The Tragedy of Michigan Pedestrian Accidents
According to the CDC, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States in 2016, averaging one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.5 hours. Another 129,000 pedestrians were treated in ERs for non-fatal auto accident injuries. For every trip a pedestrian takes, he or she is 1.5 times more likely to be killed than those who take a trip in an automobile. Older adults are significantly over-represented in pedestrian fatalities, accounting for 20 percent of all 2016 pedestrian deaths.
Children are also more likely to be victims of a pedestrian accident; one in five children under the age of 15 who were killed in a traffic crash were pedestrians. The research done by the CDC found that most pedestrian deaths occur at night, in non-intersection locations, and in urban areas. To the careless drivers who zip around the roadways with little thought to this vulnerable population, pedestrians are generally nameless, faceless people. For many others, they are beloved family members and cherished friends.
The Triple A Foundation for Traffic Safety found that when a car is traveling 23 mph, a pedestrian faces a significant risk of severe injury; that risk rises by 75 percent when the car is traveling only 16 miles faster, at 39 mph. Michigan Traffic Crash Facts for 2017 found that 2,411 pedestrians were involved in traffic accidents, with 158 pedestrian fatalities. Collecting compensation under Michigan law following a pedestrian accident can be complex, involving many negotiations with insurance companies.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident due to negligence or carelessness on the part of the driver, The Lobb Law Firm will work hard to prove negligent operation of the vehicle. Our highly experienced Southfield injury lawyers will confirm the driver failed to exercise reasonable levels of care and caution while driving. If the pedestrian accident caused the death of a loved one, a knowledgeable, compassionate wrongful death lawyer from The Lobb Law Firm will help you through this difficult time.
When is a Michigan Driver Considered Negligent Following a Pedestrian Accident?
Drivers are required to be extra cautious when pedestrians are present—or likely to be present. All drivers have a duty of care—that is, a responsibility to drive in a reasonable, safe manner, properly obeying all traffic rules and laws. Drivers are held to a standard of what a normal, careful, prudent person would do, given the same set of circumstances.
As an example, suppose you are driving in a 35-mph zone. You see a group of children walking up ahead. A normal, careful, prudent driver would slow down to below the speed limit in the same situation. Therefore, should an accident occur, even though the driver might not have been exceeding the speed limit, the driver could still be found at fault.
Not only can a driver be found negligent in the above situation, the driver can also be found negligent if he or she:
- Is driving while distracted;
- Fails to yield to pedestrians;
- Is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Disobeys a traffic sign or light;
- Fails to signal;
- Is driving recklessly, or
- Is driving too fast for weather or heavy traffic conditions.
When you have been hit by a negligent or careless driver, you are facing a difficult situation, and should not have to deal with insurance companies or juries on your own. Since you were likely seriously injured, and therefore still in pain from your injuries, it becomes even more difficult.
The compassionate attorneys at The Lobb Law Firm are here to help. We will discuss your existing medical expenses, your future treatment and/or therapy costs, and determine how long your injuries are likely to cause you difficulties.
Our experienced Southfield injury lawyers will help you determine whether your earning abilities have been affected, and, if so, how long it will reasonably be before you can return to work. The Lobb Law Firm will make a commitment to you that we will convince the driver’s insurance company to compensate you for all allowable costs.
Common Driver Errors and Driver Misconduct Contributing to Pedestrian Accidents
Although the pedestrian may be at fault in some cases, it is much more likely that the driver of the vehicle is at fault. Some of the most common errors and misconduct on the part of drivers which contribute to pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted drivers who text, talk on the phone, turn around to check on the children, eat, change radio stations, fiddle with their GPS device or watch something happening on the side of the road are often responsible for pedestrian accidents.
- Drivers who pass stopped school buses can be responsible for hitting a child.
- Drivers who ignore crosswalks, failing to slow down and exercise caution can create a significant risk of a pedestrian accident.
- Drivers who are driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can hit a pedestrian, causing significant harm.
- Drivers who refuse to yield to a pedestrian—even when the driver has the right-of-way—can be responsible for a serious or fatal accident.
- Drivers who exceed the speed limit can be responsible for a tragic pedestrian accident.
Statutes of Limitations for a Michigan Pedestrian Accident
If you are a pedestrian who has been struck by a car—or if you are the loved one of an individual who was killed in a pedestrian accident—it is important that you are aware of the statutes of limitations. Each state sets a specific length of time for an injured person (plaintiff) to bring a personal injury claim. Not only do these time limits vary from state to state, they vary depending on the type of harm suffered, or the type of case you want to file.
In the state of Michigan, the statute of limitations is three years following the death or the date of the injury to take action to recover damages. While you may have three years, it is never a good idea to wait. Memories fade, and witnesses move. For the best chance of success in your pedestrian personal injury claim, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you are able, then let your trusted Southfield injury lawyers file your claim in a timely manner. Should you wait, then attempt to file your claim after the three-year time limit has passed, it is almost certain that the defendant’s attorney will file a motion to dismiss. If the case is dismissed, you will receive no compensation, even if the accident was 100 percent the fault of the driver.
How a Personal Injury Attorney from The Lobb Law Firm Can Protect Your Future
At The Lobb Law Firm, you will speak to a top injury lawyer in Southfield who will provide a free case consultation with no further obligation. We will comprehensively evaluate the facts of your Michigan pedestrian accident, clearly laying out your options, and answering any questions you may have. As a pedestrian struck by a negligent or reckless driver, you need immediate, skilled legal assistance.
At The Lobb Law Firm, you will have an attorney who is compassionate regarding your injuries and current situation, but who will also fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve. We will assess the scene of the accident, interview witnesses to the accident, and, when appropriate, bring in experts. We will ensure the Michigan statutes of limitations are properly met and you will never be required to pay up-front for our services. If you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.
We understand that money cannot change many things about your pedestrian accident, but financial compensation can, however, ensure you get the best medical care and pay for your lost wages. Financial compensation will have a positive impact on your future, promoting your overall recovery, and increasing your chances of moving forward following a pedestrian accident.
As we help you overcome the struggles associated with your Michigan pedestrian accident, you will quickly come to trust The Lobb Law Firm. Our commitment to you is to always do what is best for you, your family, and your future. We handle many cases out of Detroit, Southfield, Sterling Heights, and Dearborn Heights, however if you or a loved one are anywhere in Wayne County, Macomb County, or Oakland County, and have suffered a pedestrian accident resulting in a personal injury or a wrongful death, contact The Lobb Law Firm today for a free consultation.