Pedestrian accidents have been on the increase in the United States in recent years, an Alabama car accident lawyer can help you learn the main causes of pedestrian accidents. Between 2008 and 2017, the number grew by 35 percent even while other traffic deaths dropped by six percent. In Alabama, 113 walkers died in car crashes in 2017 and in the first half of 2018, 40 lost their lives. When you consider how many pedestrians suffered injuries and survived and those who didn’t report their accident, you realize how concerning the situation is.
Pedestrian accidents don’t usually get the same level of attention as other traffic accidents. However, they can have catastrophic results. Walking on the streets is risky even if you stay on the sidewalk or use the pedestrian crossing. However, when you know how pedestrian accidents occur, you can take steps to avoid them. Contrary to what some people believe, both drivers and pedestrians can be at fault. In Alabama, if you are in any way responsible for the accident, you can’t get compensation.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents Which Vehicular Accident Attorneys See
Many pedestrian accidents are caused by inattentiveness or negligence. Drivers talk on cell phones, program their GPS, eat, apply makeup or engage in other activities. When their hands are off the wheel and their eyes are off the road, they put other road users in danger. Pedestrians can also be distracted when they walk and text, go live on social media or listen to loud music. One study found that pedestrians were at fault for more than half of the fatal pedestrian accidents in Alabama in 2017.
That being said, most collisions between vehicles and pedestrians occur at intersections. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable when there are no signaled crosswalks since neither they nor the motorist know when to move off. However, left-hand turns are dangerous for pedestrians even with signaled crosswalks. The pedestrian is usually looking straight ahead while drivers are negotiating the intersection. This means neither party may notice the other until it is too late.
Alcohol is also a factor for both drivers and pedestrians with most accidents occurring on weekend nights. Even slight intoxication can affect your awareness and ability to exercise sound judgment. Drivers who are drunk often speed, run red lights or swerve onto sidewalks. Intoxicated pedestrians may drift into traffic or take risks when crossing the street.
Wearing dark clothing only makes matters worst. When pedestrians walk in poorly lit areas, it becomes very difficult for drivers to see them. Wearing bright or light clothing or a fluorescent vest or carrying a mini flashlight can make pedestrians more visible.
Types of Injuries Pedestrians Often Sustain
Pedestrians don’t have helmets, seatbelts or airbags to protect them from the impact of a truck or car. Even when a vehicle isn’t traveling at high speeds, pedestrian injuries can be serious. Individuals often end up with broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord damage, and internal injuries. The faster the vehicle was travelling, the more likely it is that fatal injuries will occur.
Injuries sustained in a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian can be painful, disabling and disfiguring. They can also be expensive to treat and the recovery time can be lengthy. Some accident victims also suffer psychological injuries. If you suffer injuries as a result of a driver’s negligence, you deserve to get compensation. However, you need to take the appropriate steps following the accident.
Steps a Car Accident Lawyer in Alabama Will Advise Clients to Take
Taking these actions protects your health and your right to compensation. You should:
- Get medical attention. Even if you feel your injuries are minor, you should still go to the doctor. Some injuries may not be immediately obvious to you, but a doctor may be able to diagnose them.
- Report and document the crash. Notify the police about the accident and if possible, talk to eyewitnesses and get their contact details. Be sure to write down everything you can remember about how the accident occurred.
- Notify the driver’s insurance company. If the driver was completely at fault for the accident, their insurer should compensate you. You should file your claim as soon as possible after the crash.
- Hire an attorney. It is difficult to navigate the claims system and negotiate with an insurance company alone. if you want to improve your chances of getting full compensation, it’s best to work with an experienced attorney.
Contact an Alabama Car Accident Lawyer at The Vance Law Firm
Don’t hesitate to go after the compensation you deserve. Contact our team of experienced, skilled attorneys and let us work on your behalf. You shouldn’t have to fight with insurance companies when you need to focus on your recovery. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you.