Get the compensation that you deserve if you or a loved one is a victim of a pedestrian accident
In the recent past, most of us were in lockdown, at home, and resorting to less time driving on the road; however, roads are busy again, driver negligence has increased, and so have pedestrian accidents. Since our everyday behavior has begun to resume, and roads are highly populated once again, road rage and driver negligence have been on the rise.
Pedestrian injuries can be devastating, taking a toll on victims and their families in regards to physical damages, therapy, change of routine/physical limits, loss of work, medical bills, and also in regards to the toll on victims’ emotional and mental well-being. If you or a loved one have fallen victim to a pedestrian accident, you need an experienced, knowledgeable Reading personal injury lawyer with a proven success record: contact Munley Law. Our Reading pedestrian accident lawyer has been in the practice of pedestrian accident cases such as these since 1959 and, here at Munley law, our consultation is free; if we do not get results, you owe us nothing — we will get the job done and we will get you the compensation that you are entitled to.
$32 Million Wrongful Death
$26 Million Truck Accident
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$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
How Often Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
Pedestrian accidents are on the rise across the nation. According to a report on PBS, as of 2021, pedestrian accidents have peaked at the highest level they have been in 40 years, causing approximately 7,500 deaths, averaging 20 deaths a day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that, especially in urban areas, pedestrians have fallen victim to driving negligence at increased rates:
- More than 7,000 pedestrians were killed in the United States in 2020, involving a motor vehicle (equating to one death every 75 minutes).
- One in six of the 2020 total collision deaths were pedestrians.
- Approximately 104,000 pedestrian emergency visits were made for non-fatal crash injuries in 2020.
With all of this into account, the New York Times has reported that crashes killing pedestrians have shown a 46 percent increase in the last decade. Safe practices are made, and laws are in place to advocate for safe roads for pedestrians and drivers alike, but accidents are persisting. The two groups the most vulnerable to dying in pedestrian accidents are:
- Adults over age 65 make up 20 percent of all pedestrian accident deaths.
- Children under age five account for 20.4 percent of pedestrian accident deaths.
Pedestrians need more protection, and those who have been injured can benefit from experienced legal representation to recuperate and to get the compensation that they deserve.
What Laws Must Pedestrians Follow?
A pedestrian is someone traveling on foot [or with a walking aid if handicapped or injured] along a road or in a developed area. Although pedestrians may cross streets at any point, there are responsibilities and Pennsylvania State Pedestrian Laws (Title 75) that must be taken, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT):
- Traffic-control devices and regulations: Must be obeyed by pedestrians, including authorized person directing traffic
- Crosswalks and right-of-way: Pedestrians must use curbs and safe walkways, not making sudden movements into moving vehicles’ paths.
- Non-crosswalks and right-of-way: Other than within marked and unmarked crosswalks, pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
- Crossings at pedestrian tunnels or overhead crossings: Pedestrians should yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided.
- Crossing between controlled intersections in urban areas: Pedestrians should cross only at marked intersections when adjacent intersections have traffic-control signals.
- Crossing intersection diagonally: Pedestrians should not cross an intersection diagonally unless authorized traffic-control devices are present, or if regulated by a police officer or other authorized personnel.
- Walking along or on the highway: If a curb or safe walking space is present, it is against law to walk on the adjacent roadway. If a sidewalk is not available: walk only on the shoulder to the practical roadway’s edge. If there is no shoulder or sidewalk available: walk near the practicable edge of the roadway; if there’s 2-way traffic, walk on the left side.
- Yield to emergency vehicles: Pedestrians must yield to emergency vehicles
- Alcohol and controlled substances: Pedestrians should not walk or be on a highway if under the influence; they may use sidewalks.
- Soliciting on the roadway: Pedestrians should not solicit employment, business, guarded watching of vehicles, or rides.
- Bridges and railroad warnings: Bridge signals, gates, and barriers should be approached and refrained from as the signal indicates.
Violations of pedestrian laws can include fines, accidents, and immense stress. Responsibilities rest with pedestrians and drivers to monitor their behavior with care and precaution by adhering to Pennsylvania State traffic laws.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
While drivers and pedestrians must remain alert and adhere to the rules of the road, driver negligence is a major contributing factor in pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania, and across the nation. Drivers have a responsibility to take reasonable care and pay attention to their surroundings. Common causes of pedestrian crashes include:
- Distracted driving. The top cause of the spike in pedestrian accident deaths is due to smartphone use. Drivers who take their eyes off the road to answer a text or scroll through social media are less likely to see a pedestrian in the roadway or intersection; small children (hard to see, at times) and the elderly (fragile, slower reflexes) are especially vulnerable
- Speeding. Maintaining speeds that are in line with designated guidelines can reduce damages and save lives. Pedestrians typically have a 90 percent chance of surviving if a car is moving 20 MPH; however, if the car is moving at 40 MPH, the pedestrian has just a 10 percent chance of surviving.
- Disregarded traffic signals or laws. This can occur if a driver, pedestrian, or jogger disobeys traffic signals or laws that are set to establish order and protective traffic measures.
- Aggressive driving. Some drivers fail to yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk or fail to wait until the pedestrian has fully exited the crosswalk before proceeding, causing an accident.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is irresponsible, and dangerous, and can cause license suspension, injuries, and death.
- Driving when tired. Fatigue can cause drivers’ reaction time and focus to be compromised, and can also cause a driver to fall asleep at the wheel.
- Failure to take into account environmental factors. Weather conditions can require that drivers adjust speed and extra care when making turns.
- Crosswalk/road design. A city or municipality can be at fault if they commissioned and approved designs that put drivers and pedestrians at risk.
- Distracted walking. Sometimes, pedestrians put themselves in harm’s way by texting while walking — not paying attention. Although the injury is a result of the pedestrian’s self-negligence, a motorist still may share some fault, as they succeeded in hitting a distracted walker.
What Are Some Safe Measures That a Pedestrian Can Practice?
In our everyday busy lives, it is easy to go on auto-pilot and to disregard checking in with our surroundings, as we move throughout our day. PennDOT highlights steps to keep yourself safe when you are a pedestrian:
- Increase your visibility when walking at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing reflective clothing, such as reflective vests.
- Cross streets at a designated crosswalk or intersection whenever possible.
- Walk on a sidewalk or path instead of the road. Walk on the shoulder and face traffic if a sidewalk or path is not available.
- Avoid using electronic devices like earbuds, which can cause distractions when you are walking.
- Avoid walking if you have been using alcohol or drugs, which can impair judgment and coordination.
In Pennsylvania, pedestrians have the right of way within a crosswalk or at an intersection, whether or not there is a traffic signal present. Although pedestrians are to yield the right of way to vehicles in places where there is no intersection or crosswalk, it is illegal for drivers to pass a vehicle that is stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk; the second driver may not see the pedestrian in the crosswalk and cause an accident. The Vehicle Code assists in prohibiting motorists from making moving and non-moving violations in Pennsylvania; reinforcement of any violations are met with a fine.
When Can the Pedestrian Share Fault for the Accident?
Drivers and pedestrians can share fault in pedestrian accidents, and they share the same manual, cognitive, and visual distraction modalities when they make the decision to have their heads buried in their phones while in motion. This is extremely dangerous because a text-focused pedestrian can walk into things, walls, construction, a physically challenged person, and traffic. Pedestrians may be at-fault and partially responsible for a crash for any number of reasons, such as:
- Disregarding traffic signals
- Walking along non-pedestrian paths such as highways or in undesignated areas meant for traffic
- Failing to use sidewalks when they are available
- Not paying attention to traffic (texting, reading, engaging in a conversation with a friend, looking away from where they are moving to)
Should a distracted “texter” walk into traffic and be injured by a vehicle, the driver may be partially liable under Pennsylvania’s Negligence Law; this holds true only if the driver is at least 51 percent liable. In this scenario, the driver would be responsible for 51 percent or greater of the total expenses and compensation due to the injured (partially responsible) victim. “Pennsylvania’s negligence laws stipulate that damages be reduced in proportion to the claimant’s degree of fault, also referred to as comparative negligence.”
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Pedestrian Accident in Reading?
Third-party negligence can contribute to pedestrian accidents and injuries. There are various scenarios that can put the driver and the pedestrian and risk:
- An automobile manufacturer may have sold a vehicle (to the driver) with faulty parts, causing the vehicle to have a problem when braking.
- Commercial vehicle’s carrier and/or employer may be at fault for various reasons
- Enforcing driving schedules without adequate breaks taken
- Failing to hire and train drivers properly
- Failure to inspect the commercial properly when servicing it
- City or municipality negligence for poor road design
What Should a Pedestrian Do If They Are Involved in an Accident?
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, injured parties have two years to file a pedestrian accident claim. Drivers’ negligence has to be proven: this means showing that the driver had a duty to protect your well-being and that there was a break in executing that duty. Most importantly, you want to get the care that you need, and you want to talk to an experienced attorney soon after the accident occurs. Witness details can dissolve as time passes, and witnesses can be more difficult to contact; gathering a record of the incident and collecting any data and evidence is always most effective when done as soon as possible:
- Contact Emergency responders, or have someone else do so while you wait. Do the same for the police. Take pictures and notes if you can.
- Seek out eyewitnesses and get their contact information. This will be extremely valuable in your case.
- Fill out a police claim/report.
- Get insurance and contact information from the driver. Do not negotiate or make any statements. Contact your attorney.
- Do not apologize, do not make statements; contact your lawyer or a personal injury lawyer to make sure that all details are accounted for.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Keep all bills.
You will want to take detailed notes and take photos, as the recovery has many steps. Physical injuries can require that you change your lifestyle, and routines, and even receive help for your daily activities. Pedestrian common injuries include:
- Internal bleeding
- Broken ribs
- Head injuries such as concussion
- Shoulder displacement
- Vertebrae injuries
- Neck injuries
- Jaw Fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skull damage
- Injuries leading to death
Immediate medical attention establishes that you were seen and that there is a paper trail. For extensive injuries, physical therapy may be needed as an adjusted lifestyle, depending on progressions and mobility. Your personal injury lawyer will get the process started so that you can plan on recovering compensation for:
- Direct medical costs related to injury caused by the accident (past, current, and future)
- Pain and suffering resulting from the accident
- Cost of mental health treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder
- Cost of physical therapy following an injury related to the accident
Loss of wages is often experienced, and the stress to endure a long laundry list…along with the emotional and psychological trauma can be overwhelming. Putting this on the shoulders of an experienced personal injury law can afford you the time, space, and energy to heal, regroup, and to center yourself.
What Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Do for a Pedestrian?
Unfortunately, even the most careful pedestrians can encounter a careless or reckless driver, leading to a pedestrian accident injury that changes the course of their lives. Pedestrian crashes lead to serious accident injuries, which lead to huge medical expenses. Pedestrian accident injuries can cause you to have months of lost wages, doctors visits, and physical therapy in the future. You may be rightfully scared and confused about what to do about ever-increasing medical expenses or missing work for pain or trips to the doctor. Your personal injury lawyer can assist in recovering compensations for damages in two forms if warranted:
- Economic damages: Financial losses that are inclusive of medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages: Compensation for emotional distress, psychological distress, physical disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages: These are able to be recovered when drivers’ actions are proven to be intentional or reckless. Drunk driving incidents are often applicable here.
Your seasoned, successful, and experienced lawyer has the resources and expertise to manage your case. Insurance companies want you to make a quick decision and settle as soon as possible. After you have filed your police report, allow your personal injury lawyer to do the investigative reports, and establish if there was negligence; specifically, that there was a breach of the driver’s duty to protect you. This is where eyewitness testimony, photos, and street cameras, are all valuable pieces of evidence. Once established, the negotiating, informing, and finalizing can be conducted by your attorney so that you get the most out of your compensation.
Why Hire a Reading Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Since 1959, individuals and families in Pennsylvania have turned to Munley Law for help when they needed it most. Our partners have between 15 and 30 years of handling complex personal injury matters. In that time, we have established ourselves as experts in the legal industry and gone up against some of the country’s biggest transportation and insurance companies. You can rest assured that your case will be in the best possible hands, and we have the stats to prove it:
Getting into a car accident can be a frightening and devastating experience, especially if you have been injured. If your loved one has been involved in a tragic auto accident, your main focus may be comforting your family or being there for the injured victim, not hiring a car accident lawyer. At this time, thinking about recovering compensation from the insurance company may seem stressful and the last thing you need to be worried about.
At Munley Law, we know how a serious injury can leave you and your family financially vulnerable. We believe that cost should never stand in the way of justice. That’s why, regardless of how big or small, we never collect a fee for our legal services unless we win your case. As our client, you will not pay anything out of your own pocket or any upfront costs. And, our contingent fee (a portion of the settlement or verdict) will never exceed the amount paid to you. If we are unable to get you the compensation you need for your personal injury lawsuit, you owe us nothing. That’s our no-fee promise.