What Does “Taking the 5th” Really Mean?January 10, 2024
Wrecks with Pedestrians are Far More Dangerous
The statistics show that car accidents that include pedestrians are much, much more dangerous and result in a greater number of injuries and deaths.
The Statistics (1)
- According to the CDC, nearly 8,000 pedestrians were killed on our nation’s roads in crashes involving a motor vehicle in 2021. That’s about one death every 66 minutes.
- One in six people who died in crashes in 2021 were pedestrians.
- There were an estimated 104,000 emergency department visits of pedestrians treated for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2020.
Car vs. Person = Bad News
Advice for Pedestrians
Protect Yourself When Walking
- Increase your visibility when walking at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing reflective clothing, such as reflective vests. Avoid wearing all dark clothing.
- Cross streets at a designated crosswalks or intersections whenever possible.
- Walk on a sidewalk or path instead of the road. Walk on the shoulder and face traffic if a sidewalk or path is not available.
- Avoid using electronic devices like earbuds, which can cause distractions.
Risk Factors for Pedestrian Car Wrecks
- Higher vehicle speeds increase both the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck by a car and the injury severity.
- Most pedestrian deaths (60% in 2020) occur on high-capacity urban roads that typically have posted speed limits of 45-55 miles per hour.
- Many high-capacity urban roads include pedestrian foot traffic going between stores and restaurants, AND high travel speeds with many vehicles utilizing the roads as a throughway. This design conflict puts pedestrians at high risk of being involved in an accident and increased risk of more severe injuries.
For example, among 60 roads that had the most pedestrian deaths during 2001-2016, all were roads with adjacent commercial retail space, nearly all were multilane roads, and more than three-quarters had speed limits of 30 miles per hour or higher.
- SUVs can cause more harm to a person on foot when a crash occurs because of their greater body weight and larger profile.
- Alcohol was involved for the driver and/or pedestrian in nearly half (49%) of crashes that resulted in a pedestrian death in 2021.
In these crashes:
- About one out of five (19%) involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 grams per deciliter (g/dL)—a level that is illegal for adults aged 21 and older in all U.S. states, including KY.
- About one out of three (30%) involved a pedestrian with a BAC of at least 0.08 g/dL.
What to Do if Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian
Contact Law Enforcement
Any type of auto accident that occurs in Kentucky should have a police investigation. After the investigation, law enforcement will file an accident report which will identify everyone involved, describe all injuries sustained, and provide an impression of what happened and who’s at fault. These reports are available to the public, and you should get a copy of any accident report in which you are involved.
Get Medical Care
Call 911 for medical care. You’ll need emergency medical care if you have been seriously injured in a pedestrian auto accident. You should be immediately checked out by medical staff and follow all recommendations for any follow-up care.
Contact An Attorney
Many injured pedestrians are left wondering how their medical bills will be paid for the accident and whose insurance will cover what. An experienced injury attorney can help navigate getting your claim submitted and determining what coverage is available.
What About Insurance?
Insurance Coverage for Injured
Injured pedestrians have several avenues available to get insurance coverage when injured in an auto accident. A pedestrian’s own health insurance and disability insurance, in addition to the driver’s auto insurance coverage.
Payment Under Auto Liability Insurance for Pedestrians Hurt in a Car Wreck
An injured pedestrian in Kentucky can file a claim under the driver's or vehicle owner's auto liability PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage for medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who was at fault in the accident. If the driver is found to be at fault for the accident, a pedestrian can seek medical costs, lost wages, damage to personal property, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and any permanent scarring, disfigurement, or impairment.
If a pedestrian has injuries exceeding the driver’s insurance coverage they may be able to seek additional coverage from their own auto insurance depending on their policy. An experienced injury attorney can help in determining what coverage is available and where to go first.
Injured and in need of legal help? Contact a Kentucky Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrians often suffer severe injuries when they’ve been hit by a car. A pedestrian hit by a car will likely need a bigger insurance payout than the amount provided by Kentucky’s basic PIP coverage.
Knowing which insurance company to approach first is difficult in pedestrian accidents, that’s why having an experienced injury attorney is so necessary for injured pedestrians. If you or a loved one have been hurt as a pedestrian in Kentucky, the attorneys at Hurst & Hurst can help. We will stand between you and the insurance company to make sure you get the medical help you need and ensure you get full compensation for your injuries.