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Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Providing the Level of Attention Your Case Deserves
Pedestrians struck by cars or trucks are at a high risk for serious injury, because there is nothing to protect them from the force of impact during a collision. Pedestrian accident injuries include blunt force trauma, broken bones, brain injury, and sometimes even paralysis or death. Accidents involving pedestrians tend to occur most commonly at intersections and in parking lots.
If you've been injured in a pedestrian accident in Pennsylvania, contact an experienced Harrisburg personal injury lawyer at Metzger Wickersham today. We can explain your rights and help you explore all avenues of compensation for your injuries.
With a large support staff, and the extensive resources of a firm that's been around since 1888, our Harrisburg pedestrian accident lawyers can represent a variety of injuries.
Pedestrian Laws in Pennsylvania
Drivers always have a duty to be on the lookout for pedestrians. Driver responsibilities include yielding to pedestrians in cross-walks and at intersections, obeying speed limits, using turn signals and staying alert to surroundings. Although driver negligence causes many pedestrian accidents, it's important to remember that pedestrians also have a responsibility to be cautious when sharing the road.
- Pedestrians have the right of way at cross-walks and at intersections where there are no traffic signals
- Pedestrians have the right of way when walking on sidewalks that extend across roads, alleys or driveways
- It is unlawful to walk on a roadway if there is a sidewalk available to be used
- If no sidewalk is available, pedestrians must remain on the shoulder or edge of the road, as far away from traffic as possible; if it's a two-way road you should walk on the left side
- Pedestrians must yield to motorists when walking along the side of a roadway
- In urban areas, pedestrians cannot cross the street at any place except a marked crosswalk between intersections
- Pedestrians cannot cross an intersection diagonally (also known as jay-walking) unless they have received authorization to do so from a police officer or other traffic control person
Drivers and pedestrians can both play a part in avoiding accidents by following basic safety precautions and following the rules of the road.
Distracted Walking Statistics
Texting and driving collisions have been on the rise in recent years, with distracted drivers causing as many as one out of every four crashes nationwide. There are numerous educational efforts aimed at alerting the public to the risks of distracted driving. However, distracted driving is not the only potential cause of injury from cell phones. Studies suggest that distracted walking may be just as dangerous for pedestrians.
According to Science Daily, around 10 percent of pedestrians who seek treatment in emergency rooms after an accident were texting when their injuries occurred. This estimate may actually be lower than the reality, because many pedestrians who get hurt while on their phones are embarrassed to admit the role distraction played in the incident.
Further, the number of people injured in distracted walking accidents has increased dramatically between 2004 and 2010. Healthline reports that emergency room visits resulting from cell phone use while walking have tripled over this time period. The largest increase in pedestrian accidents has been among people between the ages of 16 and 25.
Distracted Walking Accidents and Your Rights
A texting pedestrian faces the same three types of distraction that a texting driver does: manual, cognitive, and visual distraction. Like a distracted driver, a distracted pedestrian is not looking at the road or sidewalk in front of them; instead of focusing on safety, their brain is focused on the text message being sent or read.
Due to lack of attention, pedestrians put themselves at serious risk of injury when they use their phones as they walk. Texting pedestrians are at risk of bumping into things, walking into walls, or even stepping out into traffic.
If a distracted pedestrian walks into traffic, they could be deemed partially at fault for any accident caused as a result of their negligent actions. However, a driver may still share some legal responsibility if they strike and injure a distracted pedestrian with their vehicle. Under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence law, an injured pedestrian could potentially recover compensation as long as the driver is found to be at least 51 percent responsible for the accident that occurs. The driver will pay only for the portion of the damages equal to his part in causing the crash.
If you’ve been injured in any type of collision, whether as a driver or a pedestrian, it’s always best to contact a qualified attorney. Pennsylvania law can be confusing, and an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Harrisburg can help you understand your rights and explain how the law applies to your particular case.
Pedestrian Accident FAQ
At Metzger Wickersham, our attorneys handle all types of personal injury cases in Pennsylvania. We have dealt with many cases involving pedestrians who have been injured or killed in serious car and truck accidents. We know how difficult these types of accidents are for victims and their families, and our experienced attorneys are ready to help at any stage of the legal process.
Why should I hire a Pennsylvania pedestrian accident lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer can dramatically increase your chances of receiving compensation for your accident, especially if you believe somebody else was at fault. You may have been lawfully crossing an intersection at a crosswalk when a drunk driver sped through a red light.
You might have been struck by a texting driver in a parking lot. If negligence was a factor in your accident, you could be entitled to more compensation than the insurance company might want you to believe. A pedestrian accident attorney will advocate for your rights and level the playing field with the insurance company.
I wasn't at fault. Can I file a lawsuit after my accident?
Pedestrians have legal rights. These include the right to share the road with cars, trucks and other vehicles. Unfortunately, negligent actions such as speeding, distracted driving or driving under the influence often cause or contribute to pedestrian accidents. If you were injured as a pedestrian through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation.
In certain circumstances, an attorney may be able to negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a settlement on your behalf. In other instances, a lawsuit may need to be filed. If you've been in a pedestrian accident, contact a law firm that's familiar with pedestrian accident cases. An experienced attorney can review the particular facts of your case and walk you through the appropriate actions to take against any at-fault parties.
How much time after I'm injured do I have to file a lawsuit?
The "statute of limitations" in each state governs the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. Generally speaking, Pennsylvania has a 2-year statute of limitations for claims against the operator of a motor vehicle who causes injury to a pedestrian. Keep in mind that a failure to file any claim you may have in a timely manner could result in your claim being forever barred.
How much does an attorney cost in Pennsylvania?
At Metzger Wickersham, we understand that people who are injured through no fault of their own may be struggling financially. For this reason, we provide legal representation on a contingency fee basis. This means that clients do not pay any attorneys' fees unless we receive a favorable settlement or award for them. In others words, you do not pay unless we win your case.
What is my pedestrian accident case worth in Pennsylvania?
Every case is fact-specific. Unique injuries and circumstances surround each accident. An attorney cannot place a value on your injury claim until they thoroughly investigate and review the details of your case. At Metzger Wickersham, we work one-on-one with clients to build the most solid and successful legal strategy possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you or a loved one with a pedestrian accident case.