In the United States, a pedestrian is killed every 2 hours. Even more shocking is that a pedestrian is injured every 7 minutes in traffic crashes. In 2012 alone, more than 76,000 pedestrians were injured while hiking, running, jogging, or simply crossing the street. This represented a 6% increase from 2011—and the highest number of deaths in the last 5 years.
Washington, D.C.: Pedestrian by Design
Traveling on foot throughout Washington, D.C. is the best way to get around. In fact, this concept was incorporated into Pierre L’Enfant’s design of the city as early as 1791. L’Enfant envisioned a city where avenues and streets radiated from the core and a grid was designed to be traversed on foot.
Yet changes in travel and modern technology have threatened that vision—and put modern day pedestrians in danger. On average there are more than 3,000 pedestrian accidents each year in the Washington DC metro area. As a result, the city has undergone major changes to keep pedestrians safe. In 2004, the city constructed new sidewalks and installed more than 1,300 countdown pedestrian signals at a variety of intersections and crosswalks. DDOT developed a Pedestrian Master Plan in 2009 to reduce the number of pedestrians killed or injured by vehicles. This included constructed new sidewalks in several places in the city and making access to bus stops easier.
Maryland Aims at Becoming Pedestrian Friendly
In 2008, 20% of all fatalities in Maryland were pedestrians. As such, Maryland highway officials have decided to take pedestrian safety into their own hands. Their 20-year plan includes programs that are designed to make the state more pedestrian friendly. This includes changing some street designs, adding sidewalks and walking paths, widening shoulders, and improving the street lighting throughout. In addition, they will add better pedestrian signals at critical intersections.
Pedestrian Accidents Are Unique
Unlike other types of motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents are unique because the majority of injuries sustained are to just one party. The pedestrian usually suffers the most severe injuries—and quite often, the pedestrian is the only one injured.
Even though they may be unhurt, motor vehicle drivers are not always cited for the collision. In many cases, the pedestrian is blamed or partially blamed for the accident. As such, pedestrians need an experienced pedestrian accident attorney on their side from the moment they are injured.
Consider this common scenario: a car is turning left. The driver is so focused on turning across the oncoming lanes of traffic that he doesn’t notice pedestrians in the crosswalk on the far side of the intersection. Vehicle collides with a pedestrian in the crosswalk who has a walk signal. That sounds pretty clear-cut in favor of the pedestrian, doesn’t it? However, in our firm’s experience, even a situation like this can be hard fought by the driver’s insurance company, and it takes skilled and persistent lawyering to win a fair settlement for the pedestrian.
For this and any other accident scenario, your attorney will need to investigate closely to determine who is ultimately responsible. Perhaps the driver was texting while driving? Perhaps he was impaired at the time of the collision? Perhaps the driver was speeding through the neighborhood? Establishing negligence is a critical component to obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Types of Injuries Sustained in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians have a significant disadvantage when they are involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. The human body is simply not built to withstand significant force, and even pedestrian accidents that occur at low speeds can result in fatal injuries. Common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Leg injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Internal organ damage
- And more
Contact Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
At Patrick Malone & Associates, our pedestrian accident lawyers understand the seriousness of pedestrian accidents in the Washington, DC metro area, Virginia, and Maryland. We also know that pedestrian accident victims face a long uphill recovery battle and need someone on their side to protect their rights throughout their ordeal. Our accident attorneys work tirelessly from the very start to ensure that all our clients receive the compensation they need to fully recover. Call us at 1-202-742-1500 or 1-888-625-6645 or fill out our confidential contact form for a FREE Consultation and review of your case.
The pedestrian accident attorneys at Patrick Malone & Associates have successfully represented injured individuals in Washington, DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Annapolis, Rockville, Baltimore, Richmond, Fairfax, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and other locations throughout Maryland and Virginia.