Some Interesting Facts and Statistics
- Even slow-moving vehicles can be dangerous for pedestrians. On busy roads and peak traffic hours, drivers are often distracted because of tiring environments and stress behind the wheels.
- Private streets, parking lots, and other low-speed areas can also invite accidents as pedestrians are clueless and hover directionless or sprint into the busy streets.
- As days get shorter, nights fall sooner in the winters making roads deadlier for pedestrians.
- Approximately 60 pedestrians per year are killed by reckless drivers in Nevada. Nevada stands 11th on the list of fatal pedestrian accidents, and Clark County accounts for 80 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in Nevada.
Catastrophic Personal Injuries After Being Hit by a Car
A pedestrian who is hit by a car could sustain serious or catastrophic personal injuries, even at low speeds. This is because pedestrians do not have an airbag, seatbelt, or other protective equipment around them like other motorists. Pedestrians also do not have a helmet like motorcyclists or bicyclists. As a result, pedestrians are more likely to be seriously injured when being hit by a car. Some of these traumatic injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and spinal cord injuries (SCIs).
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as
“a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” The most common types of TBIs after a pedestrian knockdown include the following:
- Concussions – a concussion is caused by an impact, blow, bump, or jolt to the head. Even if there is no contact to the head, violent whiplash could also cause a concussion. While concussions are the most commonly known type of TBI, that does not make them devastating. Even a “mild” concussion could result in permanent brain damage and increase the risk of further injury in other concussions.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI) – this type of injury results from the violent force that can sheer, tear, or rip tissue inside of the brain. The damage is primarily done to axons and fibrous bands of nerve tissue. This can result in catastrophic brain damage and permanent disability.
- Coup-Contrecoup TBIs – a violent whiplash motion can cause a coup-contrecoup TBI by sending the brain sliding forward and backward in the skull. This is because the skull is suspended in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). When there is a powerful impact to one side of the head, the brain can slide in the CSF and strike the inside of the skull on the opposing side of the impact. This can cause a brain injury. But then the whiplash motion could pull the brain backward and slide to the point of impact again, causing a brain injury on the other side of the brain. This can leave an individual with brain bleeds, swelling, and injuries on two sides of his or her brain. This is a medical emergency due to the increase in swelling.
- Brain Bleeds – bleeding within the skull and between brain tissue. Can be life-threatening and can cause or be a result of brain damage.
- Contusions – a brain bruise that causes bleeding and swelling inside the brain where trauma was caused.
- Cerebral edema – swelling and inflammation where fluid builds around the brain increasing intracranial pressure.
- Skull Fractures – can result in serious brain damages, leaking of cerebrospinal fluid, seizures, infections, and other complications.
- Penetrating brain injuries.
- Other types of serious TBIs.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Another debilitating and catastrophic type of personal injury is a spinal cord injury (SCI). Most types of spinal cord injuries result in paralysis. There are different types of paralysis, including the following:
- Paraplegia – a SCI affecting the lower torso and legs, often causing great difficulty in walking and, in cases where the spinal cord has been completely severed, a victim will be unable to walk or sense feelings below the injury.
- Quadriplegia – also known as tetraplegia, this type of SCI is higher up in the cervical spine (neck) and can affect all four limbs and the entire body. This means that a victim could face significant hurdles during his or her lifetime.
- Monoplegia – this type of SCI is caused when only one limb is affected. Generally, the damage is done to the outer-most section of the SCI or to the peripheral nerve branch off of the spinal cord. A common example would be foreign debris cutting into the brachial plexus nerves of the shoulder, therefore cutting of movement and sensation to that specific arm only.
What Should a Pedestrian Do After Getting Hit by a Car?
Needless to say, examining one’s own body and then checking valuables like phone, wallet, cards, etc would be anyone’s priority after getting hit by a car, but there is more you should do.
Get Medical Help
Though it might seem OK for you at the first glance, expert advice
and proper medical help are highly recommended after a pedestrian accident. There might be some unnoticed wounds or head injury
that needs to be paid attention to, so getting medical help right away is the first thing you must do.
Contact the Police
You should immediately call the police to file a report and complete the necessary formalities. Make sure you record your statement with the police department carefully, as it is going to impact you in the future for both potential criminal proceedings and a personal injury claim
Record Details and Take Photographs or Video
Obtain the driver’s information, license plate, insurance, and driver’s license. Assess the surroundings like the road’s traffic, location, road’s maintenance status would be helpful for future purposes.
If a witness is present, take their contact information. Take photographs of the scene, the vehicle involved, and your injuries.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
You should hire a professional and experienced lawyer who will work on a contingency fee to assist you in obtaining the full justice and compensation that you deserve. To make your strongest case, your pedestrian accident attorney will need to start working on gathering evidence, photographs, statements, and investigate as soon as possible.
Legal Consequences when a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car
Crashing your car into a pedestrian can lead you to dire consequences. If you hit a pedestrian, even if he is at fault, a poorly-held case can lead you to significant criminal charges – you can lose your driving license or have to pay heavy fines or compensations. If the pedestrian gets killed in the accident, it can put you behind the bars under manslaughter charges. If you stop at the accident spot, report the accident yourself, and help the victim, the criminal charges can be dropped.
You may also be sued civilly on top of the criminal charges for the injuries or death of the pedestrian.
Pedestrian Accident Outside of a Crosswalk
Jaywalkers, who cross the roads diagonally, or who walk outside of a crosswalk, are considered as offenders or traffic rule violators under the state’s law.
The vehicle owners reserve the right-of-way while a pedestrian crosses a road out of the crosswalk, and in such a case the pedestrian can be held partially or fully responsible for the accident.
But as stated earlier, every case varies according to the facts of the accident, surroundings, and how the case has been reported.
Many times, drivers are held liable as they are expected to act responsibly, pay full attention, and act swiftly according to the environment.
Even if there is a clear case of pedestrians’ carelessness or a jaywalking incident involved, the seriousness of injuries can place the motorists liable for damages.
If you are not sure about the case, contact a pedestrian accident attorney to understand who is to be held liable.
What Happens When a Car Collides with a Pedestrian?
An accident, big or small, always is a terrifying experience and even a slow-moving car can lead to lethal injuries. When a car hits a pedestrian, three factors decide the consequences. The initial impact – how the car touches the body & at what speed, the trajectory – how the pedestrian takes the blow, and the ground contact – and how the pedestrian’s body hits the ground after the accident. These three factors collectively determine the gravity of the situation.
Who Is To Blame For These Fatalities? Pedestrians Or Drivers?
The answer may vary according to the circumstances, but there are two common cases – careless pedestrians who fail to abide by the crossing rules, and the drivers who are not responsible enough behind the wheels.In some cases, pedestrians are found negligent and when they are careless to their surroundings; distraction caused by smartphones or jaywalking rather than following pedestrian customs may lead them to fatal accidents.On the other hand, texting while driving, driving under the influence
, speeding, or other kinds of distractions can put drivers at fault.
Crosswalk Accidents: Who is at Fault?
Careless pedestrians can also be held responsible for carelessly crossing the road, but in the case of crosswalk accidents, drivers are usually considered to be liable.
The law states that pedestrians should be careful and pay attention to their surroundings even when they pass by a crosswalk. Running or suddenly moving into the car’s way is not suggested. Entering a crosswalk during the “Don’t Walk” signal is considered illegal.
Even if a pedestrian starts walking while the “Wait” signal flashes, it was against the rules.
Crossing during the countdown would not be considered a traffic violation.
Could the Pedestrian Be at Fault for a Car Accident?
Just like a driver or vehicle owner, a pedestrian is also required to follow the rules. The pedestrian also needs to abide by the law and follow the rules of the road. If he is found guilty of violating the rules, he may be held liable for the pedestrian accident.
Some common violations like:
- Disregarding the “Don’t Walk” signal
- Walking in forbidden areas
- Wandering high on drugs or alcohol
- Not paying attention to passing vehicles
- Walking while texting
…among other distractions, especially outside of crosswalks can make a pedestrian partly or fully responsible for an accident.
Oftentimes pedestrian accidents result in serious injury
or even death
a pedestrian accident attorney today for a free evaluation.