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Helping Victims of Pedestrian Accidents in Carbondale

person crossing the street as car comes around cornerWhen it comes to car accidents, pedestrian accidents can be the most devastating. Pedestrian collisions with motor vehicles represent 17% of crash fatalities, as of 2020. Victims who do survive must often go through a long and costly recovery period and may be left with permanent disabilities. Even when you take every precaution you can as a pedestrian, you may still find yourself the victim of a negligent driver.

If you or a loved one have been hit by a truck or car as a pedestrian, you need an experienced attorney in your corner. At Munley Law, our injury lawyers in Carbondale have the proven skill and extensive experience to help you recover damages from your pedestrian accident. We can work with you to obtain the compensation you need to pay medical bills, reimburse you for economic and non-economic losses, and hold the right parties accountable for your injuries.

$32 Million Wrongful Death

$26 Million Truck Accident

$17.5 Million Car Accident

$12 Million Product Liability

$9 Million Truck Accident

$8 Million Truck Accident

$8 Million Truck Accident

$7.5 Million Auto Accident

$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Accident

$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury

$5 Million Medical Malpractice

$5 Million Bus Accidents

The Facts on Pedestrian Accidents in Carbondale

According to the CDC, over 7000 pedestrians in the United States were killed in an accident involving a motor vehicle, and an estimated 104,000 emergency room visits resulted from non-fatal injuries related to pedestrian accidents. Urban areas and roadways with few intersections were most often scenes of these accidents. Urban areas are often busy with many drivers and pedestrians trying to get from one place to the next, leaving many opportunities for accidents. On long stretches of road with few intersections, drivers may go into autopilot and neglect to take the proper care at any intersection they do drive through.

The state of Pennsylvania has several laws in place to prevent tragic pedestrian accidents. These laws include strict bans on texting while driving, speed restrictions at intersections and when rounding curves, and a three-stage program for young drivers obtaining licenses. All of these laws are intended to ensure drivers stay aware of their surroundings to avoid colliding with pedestrians.

Despite these protections, pedestrians in Carbondale can still find themselves facing serious risks. In 2021, Lackawanna County saw roughly 3000 people injured in pedestrian accidents and 182 pedestrian fatalities. Carbondale’s Casey Highway is an especially high-risk area for pedestrian collisions.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Carbondale

Pedestrians have the right of way in most situations, and drivers have a greater responsibility for ensuring their actions do not cause harm to pedestrians. Drivers are at lower risk of severe injury in collisions with pedestrians. Even small mistakes on the part of a driver can lead to tragedy in a pedestrian crash.

Some common causes of car collisions with pedestrians include:

  • Aggressive or careless driving – Speeding, ignoring traffic signals, and not taking proper care in intersections or when rounding corners can all lead to a vehicle running into a pedestrian crossing the street
  • Dangerous crosswalks – If a crosswalk light is faulty, a pedestrian may wrongly believe an intersection is safe to cross, or a driver may not get the signal to stop for a pedestrian
  • Limited visibility – Fog, poor lighting, and other environmental conditions can block pedestrians and vehicles from seeing each other until it is too late
  • Texting While DrivingDistracted driving – Drivers may illegally text and drive, or even be momentarily distracted by a passenger, leading them to not notice a pedestrian or veer into a non-traffic area
  • Impaired driving – Alcohol, drugs, and even drowsiness can impair a driver’s critical thinking skills and awareness, leading to pedestrian crashes

Nearly half of all fatal pedestrian accidents involved alcohol for either the driver or the pedestrian. Additionally, intersections were one of the most common scenes of pedestrian accidents, with drivers often speeding to beat yellow lights or otherwise not noticing pedestrians crossing in time. Even simply not looking back or in a rearview camera properly to see a pedestrian crossing behind a vehicle can lead to a catastrophic accident.

Common Injuries When Pedestrians Are Hit by Cars

Because of the sheer size difference between vehicles and humans, pedestrians almost always suffer greater damages in collisions with cars than drivers. An unprotected impact with 4000 lbs of fast-moving metal can lead to tragic consequences.

paramedics working on a catastrophic injury patientSome of the most common injuries suffered in pedestrian crashes include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Lacerations and dislocations
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Death

People are pedestrians far more often than they are drivers. Even taking precautions or staying on the sidewalk cannot completely guarantee you will never encounter an accident with a vehicle. If you or a loved one has suffered from a pedestrian car crash, you should seek and secure compensation as soon as possible to help you recover from any severe injuries.

Determining Fault in Pedestrian Accident Lawsuits

You may be wondering if a pedestrian can be considered at fault in a pedestrian accident. Chapter 35 of Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code includes several considerations for both pedestrians and drivers concerning liability. Both pedestrians and drivers can be considered at fault for accidents, and a driver can pursue damages caused by a negligent pedestrian just as a pedestrian can do the same with negligent drivers.

All drivers in Pennsylvania have a legal duty to navigate the roads with care. Likewise, pedestrians have a legal duty of care in their relationship with drivers. Both pedestrians and drivers are required to obey traffic signals and follow right-of-way procedures if traffic signals are not present.

Drivers in Pennsylvania must:

  • Give pedestrians right of way in crosswalks and at intersections
  • Yield to pedestrians when entering the sidewalk from a driveway
  • Purchase bodily injury liability coverage on their car insurance, to cover pedestrian injuries

woman and child holding hands crossing pedestrian crosswalkLikewise, pedestrians in Pennsylvania must:

  • Use sidewalks wherever possible
  • Yield to emergency vehicles
  • Yield to vehicles if not crossing at a crosswalk or intersection

Breaching a duty of care on the part of either a pedestrian or driver means either party may be at fault. The job of an attorney for pedestrian accidents is to prove the fault lies mainly, if not entirely, with the driver, to protect compensation recovery for their client.

Pennsylvania pedestrian accidents fall under the modified comparative fault rule in determining compensation for damages. This means a plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by the percentage they could be considered at fault for the accident. If a plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, they will be entirely unable to collect damages for the accident.

In addition to the driver and pedestrian, third parties can be considered responsible for these types of accidents.

Possible third parties to consider in fault determinations for pedestrian accidents include:

  • Manufacturers putting out defective cars
  • A public agency allowing flaws and damages in the road to persist
  • Other passengers in a vehicle distracting the main driver
  • A car owner allowing another at-risk person to drive their vehicle

When third parties get involved in a pedestrian accident case, the situation can quickly become complicated. In these matters, it is important to retain an experienced legal team to help simplify the process and find the right people responsible.

Getting Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident

If you were hit by a car, you have the right to recover damages for your injuries. The compensation you can expect to receive in a pedestrian accident lawsuit is heavily dependent on the determination of fault and the seriousness of your injuries. Your lawyer must prove your injuries were directly caused by the accident and prove the driver’s responsibility in the accident itself.

You could potentially recover compensation for the following after a pedestrian accident:

  • Current and future medical costs, including medical bills, medications, surgery costs, rehabilitation, and long-term care
  • Lost current and future wages, such as wages lost from a temporary inability to work or loss of future earning potential through disability
  • Required home and vehicle modifications after your accident
  • Pain and suffering from the effects of the initial accident and the following recovery
  • Emotional damages and mental anguish, such as trauma related to the accident
  • Loss of life enjoyment due to permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Loss of support and companionship in cases where a pedestrian accident resulted in the death of a loved one

When you retain an attorney with experience in pedestrian accident cases, you can have someone on your side advocating for your maximum compensation. Your lawyer can review the resulting costs from your accident and consult with a variety of experts to determine compensation to cover your current and future projected losses.

The Statute of Limitations for a Pedestrian Accident in Carbondale

caroline munley speaking with an office workerWhile there is no financial limit on the damages a pedestrian can recover from a non-government entity, pedestrians do have a specific amount of time they can file their accident claim.

Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for pedestrian accidents is two years from the date of the accident. If you wait past this time limit to file your lawsuit, you could lose the right to recover compensation.

Even if you are still within the statute of limitations, it is important to initiate your claim as soon as possible and contact an attorney for your case. Acting quickly will help your legal team preserve key evidence to help you obtain maximum compensation.

Reach Out to Our Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one was hit by a car, you have the right to seek the justice you deserve. For over 60 years, our pedestrian accident attorneys at Munley Law have represented car accident victims in their most complex cases. Our work has resulted in huge victories for our clients, including multi-million settlements and verdicts.

Call us or reach out to our offices today for a free consultation. We have live, real people available to speak to you 24/7 for no obligation. We have a convenient office located right in downtown Carbondale, as well as in other areas throughout Pennsylvania.

    Munley Law Carbondale Personal Injury Attorneys

    41 N Main St,
    Carbondale, PA 18407

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