Best Phoenix Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Walking is a great way to get around downtown Phoenix. Unfortunately, the city is not the safest place for pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Arizona ranks as the 6th highest in pedestrian fatality (2.99 deaths per 100,000 people) among all the states.
Traditionally, American roadways are not designed with pedestrian safety in mind. As a result, more than 6,516 people were hit and killed while walking along roads in the United States in 2020- 222 of those deaths occurred in Arizona. Sadly, the pedestrian death toll is still rising across the U.S.
Pedestrians are especially vulnerable when struck by a vehicle. A person hit by a car traveling at just 20 mph have a 10% risk of death occurring. Due to the heavy weight of most vehicles, severe injuries can occur even in low-speed impacts.
Arizona law requires drivers to exercise due care to avoid hitting any pedestrians. But some drivers are easily distracted, others are careless, and some are simply reckless.
For over 30 years, our firm has worked tirelessly for clients injured in pedestrian accidents. We have secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients and for families who have lost loved ones due to the wrongful conduct or negligence of another.
In Phoenix, and other parts of the Southwest, one of the most dangerous activities you can try is simply crossing the street! Pedestrian accidents are too common. Frighteningly, most pedestrians are struck by vehicles while lawfully crossing the street at an intersection with a “walk signal” or in a crosswalk. Drivers often fail to acknowledge pedestrians or completely miss them because they are focused on other vehicles. Pedestrian accident lawyers will tell you, “I did not see the pedestrian” is not a valid excuse.
Pedestrians are more vulnerable to injury than people in a car. Thus, Arizona law requires drivers to exercise due care to avoid hitting any pedestrians.
Can I sue if I am Hit By a Car While Crossing the Street?
Under Arizona law, all drivers must stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. If a vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, the driver must permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway. Even if a traffic control signal is not in place or is not in operation, the driver of a vehicle must yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian.
What Happens When I am Crossing the Street and Traffic has Stopped, But Someone Goes Around Traffic and Hits Me?
Arizona law protects pedestrians for drivers who fail to pay attention. The driver of another vehicle approaching from the rear of stopped traffic is not allowed to overtake and pass the stopped vehicles. Like the other cars, the driver must come to a complete stop to let you safely cross the street. If the driver fails to yield the right-of-way and hits you, he is responsible for your injuries and damages.
Do Cars Have to Stop for Pedestrians When There is a Median or Multiple Lanes?
Cars must slow down or stop if need be in order to yield to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling. This also applies if the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. Thus, if there is a median in the middle of the road, a vehicle may proceed if the pedestrian is on the opposite side of the median or has stopped on the median.
A pedestrian is not allowed to suddenly leave any curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop or yield.
How Long Do I Have to Sue After a Pedestrian Accident?
In Arizona, you generally have two years from the date of your pedestrian accident to take legal action to seek compensation. However, your deadline to act drops to 180 days if a state or local entity is responsible for your accident. For example, if you are hit by a police car. There are some exceptions for minors and disabled people. We always recommend hiring an experienced lawyer early because it can take time to investigate your claim, gather evidence, review documents, interview witnesses, and consult with experts, if needed.
What are the Most Common Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident?
Cuts and bruises are to be expected in every pedestrian accident. Head injuries, like concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are also very common. Most pedestrians when hit by a car will either slam their head into the vehicle. Even those whose heads don’t hit the vehicle will still have their head strike the ground. The impact can cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull, potentially leading to bleeding, swelling, and bruising.
What Type of Compensation Can I Seek After Being Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident?
Arizona allows injury victims to pursue both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and out-of-pocket expenses–essentially, anything that can be calculated to a specific dollar amount. Non-economic damages cover aspects of your injuries and damages that do not normally have an assigned dollar amount, like pain, suffering, disfigurement, disability, discomfort, loss of enjoyment of life, interference with familial relationships, and the general nature and extent of your injuries.
What Are The Most Common Places For A Pedestrian Accident?
- Roadsides and shoulder. Pedestrians that get out of their vehicle on the side of the road are in a dangerous position.
- Roadways that lack a crosswalk. Pedestrians may cross a busy roadway because there either aren’t crosswalks nearby or at all.
- Parking lots and Parking garages. Full parking lots can present many dangers to pedestrians as distracted driver’s seek parking spots.
- Sidewalks along busy city streets.
- Intersections with multiple lanes or poor signage.
If the Driver Leaves the Scene, Can I Still Get Compensation?
If you have uninsured motorist insurance on your own vehicle it usually covers injuries wrongful acts of a driver that flees the scene. That is why we highly recommend that all Arizona drivers obtain both uninsured motorist coverage (UM) AND underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). We meet too many people without UM/UIM insurance, who fell victim to a hit and run driver. For those people, there is likely no way to be compensated for their injuries.
Do I Need A Lawyer for a Pedestrian Accident?
Probably. Your case might seem simple right now, but things can get complicated very quickly. Successful personal injury claims depend on appropriate gathering of evidence, dealing with police and witnesses, coordinating with medical providers, and fighting with insurance adjusters. Insurance adjusters will probably challenge whether you caused the accident. Yes, insurance adjusters will blame you for the accident. Insurance adjusters will question the extent of your injuries or whether they were pre-existing. Yes, despite your broken bones and evidence of a head injury, they will claim you were not that injured. They use these tactics to save their insurance company’s money. Therefore, at a bare minimum, talk to a pedestrian accident attorney before talking to the insurance companies.
We Are Experienced Lawyers Getting Results For Arizona Pedestrian Accident Victims
Our lawyers have years of experience representing cyclists injured in accidents. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, contact us as soon as possible. We’ll deal with the insurance companies, help you obtain the medical treatment you need, and fight for the compensation you deserve–including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. We have helped many clients receive fair compensation after being hit by drivers that were distracted, confused, or simply not paying attention.
If you or someone you love was a pedestrian when hit by a moving vehicle, whether in a cross-walk or not, call the experienced pedestrian accident lawyers at Gage Mathers Law Group.