The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that more than 75,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents during 2012. When pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles, the injuries they sustain can be catastrophic and lead to life-long medical problems. In many cases, these accidents are the result of driver negligence, meaning that victims can likely recover for their economic and non-economic losses by filing a personal injury claim.
In many cases, these claims can be settled out of court, but sometimes litigation becomes necessary in order to ensure that victims obtain the full value of their injuries. As a result, it is very important that anyone who has been involved in a pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle discuss their options with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
The Atlanta personal injury lawyers of Goldstein Hayes & Lina are committed to helping the victims of pedestrian accidents recover for their injuries. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at (404) 869-8600.
In a major metropolitan area like Atlanta, pedestrians and vehicles are often in close proximity with one another, creating a virtually unavoidable risk of injury. Fortunately for pedestrians, there are some simple steps that you can take in order to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident with a car, truck, or other motorized vehicle. These include the following:
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings – It is impossible to avoid risks of which you are unaware. By staying alert and aware of what is going on around you, you will be able to avoid putting yourself at an unnecessary risk of injury. When you are walking in an area where there is motor vehicle traffic, do not chat, text, check email, or use the Internet, as these tasks can require a significant amount of attention. In addition, research seems to indicate that alcohol consumption by pedestrians can also increase a person’s risk of involvement in an accident, so pedestrians should try and avoid alcohol as much as possible.
- Cross at crosswalks – Crosswalks are designed to help drivers anticipate where they may see pedestrians crossing the street. By only crossing at crosswalks, you can significantly reduce your risk of being struck by a driver that did not see you.
- Make yourself as visible as possible – Pedestrians should take steps to make sure that drivers can see them, especially at night. Wear brightly colored clothing, and if walking at night, carry a flashlight and wear retro-reflective clothing.
- Use sidewalks – Whenever possible, walk on sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk where you are walking, walk facing traffic and as far away from traffic as you can.
- Make eye contact with drivers – One of the best ways to be sure that a driver sees you is to make eye contact. Among the most important times to make eye contact with drivers is when cars are waiting to turn, backing up, coming to a stop at an intersection, or exiting a driveway or parking lot.
In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a pedestrian accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not only will seeing a medical professional ensure that your injuries are properly cared for, it will also generate an official record that can be important if your case becomes contested. In addition, victims should retain legal representation as soon as possible.