When Pamela Hesselbacher went out walking with her two children, ages 3 and 1, in November of 2016, she had no idea what would happen to her that day. As Hesselbacher and her children used a crosswalk at College Avenue and Ray Road in nearby Tempe, they were struck by William Epperlein.
Epperlein, who had run a red light, was driving with a suspended license at the time of the crash. Pamela Hesselbacher died from her injuries that day. Her death sparked the passage of Pam’s Law, which stiffens the penalties for those who cause major injuries or fatalities while driving on a suspended license. Epperlein will not face those harsher penalties. In January, he pleaded guilty three counts of causing serious physical injury or death with a moving vehicle.
At Lorona Mead, we know that drivers in and around the city face risks each day from negligent drivers. If you need a Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney, call us today.
What Are The Dangers
Many of the dangers that pedestrians face when they are in and around the roadway are the same ones that passengers in vehicles face in a crash. In the case above, Epperlein could just as easily have struck another vehicle when he ran the red light. However, there is a major difference between vehicle crashes and pedestrian crashes – pedestrians have no protection.
When a person is struck by a vehicle, they are likely to suffer from severe injuries or fatalities regardless of the speed the vehicle was traveling. It is not uncommon for us to see victims of pedestrian crashes with the following injuries:
- Damage to the spinal cord
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Internal organ damage/internal bleeding
- Severe lacerations or amputations
All of these injuries require immediate and extensive medical care. In many cases, a pedestrian crash victim needs extended rehabilitation in order to make a full recovery. This can become very expensive, especially if insurance companies do not cover all of the expenses.
For the latest reporting year in Arizona, there were:
- 226 pedestrian crash fatalities
- 1,510 pedestrian crash injuries
Please know that vehicle versus pedestrian crashes are not the only way people get hurt. Other causes of pedestrian injuries can be due to electric scooter incidents, bicycle versus pedestrian crashes, falling objects, and more.
What We Can Do
The aftermath of a pedestrian crash with injuries can be a confusing time, especially if another person was at fault. At Lorona Mead, we want to help you get through this process. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will work with insurance companies and other parties involved so you can focus on healing and being with your family. We will work tirelessly to secure the following compensation:
- Coverage for your medical expenses
- Lost wages if you cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages