Individuals prefer various forms of transportation, but at one time or another, all of us are pedestrians. For example, some people take the bus to work, but most often, they still have to get out and walk at least a few blocks to get to their final destination. While walking, they usually have to go through several crosswalks where there are motor vehicles and bicycles that are also trying to get through.
In Alabama, there are more pedestrians than in most other states. We enjoy beautiful weather year-round, and in addition to walking to and from work, school, and other destinations, many of us enjoy going out for a leisurely walk just to enjoy the great outdoors. Being a pedestrian is not without its downsides, however. Walking can be a dangerous activity, because unlike motor vehicle occupants, pedestrians do not have a steel cage to protect them if a vehicle collides into them.
When someone is injured in a pedestrian accident, it can be a devastating experience. Within just a few seconds, your life can suddenly be turned upside down. The pain and suffering from the injury can last for weeks, months, or even a lifetime, and the mounting medical bills and time missed from work can put a severe financial strain on the entire household. If you find yourself in this situation, you need skilled legal counsel in your corner fighting hard to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.
At the Cochran Law Firm – Birmingham, we understand the enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll pedestrian accidents can take on victims and their families, and our goal is to make the legal process as smooth and stress-free as possible. For many years, we have stood up for individuals in Alabama who have been injured through no fault of their own, and we have established a successful track record recovering compensation in even the most complex cases. We work closely with our clients, and we handle all the complicated legal tasks, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries and getting your life back on track.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Each year, thousands of individuals are killed and tens of thousands are injured in pedestrian accidents throughout the country. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident every 88 minutes. Sadly, it is the most vulnerable in our society who are most at risk of serious injuries and fatalities with these types of accidents. Approximately 20% of pedestrians who are killed are age 65 and older, and another 20% are children between the ages of five and 15.
There are several reasons that pedestrian/crosswalk accidents occur, and in a large number of cases, they are the fault of a motorist who collides with a pedestrian, although a pedestrian or a cyclist is sometimes at fault as well.
Some ways that motorists can cause pedestrian accidents include:
Aggressive or Reckless Driving: A large number of crosswalk accidents happen because of motorists who drive aggressively or recklessly. Speeding excessively to get through a crosswalk is one common example. Other examples include making sharp turns at intersections, failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, and running stop signs or stop lights. These and similar behaviors put pedestrians who cross at intersections in great danger.
Drowsy Driving: Another common cause of pedestrian accidents is motorists who drive while tired, fatigued, and without enough sleep. In the worst cases, a driver may fall asleep at the wheel while approaching a crosswalk, which can obviously result in disastrous consequences. But even when they don’t fall asleep, a tired or fatigued driver still has trouble noticing everything that is going on, and they have slower reaction times when they encounter an adverse condition.
DUI: Drunk drivers are notorious for making very poor driving decisions. In some cases, they enter a mindset where they drive recklessly out of willful and wanton disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of others. In other cases, they become tired and sleepy and may even fall asleep at the wheel.
Distracted Driving: A growing cause of crosswalk accidents and all other types of traffic accidents is driver distractions. Of course, motorists have always had distractions, but texting while driving and similar activities are especially dangerous, because they take the driver’s focus completely away from the road, which may cause them not to notice a pedestrian who is walking nearby.
Some of the ways a pedestrian may contribute to a crosswalk accident include:
Distractions: Drivers are not the only ones who are distracted by their smart phones and their surroundings. Pedestrians also tend to spend a lot of time looking at their phones, sending and receiving texts, watching videos, taking selfies, and similar activities. Inattentiveness and distractions can be dangerous when approaching a crosswalk, and pedestrians can sometimes collide with bicycles, motorcycles, or motor vehicles when they are not watching where they are going.
Chemical Impairment: Just as some drivers get behind the wheel after having too much to drink, some pedestrians also walk the streets after consuming a large amount of alcohol or drugs. Whether you are a motorist or pedestrian, chemical impairment causes you to make poor decisions.
Disobeying Traffic Signs or Signals: A pedestrian may be at fault for a crosswalk accident if they are trying to cross when the stop light is red, or it is not their turn. Some may also try to cross the street at locations that are not designated crosswalks.
Crosswalk Accident Claims in Alabama
Those who are injured in pedestrian accidents that are the fault of another party deserve to be fully compensated. Compensation may be available not only for economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity, but also non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, psychological distress, and diminished quality of life. In rare cases in which the actions of the responsible party were especially egregious, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and help deter them (and others) from engaging in similar behaviors in the future.
Crosswalk accident claims can be especially complicated in a state like Alabama where they apply the “contributory negligence” legal doctrine. This means that if you are found to be even 1% at fault for the accident, you may be barred from recovering damages. With these types of cases, there is often a dispute over who was at fault, and a thorough investigation is needed to uncover all the facts and evidence to determine the exact cause. This is one of many reasons it is very important to get an attorney involved as early as possible after the accident. Otherwise, you risk losing out on your legal right to recover compensation.
Speak with an Experienced Crosswalk/Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Lawyer in Alabama
At the Cochran Law Firm – Birmingham, we have the knowledge, skills, resources, and dedication to help ensure that our clients receive maximum compensation for their injuries. If you or someone close to you was injured in a crosswalk accident in Alabama, contact us for a free consultation and case assessment. We will meet with you to thoroughly review your case and advise you of your legal rights and options.
Call our office today at 1-800 – THE FIRM or 205-994-8555 or message us through our online contact form to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to serving you!