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Facts About Pedestrian Accidents in Colorado

Colorado is a beautiful state filled with natural scenery and interesting places to visit and enjoy. As with many cities that are big tourist attractions, there are usually many pedestrians in Colorado that are walking and biking around in different towns. Unfortunately, when there are many pedestrians in one area, the likelihood of an accident is much greater. Walking on a sidewalk or on a marked crosswalk should ensure that you are safe, but Colorado has witnessed multiple pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles and pedestrians. These pedestrian accidents have resulted in catastrophic injuries because vehicles involved in these incidents are often speeding or driving recklessly. Here are some statistics related to pedestrian accidents in Colorado.

What Are the Facts?

In order to understand pedestrian accident statistics in Colorado, it’s important to see how these facts compare to the rest of the country. According to the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were about 70,000 pedestrians that were injured and around 5,300 pedestrian fatalities in traffic accidents in 2015. Compared to numbers in 2012 (there were about 3,700 fatalities), this number has increased nationally. In the state of Colorado, 76 pedestrians were killed out of the overall 471 people killed in all motor vehicle accidents in 2012. This equals to about 16 percent of all traffic deaths and a rate of 1.47 pedestrians killed for every 100,000 people.

So, what do these statistics mean for the state of Colorado? These numbers are actually pretty average compared to the national rates, so Colorado is not more or less dangerous for pedestrians. As a mode of travel, there is always some risk of walking. However, walking still remains one of the healthiest and inherently safe modes of transportation and physical activity, especially in a city or busy town.

If you have been injured as a pedestrian in Colorado, our Denver personal injury attorneys are here to help you recover. Consult with us today to learn more on how we can represent you and help you get compensation for your injuries.

What Damages Can Be Paid in a Pedestrian-Car Accident Case?

In most car accidents, focus will be on placing fault on the negligent party, or the careless party responsible for causing the accident. Some car accidents result in injury, with the injured party usually seeking compensation for his or her injures. However, what damages can actually be covered in an accident claim?

Medical Expenses

When a driver hits a pedestrian and as a result injures the pedestrian, it’s expected that the driver is responsible for paying for the pedestrian’s injuries. Sometimes it is possible, however, for complications to arise regarding what actual injuries should be covered. For example, say an elderly person crossing a sidewalk gets hits by a driver, the impact minimal enough to merely knock the elder over. If the elderly person suffered minimal injury and was of average health, he or she could have possible walked away from the accident unscathed. However, if the elder has a heart attack as a result of shock from the accident, would the drive be liable as well for this heart attack? In most cases, the answer would be yes, because the distracted driver’s negligence results in the accident, the fall, and the heart attack. The driver would be liable for all the elder’s injuries caused by the accident.

Lost Wages

As a result of getting hit in an accident, a pedestrian could miss out on days of work and essential wages for their living expenses. If liability is placed on the driver regarding the accident, the driver can be found responsible for paying for the pedestrian’s lost wages. The cost could be high or low dependent on the patient’s recovery time. For example, say a woman in an accident sustains a concussion. She may be out of work a week, and that week of missed wages will have to be paid for by the driver. However, if this same pedestrian sustains an even more serious injury, like a broken back, her months of recovery out of work could cost the driver a pretty penny in lost wages.

Pain and Suffering

One of the more controversial types of damage, it’s hard to place a price on pain and suffering. There isn’t a certainty of how much money covers months of misery or years of suffering through injuries. The driver, if found liable for causing pain and suffering because they struck a pedestrian, can still be found responsible and pay damages. It will be up to the court to decide whether to award and how much to award for pain and suffering damages. Calculations will be dependent on the severity of the injuries sustained in the crash.

If you’ve been struck by a negligent driver and are seeking compensation, contact an injury attorney as soon as possible. The experienced accident lawyers at Lampert and Walsh, LLC are prepared to get you the justice you deserve for your pain and suffering.

Intoxicated Pedestrian Fatally Struck By Driver: Who Is Liable?

A 42 year old driver fatally struck a pedestrian in Denver, Colorado in mid-December last year. In this particular case, however, the driver may not be charged with anything due to officers’ suspicions that the pedestrian was intoxicated when he crossed the road. According to the report, officers investigated witness testimonies, tested the driver’s blood alcohol level, and even looked into the exact location that the pedestrian crossed the street.

The officers found that the driver was not intoxicated during the crash. Further, it seemed that the pedestrian who was fatally struck had crossed the same road twice and chose to avoid using a crosswalk in both instances. Also, the area in which the accident occurred had no lighting, reducing the visibility for the driver and increasing the chances of an accident. Police, after studying the evidence, suspect that the pedestrian was intoxicated during the crash and did not find the driver liable for the fatal accident. As of yet, the driver has not been charged.

Are You Liable if You Hit an Intoxicated Pedestrian?

It all depends on the circumstances regarding the accident. Drivers are held to high expectations of safety and care when driving a vehicle. They are expected to keep strict control of their vehicle, be alert at all times to traffic and pedestrians, and must be able to respond accordingly to any changes on the road. For example, if a driver is driving at a lower speed limit but sees a child start crossing the road, the driver is expected to slow down and is responsible for changing their driving behavior to ensure the safety of the child. Should the child be hit even after the driver noted their presence but made no attempt to slow down, the driver may be liable for that child’s injury or death.

In the case of the drunk pedestrian, police studied the driver’s reaction time before and after the crash. It was noted that the driver had their headlights on, was not intoxicated, and drove as carefully as he could in a dark environment. It was further noted that the pedestrian may have been intoxicated and chose to cross the road in an unsafe manner rather than use a crosswalk to safely cross. In addition to a poorly lit street, police found that the driver could not have anticipated nor avoided the collision between the vehicle and the pedestrian. In cases where the driver was being careful but could not avoid the accident due to a pedestrian’s unsafe actions, drivers are not usually found liable.

Unsure if you’re liable for a pedestrian’s injury? Contact our law firm today. We have years of experience handling these delicate matters and will help in determining the next best step for your case.