Stephen Hasner | Pedestrian Accident | June 18, 2020
The AJC reported a pedestrian was struck and killed by a MARTA bus in Atlanta. According to the Atlanta police, officers responded to an area near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and H.E. Holmes Drive early in the afternoon to investigate an accident.
Investigators found that a pedestrian was run over by the MARTA bus while crossing MLK Drive. The individual was dead at the accident scene. Criminal charges are pending against the bus driver.
Pedestrian Deaths at Record High in the United States
Pedestrian fatalities increased by three percent from 2017 to 2018. That was the highest number of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. since 1990.
The GHSA projects that pedestrian deaths increased by five percent from 2018 to 2019. The report examined several factors that may contribute to the rise in pedestrian deaths throughout the country. Those factors included:
- Unsafe driving behaviors;
- The need for safer road crossings;
- The increased use of smartphones, and,
- The increase in the number of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) on roads.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians and Drivers
Pedestrian safety begins with pedestrians. Individuals can help reduce the risk of being struck by a car by following basic pedestrian safety rules:
- Be seen. If you are walking at night, dusk, or dawn, make sure to carry a flashlight. Wear brightly colored clothing.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
- Cross roads and streets at marked crosswalks.
- Follow all traffic laws and obey traffic lights and pedestrian crossing signals.
- Walk in groups whenever possible to increase visibility.
- Teach children how to cross streets safely. Hold a child’s hand whenever walking, crossing the street, or walking through a parking lot.
- Do not walk while talking on a cell phone or after consuming alcohol or drugs.
For drivers, one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving. Motorists need to avoid distractions, especially when driving in urban areas, neighborhoods, and where children may be present.
Motorists need to slow down when approaching intersections, crosswalks, school zones, and neighborhoods. Speeding is another common factor in pedestrian accidents.
Other factors that can increase the risk of a pedestrian accident include drunk driving, drugged driving, and drowsy driving.
Pedestrian Accidents Lead to Permanent Impairments
Unfortunately, pedestrians can sustain catastrophic and deadly injuries from being struck by a vehicle. The person has no protection from the impact of the car. The impact with the vehicle can throw a person into the air or crush a person beneath the vehicle.
Pedestrian accident injuries can also result in lifelong impairments and disabilities. Some individuals never return to work or enjoy the quality of life they experienced before the accident.
Common pedestrian accident injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Multiple broken bones and fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Back injuries
- Skull fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Neck injuries
- Damage to internal organs
The damages caused by a pedestrian accident are significant. In addition to the physical pain and suffering, a pedestrian may also experience severe emotional and mental suffering. Also, victims of pedestrian accidents incur substantial financial damages, such as medical costs, personal care expenses, and loss of income.
The steps you take after a pedestrian accident can either help or hurt your chance of recovering compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages. Insurance companies may try to blame the pedestrian for causing the accident. If successful, the insurance company can deny the injury claim in full or severely reduce the value of the injury claim.
What Should I Do if I Am Struck by a Vehicle?
If a vehicle strikes you, treat the pedestrian accident as you would any other accident. Call 911 for police and emergency medical services.
In many cases, there are several eyewitnesses to a pedestrian accident. Ask each person to give you their name and contact information. If anyone has a video of the accident, ask them to send you the video.
Always seek medical attention. Prompt medical attention improves your chances of recovering compensation for a pedestrian accident. Delays in medical care could jeopardize your health and your injury claim.
Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Do not settle your injury claims until you have completed treatment with your doctor. It is impossible to know the extent of your injuries until you complete medical treatment.
It is generally best to talk with a pedestrian accident lawyer before providing statements or signing any documents for the insurance company. Insurance claims adjusters want to pay as little as possible to settle your claim. An attorney protects your best interests and your legal right to recover fair compensation for a pedestrian accident.