At the turn of the 20th century, it was obvious that people outnumbered cars. Now, when you go outside, it may not seem that way. For every person walking, there are 10 or more completely enclosed in metal and glass, zipping along at breakneck speeds. Sadly, pedestrians do not have the same rights of freedom to travel as motor vehicle users. Confined by narrow sidewalks interrupted by driveways and parking lot pull-ins, crosswalks, and Do Not Walk lights, our society has not made it easy or convenient to get around by foot. However, that does not mean that you are helpless when it comes to demanding compensation for your damages. As a pedestrian, you do have legal rights to use the road, and no matter how you were hit, it is important to immediately speak with a lawyer as soon as you can.
Pedestrians are often blamed for causing their own injuries. Drivers commonly make false accusations that the pedestrian “came out of nowhere” or that he or she “jumped out in front of the car,” when the truth is that the driver was looking down at a phone or was speeding through in intersection in an attempt to beat a red light. We work closely with investigators, police, and accident collision forensic experts to get to the bottom of what really happened. Chances are that you were not at fault, since statistics show that most pedestrian collisions were not caused by the pedestrian.
Pedestrians often suffer devastating injuries, or death, when they get struck by a car, bus, or truck due to the immense size mass difference between the automobile and the human body. Car occupants, on the other hand, tend to suffer no injuries at all when they strike pedestrians. Common pedestrian accident injuries may include the following:
Speed kills, and chances are that a driver speeds most times that he or she get behind the wheel. For pedestrians, this is bad news. According to ProPublica, when a pedestrian is struck by a car going 25 kilometers an hour, the pedestrian only has a 4% chance of being killed. When they are struck at 50 kilometers per hour, they have a 22% chance of being killed. And, if they are struck at 80 kilometers per hour, there is a 75% chance that they will die. At higher speeds, that number approaches 100%.
According to Transport Canada, 13% of road fatalities from 2004 to 2008 were pedestrians, even though much fewer than 13% of trips-by-time are made by foot. Among the unfortunate pedestrian fatality characteristics are the following statistics:
While Transportation Canada insists that pedestrians should not assume that drivers can see them in intersections, that pedestrians should make eye contact with the driver before attempting to cross a street or intersection, that pedestrians should wear reflective clothing at dusk or night, and that the elderly should take safety courses about being seen in traffic, it is never your legal responsibility to do any of those things. Whether you did or did not take Transportation Canada's “advice,” it should have little relevance to fault in your legal case if you were in a crosswalk.
Being hit by a car as a vulnerable road user is a traumatic experience all by itself. Not being treated like a victim, having the blame directed back at you, or being presented insultingly low financial offers by the negligent party’s insurance provider only makes your emotional pain that much more severe. Here at the Vernon law offices of Preszler Law Firm, we take care of our clients in every way, from dealing with law enforcement to negotiating with insurance companies, and we work tirelessly to achieve the best outcome for every case we take on. Call us today at 1-844-373-8202 to set up a consultation.