Pedestrians are the most vulnerable individuals on Phoenix roadways. They have very little to protect them in the event of an accident, and any time a collision involves a pedestrian and a passenger car, a commercial truck, a bus, a motorcycle, or any other fast-moving vehicle, the consequences for the pedestrian can be catastrophic, if not deadly. If you were seriously injured in a pedestrian accident in Phoenix, the consequences of your injuries could adversely affect the rest of your life, possibly preventing you from returning to work or caring for your family. Your first course of action following a Phoenix pedestrian accident should be to contact an attorney who can ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected. Our legal team at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC has extensive experience handling pedestrian accident claims in Phoenix and throughout Arizona, and we can help you build a strong case to maximize your recovery.
Affordable Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
With more and more people choosing to walk rather than drive, pedestrian accidents are on the rise in Arizona and across the country, and in Phoenix, the number of pedestrians killed in collisions with motor vehicles has more than doubled in the past nine years. Negligent drivers, poor road design, inadequate sidewalk maintenance, and a lack of crosswalks, pedestrian crossing signals, and other safety features are all factors that have contributed to the increasing rate of pedestrian accidents in Phoenix. If you have suffered injuries or a loved one was killed because of the negligence of another person or party, you have the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. After being involved in a pedestrian accident, the last thing on your mind may be hiring a lawyer, but a lawyer may be exactly what you need. It is important that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian in Phoenix, so you can present the strongest possible case, and our lawyers at Personal Injury Attorneys, PLLC can help. Our legal team specializes in pedestrian accidents and other types of accidents in Phoenix and the surrounding area, and our top priority is to help you and your loved ones receive the compensation you deserve for your losses.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Phoenix
Most pedestrian accidents in Phoenix occur when a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian who is walking or running, often in a parking lot, in a crosswalk or at an intersection. All motorists in Arizona are expected to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel, and any driver who acts in a negligent, careless or reckless manner and subsequently causes or contributes to an accident may be required to pay damages for any injuries or losses that occur as a result of the accident. The most common causes of pedestrian-vehicle accidents in Phoenix include:
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to obey traffic signals
- Running a stop sign
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while drowsy
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Failing to signal when turning
- Failing to stop at a crosswalk
- Making an illegal turn
- Illegally passing another vehicle
Driver negligence is the leading cause of pedestrian accidents in the United States, but these incidents only account for a portion of the pedestrian accidents that occur in Phoenix and throughout Arizona every day. In addition to being hit by a motor vehicle, pedestrians can also suffer injuries from accidents caused by other factors, including poor sidewalk maintenance, parking lot defects, debris in the walkway, or improper road design.
Potential Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians on Phoenix roadways have zero protection from passing cars, trucks and other vehicles and the injuries pedestrians typically sustain in an accident with a motor vehicle are often catastrophic. Any person traveling on foot faces a greater risk of injury or death from a motor vehicle accident, but the groups of pedestrians at the greatest risk of being struck by a vehicle are runners and joggers, children and parents with strollers. Some of the most common injuries resulting from pedestrian accidents in Phoenix include the following:
- Severe lacerations
- Broken bones
- Brain contusions
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe bruises
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Head or neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Wrongful death
Not all drivers in Phoenix give pedestrians the respect they deserve or the room they need on the road, which means you have to know what to do to protect yourself as a pedestrian. By obeying the laws put in place to protect pedestrians and understanding the fact that some drivers will ignore your rights, you can avoid dangerous incidents with motor vehicles and reduce your risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries.
Pursuing Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Any time a Phoenix pedestrian suffers injuries because of the negligence of a motorist or another party, the pedestrian may file a lawsuit against the at-fault person or party to recover damages or financial compensation for any losses caused by the accident. In some cases, the at-fault party’s insurance may cover your medical expenses, but you should never count on an insurance company to provide you with adequate compensation. Generally speaking, insurance companies try to pay out as little as possible for personal injury and wrongful death claims, in which case hiring an attorney may be the only way to negotiate a fair settlement and recover the compensation you deserve. If the insurance company denies liability, you may have to file a lawsuit to recover the damages you are entitled to for your pedestrian accident injuries. By filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit against the negligent person or party, you can pursue financial compensation for your past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning potential, property damage, and more.
Proving Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
Under Arizona law, pedestrians have the right of way in almost every case and drivers have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to keep pedestrians safe from harm, which means drivers are usually to blame for accidents involving pedestrians. Depending on the circumstances of the pedestrian accident, there are other parties that can also be held liable, possibly including the government entity responsible for designing the roadway, maintaining the walkway or parking lot, or operating the traffic lights. Any time someone is injured or killed in a Phoenix pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle or a third party, proving that the other party was negligent in some way is the key to recovering compensation. Establishing negligence in a pedestrian accident case means proving the following elements:
- The other person or party (the defendant) owed you a legal duty of care,
- The defendant breached that duty of care,
- The breach of duty caused an accident to occur, and
- You were injured or harmed as a result of the accident.
Drivers in Phoenix have a greater duty of care when it comes to avoiding collisions with children. Small children between the ages of five and nine are less visible and may not pay adequate attention when they are near the road, which means they are at a greater risk of being struck by a motor vehicle. Motorists are expected to use extra caution any time they are driving near an area where children are present or could be present, such as a park, school or playground.
Comparative Negligence in Pedestrian Accident Cases
Not all Phoenix pedestrian accidents involve one other person or party who is found to be entirely at fault for the accident. If, while walking in Phoenix, you act in an unsafe or unreasonable manner (i.e. failing to use a crosswalk, crossing on a red light or failing to look before crossing the road) and your actions contribute to a collision with a motor vehicle, you may be found partly at fault for the accident, and this can affect your ability to recover compensation. Pursuant to Arizona’s comparative negligence laws, if you and another party share blame for a pedestrian accident, the total amount of the damages you are entitled to for your injuries and losses will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, you will only be entitled to 80% of the total damages award. Comparative negligence comes into play in many Phoenix pedestrian accident cases, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim
The state of Arizona has a strict statute of limitations in place when it comes to recovering damages for personal injuries or wrongful death resulting from a pedestrian accident. Under the law, you have just two years from the date the injury or death occurred to file a claim and pursue compensation, after which you will be barred from collecting any damages at all. And if your claim is against the city or township, the time limit to file a legal claim is even shorter. For instance, if you are holding the government entity responsible for designing the roadway or maintaining the sidewalk accountable for your injuries, you may have only 180 days to file a Notice of Claim and only one year to file a lawsuit, rather than two.
How We Can Help
Pedestrian accidents are a type of personal injury case and many of the same rules apply to pedestrian accidents as motor vehicle accidents and other types of collisions in Phoenix. However, there are also certain laws that are unique to pedestrian accidents, which is why it is so important to hire an attorney who has experience handling pedestrian accident claims. A good personal injury attorney will have a clear understanding of the law and how it applies to accidents involving pedestrians and will know the best options for pursuing compensation in a Phoenix pedestrian accident case. You should never be made to suffer because of the negligence of another person, and with the right attorney on your side, you don’t have to.
The fact that you are a pedestrian and not a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle does not mean you are any less deserving of respect on the road, nor does it entitle you to any less compensation for the injuries and losses you sustain as the result of an accident. Unfortunately, many pedestrian accident victims in Phoenix do not receive the compensation they deserve, which is why we always recommend hiring an attorney to handle your case. When you enlist the help of our lawyers at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC, we will investigate the scene of the accident, gather evidence in support of your case, analyze witness statements and consult accident reconstruction experts to determine what caused the accident, so we can hold the negligent person or party accountable for your injuries.
Consult Our Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Pedestrian accident injuries and fatalities occur with alarming frequency across the country, but Arizona in particular has seen a rapidly increasing rate of pedestrian accidents and deaths in recent years. In fact, being hit by a car while walking is now among the most common causes of death in Arizona, and Phoenix is ranked as the third-deadliest city in the U.S. for pedestrians. Under Arizona law, any driver who hits a pedestrian while speeding or driving in a negligent, careless or reckless manner is legally liable for any damages the pedestrian suffers as a result of the accident, including medical expenses, emotional suffering and lost wages due to missed time at work. If you or a loved one was struck by a car, motorcycle, bus or truck while walking in Phoenix or the surrounding area, you need an experienced pedestrian accident attorney on your side to help you recover the compensation you are entitled to. It is likely that the other driver is at fault for the accident, in which case you may have grounds to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit. Contact Personal Injury Attorneys, PLLC today to discuss your case with our experienced Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyers.