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Pedestrian Accidents


According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), 166 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic-related accidents in a single year, while a further 3,985 suffered injuries. Although there are laws in place to help prevent these types of accidents, they still can and do occur, often because one of the parties involved was negligent. Fortunately, injured pedestrians can collect compensation for their losses if they can demonstrate that another party caused their injuries, so if you were injured in an accident, it is critical to speak with a personal injury attorney who can help you seek compensation for your medical expenses.

Pedestrian Accident Causes  

Although pedestrian accidents can happen at any time, most are usually the result of:

  • A person’s decision to drive while under the influence;
  • A driver failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian;
  • A driver’s or pedestrian’s failure to obey a traffic signal;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Falling asleep at the wheel;
  • Reckless driving, such as speeding; and
  • Poor visibility.

State Law

To help prevent these kinds of situations, the Pennsylvania Legislature adopted a series of traffic laws that protect pedestrians. For instance, when there are no traffic control signals in place, drivers are required to yield the right of way to any pedestrians crossing the road at a marked crosswalk. Even when a crosswalk is unmarked, a driver must still yield if the pedestrian is crossing at an intersection. Furthermore, whenever a car is stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross the road, any drivers approaching from the rear are prohibited from trying to pass the stopped vehicle.

Pedestrians are also required to comply with certain traffic laws. For example, pedestrians must obey all traffic and pedestrian-control signals and are prohibited from suddenly leaving a curb or sidewalk and running into the path of a vehicle. Furthermore, any pedestrian who crosses a road at a point other than at a crosswalk must yield the right of way to any vehicles on the road. Pedestrians are always given the right of way on sidewalks and any driver emerging from or entering a private road, driveway, or building must yield the right of way to any pedestrians approaching on the sidewalk.

Common Injuries  

The failure of drivers or pedestrians to follow these laws can have devastating consequences, as collisions between pedestrians and motorists tend to be especially severe. Many injured pedestrians suffer from crushed bones, organ damage, spinal cord injuries, severe lacerations, and head trauma. These kinds of severe injuries are not only painful, but expensive to treat. For this reason, it is especially critical for injured pedestrians to collect compensation from the at-fault party. Fortunately, even when a pedestrian was partly at fault for an accident, he or she can still collect compensation. This is because Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state, which means that injured parties who contribute to their accident can still collect damages, although the amount will be reduced by their percentage of fault.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer  

Please contact van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin at 215-515-6892 to discuss your case with a compassionate and knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Our Philadelphia legal team is prepared to assist you today.


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