When you set out for a walk, whether for exercise, the pleasure of a casual walk, or as a means of getting to a destination, the last thing you expect is to be injured in an accident. In the Austin area, there has been a significant rise in accidents between pedestrians and vehicles.
According to the Pedestrian Safety Campaign created by the Texas Department of Transportation, pedestrian deaths are rising in Texas. In 2020 alone, there were 4,852 Texas accidents that involved pedestrians. Of those, there were 1,211 serious injuries and 731 deaths. That’s a nine percent increase over 2019.
As a pedestrian, you are vulnerable and certainly no match for a car. If you were in an accident while traveling in a car, you would at least have the benefit of a car’s steel structure, along with a motor vehicle’s protective equipment, including seat belts, airbags, and so on. When a motor vehicle crashes into a pedestrian, obviously the damage can be life-changing. And no matter what you do to be safe while walking, you are still at the mercy of distracted drivers.
The Austin pedestrian accident lawyers of Loewy Law Firm understand the devastation that a pedestrian can experience because of a distracted motorist accident. We are here to help. Call us at (512) 280-0800 for a free consultation about the accident. We’ll discuss your available options and help you decide what to do next.
The Top Three Distractions Behind the Wheel
Distracted driving is what happens when your focus is on something other than the task of driving. It is becoming more and more common, and the increasing advances in technology play a part. Distracted driving can be one of three types: visual, manual, or cognitive.
- Visual distractions are things that take your eyes off the road. Distractions of this type are reading a text, reading GPS, watching a crash site as you drive by, looking at a passenger while you’re talking with them, or checking out your hair in the rear-view mirror.
- Manual distractions take your hands off the wheel. Actions that fall into this category are sending a text, changing the music in the vehicle, eating, drinking, putting on makeup or doing other personal grooming tasks, or reaching for an item somewhere in the car.
- Cognitive distractions take your mental focus off the task of driving. Some cognitive distractions are worrying about work, thinking about a conversation you had or need to have, road rage, singing with the radio, or even thinking about what’s for dinner.
All distracted driving is dangerous. Even though people think they can drive safely while doing something else at the same time, whenever a driver’s focus is not on the road, they are apt to cause an accident.
How Do Distracted Motorists Cause Pedestrian Accidents?
When a driver takes their focus off the road for any amount of time, terrible things can happen. Whether that driver is in a car or on a motorcycle, an impact with a pedestrian is always serious. How does distracted driving cause pedestrian accidents? Here are some examples.
- A distracted driver may not see the light change at an intersection, and may plow through it, not noticing the pedestrian who has also entered the intersection.
- A distracted driver could be digging around for something inside the car and take their eyes off the road for a second. When they reach for the object, they may swerve into an unsuspecting pedestrian walking alongside the road or on the sidewalk.
- A driver spills hot coffee on themselves, jerking at the wheel in reaction and veering into a pedestrian.
- A distracted driver may be reviewing an argument at work and fail to realize that they are accelerating. They may not see that they are approaching a crosswalk and smash into the pedestrians who have the walk light.
- A driver who is texting may not realize they’ve driven into a construction zone and that the lanes have changed. They could crash into a construction worker or other pedestrian nearby.
- A driver who is singing along to the radio may be speeding, and may not realize they’ve passed their intended turn. They jerk the wheel suddenly to make the turn and collide with pedestrians who are lawfully crossing the street.
These are just a few examples of possible ways distracted driving can result in injuries to pedestrians. There are many others.
Common Injuries Suffered in Pedestrian-Vehicle Collisions
When a vehicle runs into or even clips a pedestrian, major injuries can occur. Some of these are:
- Lacerations that require stitches or surgery, and that may result in lifelong scars
- Broken bones may require casting that restricts the victim’s movements and abilities for weeks or months
- Internal injuries can lead to dangerous and sometimes deadly organ damage and internal bleeding
- Facial or dental trauma may result in jaw pain, eye injuries, the loss of teeth, and permanent scarring
- Back injuries can cause lifelong pain and immobility
- Neck injuries may cause pain and discomfort for years
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can mean memory loss and loss of other functions, and can cause severe impairment for a person’s lifetime
- Paralysis can result in a victim being confined to a wheelchair for life
- Death is often the horrific result when a distracted driver’s vehicle hits a pedestrian
Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident
When a distracted driver’s car strikes a pedestrian, there is always a price to pay. A victim who suffers an injury because of someone else’s reckless and negligent behavior may be eligible to receive compensation for their costs, financial losses, and more, including:
- Medical expenses
- Transportation to and from medical providers
- Lost wages, present and future
- Loss of earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Contact an Austin Pedestrian Accident Attorney
At Loewy Law Firm, we will treat you with compassion and respect. We understand the trauma you have suffered in a pedestrian accident. We can help you to navigate through the process of documenting your losses, creating the strongest case possible, and pursuing appropriate compensation for your injuries and losses.
Contract an Austin pedestrian accident attorney from Loewy Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation. Call us at (512) 280-0800. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and explain the possibilities for your case.