Safety Tips for Pedestrians in Modesto
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto personal injury lawyer. Walking is an essential advantage to everyone as it assists in maintaining a healthy weight, improves your mood and strengthens your muscles and bones. To others, walking may be their primary means of transportation. Whether taking to the road as a pedestrian for health benefits or transportation, it is essential to stay safe and do everything within your power to ensure your safety on the road.
Why Pedestrian Safety is Important
Pedestrian accident fatalities are on the rise throughout the country, especially in California. In fact, a 2017 report by the California Department of Public Health suggested that pedestrian death rates have increased by 11 percent from 2007 to 2013, the last year for which comprehensive data is available. With 21 percent of the total individuals fatally injured in traffic accidents being pedestrians, it is critical to understand the importance of pedestrian safety on the road.
Staying Safe as a Pedestrian
Pedestrian accidents, like other types of traffic collisions, can be both predictable and preventable through exercising due care. Pedestrians can do so by following these safety tips:
- Follow the rules of the road;
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. When sidewalks are not accessible, pedestrians should walk facing the flow of traffic while keeping a safe distance, if possible;
- Remain on high alert at all times. This includes avoiding the use of electronic devices that divert your attention from what is going on around you;
- Cross where drivers are likely to expect pedestrians, which include intersections and crosswalks. Before crossing, observe for vehicles in all directions and cross when the road is clear;
- When an intersection or crosswalk is not available, walk to an area where you have a good view of traffic and wait for a sufficient gap in traffic to cross safely. Make sure to monitor traffic as you are moving from one side of the street to the other;
- Never assume that a motorist can see you. Better to make eye contact with a driver as they are approaching you;
- Keep an eye on vehicles backing up in parking lots or those entering or exiting driveways;
- Indicate your presence to drivers at night by wearing reflective clothing or using a flashlight;
- Avoid walking while under the influence of drugs or alcohol as these substances can impair your judgment.
Common Injuries from Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents often leave victims with debilitating or fatal injuries due to a pedestrian’s lack of physical protection against a motor vehicle. Various factors can impact the extent of injuries sustained in accidents such as speed, type of vehicle and the area in which a pedestrian was hit. Although pedestrian injuries may vary from case to case, some tend to be more common, such as:
- Abdominal Trauma: Liver damage is the frequent site of these injuries. If not treated immediately after a pedestrian accident, these injuries can prove fatal due to excessive blood loss;
- Bone Fractures: These are common in a pedestrian accident and may be simple or complex in nature, often requiring surgery to repair bone damage;
- Internal Trauma: This is caused as a result of blunt force trauma in a pedestrian accident and can be life-threatening as it is considered one of the leading causes of fatality;
- Spinal Cord Damage: Depending on the area of an injury, this may result in either partial or complete paralysis;
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): These are common in accidents involving elderly pedestrians and are considered one of the most life-changing injuries. TBI symptoms may include memory loss, difficulty thinking, inability to recognize everyday things and more;
- Fatality: This can occur in some extreme cases.
Recoverable Damages in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
When a pedestrian is struck by a negligent motorist, they may suddenly face financial hardships in addition to pain and recuperation left by an accident. However, a skilled personal injury attorney can help a pedestrian in filing a claim for damages for:
- Medical Costs: Expenses for necessary and reasonable medical care, including costs incurred in the future due to the injury, can be recovered. These may include physical therapy, diagnostic testing, surgery, nursing, hospital and related medical bills;
- Disfigurement: Pedestrian accidents are likely to cause scarring or other unsightly marks, which may affect a victim’s quality of life through emotional suffering like self-consciousness and humiliation. When this happens, a pedestrian is entitled to recover for the disfigurement as well as the expenses of necessary cosmetic surgery;
- Lost Wages: When a pedestrian is injured, they often take time off from work to recover from their injuries. Any lost bonuses, commissions, fringe benefits and all other earnings can be recovered. If an injury causes permanent limitations on an individual’s ability to earn wages, he or she can recover the value of the reduction, which is calculated by a determination of what wages he or she will likely lose over the remainder of his or her working years;
- Pain and Suffering: This is commonly known as “general damages” and is considered as the most important element of a bodily injury claim. This type of damage entitles a pedestrian to compensation for mental anguish and physical pain he or she may have suffered and will likely endure in the years to come as a result of the injury sustained;
- Death: Certain parties related to a deceased pedestrian under California Code for Civil Procedure section 377.60 may be entitled to damages for “wrongful death.” These may include emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish, economic loss, loss of companionship and more.
Watch YouTube Video – By Lawyer Ed Smith – What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
When a pedestrian accident claims the life of a loved one, the resulting pain can be so hard to endure. When the accident occurred due to a driver’s negligence, the grief is further compounded. If you or your family have experienced this, there may be assistance available by calling a seasoned wrongful death attorney in Modesto. A compassionate lawyer understands the emotional and financial difficulties a family may be left with following the untimely death of a loved one. Although no amount of compensation can bring a loved one back, a wrongful death claim may be filed to recover monetary compensation for the loss of life and damages incurred.
Modesto Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto personal injury lawyer. Motor vehicle accidents, particularly those involving pedestrians, have the potential to cause multiple injuries or even death in some cases. If you, or a loved one, have been in an accident, you may contact me any time for free, friendly legal advice at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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