Injury from a Pedestrian Accident
Unfortunately, pedestrian fatalities have risen across the U.S., including in the state of Connecticut. There can be many factors contributing to this increase, among them is negligence due to distracted driving and the increase of large, heavy vehicles on our roadways. In fact, the Governors Highway Safety Association projected that pedestrian deaths for 2019 were 6,590 which is the highest number of deaths in more than 30 years. Further, pedestrian deaths are estimated to account for 17% of all traffic deaths in 2019 which is up 5% from the decade before.
Pedestrian accidents and deaths are a cause for everyone’s concern and steps to reduce danger to pedestrians need to be taken seriously. If you or a family member has been injured as a result of another motor vehicle as a pedestrian, the best step you can take is to secure the representation of a skilled, experienced personal injury attorney.
We work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we have been successful in making a recovery for you.
Specialized, experienced legal representation in Connecticut
We are legal specialists who focus solely on personal injury law, including pedestrian accident cases.
If you’ve ever been injured in a pedestrian accident, we understand the damage, both physical and emotional, it can cause. Many pedestrian accidents can have life-long impacts, causing chronic injuries, disabilities and expensive medical care. In particular, pedestrian accidents are known to cause severe damages because vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and children, are more likely to be involved on the receiving end. In fact, the CDC states that pedestrians aged 65 and older accounts for 20% of all pedestrian deaths and 10% of all injuries in 2017. Also, one in every five children under the age of 15 that were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.
At Cavanaugh Law, we take care of the stress and challenges of handling a pedestrian case so you can obtain financial compensation for your injury and losses. Victims injured from a pedestrian accident can legally receive compensation for their medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering and more. Although we work for individuals rather than insurance companies, we have extensive experience working on the insurance side of personal injury claims. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to masterfully counter the tactics that insurance companies typically use to undermine your case.
What should I do after a pedestrian accident?
After an accident, there are many important steps to take to ensure your safety and the integrity of your legal case. These steps are particularly important.
- Step 1: Check yourself and everyone involved in the accident for injuries. Do not move yourself or anyone that appears to be injured.
- Step 2: Call the police and exchange information with everyone involved in the accident. Obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses, and exchange insurance information with the other driver. Be brief and do not admit fault. If you’re not sure how to answer a question, you should ask your personal injury attorney.
- Step 3: Seek immediate medical assistance. We strongly advise that you do not refuse treatment from an emergency responder or paramedic. If you do not go to the hospital immediately following the accident, see a physician as soon as possible.
- Step 4: Inform your auto insurance carrier as soon as possible and do not give any statements to insurance carriers other than your own.
- Step 5: Keep a record of all documents that can help support your case.
- Step 6: Talk to a personal injury attorney before filing or signing any checks or insurance documents, giving recorded statements to any insurance company, including your own, or meeting with an insurance company representative.
No one anticipates being the victim of a pedestrian accident. The best defense you have in the unfortunate case this happens to you or a loved one is to be prepared for what to do next.
Connecticut Pedestrian Laws
There are a few pedestrian laws that are unique to Connecticut or that have recently changed that you should know. Connecticut’s crosswalk law has changed several times in recent history. In 1978, Connecticut PA 78-309 law required drivers to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks as long as the pedestrian was in the portion of the road where the vehicle was crossing. The law states that the pedestrian also had to be approaching so quickly, or be so close to the roadway where the motor vehicle was traveling that he or she “was in reasonable danger of being struck” (PA 78-309).
Then in 1994, PA 94-189 was enacted which states that drivers were to grant the right-of-way not only to pedestrians in a crosswalk but also to pedestrians who had stepped to the curb at the entrance to a crosswalk, regardless of whether the pedestrian was in danger of being hit or not.
Most recently, in 2007 it changed again and required that drivers grant the right-of-way to pedestrians who have stepped off the curb or into the crosswalk.
It’s important to know as both a pedestrian and driver that if the pedestrian has been given the “walk” signal, the pedestrian always has the right-of-way, even for motor vehicles that making a right or left-hand turn.
Also, pedestrians should never cross an intersection diagonally as they are not using crossing signals and may not be seen by nearby vehicles on the road.
Failure to comply with these laws can result in an accident and/or legal fines.
What are the main causes of pedestrian accidents?
There are many factors that are involved in pedestrian accidents, including the following:
- Drivers that are impaired by the effects of alcohol are the cause of approximately 47% of pedestrian deaths.
- Distracted driving has increased over the years. With more people paying attention to their phone, GPS or radio, they are less focused on the roadways.
- Speeding increases both the likelihood of a pedestrian being hit by a motor vehicle and the severity of the injuries.
- Turbulent weather may create less visibility for drivers, resulting in obstructed vision. In Connecticut, we are no stranger to ice and snow on the roads. It is vital that you slow down in these conditions.
- Walking at night can cause another visibility issue. One of the best things you can do as a pedestrian is to ensure you are seen by oncoming motor vehicles. If you plan on walking at night, wear light-colored clothing or bring a pocket flashlight with you on your walk.
After a pedestrian accident, it is critical to contact an expert personal injury attorney. Your attorney will be your ally and skillfully prove your case to insurance companies so you can receive the compensation you are rightfully owed.
To schedule a free initial consultation, call 203-259-5400 or contact us online.