When a vehicle hits a person on foot, the injuries are usually serious, and sometimes life threatening.
About 5,000 pedestrians die every year, and many more are injured.
But most pedestrian “accidents” are not accidents at all.
They are collisions caused by dangerous drivers, who:
- Ignore crosswalks;
- Disregarding other cars stopped for a pedestrian;
- Disobey traffic signs;
- Fail to pay proper attention;
- Drive distracted; or
- Are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The key to helping pedestrian crash victims: an immediate, detailed investigation.
When a car hits a person, the claim may seem straightforward: pedestrians have the right-of-way.
However, insurance companies often claim that the pedestrian caused the collision.
They may claim that the pedestrian was outside a crosswalk, crossing against the traffic light, not paying attention, or was wearing dark clothing at night.
That is why it is vitally important to investigate the crash while:
- The crash scene is preserved;
- Evidence is available; and
- Witness memories are fresh.
Sometimes, a driver who hits a pedestrian is not the only party at fault.
Cities and counties are responsible for designing and maintaining safe, accessible pedestrian routes. Pedestrians’ injuries and fatalities are sometimes the result of:
- Unsafe roads;
- Defective lighting;
- Badly designed crosswalks; or
- Mistimed traffic signals.
An experienced attorney can investigate these issues, hire experts and take the proper legal steps for resolving your claim—and fixing the problem.
If you have questions about pursuing a claim for a pedestrian crash, talk to Coluccio Law.
Kevin Coluccio has represented people hit by cars in a wide variety of situations. He has worked to hold not only drivers, but also cities and counties responsible for their failures in design and maintenance of safe streets.
Featured Pedestrian Injury Case
“Doe” v. City of Lynnwood
“Ms. Doe” was 67 years old, living in senior housing in Lynnwood, Washington, when she was struck in the crosswalk outside her apartment building.
When that housing complex was built, the city was required to install and maintain a lighted crosswalk system. Pedestrians pushed a button; it activated lights to warn drivers that a person was crossing the street.
One September evening, Ms. Doe and a friend were walking home. She pushed the button for the crosswalk warning. No lights came on: the crossing signal didn’t work. The ladies looked both ways, and saw no cars coming.
As they were halfway across the street, a car pulled out of a nearby parking lot. The driver did not see Ms. Doe and her friend.
Ms. Doe was hit, and seriously injured. She spent 3 months in the ICU at Harborview Medical Center.
Ms. Doe and her family contacted attorney Kevin Coluccio. He immediately began an investigation into the crash. His investigation team found a witness who said the warning light system had been broken for months—and that the city of Lynnwood knew about it.
The witness had actually spoken with a city worker about fixing the broken crosswalk warning.
After a lawsuit was filed, the city admitted the problem and fixed the crosswalk simply by replacing a broken part.
Ms. Doe spent months in a rehabilitation center. She recovered from many of her injuries, but suffers some permanent disabilities and limitations.