PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS IN INDIANA
When many people think about serious car accidents, they imagine collisions between two vehicles. While these types of accidents can and do occur at an alarming rate across the country, they are not the only type of collision in which a vehicle can be involved. A surprising number of accidents, for example, involve only a single vehicle and a pedestrian.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these types of accidents occur at a much higher rate than most people realize, as nearly 70,000 pedestrians were injured in collisions with vehicles in 2015 alone, which, when broken down, means that a pedestrian is injured every seven and a half minutes.
These statistics are alarming, as pedestrian-vehicle collisions almost always result in severe injuries for the pedestrian, who isn’t protected from impact by airbags and seat belts. Crushed and broken bones, severe lacerations, and head trauma are only a few of the injuries often suffered by pedestrians. Treating these types of catastrophic injuries is notoriously expensive, making it especially important for those who were injured in an accident with a driver, to retain an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Fort Wayne who can help them seek compensation for their medical bills and other losses.
Like car crashes, pedestrian accidents can happen just about anywhere and at any time. There are, however, certain factors, that when present, make it more likely that a pedestrian will be involved in a collision with a vehicle. For instance, while many people assume that the majority of pedestrian accidents occur in intersections, the reality is that around 72 percent of pedestrian fatalities, while they did occur in urban areas, did not happen in intersections.
Pedestrians in certain age groups are also more likely than others to be involved in this type of accident. Children between the ages of ten and 14 years old, for example, are the most likely to sustain injuries in collisions with vehicles, while children between the ages of five and nine years old are the most likely to be involved in a fatal pedestrian accident. Alcohol consumption also plays a significant role in many pedestrian-vehicle collisions. In fact, intoxication is reported in nearly 50 percent of all pedestrian-vehicle crashes.
While each pedestrian-vehicle collision is different, there are certain situations in which this type of accident is more likely to occur, including when:
- A driver was operating a vehicle while intoxicated;
- A driver failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian;
- A traffic signal was defective;
- A driver was distracted;
- A driver fell asleep at the wheel;
- There was poor visibility at the time of the crash;
- A driver was speeding or violating another traffic law; and
- A driver unexpectedly changed lanes, weaved between vehicles, was tailgating, or otherwise driving aggressively.
This type of conduct has the potential to affect drivers anywhere on the road, although it is especially dangerous to pedestrians in certain places, including:
- Parking lots or garages;
- Marked crosswalks;
- Residential streets;
- Intersections; and
- Commercial or residential driveways.
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RECOVERING DAMAGES FOR PEDESTRIAN INJURIES
Even though collisions between pedestrians and vehicles that take place in these locations often occur at low speeds, it is still not uncommon for victims to sustain catastrophic injuries because they are exposed to the full force of an impact. Some of the most common injuries sustained by pedestrians include:
- Crushed, broken, or dislocated bones;
- Organ damage and internal bleeding;
- Partial or total paralysis caused by spinal cord damage;
- Severe lacerations and amputations; and
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causing loss of cognitive or motor function, memory problems, or coma.
The kinds of injuries sustained by pedestrians in collisions with vehicles are notoriously painful and expensive to treat. Fortunately, victims who are able to prove that someone else was at fault for their accident could be eligible to collect damages compensating them for accident-related losses, such as:
- Medical expenses for ambulance services, emergency treatment, surgery, physical therapy or other rehabilitation services, and prescription medications;
- Lost wages incurred while the injured party rehabilitated;
- Loss of future income, if the victim’s injuries are so severe that he or she is unable to go back to work or must accept a lower paying job;
- The cost of repairing or replacing property damaged in the accident;
- The physical and emotional pain and suffering endured by the victim as a result of the accident;
- The emotional distress experienced by the family members of the injured party; and
- Funeral/burial costs.
However, before a person can collect these types of damages, he or she must be able to provide evidence of another party’s fault. Relevant evidence could include medical bills, eyewitness statements, expert witness testimony, footage from traffic cameras, and the report submitted by the responding police officer. This kind of evidence can be difficult to collect, especially for those who are suffering from a serious injury, so it is important for pedestrians who were injured in an accident, or their family members, to speak with an attorney about their next steps.
Even when a pedestrian was partly at fault for an accident, he or she will not necessarily be barred from recovery. This is because Indiana is a comparative negligence state, which means that injured parties who contribute to their own accidents are not prohibited from collecting compensation, as long as they were not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. Instead, the amount that they are able to collect will be reduced in proportion to their percentage of fault, unless their degree of responsibility exceeds 50 percent, in which case, they will be barred from recovering damages.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
If you were involved in an accident with a vehicle and were not at fault, you could be eligible for compensation. To learn more, please call Delventhal Law Office LLC at (260) 238-8608 and a member of our legal team will help you set up a free case evaluation with a dedicated and compassionate pedestrian accident attorney.
AREAS WE PRACTICE
At the Delventhal Law office, our Fort Wayne personal injury attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights and interests of accident victims. If you or a family member was injured because of the carelessness or recklessness of another party, we can help. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers handle a wide array of legal cases, including:
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