Pedestrian accidents may be the most devastating of all automobile related accidents, because they involve at least one person on foot, unprotected by a vehicle, seat belts, and airbags. When a car collides with a pedestrian, there is an extremely high potential for serious injury, even death. It is imperative for drivers and pedestrians to follow simple rules for safety. Here are some of the most commonly recognized safety tips to avoid accidents, according to the City of San Jose, California, Department of Transportation (www.getstreetsmarts.org) website. This is an excellent public safety tips website.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
• Cross the street only at intersections or marked crosswalks
• Do not cross in the middle of a street or between cars; if you are getting off a bus, wait until the bus has moved away before checking for traffic
• Continuously watch for traffic as you cross the street
• Always make sure a motorist is not turning even if there is a “No turn on red” sign
• Avoid walking on roads without sidewalks and crosswalks, but if you must, walk facing traffic
• Always look both ways before crossing the street – even if it is not a busy intersection
• Wear reflective or bright clothing in the dark so drivers can easily identify you; cross near a light
• Follow crosswalk signs/signals; do not cross when the sign reads “Do Not Walk” even if there is not oncoming traffic
• Do not assume that cars are driving slowly enough for you to cross or for them to stop
• Do not run or dash into the street
Driver Tips to Remember
• You can encounter pedestrians anywhere, at anytime
• Pay attention to crosswalks; make sure pedestrians are not crossing the road before passing through the crosswalk
• Pay attention to traffic controls
• Yield to pedestrians already crossing the road even if not at the crosswalk
• Be attentive especially around schools and neighborhoods where children present
• Do not assume the pedestrian sees (or hears) you
Most importantly to pedestrians and drivers – use common sense.
If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a pedestrian accident that was not your fault (or, was only partially your fault), you may be able to recover damages for medical bills, loss wages, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of financial support, and funeral expenses. Contact personal injury attorney who specializes in handling pedestrian accident. Determining fault in a pedestrian accident can sometimes be a complicated process. Insurance companies will sometimes try to reach a quick settlement and limit recovery to the lowest possible amount, before you retain an attorney. Avoid the trap of agreeing to settle too early for too little; always consult with an attorney before considering any offer of settlement from an insurance company. There may be future medical expenses, lost wages, and additional damages that you do not know about or did not consider.
Even if you consider everything, sometimes, despite the fact that your case is worth more than the insurance company is offering, despite the fact that you have retained an attorney and he/she is recommending against taking the offer, you, simply, need the money. You want to fight for your rights; you want to follow your attorney’s advice. You don’t want to take the offer, but you have to, don’t you?
No, you don’t! If your attorney is telling you that your case is worth more than the current, low, offer, but your bills and expenses keep piling up, you can obtain lawsuit funding instead of settling your valuable case for pennies on the dollar. An experienced, ethical lawsuit funding company will provide the legal financial assistance you need to get through the litigation process without having to settle under severe financial distress. Ask your attorney for advice on whether auto accident lawsuit funding would be the right move for your situation. They may even be able to provide you with a recommendation.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.