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$2,050,000 settlement reached in Wayne County pedestrian accident case

Engineers concluded the intersection was unnecessarily dangerous for pedestrians

SS DisabilityOn average, a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 7 minutes in traffic crashes in 2012, the most recent year for which data was available. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,743 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in 2012 and an estimated 76,000 pedestrians were injured. The NHTSA reported that fatalities among pedestrians increased for the third consecutive year (6.4% over 2011).

On August 27, a $2,050,000 settlement was reached in a wrongful death case scheduled to go to trial in Wayne County, Pa. The accident involved the death of 60-year-old Ruthann Malti who was struck and killed by a Ford pickup truck on the corner of 7th and Church Streets in downtown Honesdale, Pa.

A case was filed on behalf of the Estate of Ruthann Malti by attorneys Daniel Munley and Julia Munley of Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, Scranton. As a result of the accident, Malti suffered significant pain and suffering, and irreversible brain damage, which lead to her death a few days later. It was always the position of the Malti family that the change to the one-way street configuration and misplacement of crosswalks led to this accident.

Over the course of the case, the attorneys from Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys retained engineers who, after reviewing the site, concluded that the intersection was unnecessarily dangerous to pedestrians. Further review showed that none of the supervisory entities took any action to remove the dangers and improve safety, despite numerous ominous warnings and near misses prior to this accident.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reported a 15% increase in pedestrian deaths from 2009 to 2012, as compared with a 3% decrease in all other motor vehicle deaths during that same time period. Data from the NHSA showed that the majority of pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas, at non-intersections, at night and many involved alcohol. Although the GHSA says reasons for the increase in pedestrian deaths are not clearly understood, possibilities include more people walking in the aftermath of the economic recession and also the encouragement of walking for health and environmental benefits. An increase in distracted drivers and distracted pedestrians is also believed to be a contributor to the increase. According to the Institute for Highway Safety, in 2012, 44% of the pedestrian deaths occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. and 25% took place between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys offer ten tips for pedestrians:
1. Walk on a sidewalk or path whenever possible. If none is available, walk facing traffic, on the shoulder, as far away from traffic as possible.
2. Make yourself visible to drivers. Wear bright colored clothing, and if walking at night, wear reflective materials or carry a flashlight.
3. Be cautious. Never assume a driver sees you.
4. Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. If none is available, cross at a well lit area. Be careful at intersections, where drivers may fail to yield to pedestrians while turning onto another street.
5. Be alert. Watch for traffic before and while you are crossing a street.
6. Do not walk on highways or pedestrian-prohibited roadways.
7. Use extra caution when crossing driveways and alley entrances.
8. Never assume that a vehicle is going to stop at a light, wait until it stops before crossing.
9. Obey all traffic signals.
10. Stay free from distractions while walking, including cell phones and other electronic devices.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident or a car crash, contact the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys at 855-866-5529 or visit www.munley.com.

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