Big cities have never been the safest place for pedestrians. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4,000 pedestrians die every year, and almost 70,000 are injured. A pedestrian is hit and injured every seven minutes, and even if the accident is not fatal, it could cause life-changing injuries. Depending on how the pedestrian is hit, the injuries often involve the legs, arms, and head. They are at a greater risk at night, when it's dark, or in cities with more foot traffic.
Pedestrians should be able to cross the road without the fear of being hit by a driver. Pedestrian accident injuries can be very severe, from broken bones to internal injuries or spinal cord damage. Being educated on what to do if involved in a pedestrian accident could change your life. So, if you or your loved ones have been injured in an accident, seek legal representation immediately. Whatever type of pedestrian accident you are dealing with, you deserve compensation for your injuries.
As in most cases, if injured in an accident, it is recommended to hire a personal injury lawyer so they can represent you and fight for your rights. At All Law, PLLC, you can rest assured that you have a dedicated legal advocate on your side, standing up for your rights at every turn.
The Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The causes of pedestrian accidents vary from case to case. Here are some of the most common causes for such accidents.
Distracted drivers - In these cases, the drivers do not pay attention to the road or what's happening around them while driving. They can be eating, operating a GPS device, changing the music on the radio, or putting on makeup. By doing so, they lose focus and could hit someone crossing the roadway.
Texting drivers - Most states have outlawed texting while driving, but that doesn't necessarily stop drivers from doing so. The number of accidents caused by texting drivers has significantly increased, with many pedestrians sustaining severe injuries.
Speeding drivers - Many pedestrians are hit by drivers who are going too fast and don't have time to slow down for crosswalks. Other drivers might veer off the road due to the high speed of their vehicles.
Drunk drivers - People who drink and drive always put themselves and other people in danger and might hurt pedestrians, causing severe injuries. If someone drives while intoxicated, they will have much slower reaction times and are less likely to see pedestrians.
Other common causes of pedestrian accidents are running red lights while pedestrians are crossing the road, disobeying traffic lights, making turns at intersections without paying attention to pedestrians, failing to drive safely, or being tired.
What Should You Do If You Are The Victim of a Pedestrian Accident?
If you are hit by a driver while crossing the street or walking on the sidewalk, we advise you to follow these steps. Firstly, seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, you could still suffer from a life-threatening internal injury. Immediately call for emergency medical help, as a medical report will be needed if you seek compensation for your injuries. Call the police to investigate your accident. The driver could deny any wrongdoing or might try to blame you for the accident.
Continue by gathering as much information as possible. Get the driver's full name, address, driver's license number, license plate number, and insurance information. If someone witnessed your accident, both you and the police should talk to them and try to get their name, address, and phone number as you might need their testimony later on.
Take photographs of the accident, including your physical injuries, the vehicle's damage, nearby stop signs, or traffic signals. Make sure to attend all medical appointments, as they have a significant impact on your case. Call your insurance company as soon as possible and tell them that you have been injured in a pedestrian accident. However, do not answer any questions without legal representation as they could use any information against you.
Finally, contact us. At All Law, PLLC, we have years of experience handling complex pedestrian accidents in Michigan. We will do what we can to reach the best possible outcome for you, and we'll help you get the money you deserve.
Pedestrian Accident Laws in Michigan: The NO-FAULT Policy
Michigan is a “no-fault” state. This means that if you are injured in a pedestrian traffic accident, you can recover benefits from your own insurance company, regardless of who is to blame. Under Michigan law, every driver is required to carry a no-fault insurance policy. Such an insurance policy includes three parts:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This policy pays for all the necessary medical bills within the policy’s maximum limit. It covers 85% of your lost wages for up to three years within a monthly maximum limit.
Property Protection (PPI) pays for the damages made to someone else's property.
Residual Liability Insurance pays specific amounts to pedestrians above what their PIP insurance policy covers.
A driver can be sued if the accident causes serious injuries, disfigurement, or death or if the accident involves a non-resident in a vehicle not registered in Michigan. At first, all medical expenses will be paid by the victim's PIP insurance. If the victim does not have that insurance policy, then the driver’s insurance will pay the medical bills.
As most pedestrian accidents often lead to severe injuries or death, the PIP insurance policy may not always cover the full extent of damages. This is why it is highly recommended that pedestrian accident victims look for a top-rated attorney to ensure that the settlement is fair and that they receive the rightful compensation.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
If the damages and losses suffered by a pedestrian accident victim exceed the PIP benefits, they may not include any compensation for pain and suffering. A pain and suffering claim includes physical and emotional pain suffered by you directly related to the pedestrian accident. A pain and suffering claim includes physical pain, mental anguish, permanent disabilities, loss of quality of life, emotional trauma, emotional distress, and more.
You could receive insurance benefits even if you were at fault in the accident. Whether you unlawfully crossed the street or were under the influence of alcohol, the insurance company cannot deny your benefits.
However, you should determine which insurance company is responsible for paying your compensation or what insurance policies are available in your pedestrian accident. By hiring a lawyer, you will significantly increase your chances of receiving compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, damaged property, and other losses.
Michigan Pedestrian Rules
If you live in Michigan, you must be aware of the rules that refer to pedestrians. These are:
Both drivers and pedestrians must follow the traffic control signals. Red and yellow lights, pavement markings, crosswalk signs, or other traffic signals are indicators of traffic flow. Drivers must always be aware of the crossing areas so they can avoid hitting a pedestrian.
School zones are often bustling with pedestrians, so drivers should take measures when driving near a school. They must follow the signals of the traffic lights and the crossing guard.
There are special rules that protect emergency workers, sanitation workers, and road maintenance personnel. Drivers should be extra cautious when driving past such workers. By ignoring workers on or near the road, drivers could receive serious penalties.
Pedestrians are prohibited on specific highways and limited access highways. These roads are unsuitable for pedestrians, as they contain large volumes of high-speed traffic. In some cases, only emergency pedestrian traffic is allowed.
We have helped Michigan pedestrian accident victims for many years, so please contact the All Law, PLLC, to get immediate help if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident.
Severe Pedestrian Accident Injuries
If involved in an accident, pedestrians are more likely to be seriously injured because they do not have any protection. They could suffer injuries that will change their lives forever.
Among the most common are traumatic brain injuries. They can be mild, moderate, or severe and could cause a simple headache or even a coma. A traumatic brain injury could require long-lasting medical care for the rest of the victim’s life.
Spinal cord injuries are another severe type of pedestrian accident injury. These can be either complete or incomplete. Complete spinal cord injuries are the most serious as they could lead to paralysis. Incomplete spinal cord injuries could harm the sensory and motor functions, and the arms or legs could be paralyzed.
An amputation could happen at the accident scene or be required later in surgery. Severe bone fractures are another common injury and could result in chronic pain or permanent disability.
Other consequences of pedestrian accidents are:
Closed head injuries
Since your life could be changed forever, you should seek legal representation from a Michigan pedestrian accident lawyer to get the compensation you deserve. The victims can handle the personal injury claims, but since they have no experience in handling such situations, it could lead to an unfair settlement. Hiring a pedestrian accident attorney to negotiate with the insurance company and get the most compensation is highly recommended.
Pedestrian Laws in Michigan
Michigan doesn't have a state crosswalk law, but they do have an ordinance to protect pedestrians in the city of Grand Rapids. The Michigan State Police highly recommend that all municipalities adopt the Michigan Uniform Traffic Code, requiring vehicles to yield to pedestrians instead of coming to a complete stop. Currently, drivers must come to a complete stop for pedestrians of both marked or unmarked crosswalks. The exceptions are at intersections regulated by traffic signals or police officers. As a pedestrian, you have to wait for the 'walk' signal before legally crossing the intersection.
Statutes of Limitations for a Michigan Pedestrian Accident
If you or your loved one have been involved in a pedestrian accident, it is essential to understand the statute of limitations in the state where you live. Each state has a certain length of time to file a personal injury claim. These can vary from state to state, depending on the type of case you want to file.
When it comes to the state of Michigan, the statute of limitations is three years following the date of injury or death. Even though the period might seem long enough, it is not advised to wait. The witnesses can move, or memories will fade. To recover total compensation for your damages, you should immediately contact a personal injury lawyer in Michigan to file your claim in a timely manner. If you fail to file your claim, your case will be dismissed, and you will not be eligible to receive compensation, even if the accident was 100 percent the driver’s fault.
Michigan Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian accidents have seen a significant increase in the United States, and specifically, in Michigan. In Michigan, there were 2,317 pedestrian accidents in 2018, and 145 of them resulted in death. In most cases, pedestrian crashes occur between 6 p.m - 7 p.m, and the victims do not cross at marked intersections. The primary factor for pedestrian deaths was alcohol consumption.
Why Should You Hire an Attorney for Your Pedestrian Accident Case?
No matter your case, you are not required to hire an attorney, but it is advised to do so if you want to reach a fair settlement. There are many good reasons for hiring a personal injury lawyer. The no-fault insurance laws can be confusing and quite complex. You should not trust the insurance companies as they will try to lowball you and may not get you paid for everything.
Dealing with any traffic accident is difficult and takes time, and the last thing you want is to deal with legal bureaucracy. Our law firm will keep you up to date on the case while you can rest and heal.
By hiring a local personal injury lawyer, you will get the legal representation needed for your case and the recovery of your old life. Our Michigan law firm will seek compensation for pain and suffering and personal injury protection benefits. Schedule a free consultation at (248) 817-1960, and let us fight for your rights!
FAQs about Pedestrian Accidents
What do I have to prove to receive non-economic damages?
All pedestrian accident victims must prove that they have suffered a 'threshold injury' to receive non-economic damages. The Michigan law defines a threshold injury as 'serious impairment of an important body function, serious disfigurement or scarring, or death.'
Will my medical bills be covered for life?
Yes, the Michigan No-Fault Law provides unlimited lifetime coverage for all the necessary medical expenses incurred in a pedestrian accident. However, there are still some factors that may complicate the payment of your medical bills. The medical bills must be reasonable in cost and necessity, and you must have attended all the medical appointments.
Can I recover lost wages if I am unable to work?
Yes, the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) provided by the Michigan No-Fault policy can cover up to 85% of the lost wages if you lose the ability to work. The benefit is tax-free, but it is limited to three years.
How do pedestrian accidents happen?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) statistic, most accidents that occurred in 2017 were due to failure to yield to the right of way, crossing the road improperly, or playing, laying, or standing in the road. When crossing the street, pedestrians must be aware that they don’t always have the right of way. Unless it is an intersection, a pedestrian cannot legally cross the road. On the other hand, drivers must yield to pedestrians while pedestrians are expected to yield to traffic.
Should a pedestrian walk with or against traffic?
A pedestrian should always walk against traffic. To avoid pedestrian accidents, pedestrians should walk as close as possible to the left side of the road, using the sidewalk if possible. Before crossing, always look left and right, then left again.
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