Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian Accidents in Harrisburg & the Surrounding Areas
Pedestrians who are struck by cars or trucks are at a high risk for serious injury, as 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 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 has been around since 1888, our Pennsylvania pedestrian accident lawyers can represent you and your recovery. We have offices in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pottsville, Shippensburg, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, and York and can travel to meet you at your home, the hospital, or anywhere in the state.
Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?
Drivers always have a duty to be on the lookout for pedestrians. That being said, they occasionally have the right of way when it comes to sharing the road with people on foot. In other words, pedestrians do not always have the legal right of way in Pennsylvania—however, because drivers have a responsibility to do everything possible to avoid causing an accident with a pedestrian, they are often the ones to blame in these types of collisions.
Driver responsibilities include yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections, obeying speed limits, using turn signals, and staying alert to surroundings. Motorists must also exhibit extra caution when driving near or around pedestrians who appear lost, confused, disoriented, impaired, disabled, or intoxicated.
Although driver negligence causes many pedestrian accidents, it is important to remember that pedestrians also have a responsibility to be cautious when sharing the road.
Pedestrian Laws in Pennsylvania
The following is an overview of some basic pedestrian laws in Pennsylvania:
- Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks and at intersections where there are no traffic signals
- Pedestrians have the right of way when walking on sidewalks that cross building entrances, parking structure entrances, roads, alleyways, driveways, etc.
- It is unlawful to walk on a roadway if there is a sidewalk available
- 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 is 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 jaywalking) unless they have received authorization to do so from a police officer or another traffic control person
- Pedestrians may not suddenly enter a roadway from a sidewalk or another place of safety when vehicles are unable to stop or yield
Drivers and pedestrians can both play a part in avoiding accidents by following basic safety precautions and following the rules of the road.
Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim
More often than not, pedestrian accidents happen because motorists are not paying attention or are driving aggressively or recklessly. When this is the case, injured individuals or the families of those wrongfully killed in pedestrian accidents can seek compensation by filing personal injury claims or lawsuits against the liable party.
You may have grounds for a case if the motorist who hit you engaged in any of the following negligent or wrongful behaviors:
- Texting while driving or driving while distracted
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while fatigued/falling asleep at the wheel
- Speeding, including driving too fast for weather or road conditions
- Failing to check for pedestrians before turning
- Making unsafe or unlawful turns or passing unlawfully
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Failing to obey traffic control devices, such as red lights or stop signs
- Violating traffic laws/rules of the road
You might also have a case if you can prove that third-party negligence contributed to or caused the accident. This could be the case if an auto defect prevented the motorist from stopping in time to avoid a collision or if the roadway was defective, leading to the crash.
At Metzger Wickersham, we can evaluate the factors involved in your case to determine who is liable. We understand the immense impact pedestrian accidents have on victims, as well as their loved ones, which is why we always strive to recover maximum compensation.
Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Victims
Due to the severity of their injuries, pedestrians who are hit by large, heavy motor vehicles often require emergency medical attention and extensive, ongoing care. This typically results in massive medical bills and ongoing expenses, made all the more difficult when victims are unable to return to work for weeks, months, or even years. By filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, we can help our clients fight for fair compensation for these and other damages.
Depending on the specifics of your case, we may be able to help you recover for the following damages:
- Emergency medical care
- Ongoing and future medical expenses
- Treatments, hospitalization, medications, and related costs
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
- Lost income/wages, including future earnings
- Lost or reduced earning capacity due to disability or impairment
- In-home assistance and care
- Counseling and/or therapy
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, etc.
At Metzger Wickersham, we truly care about you and are committed to do everything possible to help you get back on your feet. Our team of experienced Pennsylvania pedestrian accident lawyers is here to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have when navigating the legal process.
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.
Request a Free Consultation Today
If you or someone you love was injured after being hit by a car, motorcycle, truck, or even a bicyclist, Metzger Wickersham can help. We draw on more than 130 years of experience and a long-standing reputation for aggressive client advocacy. We now utilize this experience when standing up to powerful insurance companies and their defense teams. They know that we will not back down from a challenge and that we are prepared to fully litigate our clients’ cases at trial.
We offer free consultations and contingency fees. This means that you do not pay anything upfront or out-of-pocket when you hire our firm. Instead, our attorneys only collect fees if they successfully recover compensation for you.