What Are the Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?

April 11, 2024 | By Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers
What Are the Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?

Pedestrian accidents are some of the most dangerous events involving motor vehicles in the United States. When someone is hit by a car in the street or crosswalk, they may suffer severe or fatal injuries. If a car struck you recently, you should get immediate medical attention and speak to a personal injury attorney. You can receive compensation for your injuries to recover and move on with life.

Below are some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents and other relevant information about these serious incidents. If you have questions about an accident or claim, speak to a pedestrian accident attorney in your area.

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Common Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents

A car slamming into a pedestrian is one of the most serious of all motor vehicle accidents. Cars weigh thousands of pounds and can do horrifying damage to the human body. Many pedestrian accidents happen because of driver error or negligence, but the pedestrians themselves may partially cause others. If a driver caused your pedestrian accident, you should speak to a car accident attorney today.

Statistics show that these are the most frequent causes of pedestrian accidents:

Distracting Driving

Distracting Driving

When a driver talks or texts on a phone, pedestrians and other drivers are at risk. Other common distractions behind the wheel are eating and drinking, talking to passengers, and adjusting the radio or GPS. Pedestrian accidents would drop significantly if drivers only focused on driving when behind the wheel.

Drunk Driving

Drivers who drive their cars while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs are a severe risk to everyone, especially unprotected pedestrians. A drunk driver may run a red light or stop sign when the pedestrian has the right of way. Pedestrians should look carefully when crossing, even when they have the right of way.

Driver Aggression

Pedestrians generally have the right of way when crossing the street, especially in a crosswalk. However, impatient drivers may not always wait for pedestrians and try to beat a traffic light. An aggressive driver hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk can result in both criminal charges and civil liability.

Driver Recklessness

Reckless driving is dangerous to everyone, especially pedestrians. If drivers ignore red lights, stop signs, or speeds, they can easily injure another driver or pedestrian. Drivers are required to uphold a duty of care when driving, not to drive dangerously, and to obey the law.

Bad Weather

A road covered in ice, rain, or snow can make it challenging to slow down to let a pedestrian cross. Drivers are obligated to slow down in poor weather conditions. If they don’t and strike a pedestrian, they can be sued in a personal injury lawsuit for damages.

Traffic And Road Construction

Drivers should take extra care when driving in heavy traffic or road construction. Pedestrians may have to walk in unusual places when there is road construction, so they should always keep an eye out in construction zones.

Vehicles Turning Left

A pedestrian may have the right of way in a crosswalk, but they still should watch for oblivious drivers. A common reason for pedestrian accidents is a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk being struck by a car turning left. Drivers may be looking at oncoming traffic and not paying attention to people in the crosswalk.

Who Is At Fault For Pedestrian Accidents? 

In most cases, the driver is at fault for a pedestrian accident. Drivers are required to drive with a duty of care and not injure others, which includes looking out for pedestrians and other drivers. If your attorney proves that the driver violated their duty of care and injured a pedestrian, they or their insurance company should have to pay damages.

If the driver was working when the crash happened, their employer could be required to pay damages, too. This is the legal doctrine of vicarious liability. This means that an employer may be required to pay for the damages caused by an employee in an accident.

Suppose a full-time delivery driver is driving through an intersection, runs a red light, and hits a pedestrian. If he was in the act of delivering pizzas when the crash happened, you can sue their employer as well as the driver due to vicarious liability. Your pedestrian accident attorney will review the matter and determine who can be at fault and liable for the accident.

Identifying all liable parties can ensure you have access to maximum insurance coverage. This is important because the injuries from pedestrian accidents can be particularly severe.

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Pedestrians have little protection against the force of a collision with a vehicle, making them vulnerable to severe injuries. Here are only some of the most common life-changing injuries resulting from pedestrian accidents.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

One of the most serious injuries that pedestrians can suffer is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This occurs when the head is subjected to a significant impact or sudden jolt, causing damage to the brain. TBIs are severe injuries that can have long-term implications for the victim's cognitive and physical abilities. Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial if you experience any symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, confusion, or memory loss after a pedestrian accident.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Another devastating consequence of pedestrian accidents is spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord is responsible for transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. When it sustains damage, it can result in partial or complete paralysis, depending on the location and severity of the injury. Victims of spinal cord injuries may require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and assistance with daily activities. They might have ongoing expenses for the rest of their lives.


Pedestrians in collisions with vehicles can often suffer fractures due to the impact. Fractures can occur in various parts of the body, including the arms, legs, pelvis, or skull. These injuries can be severe, requiring surgery, immobilization with casts or braces, and extensive rehabilitation to regain mobility. If you have experienced a fracture as a result of a pedestrian accident, you might be out of work for some time, or you might never regain full abilities or healing.

Internal Injuries

In pedestrian accidents, the force of impact can cause internal injuries that may not be immediately apparent. Internal injuries can involve damage to organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, or lungs. Internal bleeding, if untreated, can be life-threatening. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, always seek immediate medical attention to rule out any potential internal injuries.

Joint Injuries

Pedestrian accidents often result in joint injuries, such as dislocations or torn ligaments. These injuries can cause chronic pain and may require surgical intervention for repair. Joint injuries often involve soft tissue damage, which can require long-term physical therapy and rehabilitation.

No matter what injuries you suffered, you should get the necessary medical care right away. Then, consult a pedestrian accident attorney who can determine the cause of your accident and who should be responsible. No injury is too minor or severe to pursue a consultation and discuss a possible injury claim.

Wrongful Death from Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can have devastating consequences and, in the worst cases, result in wrongful death. When a pedestrian is fatally injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, the surviving family members may be entitled to receive compensation through a wrongful death claim.

Losing a loved one in a pedestrian accident is an unimaginable tragedy that can leave families struggling emotionally, physically, and financially. While no amount of compensation can ever replace the loss of a loved one, a wrongful death claim can help alleviate financial burdens and provide some form of justice.

In these difficult times, it is necessary to have the guidance and support of an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who understands wrongful death cases and can handle the legal process on your behalf. A skilled lawyer will understand the wrongful death laws in your state, as these laws can vary significantly from state to state.

For example, in some states, family members can file a claim directly. In others, the personal representative of the estate must file a claim, and the proceeds of the case then go to the family members. The damages claimants can seek also vary. An experienced attorney will know and address these procedural issues.

During this challenging period, you should not have to shoulder the burden alone. A compassionate lawyer will be your advocate, fighting for justice for your loved one. They will handle all aspects of the legal process, allowing you and your family to focus on healing and rebuilding your lives.

Potential Compensation For Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Potential Compensation For Pedestrian Accident Injuries

If a car hit you in the street, on the sidewalk, or in a parking lot, you can receive compensation for your injuries in a personal injury lawsuit. You can file an auto accident claim against the liable driver and demand compensation. This compensation aims to make you whole again after the accident and injuries. Some of the compensable damages you can receive are:

  • Medical expenses: You may be entitled to compensation to pay your past and current medical bills. This category can include ER care, ambulance rides, surgeries, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, the cost of medical equipment, and more. You also may be entitled to your estimated future medical expenses until you reach maximum medical improvement.
  • Loss of income: When a car strikes a pedestrian, they are vulnerable and prone to severe injuries. The injuries might take months or years to heal and may be permanent. You should be paid for your lost earnings if you lost time from work because of your injuries. When the pedestrian injury prevents you from working or doing the job you had before, you can receive compensation for future loss of income.
  • Pain and suffering: Pedestrian injuries are usually serious and painful. You can receive compensation for your mental and physical pain and suffering from your injuries and medical treatments. This category may include compensation for your mental and emotional anguish from your severe injuries.
  • Property damage: If you have damaged property from the accident, you can demand funds to pay for replacement or repair.
  • Wrongful death: This compensation is intended to cover a variety of damages, including medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income, and loss of companionship.

Calculating the value of your past and future, economic and non-economic losses from a pedestrian injury is complicated. Getting it wrong can result in inadequate compensation and financial stress for years to come.

Put your claim in the hands of a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer who can accurately determine the value of your claim. They can then fight for full compensation from insurance companies.

Be Aware Of The Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations

Even if the driver hit and caused your pedestrian injuries, you only have a limited time to file your compensation claim. Every state has a personal injury statute of limitations for filing a claim or lawsuit. These time limits can range from one to six years, depending on where the accident happened. This means you have a limited time from the date of injury to file a claim.

That is why you should act quickly after a pedestrian accident and retain a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Waiting puts your rights to compensation at risk.

Speak To An Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today

William V. Steffens, Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
William V. Steffens, Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Being injured in a pedestrian accident is usually painful, stressful, and terrifying. You could have broken bones, back injuries, head trauma, cuts and scrapes, and other severe injuries. If the driver hit you and you had the right of way, you can be eligible for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. However, obtaining the most compensation without an attorney in a pedestrian claim is challenging, at best.

Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney today to find out if your claim qualifies for existence. The legal consultation is free, so call today. You can ask questions and learn about your legal rights and options with no risk or obligation.