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5 Things to Know about Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accidents

Sadly, pedestrian accidents are far too common in the United States.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015, more than 5,000 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in the United States and that a pedestrian is killed every 1.6 hours. Almost 129,000 pedestrians were treated for non-fatal crash-related injuries that year.
Although cities and towns have taken steps to reduce injuries, it is still a serious problem.
Here are five things you should know from a pedestrian accident lawyer.

Fact #1: Alcohol is a Contributing Cause

Alcohol is a leading contributor and it’s not just the driver who is at fault. Nearly half of pedestrian accidents involve alcohol use by either the driver or the pedestrian.

Fact #2: Texting is an increasing problem

Drive anywhere for 10 minutes and watch your fellow drivers. At least one and probably more than one are texting while driving. Even if you’re driving at just 40 mph, in a 3-second look at your cellphone, you will have traveled 176 feet.

Fact #3: The elderly and children are the most common victims

Those most at risk are pedestrians older than 65 and children under the age of 15. If the victim is a child, special rules apply to their claims. For example, they may have additional time to file claims and any settlements may have to be approved by a court, depending on the amount of the settlement.

Fact #4: The most common location is at non-intersection locations

Most pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas at non-intersections at night when a pedestrian in the road is either unexpected or not visible.

Fact #5: Compensation is never guaranteed

Pennsylvania has a comparative negligence law which may be used to pay victims less.

Comparative negligence may reduce the compensation the victim is entitled to receive if he contributed to his own injury. For example, if a jury decides that a pedestrian is 25% at fault for his own injury, he would be entitled to collect only 75% of his damages. If the victim is more than 50% at fault he gets nothing. This may happen when a pedestrian was jaywalking, or otherwise failed to exercise reasonable care.

Our legal team works quickly to address these defenses to ensure our clients receive maximum compensation. Also, different comparative negligence rules apply to children’s claims depending on their age.

What to do if you are involved in a Pedestrian Accident

  • Call the police and stay at the scene of the accident until they arrive.
  • If you are able, take photos of the scene and of the car and its license plate. The police do not always photograph the scene as part of their investigation. Photos are very helpful in documenting what occurred and in addressing claims that the pedestrian was at fault.
  • Ask Witnesses to remain at the scene until the police arrive.

Getting the Police Report

The police will prepare a report that includes witness statements that may be helpful in your attorney’s investigation and in proving liability.
Reports prepared by the Pennsylvania State police are available in 15 days after the date of the crash and can be purchased online or by completing a request form. Details on ordering the report are available from the PSP at this link. The current cost of a report is $22.00.
Local police reports are available at http://www.crashdocs.org/

Speak with an attorney ASAP

No matter what type of accident you have been in, speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to get the information you need and protect yourself from a legal standpoint.
Pennsylvania has statutes of limitation that may limit your right to file a lawsuit if it is untimely. Additionally, if you were injured in an accident with a government vehicle, Pennsylvania law requires that notice of your claim be given to the government agency responsible for your accident within six (6) months. Government employees also have certain immunities that may restrict the amount of money you may recover.
If you have been in an accident as a pedestrian in eastern Pennsylvania and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us for a free consultation.
We answer questions all the time about such claims and we would be happy to speak with you.
We proudly serve clients in both federal and state courts in Carbon, Monroe, Pike, Wayne, Northampton and Lehigh Counties. We welcome consultations on Saturdays by prior appointment.
To set up an appointment, contact us at: [email protected].

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