The Colorado Springs pedestrian accident attorneys of the Green Law Firm, P.C., are dedicated to protecting the rights of the injured.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, we understand the traumatic aftermath and the challenges that come with it – physical pain, emotional distress, medical bills, and potential loss of income.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important to know that you are not alone. Insurance companies may try to pin some—if not all—of the blame on you. This is unfair and wrong.
At the Green Law Firm, P.C., our Colorado Springs pedestrian accident attorneys are experienced and skilled in representing injured pedestrians. We know the complications that can arise after an accident—and we work hard to protect your rights. Call us today for a free review of your case. Trust us to guide you through this challenging time with the experience and empathy you need. Contact us our Colorado Springs pedestrian accident attorneys for your free consultation.
What are Colorado Springs Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrian accidents in Colorado Springs refer to incidents where a pedestrian – an individual walking along or planning to cross the road – is struck by a vehicle. These accidents can result from various circumstances, including but not limited to, drivers failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, or speeding in areas populated by pedestrians.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 5,000 pedestrians die every year in motor vehicle-related accidents. In addition, another 76,000 pedestrians suffer injuries. Data shows that a great number of these accidents occur at non-intersections in urban areas, such as when pedestrians are attempting to cross a busy highway or jogging on the side of the road
The impact of these accidents can be severe given the vulnerability of pedestrians compared to motorists in protected vehicles. Injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries like broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or even fatal injuries. Pedestrian accidents can leave victims with significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens.
Colorado Springs Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians who are involved in motor vehicle accidents often sustain devastating injuries. These injuries may require multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy before victims are able to regain independent mobility.
If a pedestrian is lucky enough to survive the accident, he or she is usually facing life-changing injuries, such as:
- Brain injuries – Brain injuries are one of the most serious types of injuries that can occur in pedestrian accidents. They occur when an individual sustains a forceful blow to the head, either from the impact of the collision itself or from hitting the ground. This can lead to traumatic brain injuries, ranging from mild concussions to severe damage that causes long-term cognitive impairments or even coma.
- Fractured bones – Fractured or broken bones are common in pedestrian accidents due to the force of the impact. Depending on the severity, fractures can range from simple breaks that heal with time, to complex fractures that require surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Commonly affected bones include the legs, arms, ribs, and pelvis.
- Spinal cord injuries – These injuries occur when the impact of the accident damages the vertebrae, ligaments, or disks of the spinal column or the spinal cord itself. Spinal cord injuries can lead to significant nerve damage, resulting in temporary or permanent paralysis, loss of sensation, or other serious complications.
- Amputation – In particularly severe accidents, a pedestrian may suffer injuries so extensive that amputation of a limb is necessary. This can dramatically affect a person’s quality of life, requiring extensive physical therapy and the potential use of prosthetic limbs.
- Permanent disfigurement – This refers to lasting physical changes caused by the accident, such as scarring or other visible impairments. Permanent disfigurement can result from various injuries, including deep lacerations or burns.
- Internal Injuries – In a pedestrian accident, internal injuries such as damage to organs, internal bleeding, or internal bruising can occur due to blunt force trauma. These injuries are particularly dangerous as they can be initially undetectable and lead to critical situations if not diagnosed and treated promptly.
Common Types of Colorado Springs Pedestrian Accidents
Some of the most common types of Colorado Springs pedestrian accidents we see at Green Law Firm P.C. include:
- Crosswalk Accidents: These accidents occur when drivers fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Despite laws requiring drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, many fail to do so, leading to severe accidents.
- Intersection Accidents: Intersections can be hazardous for pedestrians, especially if drivers are not paying attention, speeding, or running red lights or stop signs.
- Hit and Run Accidents: These involve drivers who hit a pedestrian and then flee the scene. Hit-and-run accidents can be particularly traumatic for victims, as they are often left without immediate assistance and the perpetrator is not immediately held accountable.
- Parking Lot Accidents: Many pedestrian accidents happen in parking lots when drivers are backing up or turning corners and do not see a pedestrian.
- School Zone Accidents: These accidents often involve children who are more vulnerable due to their small size and unpredictability. They frequently occur due to drivers failing to obey school zone speed limits or not paying attention to the presence of children.
- Distracted Driving Accidents: Accidents can occur when drivers are distracted by their phones, passengers, or anything else that takes their attention off the road, failing to notice pedestrians on or near the roadway.
- Impaired Driving Accidents: These involve drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, impairing their ability to operate their vehicle safely and to react appropriately to pedestrians.
Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents
Motorists owe a certain duty of care to others using the roadways, which includes paying proper attention to the actual act of driving. Common factors contributing to driver negligence include speeding, substance abuse, and distracted driving. If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, pedestrians may seek to recover compensation for their injuries.
While the specifics of what constitutes “reasonable care” can vary based on the circumstances, there are several key aspects that are typically included:
- Speed: Drivers are expected to obey the posted speed limits and adjust their speed to match the conditions of the road. For instance, drivers should slow down in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, in school zones, in poor weather conditions, or in other situations where it could be difficult to stop quickly.
- Awareness: Drivers are expected to be aware of their surroundings at all times. This includes checking for pedestrians before turning or backing up, looking for pedestrians who may be about to enter the road, and being particularly careful in areas where pedestrians are likely to be present.
- Yielding the Right-of-Way: Colorado law requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in most situations. For example, drivers must stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk. Even when a pedestrian is crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, if they are on the driver’s side of the road and it would be unsafe for the pedestrian to stop, the driver must yield.
- Signal Use: Drivers are expected to use their turn signals to indicate their intentions to other road users, including pedestrians.
- Impairment: Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or certain medications is against the law, as it significantly impairs a driver’s ability to exercise reasonable care.
However, pedestrians, too, are responsible for exercising reasonable care for their own safety. If a pedestrian fails to do so, he or she may be assessed with contributory negligence. This will affect the amount of compensation to which they are entitled. Examples of pedestrian negligence include failure to use crosswalks, failure to obey crossing signals, and disrupting the flow of traffic.
Here are some examples of a pedestrian’s duty of care:
- Obey Traffic Signals and Signs: Pedestrians are expected to obey traffic signals and signs. They should only cross streets at designated crosswalks and only when the pedestrian signal indicates it is safe to do so.
- Use Sidewalks: When sidewalks are available, pedestrians are generally required to use them. Walking on the roadway when a sidewalk is available may be seen as negligent behavior.
- Avoid Darting into Traffic: Pedestrians are expected to avoid suddenly stepping or running into the path of a moving vehicle in a manner that makes it impractical for the driver to yield.
- Avoid Distractions: Just as drivers should avoid distractions, pedestrians should also pay attention to their surroundings and not be excessively distracted by things like mobile devices.
- Alcohol and Drugs: Just like drivers, pedestrians should avoid impairing their judgment and coordination by consuming alcohol or drugs.
- Visibility: Pedestrians can help drivers see them by wearing light or reflective clothing, especially when walking at night or in low-light conditions.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
There are numerous steps pedestrians can take to reduce their risk of being struck by a vehicle. Pedestrians should wear bright-colored or reflective clothing, use a sidewalk when available, and avoid walking after dark, if possible. Don’t wear headphones, talk or text while walking.
When crossing the street, even on a crosswalk, don’t assume all traffic will stop. Watch for turning vehicles and visually clear all lanes you must cross. Look left, right, then left again before crossing and always stay alert.
While you can’t control the actions of drivers, following these safety tips can help reduce your risk of being involved in an accident:
- Use Sidewalks: Always use sidewalks when they’re available. If a sidewalk isn’t available, walk on the shoulder facing oncoming traffic.
- Use Crosswalks: Always cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible. Most pedestrian accidents happen outside of crosswalks.
- Obey Traffic Signals: Pay attention to and obey all pedestrian signals. Don’t start crossing if the “Don’t Walk” signal is flashing or if the solid “Don’t Walk” signal is lit.
- Stay Visible: Wear bright or light-colored clothing during the day and reflective materials or use a flashlight at night. This helps drivers see you.
- Make Eye Contact: If possible, make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Never assume a driver sees you.
- Avoid Distractions: Avoid using electronic devices or wearing headphones while walking, especially while crossing streets. Distractions can cause you to miss vital traffic cues.
- Look Left, Right, Then Left Again: Always look left, right, then left again before crossing a street. Look for vehicles that may be turning or passing other vehicles.
- Avoid Alcohol and Drugs: These substances can impair your ability to walk safely, just as they can impair a person’s ability to drive.
- Be Extra Cautious at Intersections: Be particularly cautious at intersections, where drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning.
Statute of Limitations for Colorado Springs Pedestrian Accidents
In the state of Colorado, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, including those involving pedestrian accidents, is generally three (3) years from the date of the accident. This means that any legal action taken to recover damages for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident must be initiated within this time frame.
There are, however, some exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the injured party is a minor or if the accident resulted in death (leading to a wrongful death claim), different timelines may apply.
It’s crucial to note that this statute of limitations only applies to filing a lawsuit. Claims with your insurance company or the at-fault party’s insurance company must typically be filed much sooner – often within days or weeks of the accident.
Speak to Our Colorado Springs Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
However, time limits apply, allowing you only a certain amount of time to bring a claim for your injuries. Therefore, it is ideal to have a Colorado Springs pedestrian accident attorney look at your claim immediately.
Contact the experienced attorneys at the Green Law Firm, P.C. today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss your case. Call us today at 1-719-694-8515 or fill out the contact form on this page.