If you step off a corner and get hit by a car, your injuries could be severe, and possibly even life-threatening. Drivers are often negligent or in violation of basic traffic laws when they strike pedestrians in parking lots, at intersections, or in crosswalks. Traffic laws that are often violated, resulting in a pedestrian accident, include:
- Failing to Yield – Right-of-way should be yielded to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections. Often this isn’t the case.
- Speeding – Did you know it takes a breaking distance of 80 ft. to stop a car traveling at 40 mph? There typically isn’t enough time to stop if you are speeding and encounter a pedestrian.
- Driving Distracted – Too often drivers find other things to focus on besides their driving. Eating, talking on a phone, texting, and even engaging with passengers in the back seat can all cause a driver to miss seeing a pedestrian and strike them.
- Not Yielding to a School Bus – School buses have flashing red lights to inform drivers when they are picking up or dropping off children. All drivers are required to stop when they see the flashing red lights to prevent injuries from happening.
- Driving Impaired – Vision, judgement, and reaction time are all compromised when drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes both prescription and nonprescription drugs.
What Else Causes Pedestrian Knockdown Accidents?
Cars aren’t the only things that can knock down pedestrians while they use sidewalks, crosswalks, or walk along a road. However, the injuries caused can still be serious, including back and spinal injuries, severe fractures, and traumatic brain injuries. All of these can take an extended period of time to recover from. Knockdown accidents can be caused by:
- Distracted Walkers – Pedestrians who don’t pay attention to those around them can cause dangerous situations. Lack of attention can be a result of listening to music, talking on the phone, talking to others with them, texting, or even enjoying their surroundings too much.
- Joggers – Joggers can inadvertently crash into walkers and cause injuries due to the force of the impact. The negligent jogger can then be held liable to compensate the injured person. This situation can happen if joggers aren’t careful about how they share sidewalks, paths, or roads they are using.
- Uncontrolled Dogs – Dogs that are unleashed or uncontrolled can cause significant injuries if they knock down or bite pedestrians. Any injuries the dog inflicts can cause owners to be held liable. Dog bite injuries can have lasting effects on both the affected individual and the dog.
- Bicyclists – Bicycle riders must share any paths or sidewalks they are using with pedestrians, as well as follow traffic laws and yield to pedestrians just as drivers do. In some places it is illegal for bicyclists to use the sidewalk. Bicycle riders could be required to compensate for any injuries they cause a pedestrian due to their carelessness or violation of local laws.
- Open Doors – “Dooring” occurs when people exit their vehicle without looking and hit someone who is passing by. It often happens in parking lots or along the side of a road.
If Minors are the Victim There are Special Rules to Follow
No one wants their child to be hurt, but sometimes it happens. If the victim of a pedestrian accident is a minor, settling a claim for their injuries can become more involved. Specific and special rules must be followed in Washington when settling claims on behalf of minors. In such cases, the court determines if the proposed settlement is adequate and either rejects or approves it. This is true whether the claim is filed in court or not.
Were you or your child hit by a car or knocked down due to another’s negligent actions? Contact a member of our team today for a free consultation and case evaluation. Let us take care of your injury claim while you focus on your recovery.