Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries and the Law – 11 Things to Know


What are the commonest pedestrian accident injuries and what should you know about them? We found out…

The modern world is hectic. We spend so much of our time rushing from place to place, that sometimes we get caught unawares. Usually, this happens with a trip, a bump, or a narrow miss. Sometimes, however, your luck runs out and you end up having a pedestrian accident or injury.

We wanted to revise some of the most common ways that you can get injured while you are out and about, living your life. We also wanted you to know what you can do about it, because forewarned is forearmed, and the forearmed client is far more likely to get what they are owed.

The 11 Things you Should Know about Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Below, we have summarised some things you should be aware of about common pedestrian accidents and injuries.

1 – Pedestrian Traffic Accidents are at an All-Time High

First things are first: the rate of traffic accidents involving unknowing pedestrians is higher than it has been since 1988, at least in the state of Oregon. Every year, some 6,590 people are killed on US roads, with the rise of accidents involving walkers up 17% throughout the whole country. Those are startling figures for a problem we are all at risk of being affected by.

2 – Arm Yourself Further

If you happen to be one of the thousands of pedestrians injured on American roads while not in a vehicle each year, then you could be due compensation for your injuries. To get that compensation you will have to file a personal injury lawsuit. The best way to file a personal injury lawsuit is to employ a personal injury lawyer, and that is where we want to make our point.

At the Johnston Law Firm, you will find personal injury lawyers who have vast experience handling plaintiff injury cases, and who are able to guide you through the complex legal claims process. After an injury you are understandably traumatised, they will help you get back to your normal self again and be your voice while you are recovering.

3 – Drivers have a Duty of Care

Although it is not the same type of duty of care that might come with being on someone else’s premises, vehicle drivers do have a duty of care to other road users. This extends to you, whether you are on a bike, walking, on skates, a board – or in another vehicle.

Basically, they should not hit you or endanger you in any way through their use of the road. If they betray this obligation and you end up injured as a result, you are entitled to claim compensation from their insurers.

4 – You cannot claim if you were at fault

There are times when a pedestrian could be considered to have been at fault for their own accident. For example, if a child or animal runs out in front of a vehicle and the driver has no option in avoiding them, then this might not be the driver’s fault. Likewise, if you have fallen in the road, a driver might not get the chance to swerve, and so on.

Vicki Gonzales, 63, of Riverside, died when these two cars collided at Magnolia and Arlington avenues in Riverside on June 12, 2024. (Courtesy of Dan Cupido)

5 – Distracted Driving is the most common cause of pedestrian accident

If the driver is eating, changing radio station, on the cell phone, or is somehow not paying 100% attention to the road, then this can cause an accident. Those drivers that are not paying attention are 100% at fault for any injuries caused. The trouble in this case is proving that they are at fault through inattention. Witness statements are one of the best ways to prove driver inattention if possible.

6 – With Driver Impairment coming a close second

Next on the list of drivers likely to cause an accident, are those that are impaired. In 2019, the Insurance Information Institute recorded findings by the FBI wherein 1 million drivers were arrested for being under the influence. In 28% of all accidents, the driver is impaired. Did this happen to you? If so, make a claim.

7 – Speeding gets people killed

The NHTSA report that speeding is a danger for every other road user, yourself included… but pedestrians come off the worst. Walkers are more likely to die in an accident on the road because they do not have a vehicle to protect them. On average, around 9,000 people die each year as pedestrians hit by a speeder.

8 – Reversing is Dangerous

Not everyone checks behind themselves before they reverse – and it costs lives. If you have been injured by a vehicle reversing into you, then you are entitled to compensation for any expenses your injury has incurred. Find a good personal injury lawyer near you to take your case and get your expenses back.

9 – Bad Weather accounts for accidents

According to the Department of Transportation, some 21% of the 5.8 million annual accidents involving pedestrians are bad weather related. They have a handy chart that explains which weather conditions affect which aspects of driving.

10 – You Cannot Hit Jaywalkers

Even if someone is jaywalking and therefore breaking the law, you still are not legally allowed to hit them. Otherwise, it would be a chaotic road space for everyone. If you hit a jaywalking pedestrian, you are responsible for their medical bills. If you are a pedestrian, do not jaywalk, it makes you far more likely to be hit.

11 – Not all accidents involve cars

Pedestrians can be hit by any type of vehicle. Be it bus, motorcycle, bicycle, train, tram, truck or tractor: being hit by another road user while you are a pedestrian comes under the same liabilities as being hit by a car does. If you are hit by a company vehicle, you will have to gain clarification from your personal accident lawyer about who it is that you sue.

Should I File A Claim?

If you, as a pedestrian, were hit by a vehicle while using the road, you should absolutely seek legal consultations. If a personal injury lawyer thinks you have a strong case, they will accept it and try and earn compensation on your behalf. This should be enough to pay for any damages you incurred, as well as pay your lawyer’s fees. In the end, everyone comes out a little better off and your recovery will be provided for.

Should you file a claim? Yes. Do not leave it too late.