Protecting the Rights of Pedestrian Accident Victims in Savannah
Almost everyone walks on a sidewalk or in a parking lot at some point—sometimes, on a daily basis. While walking may seem like an everyday activity, you may not realize the prevalence of pedestrian accidents. Accidents kill thousands of pedestrians each year and tens of thousands sustain serious injuries.
If you or a loved one is suddenly the victim of a pedestrian accident, you may not know what to do. At Hasner Law, we can determine your legal rights and begin working to protect those rights immediately. We can help ensure you get the care you need without the stress of handling a legal case, because we handle everything for you. If you suffered a serious injury, please call our office for a free consultation today.
Risk Factors for Pedestrians
Whenever you walk anywhere near motor vehicles, you might get hit. Accident risks increase, for example, with:
Small children – One of the first things we want to teach our kids is to be careful crossing the street—looking both ways first and holding the hand of an adult. Unfortunately, many small children still do not fully understand the risk of getting hit by traffic. Kids commonly dart out into the road after a ball or toy or try to cross the street without looking. Children, therefore, are at particularly high risk for pedestrian accidents.
Walking at night – Pedestrians are already more difficult to see than large vehicles and are definitely more difficult to see when walking at night. A car’s headlights may not shine on the pedestrian until it is too late and neither the motorist nor the pedestrian can avoid a collision. Pedestrians should always carry flashlights or wear reflective clothing if they know they will walk at night.
Intersections – We are always told it is safer to cross the street at intersections. However, even with stoplights, walk signals, crosswalks, and more, pedestrians still get hit in crosswalks. Drivers may not pay attention to walk signals and may make turns without looking for a pedestrian crossing the street. Drivers failing to yield to pedestrians is one of the most common causes of accidents.
Crossing without an intersection – Sometimes, a pedestrian will need to cross a street with no crosswalk or intersection in sight. Whether they cross a busy avenue or a small residential street, this puts them at risk of being hit because drivers are not thinking about the possibility of having to slow down for pedestrians in such locations. However, drivers have the duty to pay attention to the road and drive in ways that allow them to slow down in time to avoid an accident.
Highways – Pedestrians are never supposed to walk along highways or freeways, but sometimes a car breaks down and they need to walk to get help. When cars are speeding by at 60 miles an hour or more, they can easily lose control and hit a pedestrian. At such speeds, a crash will almost certainly kill the pedestrian.
The above highlight some particular risk factors for pedestrian accidents, but crashes can happen at any time and in any place. People can get hit walking their groceries to the car or even walking from the street into their homes. These accidents commonly lead to serious injuries that can severely impact the victim’s quality of life.
Injuries Commonly Suffered in Pedestrian Collisions
Pedestrians do not have airbags, seat belts, roll bars, steel frames, or even helmets to protect them in accidents. When a 3,000-pound (or more) vehicle collides with a person, devastating injuries can occur. While any number of injuries can result from such trauma to the body, we commonly see the following:
- Spinal cord injuries, leading to paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries, which can cause permanent impairments
- Neck and back injuries
- Dislocations and fractures, including compound or open fractures
- Internal hemorrhaging
- Damage to major internal organs
- Severe contusions or lacerations
All of these injuries can instantly change your life. One second you are walking along the street—and the next you are facing overwhelming medical bills, time away from work, pain, and even permanent disabilities. Know your rights in such a situation.
Rights of Injured Pedestrians and Their Families
A pedestrian accident victim has the legal right to recover compensation when another person’s negligence caused injuries in a crash. Pedestrian accidents may occur because a driver was engaging in a negligent act, including:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield
- Passing on a shoulder
- Failing to keep control of a vehicle
- Drunk driving
- Running stoplights or stop signs
An injured pedestrian can file a personal injury claim against a negligent driver and seek compensation for all accident-related losses. This process is complicated, though, so if you are considering legal action, it’s wise to contact an experienced pedestrian accident law firm.
In the tragic event that a pedestrian does not survive accident injuries, family members may file a claim for wrongful death against the driver. Do not wait to discuss your options with a committed attorney today.
Contact a Savannah Personal Injury Attorney Today
If a driver or another party caused your catastrophic, life-changing pedestrian injuries, do not hesitate to talk to a lawyer who will stand up for your rights. The experienced team at Hasner Law has represented many injured accident victims. Consultations are always free, so please don’t wait to call (912) 234-2334 or contact us online to discuss your accident and injuries today.