Thousands of pedestrians are struck and killed by motor vehicles each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2016 and 2017. This represents a nationwide increase of 27% from 2007-2017. As a result of this dramatic increase, pedestrians now account for the largest proportion of traffic fatalities over the last 33 years. That is, when compared to collisions involving motor vehicles, pedestrians in Connecticut are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car accident than individuals in a motor vehicle. In addition to speed, alcohol use and failure to obey traffic laws, increased smartphone use by drivers and legalization of marijuana have been cited as potential contributing factors to the substantial increase in pedestrian fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUITS FOR PEDESTRIANS IN CONNECTICUT
Those pedestrians most vulnerable to being struck by a motor vehicle are adults aged 60 and older and children under the age of 15. In Connecticut, pedestrians in a cross-walk have the right of way to motor vehicles. Despite this law, pedestrians in Connecticut are struck by motor vehicles every day. Pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles on roadways, in intersections, crosswalks, parking lots, while on sidewalks, in school crossing zones, and in school pick-up and drop-off areas. Individuals involved in these incidents typically suffer severe injuries including death. A victim struck by a car will likely face a long recovery process with extensive medical expenses, inability to work, lost wages, permanent injuries, and an inability to support his or her family. When faced with such difficulty, it can be helpful to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side.
CONNECTICUT’S MOST DANGEROUS ROADS FOR PEDESTRIANS
The most dangerous roads for pedestrians in Connecticut are those that are heavily traveled and have speed limits at or above 30 mph such as Route 1 along Connecticut’s coastline in towns such as East Lyme, Madison, and Mystic. At speeds above 30 mph, accidents that do not result in death, can result in organ damage, serious head injuries including traumatic brain injury, broken bones, lacerations, paralysis and spinal cord injuries.
Among the areas with the highest number of motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians are Connecticut’s largest cities, Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and Stamford. In an attempt to remedy this issue in Connecticut, the Department of Transportation recently completed a replacement of old signage including those for pedestrian safety. The new signs are brightly colored reflective signs that are designed to protect both pedestrians and bicyclists.
Additionally, an initiative in Hartford resulted in placement of 30 signs at intersections identified as high-risk locations for Hartford pedestrians. The purpose of the signs is to warn drivers of intersections, cross-walks, and potential pedestrian or bicycle traffic. The hope is that these signs both in Hartford and throughout the State will result in safer roads for both pedestrians and bicyclists.
ACCIDENTS INVOLVING PEDESTRIANS
A pedestrian accident can occur anywhere, and many happen at night. It is important for pedestrians to make themselves as visible as possible by wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing and by using marked cross-walks, and sidewalks where available, if a sidewalk is not available, pedestrians should walk towards oncoming traffic as close to the side of the road as possible. Using these suggestions, a pedestrian decreases their risk of being hit by a motor vehicle.
These may also protect against a driver’s insurance company placing blame for the accident on the pedestrian. An insurance company placing blame on a pedestrian is a tactic that often leads to the pedestrian believing that no fault lies with the operator of the motor vehicle. In many situations, this may be a false belief. The insurance company may deny a claim outright or attempt to downplay the extent of the injuries involved. Regardless of where a pedestrian is struck, it is important to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to evaluate the facts and circumstances and issues surrounding liability.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Connecticut it is important to consult with a skilled professional as soon after the incident as possible. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney with Aeton Law Partners can advocate on your behalf and can help to alleviate the stresses of dealing with the aftermath of being hit by a motor vehicle. The attorneys at Aeton Law Partners have extensive experience in handling the consequences experienced by clients who have been hit by a motor vehicle. To properly understand the damages and compensation that may be available after being hit by a motor vehicle, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.