Motor vehicles have been on the roads for more than a century now, and despite our extensive history with them, pedestrians are still hurt or die from being struck by cars with alarming frequency. These injuries can be devastating, even fatal, and leave families grieving and financially troubled.
It’s important in cases like these to hold drivers responsible for their wrongful actions. Whether they were impaired or not, no matter who they are and how long they’ve been driving, it’s up to drivers to make sure they don’t injure pedestrians in their path.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Cheyenne, you need to speak with a lawyer immediately.
The Olson Law Firm, LLC is here to aggressively defend your rights and help you pursue your rightful compensation after an accident. To get started, call our Cheyenne office today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents and Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
While the basics of most pedestrian accident cases are similar, the particulars can vary widely. In many cases the injuries to the victim will be severe and the injuries are the fault of the driver, not the pedestrian.
One of the most common pedestrian accident cases involves a moving car that strikes a pedestrian as they’re in a crosswalk, on the sidewalk, in the street, etc. This is what most people think of when they hear “pedestrian accident.”
Here are some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents:
- Driver intoxication – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs presents just as much of a danger to pedestrians as it does to other drivers, perhaps even more so. Driving under the influence slows driver reaction times and makes it harder for them to identify and respond to hazards, making it much more likely that a driver will strike a pedestrian when they might otherwise have seen them and responded appropriately.
- Distracted driving – Despite law enforcement campaigns and new laws banning texting while driving, distracted drivers continue to wreak havoc on the roads. Looking at your phone for 5 seconds to read a text is enough time for a car traveling at 55 mph to cross the length of an entire football field. That’s plenty of time for an unaware driver to strike a pedestrian.
- Reckless driving – Running a red light, blowing through a stop sign, turning without signaling, and other forms of reckless driving can all put pedestrians at risk. The rules of the road are there for a reason, and failing to follow them can easily lead to pedestrians ending up in the hospital, or worse.
- Speeding – Even for drivers who are otherwise fastidious about following the rules, speed kills. The faster a car is moving at the time of impact, the greater the force on the victim, increasing the severity of their injuries.
- Bad weather – Weather conditions can change quickly, especially in mountainous states like Wyoming, but it’s still up to drivers to prepare for adverse conditions and act accordingly. Failing to do so makes it much more likely that a car will slide on a slippery surface or while making a turn, putting both the drivers and any pedestrians in their path at risk.
- Failing to obey traffic lights, stop signs, etc. – When a driver fails to obey the rules of the road, pedestrians are put in great risk of serious injuries.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries in Cheyenne
Injuries from pedestrian accidents run the gamut from bruises and broken bones to brain and spinal cord injuries.
Here are some of the most common kinds of injuries that occur in pedestrian accidents:
- Head trauma – Even if a pedestrian isn’t struck directly in the head by a vehicle, the force of the impact can send them flying and lead to a brain injury. These injuries can lead to bleeding on the brain, a decrease in cognitive function, lessened physical capabilities, and more.
- Neck and spinal cord injuries – These injuries can have serious consequences, including partial or complete paralysis. Victims often require a lifetime of care and assistance.
- Internal injuries – Internal bleeding, organ damage, and other internal injuries are all likely in a pedestrian accident.
- Pelvic injuries – The design of most car hoods make pelvic injuries especially likely in pedestrian accidents. These kinds of fractures are devastating and can take a long time to recover from.
- cand lacerations – Broken bones and cuts of all types are likely in a pedestrian accident.
- Wrongful death – In some cases, people die from injuries suffered in pedestrian accidents. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there were about 6,000 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in a single recent year, amounting to about one death every 88 minutes or so.
Compensation for Victims of Pedestrian Accidents
You are potentially eligible for multiple kinds of damages if you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident. These damages can be broken down into two broad categories: Economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include your losses for things with a specific, defined dollar value. This includes medical bills, lost wages, lost ability to earn in the future, and funeral or burial expenses in the case of wrongful death.
Non-economic damages are for things that are less objective but just as real. Your physical pain and suffering, any mental or emotional pain you’ve suffered, the loss of companionship if your spouse or another family member was lost in the accident, are all examples.
There’s a limited timeframe for you to file a claim over a pedestrian accident in Cheyenne. While Wyoming allows you to file a claim up to four years from the date of injury, that’s less time than it sounds like. These cases take time to research and file, so it’s important to get started early if you’re considering filing a claim.
In the event that the accident led to a wrongful death, the statute of limitations is only two years, leaving you even less time to work with.
Wyoming Pedestrian Laws
All drivers are required to yield to pedestrians when the pedestrian is in a crosswalk. Failing to follow this law may leave drivers liable for an accident.
Wyoming follows what’s known as a “comparative negligence” model when it comes to pedestrian accidents. This means that, depending on the facts of the case, a judge or jury may rule that while the driver was mostly responsible for an accident and is therefore liable for damages, but the pedestrian may also have been partially to blame. If this is the case, the victim will be awarded a percentage of the damages based on how much the other party is determined to be at fault for what happened.
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
The first step after any accident is to seek proper medical care and make sure you follow your doctor’s orders precisely. You’ll want to keep as many records as possible to help substantiate your case as well as determine who much you may be owed when it comes time to negotiate a settlement.
You may want to obtain a police report about the accident, if possible, to help bolster your case. Next, you’ll want to speak with a pedestrian accident attorney to evaluate your legal options.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Cheyenne Today
The Olson Law Firm, LLC is here for you if you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident in Cheyenne. Let our Cheyenne personal injury law firm handle the stress while you focus on recovering. We’ll aggressively defend your rights and seek full compensation for your losses.
To learn more, call us or contact us online for for a free case review.