There are plenty of places to walk in and around Los Angeles, but when you walk around busy streets you are at risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. A pedestrian accident occurs whenever a motor vehicle of any type strikes a person on foot. Whenever a pedestrian and a motor vehicle collide, the pedestrian always loses in that he or she will suffer the more serious injuries. These serious injuries can end up resulting in thousands of dollars of medical bills, significant time missed from work, and a long recovery period.
Motorists who strike pedestrians can be found to be legally responsible for the pedestrians’ injuries and expenses. Proving fault in pedestrian accidents may be easier than in other types of motor vehicle accidents because of traffic laws meant to protect those on foot. That does not mean that you should not seek help from an attorney to ensure your case has the best possible chance of success and to leave you free to focus on your recovery.
California Pedestrian Accident Statistics
California leads the nation with one of the highest numbers of pedestrian fatalities in the entire country. California government agencies maintain statistics on pedestrian crashes, which show that:
- In 2014, approximately 700 pedestrians died in pedestrian accidents;
- In 2013, an increasing percentage of pedestrians killed were 65 years of age or older; and
- In 2013, nationally there were just over 4,700 pedestrian deaths in the United States – that’s almost 400 pedestrian deaths per month, or over 10 pedestrian deaths a day.
California’s reputation as having the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the country should serve as a warning to would-be joggers, runners, and walkers: be safe and keep your eye out for other vehicles. Wear reflective clothing and ensure someone knows when you leave your home and when you can be expected to arrive at your destination.
Types of Pedestrian Crashes
There are three main types of pedestrian accidents, depending on how high the vehicle is that strikes the pedestrian, the angle at which the pedestrian is hit, and the speed of the vehicle. Any type of pedestrian crash has the potential to cause fatal injuries:
- The “projectile” crash: In this type of crash the pedestrian is hit and flies forward and away from the car (which usually stops at the moment of impact). The car essentially transfers its forward momentum to the pedestrian. The pedestrian can be sent “flying” forward for a considerable distance. Upon landing, pedestrians usually suffer “road rash” in addition to other serious injuries.
- The “rollover” crash: In this type of pedestrian crash the vehicle that strikes the pedestrian keeps moving, sending the pedestrian up onto the hood of the car, over the windshield, and over the roof of the car. The pedestrian typically lands behind the car. Evidence of a “rollover” crash can generally be found on the hood and windshield of the car involved in the crash.
- The “dragging” crash: Finally, in a “dragging” crash the pedestrian is caught up under the vehicle and can be dragged by the vehicle until the driver stops. If the driver is unaware that he or she hit a pedestrian, the pedestrian may be dragged a considerable distance and may suffer fatal injuries.
Regardless of the type of crash, any pedestrian involved in a pedestrian crash should be taken to an emergency room for medical evaluation immediately. Even if the pedestrian gets up and walks around after the crash, he or she may still have suffered internal injuries that require prompt attention.