San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrians: A Cultural Shift and Some Staggering Statistics
These days, pedestrians are taking to the streets in high numbers. Inspired by a desire to be eco-friendly, many are choosing to walk to work, school, and other activities. But in San Francisco, as well as many other cities in the United States, the streets aren’t necessarily set up for pedestrians. In California, there is still a very pervasive car culture. And, unfortunately, pedestrians can sometimes find themselves on the wrong end of this equation. Even when pedestrians are using best safety practices, tragedy can rear its ugly head. In the U.S., a pedestrian fatality occurs approximately every 90 minutes. And any pedestrian accident attorney will tell you that there are many non-fatal accidents that result in significant injuries. In 2016, emergency rooms saw over 128,000 pedestrian patients. Some might be surprised to learn that being a pedestrian carries with it the higher likelihood of being killed in a car crash than the likelihood of dying as a passenger.
Pedestrian Accidents: A Problem That Disproportionately Affects Our Most Vulnerable Populations
Did you know that 20% of the pedestrians killed in 2016 were senior citizens? The issue also affects children and teenagers, who are disproportionately represented in the charts as well. Another sobering statistic is the amount of times alcohol is involved in pedestrian crashes. In almost half of the cases that resulted in a pedestrian death, either the driver of the vehicle or the pedestrian was drinking. Although pedestrians can control their consumption, there is little they can do to avoid drunk drivers — especially at night.
The Most Common Risk Factors for Accidents
Whether you’re living in Santa Fe or San Francisco, you have to realize that pedestrians in urban areas are more likely to be hit. Pedestrians walking during the evening are also more likely to be hit than those who walk during the day. When you consider all of the visibility issues that often factor into these accidents, it makes sense that they are more common at night. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will also probably tell you that these incidents are more likely to occur in areas that are not intersections. Although it can often be tempting to jaywalk, pedestrians can never assume that drivers see them. Like motorcycle riders, pedestrians must always be on alert and assume a defensive stance. Even if you feel as though you’ve made eye contact with a driver, you must expect that they do not see you and behave accordingly.
Technology and Distracted Driving
Although drivers always should be on alert for pedestrians, the reality of the situation is that they are often not. These days, many public health experts have been referring to distracted driving as a public health crisis. As smartphone use has increased, many drivers are choosing to ignore safe practices and check their phones while on the road. And it shows in the statistics. In 2005, for instance, the rate of distracted driving deaths was approximately 344 in the United States. By 2010, it had risen to a whopping 500. Teens and new drivers must be counseled to put away their phones while they’re on the road. With one out of every four accidents in the United States occurring due to texting and driving, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that so many pedestrians have been affected by this public health issue. The National Safety Council has reported astonishing numbers recently, claiming that about 1.6 million car crashes per year are caused by the driver attempting to use their mobile phone while driving. Although many experts have identified the problem and lawmakers have tried to step up to the plate, very little has been done to combat the issue. Many motorists complain about being ticketed for talking on their devices while driving, but these same drivers would be devastated if a friend or a family member were to perish due to another driver’s carelessness. When you talk to a pedestrian accident attorney, you may discover just how common these accidents can be.
After a Pedestrian Accident: What to Do
Even if you do everything the right way, you are still at risk as a pedestrian. There are few things in life as terrifying as being hit by a vehicle, so it’s crucial that you attempt to keep your wits about you if you ever happen to find yourself in this unfortunate position. Another tragic fact is that over half of hit and run accidents in the state of California tend to involve pedestrians. So if a driver hits you and then speeds off, it is not necessarily a surprising reaction. Luckily, law enforcement has a better chance of finding hit and run drivers today. With cameras all over most cities, it is easier than ever for the police to find these perpetrators. But you may be pleasantly surprised by just how helpful good samaritans can be in situations like this.
Call 911, Document as Much as Possible
As soon as you’ve been hit, if you’re able to, you’ll want to appeal for help to those around you. If it is a hit and run situation, onlookers may be able to provide law enforcement with a detailed description of the vehicle. And even if it is not a hit and run incident and you believe you’re only slightly injured, you will want to contact the authorities immediately. In the aftermath of a traumatic accident like this, your adrenaline will be running high. You may be ignoring your body’s cues that something is wrong. Even if it feels as if you haven’t been hurt at the moment, you may be shocked by just how sore you are the next day. Make sure that you — or someone nearby if you’re incapacitated — can take down the driver’s information.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible
Pedestrian accidents can be extremely traumatic for your body. Sometimes you may not even realize their extent for weeks or months afterward. While you are in this fragile state, you must get someone on your side who is working for you. As soon as the accident report has been filed, the clock is running on your case. The faster you hire a qualified attorney, the more likely you are to receive some compensation for your injuries. Although there are certainly no guarantees, consulting with a pedestrian accident lawyer will grant you some peace of mind as you start on your healing journey.
Contact Rizio Lipinsky today to start your free consultation.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.