Drivers have a duty to yield to pedestrians. This is one of the most basic concepts behind being awarded driving privileges. However, as simple of a concept as this is, most people probably are not shocked to hear that accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles result in thousands of deaths in America every year. Thousands more leave pedestrians with serious injuries, oftentimes including broken bones, head or spine injuries, and even brain damage. In the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, the victims are faced with a new reality that will likely include prolonged hospitalization to recover from their injuries. And even when they are released from a medical facility, they may face a lifetime of disability.
Pedestrian accidents occur for a wide variety of reasons. In many cases, distracted driving is to blame. Distracted driving is an issue that is becoming one of the more pressing public safety concerns of our time, and pedestrians are not the only ones who can suffer devastating injuries because of it. When drivers spend more time looking at their smartphone or having a conversation with a passenger than they do on the task of driving, only bad things will happen. Of course, drivers never think that they are the ones who will be involved in an accident caused by distracted driving - that only happens to other people, right? Unfortunately, that isn't the case.
In order to avoid pedestrian accidents, drivers need to stay focused on the task at hand. But, the reality is that more often than not drivers will engage in reckless or negligent conduct that puts pedestrians at risk. Drivers regularly run red lights and make sudden turns at intersections without signaling. In these situations, pedestrians often correctly assume that they have the right-of-way. Unfortunately, drivers who don't acknowledge some of the most basic rules of the road like stopping at red lights and signaling turns are the cause of many pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrian accidents also seem to involve a higher chance of a hit-and-run. When two vehicles are involved in an accident it is easier to observe the damage done to both vehicles. However, in pedestrian accidents it is often only the pedestrian who is injured - there may not even be any damage to the vehicle or injuries for the driver or passengers. And that is when a hit-and-run can occur.
The immediate concern for victims in pedestrian accidents is to get the medical treatment they need. However, as that medical treatment progresses, the bills for treatment will begin to pile up. When this starts, a victim's attention will turn to how they will cover the medical expenses. When a driver is at fault for causing the pedestrian accident and the resultant injuries, victims may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation - compensation that can include everything from medical expenses to lost wages for time missed at work due to the accident. Every pedestrian accident is unique, and the facts of any given case will determine what damages can be sought.