Although cars and motorcycles are quite popular in Arizona, residents of Phoenix love to get around on foot. Many of those who live and work in Phoenix prefer walking to driving. And while this is a much healthier alternative to driving or requesting an Uber ride, pedestrian accidents do happen.
That is not to say, however, that car accidents in Phoenix are non-existent. But pedestrian accidents tend to be much more dangerous, as the pedestrian’s body is exposed to an impact, and therefore, the pedestrian is more likely to sustain severe injuries or even die at the scene of the accident.
Today, we invited our Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney from Lorona Mead, one of the leading personal injury law firms in Arizona, to outline some of the most common legal challenges in recovering damages after a pedestrian accident in Phoenix. But before we do, let’s explore how common this type of accidents is in Phoenix.
Statistics of pedestrian accidents in Arizona
Each year, more than 1,500 pedestrians in Phoenix and all across Arizona are hit by a car. In more than 86 percent of these pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian sustains injuries (1,300 injured pedestrians per year), and more than 100 pedestrians die either at the scene of the accident, in the ambulance, or in the hospital due to life-threatening injuries.
In more than half of all pedestrian accidents in Phoenix and elsewhere in Arizona, a car hits a pedestrian when the latter is crossing the road. Our experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Phoenix explains that this type of accident is the most dangerous since the vehicle is more likely to be traveling at high speed due to distracted driving, running red lights, drunk driving, or other traffic violations.
How to recover compensation after a Phoenix pedestrian accident?
In order to determine who was to blame for a pedestrian accident, a number of factors must be examined by a skilled lawyer. First of all, who had the right of way in that particular situation. Second of all, whether any of the parties (the pedestrian or car driver) violated any traffic rules (crossing the street against a red light, distracted walking vs. distracted driving, running a red light, failure to yield the right of way, etc.).
When a pedestrian is crossing the street where there is no electronic traffic signal, he or she must look both ways to check if it is safe to cross. This can occur at or near crosswalks or intersections. Unfortunately, when crossing the street, many pedestrians get distracted due to the use of phones, headphones, and other electronic devices.
The number one element you, as an injured pedestrian, will have to establish when recovering compensation for your injuries in a pedestrian accident is proving that you were not distracted at the time of the collision. But this is not the biggest legal challenge you may encounter when suing the at-fault car driver.
How your damages could be reduced when suing the driver
Our Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney from Lorona Mead explains that many injured pedestrians fail to recover the compensation they deserve simply because the at-fault driver successfully argues that the pedestrian was partially to blame for the accident.
“How is this even possible?” you may wonder. Well, Arizona is a comparative negligence state, which means multiple parties may be at fault for accidents involving personal injury. This requires the jury to apportion the percentage of responsibility to determine the plaintiff’s total compensation. If you are deemed partially at fault for causing a pedestrian accident (for example, you were distracted when crossing the street even though the car driver violated traffic rules by failing to slow down at the crosswalk), your compensation will be reduced by the percentage you were negligent.
When the at-fault party and his/her attorney argues that you were partially at fault for the pedestrian accident, you are entering a dangerous territory. If you are not represented by one of the best pedestrian accident lawyers in Arizona, is it likely that your compensation would be unfairly reduced or you would be left without any compensation whatsoever.