Pedestrians Hit by Vehicles When Crossing Roads
Collisions between pedestrians and vehicles are a significant cause of personal injuries and death. Statistics compiled by NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, show that in 2014 almost 5,000 pedestrians were killed by cars, trucks, buses and other motor vehicles. Another 65,000 pedestrians suffered injuries, many of which were serious – involving the head, legs, hips, pelvis, arms, and internal organs. Young children and teens are frequent victims.
Many pedestrians are quick to blame themselves for getting injured. Insurance companies are quick to point out that the pedestrian “could have been more careful.” To an experienced attorney, the determination of who is at fault involves a deep investigation of the facts and law. What many do not realize – and what an insurance company will never tell you – is that there are quite a few laws that favor pedestrians over vehicles.
Whenever a pedestrian is struck or killed by a motor vehicle the facts are unique and must be analyzed by an attorney experienced in the rules of the road and how the courts have interpreted them. Unless you have this level of knowledge and experience, it is a mistake to deal directly with an insurance company. They will try to get you to make statements accepting some or all of the blame. This can become the most powerful evidence used against you if your case goes to trial, especially if you did not understand the law when you made the statement. For instance, many people do not realize implied crosswalks exist at all Rhode Island intersecting streets. Without that understanding, it would be easy to admit to jaywalking when a pedestrian was actually within a legal crosswalk and entitled to the right of way. This is one example of where an early consultation with an attorney can make all the difference in the world.
Another reason to consult with a lawyer early is vehicles that hit pedestrians often carry insufficient insurance for the severe injuries, high medical bills and lost wages that commonly result. An experienced auto accident personal injury attorney will work to discover if other liability policies might apply, and explain how uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage works. The layers of insurance coverage that can apply to a pedestrian injury case can be difficult to uncover and confusing. An early start is best.