More than 7,000 people are killed each year in pedestrian accidents. Another 104,000 end up in emergency rooms with serious injuries. The Virginia personal injury attorneys at our firm know just how devastating these accidents can be for both the victims and their families. A quick online glance at local new media sites reveals how prevalent pedestrian accidents are in Virginia. Just in the past week or so:
- A 66-year-old woman was killed when she was hit by a car in the 2400 block of Catawba Valley Drive in Roanoke.
- A woman was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries after being struck by a hit and run driver at 2nd Street South at South Old Glebe Road in Arlington.
- A woman was transported to a local hospital after being hit by a car at the intersection of Moore Street and State Street in Bristol.
- A man was hit by a car in the 5600 block of Portsmouth Boulevard near the Elmhurst Square shopping center in Portsmouth. He was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries.
Preventing Pedestrian Accidents
Many accidents that involve pedestrians and vehicles happen at intersections, especially in highly populated areas. In an effort to decrease the number of these accidents, many municipalities have experimented with new methods of traffic control. One of these methods that many municipalities have had success with is pedestrian scrambles.
In hundreds of thousands of busy intersections across the country, vehicles have the green light along one street while pedestrians are given a signal that alerts them it’s safe to use the crosswalk on the perpendicular street, leaving them parallel to the moving traffic. A few minutes later, the light changes, and the same process begins in the other direction of the intersection. The theory is that the pedestrian is able to cross safely.
Unfortunately, in too many incidents, this theory fails. Many pedestrian accidents happen because of turning vehicles. For example, a driver making a left turn is often too focused on the oncoming traffic to notice that even though the road is clear for them to turn, a person is still crossing. Drivers making right turns also put pedestrians in danger if they fail to check the right side before they begin turning.
With pedestrian scrambles, all traffic stops at the intersection, allowing pedestrians to cross the streets in every direction, including diagonally. Pedestrians cross safely without the risk of any moving vehicles and because they can also cross diagonally, it eliminates the need to cross the street twice.
In cities that implemented scrambles, the number of pedestrian accidents has resulted in a noticeable decrease in the number of people hit by cars.
Pedestrian Accident Claims
The expenses associated with injuries suffered in a pedestrian accident can have overwhelming physical, emotional, and financial repercussions. When a pedestrian is injured because of a negligent driver, that driver can be held legally responsible for the medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disabilities, and more.
If you or a loved one were injured after being hit by a car, call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free consultation with one of our Virginia personal accident attorneys. We are dedicated to getting our clients the financial compensation they deserve, like the $227,000 settlement our firm was able to obtain for one client who suffered a heart seizure while undergoing surgery to repair the broken leg he incurred when a driver hit him in a crosswalk.
In addition, our firm has handled a case where an FBI agent was struck by a motor vehicle while on a sidewalk/bike path, and we had another case where a bicyclist was stationary waiting to cross a roadway when he was sideswiped by a tractor-trailer, suffering serious multiple traumatic injuries. In yet another case, a bicyclist was struck by a commercial van driver and was killed. We have done extensive research on the rights of pedestrians as well as the rights of bicyclists who are generally treated as pedestrians with the same rights and responsibilities in most situations.