Personal Injury: Accidents Involving Pedestrians

The National Safety Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nongovernmental public service organization that promotes health and safety in the US by helping minimize the alarmingly high number of preventable injuries and deaths in working environments, homes and communities, records about 70, 000 pedestrians accidents in the US every year. From the given figure, about 4, 500 are fatal or end in the victim’s death a few days following the accident.

Fatal accidents are usually more frequent in rural areas where vehicles can run at faster speeds due to lighter traffic, where pathways are poorly illuminated at night, and where there are usually no sidewalks where pedestrians can walk safely. In urban areas or cities, on the other hand, where pedestrian activities and the volume of cars are always high, pedestrian accidents are usually non-fatal.

Ensuring the safety of pedestrians is a major traffic concern for the simple reason that all Americans become pedestrians at certain times of the day. Besides a person walking, the term “pedestrian” also refers to anyone who is on foot, including someone running or jogging, or a person standing at a street corner. If a car driver can sustain severe injuries in an accident, how much more will a pedestrian, who has nothing, whatsoever, to protect his/her body from the impact caused by an approaching vehicle. Thus, an accident can easily result to severe injuries or, worse, untimely death.

While drivers play a major role in significantly reducing incidences of pedestrian accidents, some car manufacturers have taken the initiative of designing their new car models with the latest safety devices that will enable the car to detect the presence of pedestrians (and cyclists) meters ahead and fully stop the car (or slow it down), even without driver input, to either lessen the force of impact or totally eliminate the possibility of crashing into anyone or anything. These accident avoidance technologies include the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake, the Forward Collision Warning system and the Automatic Braking system, which will automatically stop the car, if it senses that the vehicle ahead has suddenly stopped, to avoid collision.

Pursuing legal action to seek compensation for any kind of harm suffered in an accident is the right of anyone; it is also allowed under the law. Many cases are settled, however, even before these reach the courtroom, as liable parties rather decide to offer compensation to the victim and ask that the lawsuit be dropped in return. Many victims accept these seemingly trouble-free settlements, thinking, or being made to think by the liable party’s legal counsel, that accepting the offered compensation totally favors them. In any form of settlement it remains essential that victims are represented by personal injury lawyers to make sure that their rights are fully defended and that the compensation they will receive will justly cover all the present and future damages caused by the injury.

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