You were injured as a pedestrian here in California, and now you’re wondering how you can seek compensatory damages. A lot will depend on proving the driver’s negligence. The person may be an Uber or Lyft driver, which will make the case a little more complex.
In any event, pedestrian accidents are not uncommon, and some end in death. Pedestrian fatalities have been rising steadily since 2009, and according to a preliminary report from the Governors Highway Safety Administration, 2019 was no exception.
2019 pedestrian deaths may mark 30-year high
The GHSA had only the first six months’ worth of traffic death data to go off of, but the organization estimates that 6,590 pedestrians died in 2019. This marks a 5% increase from 2018 and a 60% spike from 2009. This is the highest number of pedestrian deaths seen since 1988. By contrast, all other traffic deaths rose 2% from 2009 to 2018.
It makes sense, then, that so many areas have adopted the initiative known as Vision Zero, which aims to reduce pedestrian deaths to zero. Some states need to work more on this than others. The GHSA found the highest fatality rates per 100,000 people in Hawaii, New Mexico and Florida; the lowest were in Idaho, Wisconsin and Vermont. Five states accounted for 47% of all pedestrian deaths: California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida.
SUVs and phone use among the factors
In its report, the GHSA gives several possible explanations for this increase in pedestrian deaths. One is the greater number of drivers who become distracted by using their phones. Another is the fact that there are more SUVs and light trucks on the road. More often than smaller cars, these vehicles can leave pedestrians with severe injuries.
An accident attorney to assist you
Claims involving pedestrian accidents can be hard to file if you are recovering from severe injuries, so you may want a lawyer to give personal attention to your case. After the proof of negligence has been gathered, the lawyer may be able to negotiate on your behalf for a settlement covering past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.