Strategic Delaware Pedestrian Accident and Injury Attorneys
Help for injured pedestrians in Wilmington, New Castle, Seaford, Newark, and throughout the state
Walking is good for you – countless experts recommend walking both for our health and as a way to reduce traffic and pollution. Nothing is without risk, unfortunately, and pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings, especially when walking near motor vehicles. When a pedestrian is struck by a car, serious physical trauma can result, from which it could take months or years to recover.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, in 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents. Additionally, another 137,000 pedestrians sought treatment in emergency rooms for crash-related injuries. Pedestrians are also more likely to die in a car accident than passengers in a vehicle.
If you or a loved one were hurt in a pedestrian accident, the Delaware personal injury attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman can help guide you through the legal process. We can assist you in negotiating with insurance companies for a fair settlement, and are not afraid to go to court on your behalf. Contact us for a free consultation at one of our offices in Newark, New Castle, Wilmington, or Seaford to learn more.
Delaware leads the nation in pedestrian accidents
Delaware has a great reputation for many things; however, pedestrian safety is not one of them. In fact, Delaware’s been named the deadliest state for pedestrians. Specifically, over three-quarters of pedestrian deaths between January 2005 and December 2014 occurred at night on high-speed roadways. Approximately two out of three deaths were in New Castle County, and in 45 percent of cases, either the driver or the pedestrian had been drinking.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) analyzes and reports nationwide pedestrian accident statistics. Some notable numbers about the national rise in fatal pedestrian accidents include:
- During the 10-year period 2008-2017 the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by 35 percent, while the number of all other traffic deaths combined decreased by six percent.
- GHSA projects 6,227 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes 2018, representing a four percent increase from 2017 and the largest annual number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. since 1990.
- Pedestrian deaths as a percent of total motor vehicle crash deaths increased from 12 percent in 2008 to 16 percent in both 2016 and 2017. Pedestrians now account for the largest proportion of traffic fatalities in more than 30 years.
- The number of states with pedestrian fatality rates >2.0 per 100,000 population more than doubled from seven in 2014 to 15 in both 2016 and 2017.
Although any pedestrian can be involved in an accident, the CDC points out that certain groups or certain environments may present a higher risk of being struck by a car:
- Alcohol- or drug-impaired pedestrians
- Older adult or young pedestrians
- Vehicles driving at high speeds
- Urban areas
- Non-intersection locations
- Crossing roadways at night
Car and truck drivers have a duty of care to obey traffic laws and rules of the road, which includes staying alert for pedestrians and bicyclists. If they fail in this duty and drive irresponsibly or recklessly, they can cause car accidents with devastating consequences.
What causes Delaware pedestrian accidents?
Because pedestrians tend to be less visible to drivers, if a driver fails to stay alert and exercise care, their negligence can result in a serious accident. Examples of common driver negligence include:
- Distracted driving. If a driver is talking or texting on their cellphone, eating or touching up their makeup, their brain and eyes are not focusing on driving. They can easily miss a pedestrian stepping out into the street.
- Speeding. Speeding is both against the law, and may also be considered reckless driving. When a car or truck driving over the speed limit strikes a pedestrian, the victim can die from the high force of impact.
- Drunk or drugged driving. Intoxicated drivers have slower reaction times, poor decision-making skills, and tend to drive erratically. They put everyone on the road in danger, especially pedestrians out for a walk.
- Failure to stop or yield. A majority of pedestrian accidents occur at intersections. When drivers don’t pay attention to a stop sign, or fail to yield for pedestrians, tragic accidents can occur.
- Inclement weather. Weather conditions like fog, snow, or heavy rain can make visibility and travel difficult. Drivers must stay alert for pedestrians, as well as maintain a safe speed in order to slow down in time to avoid any accidents.
- Left-hand turns. Pedestrians crossing in a crosswalk have the right of way. Even so, some motorists will attempt to make left-hand turns anyway, or fail to notice the pedestrian at all. Both pedestrians and drivers should make proper use of crosswalks.
- Backing-up accidents. Many of these types of accidents unfortunately happen right at home when backing out of the driveway and failing to see a person or child behind the car. Backing-up accidents also occur in parking lots, where shoppers backing out of their spaces hit pedestrians behind them.
The National Safety Council also points toward pedestrians themselves as a cause for some pedestrian accidents. With the vast majority of the population carrying cellphones, the Council warns of the risks of distracted walking: “Stop using phones while walking, and not just in crosswalks and intersections. Over half of distracted walking injuries occur in our own homes, proving that we need to stay aware of our surroundings whether indoors and out.”
What is my pedestrian accident case worth?
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident that wasn’t your fault, you are likely eligible for financial compensation for your losses. You can make a claim against the responsible party for damages, including:
- Medical expenses; past, current, and future
- Lost income and future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Other losses related to the crash
Our Delaware accident attorneys work to ensure victims secure the compensation they’re owed for their injuries and losses. We determine the full extent of your damages and hold the right people accountable.
Delaware pedestrian accident lawyers fighting for you
Injuries from a pedestrian accident can be devastating and life-altering. At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman have the experience and the insight to help secure compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Delaware bike accident lawyer in one of our offices in Wilmington, Seaford, Newark, or New Castle, you may call 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form now.