Drivers of motor vehicles have a responsibility to exercise care and follow traffic laws while on the road. When drivers fail to do so, they endanger everyone around them. This includes other drivers as well as pedestrians. Phoenix is one of the most dangerous cities in America for these incidents, with one of the highest pedestrian death tolls, according to an article in the Phoenix New Times.
It’s imperative for any pedestrian injured by a motorist to understand his or her rights and options for legal recourse. You can get started by contacting a Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyer at Cullan & Cullan. Our legal team has been representing the injured across Arizona since 1990 and is ready to see how we can help you.
Call (602) 900-9483 now for a free, confidential review of your case.
Types of Pedestrian Injuries
Any car accident can cause serious injuries or deaths. That likelihood is much higher when an accident involves a pedestrian.
People who are struck by vehicles may face injuries including:
- Broken bones, which can result from the impact of hitting the vehicle and from being thrown against the ground by the force of the impact. Pedestrians trapped under vehicles face crushing injuries as well.
- Internal damage. A pedestrian struck by a car may suffer internal organ damage, either from the initial impact or as a result of other injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Concussions are the most common form of traumatic brain injury, and they can cause serious complications for victims, including nausea, dizziness, disorientation, headaches, sensory sensitivity, and increased susceptibility to future brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries. These never heal and leave permanent effects, including paralysis.
- Lacerations and puncture wounds. Debris and other objects can cause serious damage when a pedestrian is thrown at high speeds.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, and the injuries pedestrians endure are often life-threatening. It’s not uncommon for these incidents to be fatal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that pedestrians comprise 14% of all traffic fatalities.
Know Your Options
Pedestrians who have suffered injuries from motor vehicles usually face a long road to recovery — if it’s even possible. The faster the vehicle is travelling at the time of impact, the less likely a pedestrian is to survive. If a pedestrian is killed by a reckless, intoxicated, or negligent driver, his or her surviving loved ones may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.
For pedestrians who survive their traffic accidents, expenses may include:
- Emergency medical care at the time of the accident. This includes initial lifesaving operations and necessary future surgeries.
- Ongoing rehabilitative care. This may include physical therapy to regain mobility once injuries have healed.
- Medical appliances. When victims lose the ability to walk, they require a wheelchair and other devices for mobility. They may also need to alter their homes to accommodate their handicaps.
- Lost wages from missed time from work. If an injury leaves a victim unable to return to a job, he or she faces reduced earning capacity and a loss of expected income.
- Pain and suffering. This can include physical pain from injuries as well as psychological trauma from the event and from coping with a new way of life (if the accident leaves the victim disabled).
Pedestrians facing these expenses may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the incident. Successful personal injury claims hinge on being able to prove negligence. This means that the plaintiff (the injured party filing the lawsuit) must establish that the defendant (the person being sued) had a duty to act with reasonable care, that the defendant violated that duty by some action or inaction, and that this breach of duty directly resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.
Proving negligence can be difficult, but an experienced Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney will help make the process much easier. If the other driver violated traffic laws, was speeding, or operated the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your attorney will determine what evidence is necessary to establish a successful negligence claim.
Contact Cullan & Cullan at (602) 900-9483 in Phoenix for a free consultation today.