Schmitt Mulhern, LLC

Hurt while walking: Thousands injured in pedestrian accidents

Sometimes it is rather nice to get where you need to go by foot. Instead of starting up the car and driving to the destination, many enjoy walking as a way to get places, give the dog some exercise or even just to get outside and get some fresh air. For others, running is also a healthy, and enjoyable, pastime.

Walking or going for a run seems harmless enough -- and it is -- but there are some hidden risks that many are not even aware of, until they are involved in a pedestrian accident.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center provides information on pedestrian accident statistics. According to this center -- which mentions data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- in 2014 a total of 4,884 pedestrians lost their lives in some sort of accident. Another 65,000 were also injured.

So just what is causing these pedestrian fatalities and injuries? And what should someone do after an accident?

In general, there are many different causes of pedestrian accidents. From tripping on an uneven sidewalk, to being hit by a car, the reasons vary. However, there are some trends:

  • The majority of those killed in pedestrian accidents were men.
  • Nighttime may pose a risk, as 26 percent of the fatal accidents happened between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m.
  • In pedestrian accidents involving another motor vehicle, 14 percent of the drivers had been drinking alcohol -- with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher -- at the time of the crash.

While there are some things that pedestrians can do to stay safe, such as be on the lookout for motor vehicles and paying attention to surroundings, there are plenty of times where there is literally nothing a walker or runner can do to avoid an accident. Considering the relative size difference between a human being and a car, truck or SUV, this is particularly troubling, as the injuries can be truly devastating and include not only broken bones and lacerations, but also head trauma, injuries to the spinal cord and damage to internal organs.

Those hurt in accidents must keep in mind that pedestrians have rights, including the right to seek out legal representation after a crash. Even in cases where there is question as to who was at fault, if another person was involved, the advice is to still have the case reviewed by an attorney, who can help determine how to move forward.

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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, Avvo.com and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.

Matt Mulhern

Attorney Matt Mulhern

Mr. Mulhern has over 25 years of legal experience and a 100 percent success rate arguing before the Missouri Court of Appeals. He has a unique knowledge of the inner workings of insurance companies and how they will dispute your injury claim. He practices in both Missouri and Kansas.