and seek the amount in damages against the defendant driver. If the parties do not have no-fault insurance, the insurance company of whoever was at fault will pay the expenses.
More injuries and deaths occur when pedestrians enter the roadway or cross a street at a specified location such as an intersection, driveway entrance or mid-block crossing area than an unmarked area.
Lost wages are potentially recoverable in pedestrian injury cases. If the pedestrian’s insurance policy includes a loss wages clause, the insurance company will compensate the pedestrian for money lost as a result of time missed from work. Otherwise, an attorney can also add lost wages to the personal injury claim. In addition, the personal injury claim can include pain and suffering damages.
It is important to be cautious when dealing with the defendant driver’s insurance company. It is best to hire an attorney who can protect the pedestrian’s interest. Insurance companies are only looking out for the interest of the insured, and the insurance company itself. As a result, they will try to get the pedestrian to say something on the record that will harm the pedestrians’ case so the insurance company can reduce their payout.
If you suffered a pedestrian injury and the defendant’s insurance company contacts you, do not speak with them. Politely decline an interview. Your attorney can provide the company with information that will not compromise your position and protect your interests.
How do I know if I have a pedestrian accident claim in Pennsylvania?
If you were injured as a pedestrian in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. To find out if you have a valid claim for compensation, you should meet with an experienced Pennsylvania pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Although many at-fault drivers try to argue that the pedestrian was at fault for the accident, experienced attorneys know how to fight these claims and provide evidence of the driver’s negligence.
What if my injuries do not show up right away?
Pedestrian accidents often cause some of the most serious, life-altering injuries of all personal injury claims. Some of these serious injuries may not show up right away. The surge of adrenaline often experienced during an accident may actually mask signs of an injury.
These symptoms may begin to develop in the days and weeks that follow an accident. However, injured victims remain entitled to damages for all injuries caused by an accident, even if they do not show up immediately following the accident.
Your Pennsylvania personal injury attorney will compile copies of your medical records to show the link between the accident and the injuries you have suffered. As you continue your medical treatment, you should provide copies of your records to your attorney.
What types of evidence are used in Pennsylvania pedestrian accident claims?
Depending on the facts and circumstances of the claim, various types of evidence may be used to support a pedestrian’s injury claim. These may include:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Lost wage documentation from an employer
- Tax records
- Video surveillance footage
- Cell phone records
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert medical reports
- Accident reports
Other types of evidence may also be submitted. Your attorney will identify and submit the strongest evidence in your case.
I was distracted right before my pedestrian accident. Will I still be entitled to any compensation?
Generally, yes. If you were distracted–for example, looking down at your cell phone–right before you were hit by a car, the at-fault driver may try to argue that you were at least partially responsible for the crash.
So long as you were not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you will be able to seek compensation. However, your compensation may be reduced in an amount that is proportionate to your own negligence.
Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence model in personal injury claims. If your claim is initially determined to be worth $100,000, but you are found to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, you will be able to recover $80,000.
If you are more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you will not recover any damages.
Where do most pedestrian accidents occur?
Thousands of pedestrians lose their lives every year on public roadways.
Nearly 80 percent of these deaths occurred in urban areas, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
More deaths occurred in non-intersection areas as well.
Nearly 75 percent of all deaths occurred at nighttime. Most deaths also occur on Saturdays.
To avoid potentially fatal accidents, pedestrians should:
- Always use sidewalks where available (otherwise, pedestrians should walk facing traffic)
- Cross streets only at intersections
- Take extra caution when crossing driveways or walking through parking lots
- Obey traffic signals
- Remain alert at all times
- Refrain from using drugs or alcohol before walking on a roadway
- Make eye contact with drivers to ensure that they see you
- Wear bright clothing during the daytime and reflective clothing at night; pedestrians should also use flashlights at night
These tips will significantly reduce the risk of being involved in a dangerous pedestrian accident.
Contact a Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been fatally injured, contact our experienced Pennsylvania pedestrian accident attorneys today to speak with a highly qualified lawyer who knows how to tackle personal injury and wrongful death cases with passion and experience. At Solnick & Associates, we assure you that having the right attorney is crucial if you want to recover the highest amount of compensation for your case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, don’t wait to seek legal advice. An attorney can go over the specifics of your accident so you can receive the compensation you deserve.
We’re dedicated to not only helping you, but preventing future accidents. Check out some of our resources that we’ve put together: