Pedestrians are completely without protection when hit by a motor vehicle. From crushed bones to internal organ damage to traumatic brain and spinal damage, the physical injuries are typically severe, often life-threatening, and potentially life-changing. From these injuries come other emotional upheaval, exorbitant medical costs, loss of income, and an overall diminished quality of life.
Reaching maximum recovery, and recouping these extensive losses, is a necessity for pedestrian accident victims, and a Dumas personal injury lawyer from GKBM can help. A Dumas pedestrian accident lawyer victim will fight for the substantial settlement victims deserve–not what insurance companies are “willing” to pay–working to bring those victims financial justice and security.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
It is not uncommon to find pedestrian accident victims in the emergency room. For a recent year of data collection, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates over 104,000 pedestrians landed in the emergency for “non-fatal crash-related injuries.”
- Almost 8,000 pedestrians nationwide were killed in roadway crashes involving a motor vehicle
- Every 66 minutes, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident
- One in six people who died in motor-vehicle crashes were pedestrians
According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Arkansas ranks 13th among all fifty states and Washington, D.C., for pedestrian deaths. For comparison, New Mexico, the highest-ranked state for pedestrian deaths, saw 4.82 fatalities per 100,000 people. The lowest ranked, New Hampshire, saw 0.58.
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Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Dumas
Though pedestrian accidents can happen on any road and for a variety of reasons, some trends emerge. The same CDC report shows:
- Speed is a factor in pedestrian accidents and injury severity. The higher the speed, the higher the likelihood of an incident
- Alcohol use by either drivers or pedestrians was present in 49% of accidents
- 60% of deaths occur on “high-capacity urban roads” with speed limits typically in the 45-55 miles per hour range
- Poor road design or planning factors into accident likelihood. Often, pedestrians can only access their destination by crossing a road built to accommodate high-speed vehicle travel
Other common reasons for pedestrian accidents include driver or pedestrian error. Pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk, and drivers must never enter a crosswalk when pedestrians are present. Still, pedestrians may opt to cross a street in a non-designated space, or drivers may race through a crosswalk without regard or awareness of the pedestrian.
Distraction for a driver or a pedestrian is another cause. Texting, scrolling, arguing, daydreaming–these activities and others–can prevent a driver from seeing a pedestrian and vice versa. Whatever the cause, a pedestrian accident attorney in Dumas will fight to get you the settlement you deserve.
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Determining Fault in a Dumas Pedestrian Accident
If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, your injuries are likely severe. You are probably facing considerable costs and damages and need compensation. The at-fault party owes you that compensation, so the first step in collecting a settlement is making sure you know who is at fault.
A Dumas pedestrian attorney from GKBM will investigate your accident to determine who is at fault and needs to be held accountable for your losses. The at-fault party could be:
- The driver of the vehicle who hit you
- The driver of a vehicle that did not hit you but hit another car caused a chain reaction
- City, county, or other government entities responsible for maintaining roads and traffic signals
- A vehicle or part manufacturer if a defective vehicle caused the driver to lose control
Your attorney will gather evidence from the accident scene, such as physical damage to the car or nearby structures, photo and video footage from security and traffic cameras, and from witnesses’ testimony, among other sources. This evidence, along with input from accident reconstructionists or other relevant experts, will allow your attorney to identify the negligent party.
Can Pedestrians Ever Hold Fault?
Drivers must always be on the lookout for pedestrians and owe those sharing the roads a duty of care. This duty legally obligates drivers to follow safe driving practices and all traffic laws and avoid unsafe driving behaviors.
In many, if not most, pedestrian accidents, drivers or parties other than the pedestrian hold at least some fault for the accident. Often, they hold most or all of the fault. That said, pedestrian victims are not always completely clear of blame.
For example, Arkansas Code 27-51-1201 explains pedestrians’ responsibilities in navigating crosswalks or crossing roads in other areas, and 27-52-107 establishes their obligation to follow traffic signals. If failure to comply with these laws, intoxication, distraction, or other pedestrian-controlled behaviors contribute to the crash, the pedestrian may hold some culpability.
Arkansas Comparative Fault System
In Arkansas, accident victims can hold the at-fault party liable for paying them compensation if the victims bear less blame for the accident than the at-fault party. If you are a victim and found 30% responsible for the accident, you can sue for damages. However, the compensation you collect is reduced by 30%–the same percentage as your fault.
This system makes it ever more important for victims to secure legal representation. The at-fault party’s representatives, usually their insurance companies, will work hard to inflate victims’ level of blame or twist victims’ words into admissions of fault. In doing so, those parties attempt to–and often succeed–in lowering their payouts and reducing victims’ much-needed compensation.
Do not fall prey to these tactics. Partner with a pedestrian accident lawyer in Dumas who will handle all communication with the at-fault party’s representatives. Armed with evidence, extensive knowledge of Arkansas law, and decades of experience, your attorney will protect you from unfair settlement reductions.
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When you or a loved one suffers injuries in a pedestrian accident, stress levels skyrocket. Dealing with appointments, managing pain, and simply adjusting to the complications now affecting everyday life are enough to worry about. Let GKBM take care of your financial future by handling all the legalities of your personal injury case.
Just call or send a message to arrange a free consultation–it is that easy. Once you make that connection, an attentive, skilled Dumas pedestrian accident lawyer from our team will take care of the rest.