Tucson Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pedestrian accidents in Tucson can be especially devastating. Since pedestrians have nothing to protect them from the forces that are involved in accidents, they are much more likely to be seriously injured or killed when they are struck by motor vehicles. The Tucson pedestrian accident lawyers at Lamber Goodnow are experienced in helping the victims of pedestrian collisions, and we aggressively fight on their behalf to help them to recover the maximum damages for their losses. We are comprised of a team of locally and nationally recognized attorneys who have graduated from some of the top law schools in the country, and we have amassed a substantial track record of success.
Pedestrian accident statistics
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities have been increasing across the U.S. In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions in the U.S., which was an increase of 9 percent above the number who were killed in 2015. In Arizona, there were 1,637 pedestrian crashes in 2016, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Of those collisions, 196 were fatal accidents that resulted in 197 fatalities. There were an additional 1,338 injury accidents that resulted in 1,448 pedestrians who were injured. According to KVOA News 4, the number of pedestrian fatalities in Tucson in 2017 had doubled by Sept. 21, 2017, to 18 as compared to nine people who were killed during the same time period in 2016. These statistics underscore the prevalence of pedestrian accidents as well as their dangers.
Common types of injuries in pedestrian accidents
Injuries in pedestrian accidents vary according to the sizes of the pedestrians and of the vehicles. Another factor is the speed of the vehicles at the time of impact. In general, children are much likelier to suffer neck and head injuries because they are smaller. They are also likely to suffer musculoskeletal injuries, including the following:
- Rib cage injuries
- Thoracic injuries
- Abdominal injuries
- Damage to the tendons, nerves and blood vessels
Since adults are normally taller, their legs are normally struck first. If the vehicle is traveling fast, the adult’s torso and head will then propel the body up to strike the hood or windshield before the victim’s body is propelled off onto the ground. When the vehicles are moving more slowly at the time of the impact, the adults may remain on the hoods of the vehicles. In adults, the most common types of injuries in pedestrian accidents include the following:
- Trauma to the head, neck and pelvis
- Leg fractures
- Knee injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Musculoskeletal injuries
Adults are likelier to suffer musculoskeletal injuries in pedestrian accidents, and children are likelier to suffer head injuries.
Arizona laws that affect pedestrian accident claims
In Arizona, there are multiple laws that affect pedestrians. It is important for you to understand both your rights and your responsibilities as a pedestrian. Under A.R.S. § 28-792, drivers are mandated to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are crossing intersections within crosswalks. When the pedestrians are on the half of the road in which the vehicles are located, they are supposed to stop and allow them to cross. Motorists are also supposed to stop for pedestrians when they are on the other half of the road but are close enough to the motorists’ side that they could be injured. Other laws that pertain to pedestrians and motorists include the following:
- A.R.S. § 28-791 – Pedestrians must follow traffic rules and are subject to traffic control signals.
- A.R.S. § 28-793 – Pedestrians who are crossing at an area other than an intersection must yield the right-of-way to oncoming vehicles.
- A.R.S. § 28-794 – Motorists should exercise due care when there are pedestrians located nearby, and they should exercise added caution when the pedestrians are children.
- A.R.S. § 28-796 – Pedestrians should travel on provided sidewalks. If no sidewalks are available, they should walk along the left side of the roadways while facing traffic.
- A.R.S. § 28-797 – Motorists approaching school crossings should approach them while driving no more than 15 mph and should yield to children who are present.
Common pedestrian accident causes
Pedestrian accidents may result because of the actions of the motorists, the pedestrians or both. Common driver-related causes of these accidents include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Inattentive driving
- Failing to slow down and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Passing a vehicle who has stopped at a crosswalk for a pedestrian
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Failing to slow for school zones and crossings
Pedestrians may also contribute to their accidents by crossing at midblock areas, failing to watch for oncoming cars, walking while under the influence of alcohol and walking at night while wearing dark clothing.
Filing pedestrian accident lawsuits in Arizona
Pedestrian accidents normally turn on a theory of negligence. In order to prove that a driver’s negligence caused your accident and injuries, you will need to prove that the driver owed a duty to exercise reasonable care when he or she was driving and that he or she breached the duty that was owed. You will then need to prove that the driver’s breach was the direct or proximate cause of your collision and resulting injuries. Finally, you will need to prove that you suffered financial harm because of your accident.
Drivers and their insurance companies may attempt to dispute liability or to place blame on the pedestrians. In Arizona, pedestrians who share partial liability for their accidents are not prevented from recovering damages because the state follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. Under A.R.S. §12-2505, plaintiffs who are found to share fault will have their awards reduced by the percentage of liability that they have in their accidents. The way in which this works is that if a pedestrian is found to have 40 percent fault in a case in which gross damages are awarded at $1 million, the pedestrian will receive a net award of $600,000.
Potential damages in pedestrian accident lawsuits
The damages that may be available in a pedestrian accident in Tucson will depend on the particular circumstances of the case and the extent and severity of the injuries. In Arizona, damages are divided into two main categories, including special damages and general damages. Special damages are the economic losses that you have suffered because of your accident and may include such things as your current and future medical expenses, past and future expected income losses, property damage and other out-of-pocket losses. General damages are the intangible losses that are more difficult to value. These may include the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of the ability to enjoy life
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium for the spouses of victims
When you meet with the lawyers at Lamber Goodnow, your attorney will work to value your claim. You will be provided with a range of expected values within which you might expect a settlement to fall. Your lawyer will then work to secure the maximal recovery for you. If the insurance company will not agree to a reasonable settlement, we are unafraid to litigate our clients’ matters through jury trials.
Contact the Tucson pedestrian accident attorneys at Lamber Goodnow
If you have suffered serious injuries in a pedestrian accident or have lost a loved one in this manner, you may benefit by seeking the guidance of the experienced Tucson pedestrian accident attorneys at Lamber Goodnow. Call us today to schedule your free consultation so that you can learn more about the rights that you might have.