Serving Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast
Taking a walk down the street or through a park is a leisurely activity that most of us enjoy. However, being a pedestrian can sometimes be dangerous. When you are out walking among motor vehicles, you are largely at their mercy, and counting on them to follow all the safety rules and best practices to avoid a collision. Pedestrians also need to be paying attention to where they are going, so they do not cause a vehicle to strike them. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a pedestrian accident and it was the fault of another party, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
At Reeves and Mestayer, PLLC, we have several years of experience successfully representing clients injured in pedestrian accidents and other types of traffic-related accidents in Mississippi. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of personal injury law, and we are strong advocates for those who have suffered injury through no fault of their own. We understand that when someone is injured in an accident, it takes an enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and our goal is to make the legal process smooth and seamless.
We work hard to recover full and fair compensation on behalf of each client we serve. We handle all the complicated legal tasks, so you can focus your energy where it belongs; on your recovery. We are skilled litigators and strong negotiators. When possible, we seek to negotiate a reasonable settlement without having to go to trial. If the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith, however, we are ready and able to aggressively pursue full damages through litigation.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Each year, thousands of pedestrians are killed and tens of thousands are severely injured in traffic related crashes. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a pedestrian is killed in a traffic-related incident every 1 ½ to 2 hours (on average) in the United States. There are also more than 100,000 pedestrians who are treated in emergency rooms each year for non-fatal traffic crashes.
Young children and the elderly are the groups most susceptible to being injured or killed in pedestrian accidents. And since the pedestrian has far less protection than occupants of motor vehicles, they are usually the ones who sustain the most severe injuries.
Some of the injuries that often result from a pedestrian accident include:
- Head and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Permanent scarring
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractures/broken bones
- Amputations/loss of limbs
- Internal injuries
- Wrongful death
There are several reasons that pedestrian accidents occur. Sometimes, they are the fault of motorists who collide with the person walking. Other times, the pedestrian may share some or all of the blame. Outside factors such as inclement weather and poor road conditions can also play a role at times.
Here are some of the most common ways that motorists may cause a pedestrian accident:
- Aggressive or reckless driving: Some drivers are either in too much of a hurry to get where they are going, or they are just in a state of mind where they have wanton and willful disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of others. Aggressive and reckless driving behaviors that may cause pedestrian accidents include speeding, running stop lights and stop signs, making sharp turns, weaving in and out of lanes, and tailgating other vehicles.
- Driving while drowsy or fatigued: Some motorists are out on the road too long or driving without enough sleep. This is particularly common with commercial truck drivers and others who drive for a living. Drowsy and fatigued drivers are often less attentive than they should be to what is happening on the road, making them unable to react in time to avoid a collision with a pedestrian.
- Driving while intoxicated: Some motorists make the horrible and often fateful decision to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink or consuming illegal drugs. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs alters the driver’s state of mind. Some chemically-impaired drivers get tired and even fall asleep at the wheel, while others drive carelessly or recklessly. Either way, they pose a great danger to pedestrians.
- Distracted driving: These days, motorists seem to have a hard time staying off of their cell phones while they are driving. Texting while driving and similar activities are especially dangerous, because they take the driver’s entire focus off of the road. When they are sending a text, it is often difficult to notice a pedestrian until it is too late.
Here are some ways that a pedestrian might contribute to a traffic-related accident:
- Crossing improperly: One of the most common ways a pedestrian may contribute to an accident is by attempting to cross the road when they do not have the right to. This might mean crossing when the light is red or crossing illegally at locations where there is not a designated crosswalk.
- Inattentiveness/distractions: Motorists are not the only ones who are more distracted these days. Pedestrians also tend to spend too much time looking at their smart phones, sending texts, taking selfies, etc. Pedestrians who are distracted sometimes bump into other pedestrians, bicyclists, and even motor vehicles.
- Chemical impairment: Like drivers, pedestrians who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs often make poor decisions such as not watching where they are walking or crossing the street when it is not their turn.
As far as what pedestrians can do to stay safe:
- Walk on the sidewalk if one is available. Walk facing traffic.
- Keep your eyes on the road and off of your electronic device.
- Cross the street at an intersection or crosswalk. If there is not one available, choose a well-lit area where traffic can see you and you can see traffic.
- Never assume that a driver sees you so wear the brightest clothing you can and even reflective materials. At night use a flashlight.
- Watch for cars that may enter a roadway from a side street or parking lot.
- When walking, avoid alcohol or drugs and keep the volume down on your headphones.
Driver Safety Tips
As a driver it is incumbent on you to watch out for pedestrians at all times.
When entering a crosswalk, slow down and be prepared to stop. If there are pedestrians in the crosswalk in Mississippi, they have the right-of-way and vehicles must stop or yield to the person on foot. Be sure you stop and give them plenty of room.
Speak with an Experienced Mississippi Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you or someone close to you was injured in a pedestrian accident and it was someone else’s fault, you may have the right to compensation. This may include both economic damages such as medical expenses and lost wages and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life.
At Reeves & Mestayer, we have a successful track record with these types of cases, and we work closely with our clients to help ensure that they are fully compensated for their injuries. For a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, call our office today at 228-374-5151 or toll free 1-855-558-2977 or contact us online.
We take all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay attorney fees if we recover compensation on your behalf