Imagine you are walking across the street, abiding the laws of the pedestrian crosswalk, when all of a sudden you’re struck by a car. No matter how it happens, getting hit by a car as a pedestrian is one of the most frightening things to happen to you or a family member. Unfortunately, it’s something that happens far too often here in Arizona.
A recent report published by the Governor’s Highway Association put Arizona towards the top, at the 5th highest state in the country for pedestrian traffic deaths, and that was just in the first 6 months of 2018. The report for 2019 will most likely be published in the first quarter of 2020 and we’re a bit concerned with how the numbers may look.
While some of theses do’s and don’ts may seem obvious, in a time of chaos and trauma they aren’t always the easiest to remember. We hope this helps and we hope that residents in Mesa or anywhere in the East Valley, know that the attorneys at Schenk Podolsky are also here to help. Stay safe out there when walking around, riding your bike, or playing outside. Technology and mobile apps have drastically increased the number of distracted drivers. These sort of things happen in an instant and can have impacts that will last a lifetime. It’s with great remorse when we are hired to handle a pedestrian accident injury in Mesa, but because of that, we fight aggressively to ensure that the individual and the families of the injured are well represented and receive maximum compensations for injuries sustained by the fault of a driver.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Hit by Car as a Pedestrian
- Do: Make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay.
- Don’t: Sign any documents without legal representation.
- Do: Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible.
- Don’t: Discuss the accident with any insurance agencies or take any sort of settlement.
- Do: Collect all information (name, address, phone number, email address) of the person driving the vehicle that hit you.
- Do: Take pictures (if possible) of the accident, including where it took place and the vehicle involved.
- Do: Call an experienced law office like Schenk and Podolsky as soon as possible to discuss what steps need to be taken to ensure a speedy recovery and compensation.
What You Can Do to Avoid Getting Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian
- Always look both ways before crossing the street, even at a crosswalk.
- If you are with young children, be sure to hold their hands or carry them while crossing the street.
- When walking through a parking garage or lot, be sure to listen for cars driving quickly around corners.
- Always use a crosswalk! Most pedestrian-car accidents occur when pedestrians cross the street without using the crosswalk.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a pedestrian-car accident, contact the offices of Schenk and Podolsky to see what action you can take today.
When dealing with a personal injury case, it’s nice to know what’s going on. This allows you to have confidence in what’s occurring during your case and not just trusting an attorney blindly. Although it’s important to pick an attorney that’s good at what they do and whom you can trust, it’s still important to be prepared and knowledgeable yourself. Having tabs on your own case and understanding the steps as they come allows you to make an informed decision when presented with one. Below covers some topics on personal injury cases when you are the one who has sustained the injuries.
What Does a Typical Personal Injury Case Look Like?
When an injury occurs at the negligence of another party, most states have laws that allow the person injured to recoup costs. This can include emotional trauma connected to the injury. Negligence can be from a workplace being unsafe or not kept up to code which resulted in an injury. Negligence can also include careless driving, malpractice by a doctor, and more. A typical case will have an injured party and a negligent party seeking to prove whether negligence was indeed the issue.
What Happens After Filing a Case?
The assumed negligent party is then served papers of the notice and becomes the defendant while you become the plaintiff. The next step is called “discovery” as lawyers on both sides gather evidence, ask questions, and build a case. Once this mode has ended, offers can be made before the case is taken to trial. If the offer is refused, it will go to trial and be decided by a judge. However, it’s common for personal injury cases to be settled outside the courtroom.
What Happens if I Win?
A judge or jury will decide an amount for damages and you will be rewarded this amount of money. Those deciding the amount will take into account the injury, grief caused by the injury, future wages lost, etc. All angles will be considered in order to fully cover the plaintiff. This is why cases like this are often settled outside of court.
How Long Do I Have to File a Case?
Each state differs on the length of time following an injury that you have to file a claim. This is referred to as the “Statute of Limitations.” Your attorney should be able to help you with this amount of time for your state. However, it’s always best to file a claim as quickly as possible following the injury. This often helps with evidence trails and the case in general.
Some other important notes to consider are that the defendant of the case isn’t punished. Other than paying out what’s rewarded to the plaintiff if they lose the case, a defendant won’t have to worry about aspects such as probation, jail time, etc. Further, if you decide to settle a case outside of court, this is when you and the defendant agree on a specific outcome of the case without a judge or jury. Your lawyer will handle the details.
Why the increase in pedestrians deaths in Arizona? There are many things going on while we are driving or walking on the road and sidewalks. It is quite easy to be distracted, and normally if you are only looking away for a second, nothing too bad happens. Though there are times when it is just that
1 second that it’s all it takes for a really bad accident to occur. It is not just being behind the wheel and concerned about others in their vehicles, but it’s also the pedestrians walking around.
New research done by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that Arizona is rated third highest state for a number of fatalities per population. Phoenix/Arizona has been high on the lists for about 20 years now and seeing a consistent increase. With everything being at your fingertips, it is reasonable to say that 11% of the increase is due to cell phones. “You’re always on that phone!” might actually cost you your life. It’s not that being on your phone is the cause of all bad things, but it does assist in distractions for both drivers and pedestrians. Last year in Arizona, there was almost 200 people, statewide, who did not survive their injuries in these pedestrian accidents.
Awareness To Pedestrian Safety
In attempts to try and bring awareness to the increase we are seeing, new education is being explored. Arizona has received funding from the government to work towards programs and initiatives that will keep pedestrians safer. Over the course of the next few years, you will start to see new ads, and new resources to help keep drivers less distracted. When you are in transition from one place to another try to stay focused and present in the moment. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes but make sure you are in a clear-headed space make all the difference. Everyone needs to work together to keep the streets safe and maintain a hyper-awareness of your surroundings, both as the driver and as a pedestrian.
Life is delicate, and knowing the right people to contact in times of trouble is crucial and sometimes difficult to navigate. When the programs are not enough, and when you find yourself amidst the situation yourself, it is important to have the right lawyers. It is not always death that happens, but sometimes very serious injuries or someone you know might have gotten hurt, and you will want the right representation. When you are facing adversity, we will face it with you, fight for you, and make sure that your safety is our priority.
Additional Resources on Pedestrian Accidents
We are conveniently located off the U.S. 60 on Baseline Road between Val Vista and Greenfield in The Gateway Executive Suites.
Email Us: [email protected]
Phone: (480) 757-5000
Fax: (480) 471-5181
Hours of Operation
Monday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Across the United States, pedestrian accidents are becoming more commonplace. With roads constantly buzzing with distracted drivers, there’s plenty of room for incidents involving those on foot. Over 500,000 pedestrians die every year from incidents involving motor vehicles. Another 76,000 suffer injuries from the same types of accidents. Arizona’s 7th congressional district was just named the most dangerous area to walk. This covers most of Phoenix and parts of Glendale. Around five citizens per 100,000 in this district, died due to pedestrian accidents. With numbers so high, it’s important to know your rights as a pedestrian as well as a driver involved in a pedestrian accident.
Is the Driver Always at Fault?
Many people believe that because there was a vehicle involved, the fault lies with the driver. However, this isn’t always the case. Both the driver and the pedestrian have to be within the law when incidents occur. Of course, it’s always wise for those driving vehicles to be aware of those around them. However, with busy streets such as the ones you’ll find in Phoenix, it’s not always so cut and dry when avoiding pedestrians. Many times, once a pedestrian is seen, especially in an area they’re not expected to be, there’s not enough time to slow down or react to avoid an accident. Both sides will be taken into account when a pedestrian accident occurs. However, there are other factors where the driver is handed more responsibility. This often lies with the age of the pedestrian in question.
What Should I Do if I’m Involved in a Pedestrian Accident?
There is a basic code of conduct that should always be followed in accidents, including a pedestrian accident.
- Always call the police and an ambulance if needed. This should be your first focus.
- Whatever you do, don’t leave the scene, even if you think everything is under control. Get released by an officer before leaving.
- Don’t start talking and offering stories to other drivers, pedestrians, or random people standing around. Keep your words to yourself until you can talk to an official.
- The only talking that should be occurring is getting the names and numbers of witnesses that may be able to affirm what occurred.
Duty of Care
There is a certain level of care that is referred to as “duty of care” for those that could be involved in a pedestrian accident. Of course, a driver’s duty of care is to pay attention, not drive while distracted, follow traffic laws/signs, and practice extra caution in work, play, school, etc. zones. A pedestrians duty of care is not to walk where the law prohibits, follow signs, not disrupting the flow of traffic, walking out in front of moving cars, etc. In other words, common sense and following basic law go a long way when it comes to pedestrian accidents.
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, whether you were the pedestrian or the driver, be sure to ask an attorney about your rights and how to move forward.
As seasons change and various weather patterns come and go, new accidents and dangers present themselves. It’s common for some types of accidents to happen more often during certain seasons than others. One season that is popular for housing a large amount of accidents is summer. Kids are out of school, families are going on vacation, and people are more active than usual. This all is a recipe for fun and memories, but it’s also a recipe for accidents galore.
Pool or Water Accidents
Of course, you had to know this was going to top the list. Water is a large focus of fun when it comes to summertime games and time killers. However, water can be dangerous with slips, falls, head injuries, drowning, etc. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of death with a fifth of those accidents being children under the age of 14. Pools, lakes, and the beach can be a blast, but be sure to take as many safety precautions as possible to keep you and your family safe.
As mentioned above, summer is a great time for getting active and many people utilize their fun in the sun for sports. There are many summer leagues involving sports for children as well. A sport injury can be anywhere from a sprained ankle to head trauma. Sports can leave a window of uncertainty open on when or how a child could be hurt. Be sure to have all the proper safety gear in place for your child and get regular checkups to ensure there are no hidden issues that could arise from their sports involvement. Of course, don’t forget that adults aren’t exempt from sports injuries as well and should be cautious and not overlook safety guidelines suggested for the sport they’re involved in.
Bicycle and Motorcycle Accidents
When it comes to summer, there’s a lot of traveling occuring. On top of this, people like to utilize various modes of travel that aren’t possible or as popular during the cooler months. This includes mopeds, street bikes, motorcycles, bicycles, etc. These types of transportation have to share the road with motor vehicles which can get dangerous at times, especially in heavy traffic. With as busy as people are during the summer months, crashes involving these types of transportation tend to go up in number. Be careful when driving and sharing the road with these modes of transportation and ensure you’re wearing and covering as many safety precautions as possible if you operate one on a roadway.
As mentioned, the amount of travel people are doing goes way up when the summer months hit. Due to this, the amount of car accidents also rises throughout summer. Be aware that you’re not the only added traveler when summer hits and prepare/e aware of extra drivers on the road.
It’s always smart to observe safety parameters during any activity we might be involved in. This doesn’t just go for summer, but throughout the year. However, the accidents listed above are prone to happen more often and frequently when summer hits so, it’s good to be aware of this timing and up the awareness to compensate.
After a traumatic incident occurs, it can be difficult and even confusing to know what the next step is, if any. It’s common for those involved in traumatic incidents to lack proper information into the rights they possess. Knowing what rights you have can help incidents like a traumatic brain injury, feel a little less overwhelming. If you or a loved one has gone through this experience, here is a bit of information on your rights and the steps you should take during the process.
Your First Steps
If you hit your head and there are symptoms arising afterwards, seek medical care as quickly as possible. Even minor head injuries can be quite serious and cause other issues if left untreated. Further, if your incident occurred at work, in a car accident, or other place where someone may be held liable, getting medical care will provide proof of the injury and help with the timeline of events. Sometimes, incidents may occur that do not involve the liability falling on another person. However, brain injuries can be a life-changing event and are often caused at work, in car accidents, etc. This means you shouldn’t be the one to handle all the burdens a brain injury can lay in your lap.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer ASAP
It can be common for people to move quickly in order to protect themselves when it involves an incident they may be liable for. This is why it’s important to protect your rights as soon as possible. Bringing in an experienced lawyer as soon as everything starts to happen can ensure things are handled properly from the beginning. An experienced attorney can ensure your rights are protected and followed to the letter while you go through such a burdening event.
Listen to Professional Advice
We often times want to argue with our doctors and lawyers about certain matters. Sometimes this is warranted however, other times we need to listen to the professionals. We hire them for a reason and it’s because they know what they’re doing. This means you’ll want to follow the treatment and medical plan given to you by your doctor. Some hiccups can occur if a patient during a case doesn’t follow a treatment plan. Further, listen to the tips your attorney will offer you. For example, he/she might tell you to avoid discussing matters freely on social media or with friends and family. This often can also cause hiccups and make the process harder or longer. It’s important you stay aware of your actions and think about how those actions can interfere with your case.
If you or a loved one have experienced a traumatic brain injury, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Not all incidents involving brain trauma require cases however, many do and you’ll want to make sure your rights are covered.
According to a recent study by Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Arizona has the title of the deadliest state for pedestrians. Preliminary data issued that the rate of pedestrian deaths had climbed to 1.61 per 100,000 people, making it no. 1 when accidents are viewed concerning the state’s population.
As a result, the city of Pheonix is trying to find new ways to protect people who enjoy walking or riding a bike.
The city has launched the Neighborhood Mobility Improvement Study, which is part of the T2050 voter-approved transportation plan. In that plan, the city has selected 11 neighborhoods that could use improvement. Police departments El Mirage, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Pheonix, Sahuarita, Scottsdale, and Surprise, will receive a share of the funding. Some of the areas are the low-income areas, areas with high bike and bus rates and regions with no-car households.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave $793,250 to Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for pedestrian and bicyclist enforcement and education in Arizona. The grant funding primarily targets the Pheonix and Tuscon. Pedestrians should take security measures and advanced program that will help them consider the possibilities when it comes to safe walking and riding a bike. In 2017 the total traffic fatalities were 1,001 while the number of pedestrians more than 40%. In 2013, the overall death toll in traffic was 849. So far in 2018, there are 111 deaths in Arizona.
The increased rate of pedestrians fatalities in Arizona is nearly double than the national average. Drivers are often speeding when they shouldn’t, and they are partially distracted and not focused on driving. Changing lanes before an intersection, making a left or right turn without looking, and not respecting the marked parts of the road or unmarked crosswalks. All of these points can affect the pedestrians safety. Police departments in Chandler and Tuscon have to remind pedestrians and drivers about the dangers above. The efforts include both sides understanding each other and working toward mutual respect between them.
Communication is the Key
In 2016 Arizona was third in the nation with a pedestrian death rate of 1.4 deaths per 100,000. In our state, 88 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur on city and county roads with the remainder happening on state highways.
What could help the Pedestrian’s safety
Gov. Doug Ducey created the Public Safety Goal Council with an idea to reduce traffic fatalities. They’ve started to make some countermeasures: improved street lighting, crosswalk islands, heavily marked crosswalk reduced speed in dangerous intersections. Drivers blame pedestrians and vice versa.
These pedestrian fatalities usually happen on side roads and mostly after dark. Our cities and counties must find universal language thru engineering and enforcement strategies to improve pedestrian safety by copying efforts that other communities have implemented successfully.
Also, the bus problem can occur. Crossing after exiting the bus can be highly dangerous. The bus drivers must drop off passengers 200 feet away from the intersections. Those on foot must be mindful of using crosswalks and not crossing on the parts where there’s no sign for pedestrians.
When Do Most Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
Pedestrian accidents happen across the U.S. every day and the death toll is in the thousands range. Predominantly occurring in urban environments, these accidents have a higher statistic of taking place than in rural areas because of higher impact speeds on rural roads and fewer overall pedestrians. Nine times out of ten, these accidents are at the fault of the driver involved, not the pedestrian. The U.S. pedestrian accident statistics alone show that on average, a pedestrian is injured in an accident every 8 minutes and one is killed every 111 minutes.
On average, 72% of pedestrian accidents happen at night, usually around midnight. In almost half of all these reported accidents, alcohol was involved. It’s important to understand that not only is it essential that you don’t drink and drive, you must also not drink and walk outside. Senses are blurred and more accidents take place. This is why it is best to try and avoid walking at night if possible. If you must, always wear reflective clothing that can be seen and keep to the sidewalk, if available, towards oncoming traffic. If a car’s movement may seem unstable or has no idea you’re approaching, always try to stay as far out of its reach as possible to avoid any danger.
If you or your loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident, always remember the following:
- Call 911
- Never leave the scene of the accident before help arrives
- Gather all info on any present witnesses
- Refrain from making any statements to anyone
Those who may be legally responsible for your injuries in an accident may try to shake that blame on to you. Due to statutes of limitation, you have a small window of time to bring a claim for your injuries forward. Seek an Attorney to assist you in this matter and help bring you and your loved ones the help you may need.