Hit While Walking? Let Our Kansas City Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Fight For You.
Walking is often considered to be the safest way to travel, yet, pedestrian accidents happen. Pedestrian walkways and crossings are designed to keep everyone safe. However, if everyone is not abiding by the rules and regulations of the pedestrian and motorist systems, accidents can easily occur.
The severity of pedestrian accidents can vary from minor superficial damage to catastrophic injuries involving broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord damage.
The severity of injury following a pedestrian accident can vary due to the factors of the incident. An individual being in a slightly different position or location at the moment of the accident can drastically change the outcome.
Soft Tissue Injury
Injuries involving trauma to the skin, muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the body are considered soft tissue damage. Soft tissue injury victims often have quicker recovery times and fewer medical expenses. Although soft tissue injury may cause less damage, the cumulative effects on the victim can still be profound.
Broken and Fractured Bones
Pedestrian accidents frequently involve forceful impacts that result in broken bones. Injured pedestrians may fracture their hands, wrists, arms, legs, and spinal column. Bone fractures can range from stress fractures to compound fractures. It is considered a compound fracture when the bone breaks apart and through the skin. Broken bones are severe injuries that take weeks to months to recover.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries, known as TBI for short, are damages to the brain due to forceful blows or bumps to the head. TBI can result from a dangerous fall where the skull is the point of impact. A TBI is considered a penetrating head injury if an object becomes lodged into the skull.
Head injuries can result in severe cerebral and neurological damage. Symptoms of brain trauma include headaches, dizziness, loss of consciousness, nausea, drowsiness, difficulty speaking, loss of coordination, and difficulty regulating moods and concentration. TBI’s are serious injuries requiring immediate medical attention, and an injury to the brain has the potential to cause permanent damage.
Spinal Cord Injury
Any damage done to the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal column is a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord damage results from a forceful impact to your spine that may fracture, dislocate, crush, or compress one or more of your vertebrae. These can be catastrophic injuries causing paralysis or fatalities. Spinal cord injuries can be life-altering and require extensive care, rehabilitation, and costly medical bills.
Other Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
A collision between a motor vehicle driver and a pedestrian will always end in worse injuries for the latter. Pedestrians do not have any protection from injuries in a collision or a serious car accident. They will bear the full brunt of the impact – often resulting in catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Many pedestrian accident victims deal with their injuries for life. They may suffer permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disabilities because of the negligence of a driver. At Wendt Law Firm P.C, we care about protecting the rights of pedestrian accident survivors. We take pride in being the personal injury lawyer Kansas City families rely on and can help you and your family fight for fair compensation for your injuries and damages, no matter how serious.
Ask a Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer: What Are Common Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrians are far more at risk of suffering serious injuries from an accident than the passengers in the vehicle that hits them. This is because pedestrians are the most exposed and vulnerable to injury.
The nature of accidents is that they can occur at any time and any place. Although these accidents can occur everywhere, pedestrian injury accidents largely happen at night and in urban zones.
Common pedestrian accidents we see at Wendt Law include:
Parking Lot Impacts
The rules of parking lots may seem intuitive, yet these zones can quickly become dangerous due to their design and frequent use. Depending on the arrangement of a parking lot, a person or vehicle can suddenly become obscured.
Drivers must remain observant of pedestrians while navigating parking zones. When a distracted driver neglects safety precautions in parking lots resulting in an injured victim, that driver may be held accountable.
When a driver neglects the speed limits and traffic laws of a designated zone, car accidents frequently happen. Depending on how fast a car is speeding, the driver may not be able to slow or stop the vehicle in time to avoid a collision.
Similarly, motor vehicles may veer off the road when speeding around curves or other zones requiring slower velocities. A speeding driver is breaking traffic law and is at fault if an accident occurs.
Any motor vehicle operator can quickly become distracted by the situation at hand. Frequently drivers attempt to multitask while driving. It has become commonplace to eat, operate GPS, text, and causally engage with other distractions while driving. Any action that compromises a driver’s attention is negligent driving. If distracted driving results in the injury of a pedestrian, the driver can be held liable.
Driving while under the influence is prohibited by law. If an accident or injury is suffered by a pedestrian as the result of drunk driving, that driver will be liable for the victim’s injuries.
Crosswalks are designed to protect the safety of pedestrians, but accidents do occur. Crosswalk users are very exposed to traffic and can quickly become the victim of a pedestrian accident. Many accidents that occur on crosswalks are due to left-hand turns at night. A school zone often contains many crosswalks where a negligent driver can easily harm a young pedestrian.
Causes of Kansas City Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are often preventable tragedies. Drivers possess the power to avoid striking pedestrians by keeping a proper lookout, avoiding distractions, paying attention to the road, and following traffic laws. After a pedestrian accident, it is wise to hire an accident attorney to investigate what happened. Identifying the cause of your collision could help you determine which party should receive your claim.
Distracted driving. Drivers who text, eat, drink or partake in other distractions behind the wheel put pedestrians at risk. Distracted drivers took 3,166 lives total in traffic accidents in 2017.
Drunk driving.Almost 50% of fatal pedestrian accidents in the U.S. involve the use of alcohol by either the driver or pedestrian. Drunk driving can make it much harder to notice pedestrians and react appropriately behind the wheel.
Breaking traffic laws. Drivers must obey traffic laws such as speed limits, signs, crosswalks, and rights-of-way. Breaking these rules can make drivers dangerous and unpredictable to other roadway users such as pedestrians.
Other common causes of pedestrian-vehicle collisions include unsafe roadways and lack of sidewalks or crosswalks. In these cases, the city government could be liable for failing to maintain safe roadways and pedestrian walkways. If you believe someone else to be at fault for your injuries, contact a Kansas City pedestrian accident attorney from Wendt Law Firm P.C. for a free consultation.
Steps to Take in the Wake of a Pedestrian Accident
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, we encourage you to proceed will the following steps.
Seek medical assistance: Contact 911 immediately to have a medical professional assess your well-being. Following a pedestrian accident, the victim may have suffered minimal visible damage and appear fine, yet it is crucial to be examined by a medical professional to ensure that no internal damage has occurred. Unseen interior injuries can quickly become serious. We suggest making a follow-up appointment after your initial evaluation.
Contact the police: The police will initiate an investigation into your accident. The driver or other involved parties may deny their involvement to avoid paying your damages. However, filing an official accident report can facilitate your pedestrian accident lawsuit later on.
Collect information: Following an accident, we suggest you try to gather information about the at-fault driver as quickly as possible. Information including the driver’s name, home address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and any insurance information.
Talk to witnesses: Anyone who saw the accident can help corroborate details of the incident, which aids in the financial compensation of the accident victims. Be sure to obtain information from witnesses, such as full names, addresses, and phone numbers.
Capture photographs: The trauma of an accident often puts victims into a fight or flight mode compromising their memories of the event. Taking photos of the scene can create solid, relevant evidence to support your case. We suggest capturing photos of any damage to vehicles, nearby traffic lights and signs, crosswalks signs, nearby streetlights or other equipment, and any minor or serious injuries suffered by the victim. We also advise capturing evidence of any government negligence, such as areas in need of roadway maintenance.
Call your insurance company: Alert your insurance company that you have been involved in a pedestrian accident and suffered an injury. However, you should avoid answering questions or giving any specific details. Instead, notify your insurance company that you are seeking representation from a Kansas City personal injury attorney who can answer their questions.
Contact us at Wendt Law for a free consultation: After a Kansas City pedestrian accident, you may find yourself overwhelmed and in need of serious legal assistance. At Wendt Law, we offer free case evaluation so that you can seek advice about your next steps. By getting in contact with one of our pedestrian accident attorneys as quickly as possible, you improve your chances of recovering damages.
Potential Defendants in Pedestrian Accident Cases
There was an average of 24 pedestrian fatalities and 81 serious injuries in the KC region over a five-year period. In a collision between a person and a vehicle, victims often assume the motorist is immediately at fault for any damages. After all, pedestrians are vulnerable road users and deserve the highest degree of care from motorists. Although it’s true that motorists are often at fault for these accidents, they are not the only potential defendants. There may be other factors at play, such as a malfunctioning crosswalk signal or a poorly designed intersection. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Kansas City can investigate your case and help you accurately assign fault to parties such as:
The driver. The driver may be at fault if he or she entered a pedestrian crosswalk without the right of way. The driver may also be at fault if he or she caused the collision from distracted, drowsy, drunk, or otherwise negligent driving behaviors. Breaking any of Kansas City’s roadway laws and striking a pedestrian means grounds for a lawsuit.
Kansas City. KC government agencies are in charge of maintaining pedestrian crosswalks and designing the roadways. Issues that may come down to government negligence include dangerously designed infrastructures, defective crosswalk signals, and lack of roadway maintenance.
A product manufacturer. Products within the crosswalk or related to the vehicle may have defects that result in a pedestrian collision. Defective brakes, for example, can make it impossible for a vehicle to stop on time to prevent a crash. Defective products come down to manufacturer or distributor liability.
The question of comparative negligence is a common one in pedestrian accident cases. Pedestrians are sometimes at fault – at least in part – for their own accidents. Pedestrians must obey roadway rules and yield vehicles the right of way when applicable. A pedestrian cannot step out in front of moving traffic, cross in the middle of the road, or cross the street without the right of way. If you were partially to blame for your collision, you could still be eligible for compensation.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Pedestrian Accident
As a pedestrian, you have the right of way in many situations. Unfortunately, this does not mean that drivers will always yield to you or that they will always drive safely. If you are hit by a car while walking, there are a number of different types of damages that you may be able to recover. These include:
After being hit by a car, you will likely have significant medical bills. These can include ambulance costs, hospitalization fees, surgeries, and more. If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover these costs from the at-fault driver or their insurance company.
If your injuries prevent you from being able to work, you may be entitled to compensation for the wages you lose as a result. This can be a significant amount of money, especially if you are unable to work for an extended period of time.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to your physical injuries, you may also be able to recover damages for the pain and suffering you have endured. This includes both the physical pain of your injuries as well as the emotional trauma of being involved in a pedestrian accident.
If your loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of lawsuit can help you recover damages such as funeral costs, lost income, and more.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important to speak with an experienced Kansas City pedestrian accident attorney. They can help you understand your rights and options and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
How Can a Kansas City Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help?
Our lawyers work to recover damages and obtain fair and adequate compensation on your behalf. Survivors of pedestrian accidents and families who’ve lost family members due to pedestrian accidents can be entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Each case varies depending on the situation and types of injuries.
Compensation can include the following damages:
Past and future medical bills: The severe nature of pedestrian accidents often leads to costly medical expenses. Medical costs may include ambulance fees, hospitalization, surgeries, and continued rehabilitation.
Lost income: If you are unable to return to work due to your accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your total lost wages, including future losses.
Pain and suffering: Along with the physical injuries, a victim may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. This encompasses the ongoing pain experienced from the injuries as well as the emotional trauma suffered from being involved in a pedestrian accident. Often, victims have endured severe emotional distress due to their accidents, making returning to work and day-to-day life difficult.
Wrongful death: If a loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, you might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of lawsuit can compensate for a family’s economic and noneconomic losses as a result of the death of their loved one.
Wendt Law Firm: The Personal Injury Lawyer Kansas City Victims Trust.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a pedestrian accident, our Kansas City pedestrian accident attorneys are available to help. If you are unsure whether you are entitled to compensation, our lawyers can evaluate your case free of charge.
We work on a contingency fee basis meaning there is no upfront cost. A percentage of your settlement will only be paid to Wendt Law if we are successful in securing compensation, meaning you only pay if we win your case.
A personal injury lawsuit may feel intimidating alone, but our personal injury law firm can facilitate the process. Our attorneys are determined to recover fair compensation for you.
Call 815-880-1134 today for your free consultation with a trusted Kansas City personal injury attorney.