Government statistics, unfortunately, show a spike in the number of accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. If you have been hit by a car or truck while walking, running, or bicycling, the Philadelphia-based lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm have the training, education, and experience required to successfully represent adults, seniors, and children who have been injured in Pennsylvania pedestrian accidents. One of our founding partners, Jeffrey Reiff has more than 35 years of experience representing accident victims.
If you are the victim of a pedestrian accident or a pedestrian hit-and-run, it is imperative that you retain the services of an accident lawyer who will fight aggressively and strategically for you. One of our experienced Philadelphia pedestrian accident attorneys can discuss your legal options and help you understand what you can expect from the process. To schedule a free, confidential personal injury consultation, call The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 274-0072 today.
When Do Most Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
Many people want to know what scenarios present the greatest risk of a serious pedestrian accident. Most pedestrian accidents and deaths occur when the pedestrian is entering a crosswalk, crossing the road, or otherwise walking or running near where a car or truck is driving.
Statistics reveal that the volume of pedestrian accidents is higher during the day than at night. During the day, one would assume that a greater volume of vehicles and pedestrians makes an accident of this type more likely. By contrast, one might think that the reduced visibility at night, combined with a greater likelihood of individuals to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs, would result in more nighttime accidents. However, daytime accidents are more common.
Who Is Most at Risk of Suffering an Injury While Walking or Running?
The elderly (over age 60), teenagers, and children are at risk of sustaining the most serious injuries or dying in pedestrian accidents. As stated above, most injuries and deaths occur during the day. In fact, nearly 50% of pedestrian accident deaths happen between 3 and 4 PM on weekdays when children are returning home from school.
The risk of suffering a pedestrian accident injury exists regardless of whether one lives in rural areas, the suburbs, or in the city. However, the risk is typically most pronounced in busy urban centers where large vehicles, such as SEPTA buses, must drive near pedestrians. Thus, Center City Philadelphia is often a hotspot for pedestrian accidents. Likewise, accidents involving pedestrians are all too common on Roosevelt Boulevard and other major roads in the area.
How Can Driver Negligence Cause a Pedestrian Accident?
Driver attentiveness and behavior is one of the factors most closely associated with pedestrian accidents. Drivers who fail to keep their eyes on the road, scanning for people walking along the street or crossing the road, can easily cause serious collisions. If the driver is also speeding or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, this risk is even more pronounced. Other aggressive driving behaviors such as racing to beat a yellow light, making illegal turns or U-turns, and failing to yield at a crosswalk are also behaviors closely associated with serious pedestrian accidents.
Can Underride Guards Minimize Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities?
While rear-impact underride guards are mandated on some 18-wheeler and large truck types, there is generally no requirement for vehicles to come equipped with side underride guards. This state of regulation exists even though both rear and side underride guards have been proven effective at mitigating potential injuries sustained by pedestrians in an accident.
According to one U.K. based study cited in a report written by the National Research Council of Canada, appropriate deployment of side underride guards reduced fatalities by 61% in a population of cyclists. The deployment of these underride guards also resulted in a 12.8% drop in the number of cyclists who were seriously injured in a crash. Furthermore, the deployment of the same underride guard reduced pedestrian fatalities by one-fifth.
Studies have shown that side underride guards are particularly effective at mitigating injuries from accidents involving 18-wheelers, large trucks, and large buses. The side underride guards cannot blunt the force of the initial impact, but they do work to channel the individual away from the bus or truck’s wheels. The wheels of the vehicle are frequently responsible for grisly crushing injuries that can break bones and cause internal damage.
What to Do if You Are Struck by a Vehicle While Walking in Philadelphia
If you are struck by a vehicle while walking in Philadelphia, there are certain actions you should take. One of the first things you should do is contact the police. After that, document your injuries and the injuries of any other person involved. However, if your injuries are too severe, you should seek immediate medical attention and notify emergency medical staff of how you were injured. Informing hospital staff of how you received your injuries will help you document your injuries if you wish to file a personal injury claim later.
Next, you should request information from the driver who hit you. This information should include their driver’s license info, vehicle registration info, insurance info, and license plate number. If you were struck by a commercial vehicle, like a or delivery truck or van, you should find out what company the driver works for. If you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, there may be multiple parties that are liable for your injuries. You might be able to make a claim against the driver’s employer as well as the actual driver.
You should also take pictures of the scene of the accident. Be sure to capture any damages to the vehicle that hit you, exactly where the accident occurred, and the weather conditions that day. It is also important to speak with any witnesses who observed the accident. You should ask for contact information from any witness willing to provide a statement regarding the accident.
Even if you believe that you were partly at fault for the accident, you should still call the police to the scene. Once the police finish processing the scene, ask for the name and badge numbers for the officers and a copy of the police report.
If the accident involved a commercial vehicle, the company who owns the vehicle or their insurance carrier might send an investigator to the scene. This investigator will be looking to minimize liability for their company. You should consider contacting an experienced injury attorney to speak to the investigator or their lawyers on your behalf.
Once you are finished at the scene of the accident, you should seek medical attention for any injuries you sustained. Organizing all of the documents regarding the accident will make it easier to file a personal injury claim, rather than scrambling for information after you file your case.
Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Injury Lawsuits in PA
You should file a personal injury lawsuit for your pedestrian accident case as soon as possible to avoid problems with the statute of limitations deadline. The statute of limitations is a law that sets the amount of time a person has to file a claim with the court.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident. This means you have to file your pedestrian accident lawsuit within two years or the court may prevent you from filing your claim altogether. You will be unable to receive compensation for your injuries if the court bars your claim. However, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the possibility of delaying your injury case.
Filing your injury lawsuit early also makes it easier to litigate your case. Your witnesses’ memories will be fresh and they will able to recall how the accident occurred clearly if you file quickly. Moreover, the evidence against the negligent driver will be easier to collect and sort through. Most importantly, you will be able to recover compensation for your injuries sooner if you prevail.
Work with Dedicated Pedestrian Injury Lawyers Serving Philadelphia and Beyond
If you are a pedestrian that was injured by a negligent motorist, you can file a pedestrian accident claim or Pennsylvania lawsuit against the driver. However, before filing a lawsuit, it is essential to determine if you have a legal claim and can obtain the evidence you need to prove your claim.
Proving physical, cognitive, or emotional injuries can be challenging, which is why you need an experienced law firm that has the resources and knowledge to handle these types of injury cases. The Reiff Law Firm is committed to protecting our clients’ rights. While all matters are independent and past success does not guarantee future results, our solid record of accomplishment demonstrates our ability to strategically represent clients with complex injury claims and lawsuits and recover compensation for them.
The Philadelphia-based personal injury lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm work on a contingent fee basis, charging a small percentage of the recovery in a matter or case. We do not get paid unless there is a successful recovery. We have had handled thousands of pedestrian-related and automobile accident cases and have successfully recovered more than 200 million dollars from our opponents for physical injuries and emotional damages for our clients.
To schedule your free case evaluation with a The Reiff Law Firm pedestrian accident attorney, call (215) 274-0072, or contact us online.