It seems like every time you tune in to a news station, you hear another tragic tale of a life lost in a motor vehicle accident. These stories are so common, we can almost become desensitized to them. There’s a general mentality of “it won’t happen to me, it can’t happen to me.” Yet in recent years, the number of motor vehicle deaths has consistently remained above 30,000 annually.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, don’t become just another statistic. You deserve justice.
Take charge and call the team of lawyers and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law. We are a national law firm based in Houston with multiple offices around the country. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you are located, give us a call. We are open, for FREE, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by CLICKING HERE to submit your case for review and learn more about your legal rights and how we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
The Top Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Out of the 30,000+ fatalities every year, about 16% are pedestrians. This number has only risen in recent years. The number of pedestrian fatalities every year consistently hovers at around 6,000 people, or, in other words, about 1.5 pedestrian deaths PER HOUR. According to the CDC, young children and older adults are most at risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident.
When we get behind the wheel, it’s our duty to be aware of everything and everyone around us. Cities have done their part by integrating safety precautions to protect pedestrians, including flashing lights, crosswalks, and additional lighting.
So how do all of these accidents happen, and why are they increasing in frequency? Let’s take a look:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving has become a serious issue. You might think it only takes a few seconds to check a text message or fumble a french fry out of your takeout bag, but in that brief window of time, a light can turn red, a pedestrian can walk out into the road, or your vehicle can drift out of your lane into a pedestrian area.
- Speeding: We’ve all got places to be, but there is no excuse for speeding. When a vehicle is speeding, it makes it difficult for a pedestrian to gauge how long they have to cross. It also takes the driver more time to stop if a pedestrian crosses their path or the driver’s light turns red. Worst of all, speeding can increase the severity of injuries that happen in the resulting crashes and can even lead to death.
- Driving under the influence: Drunk drivers don’t make good decisions. It takes them longer to process, to stop, and to react. A driver who is under the influence may not see a pedestrian and is more likely to be taking part in other dangerous behaviors such as speeding or swerving. According to recent numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 17 percent of all pedestrian fatalities are the result of a driver who has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater.
- Failure to yield the right of way: When we think about failure to yield the right of way, we generally think about motor vehicle accidents. This is not always the case. How many times have you seen a driver have to slam on their brakes or a pedestrian throw up their hands because a driver attempted to make a turn when the pedestrian had a green walk signal? As a driver, always check for pedestrians before making a turn.
Injuries After a Pedestrian Accident
Unlike occupants in motor vehicle accidents, or even bike accidents, pedestrians have no protection whatsoever in the event of a collision. This leaves them extremely vulnerable to serious bodily injury. Often these accidents can lead to months of painful recovery, or lifelong chronic pain and mobility issues.Injuries will vary depending on many factors, including the angle of the impact and the speed and size of the vehicle. Common injuries include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A pedestrian in an accident can count themselves lucky if they avoid a traumatic brain injury after a motor vehicle accident. Traumatic brain injuries range in severity and symptoms. Sometimes a TBI may be considered a minor concussion (which is still very dangerous, particularly to children, and requires immediate medical assessment). Other times, a TBI can result in a coma or permanent vegetative state. Get checked for a TBI by doctors immediately after an accident, as symptoms may not always appear until it’s too late.
Common symptoms include:
- Mood changes
- Sleep difficulties
- Memory loss/amnesia
- Time loss
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord transmits messages from the brain to other parts of the body and vice versa. As such, injuries to the spinal cord are similar to traumatic brain injuries in the way they manifest. Spinal cord injuries are usually the result of a hard blow or penetrating wound. Like traumatic brain injuries, symptoms may not present until days after the initial injury. This is because swelling may cause the injury to worsen.
After an accident, be especially aware of symptoms of a spinal cord injury. This may include:
- Extreme back pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Difficulty walking
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- A feeling of pressure on the back
- Difficulty breathing
Spinal cord injuries can cause permanent paralysis. See a doctor right away if you experience any of the above symptoms, or any symptoms listed here. It is imperative to see a doctor after your accident, even if you feel absolutely fine. These severe problems could be lurking beneath the surface and could cause you a lifetime of pain.
Our bones are designed to withstand a great amount of weight and force. They are not, however, designed to sustain the force of a 4,000-pound car! Broken bones can result from the initial impact of the collision or the force of being thrown to the ground. These injuries can be severe and require immediate medical treatment. Even after treatment, a broken bone may cause lingering pain or affect your mobility. This may require additional treatment, including physical therapy.
When we think about road rash, we rarely think about pedestrian accidents. Road rash is a term we usually hear in relation to motorcycle accidents or skateboard injuries. Road rash occurs when contact with the ground causes wounds or abrasions to the skin. These issues can be severe and take off multiple layers of skin. In extreme cases, the injury may expose the underlying muscle or bone.
One of the biggest things to worry about after experiencing road rash is infection. Open wounds can quickly become infected, and these infections can spread and cause serious issues.
Impact with a car or truck can cause severe internal injuries and internal bleeding. While they’re not apparent to the naked eye in the aftermath of your accident, these complications can be fatal. Internal injuries may include broken ribs, punctured lungs, internal bleeding, ruptured spleen, or other organ damage.
The symptoms of internal injuries might not present themselves right away, either. It could take days to feel the full extent of the problems your accident has caused you. Common signs of internal injury include:
Mental Health Injuries
A collision with a motor vehicle is arguably one of the scariest things you can experience as a pedestrian. When your world is spinning out of control from this unexpected trauma, it is not uncommon to have severe anxiety and depression. You may also suffer from flashbacks or nightmares due to the incident. These mental pains can be as harmful as your physical pains, and they deserve just as much attention and treatment.
Your Rights After an Accident
Pedestrian accidents can cause serious and life-changing injuries. These injuries can affect every part of your life. They affect your sense of safety, your happiness, your family, and your finances. After an accident, it can be difficult to figure out what comes next. How are you going to pay for your bills and return to work? A personal injury award can give you a sense of security and allow you to focus on your recovery.
With every case, the circumstances will be different, but there is one thing that remains the same: your rights. How can you protect your rights if you’re not even sure what they are? A trustworthy attorney will fight aggressively for these rights on your behalf. Damages you are entitled to may include:
- Medical bills: Pedestrian accidents often involve serious injuries. Medical care can be expensive. Covered costs usually include doctor bills, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and recovery. Your current and future medical expenses will be taken into consideration.
- Lost wages: When you cannot return to work after an accident, it can put a lot of stress on you and your family. A personal injury suit can help you recover wages for the time that you missed from work as a result of the accident, so you don’t have to struggle to stay afloat.
- Future wages: The goal after an injury is to return to work. However, the severity of your injury may prohibit you from doing so, sometimes PERMANENTLY. You deserve compensation for your lost earning ability. Future wages will usually include a calculation based on your prior wages and how long you likely would have continued to work.
- Residential modifications: Serious injuries like traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries can limit your ability to move around the house. In this case, home modifications and assistive devices including wheelchair ramps, stairlifts, and arm rails may be necessary. Your attorney can fight to have these renovation costs included in your personal injury case.
- Pain and suffering: It’s hard to put a price tag on the impact an accident has on your physical and emotional wellbeing. Doctor’s bills don’t take into account your actual pain levels or the mental health issues you develop because of an accident. Pain and suffering awards will usually depend on the degree of your injuries and the effect on your overall quality of life.
- Wrongful death: No amount of money can ever compensate you for the loss of a loved one, and a wrongful death suit doesn’t aim to.. Instead, a wrongful death claim can help survivors pay for costs associated with funeral and burial costs and may include lost wages and pain and suffering.
What You Need to Know After a Pedestrian Accident
The NUMBER ONE thing to understand after an accident is that YOU HAVE RIGHTS. At Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, we help our clients pursue what they are rightfully owed. You shouldn’t have to suffer the cost of the accident on your own. A personal injury attorney can help you gather evidence, establish a claim, and file a personal injury lawsuit.
The clock is ticking – legally, you have a limited time frame in which to file your claim. This varies from state to state and can also be affected by a person’s age at the time of the accident and other extenuating circumstances. Contact our team to learn more about your state’s statute of limitations and how it applies to your case.
Injured Pedestrians: The Team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law Can Help
At Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, we fight tirelessly for our clients. In addition to our principal offices, we also work with affiliate law firms throughout the country who share the same values that we do. We believe in treating each client with the respect, compassion, and sensitivity they deserve, and doing what it takes to make our clients feel comfortable.
We know that recovering from an accident can be a difficult experience. That’s why we’re here to provide the support you need. Whether you need help seeking compensation or deferring your medical payments, we want to help. Don’t wait to get the care you deserve. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, your injuries matter.
The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, call our office right now for a FREE, IMMEDIATE consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE and learn more about your rights following a pedestrian accident.
See what past clients have to say:
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“Mr. Guss was wonderful. He fought hard against the insurance company to get us what we deserved. I went from owing almost $5000 in medical bills to actually getting money in my pocket. Absolutely Amazing!!!!! A big thank you from me and my family!!!”