Winchester Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian fatalities in Tennessee are on the rise. From the beginning of 2017 through August 25, 75 pedestrians had died in Tennessee traffic accidents. That’s an increase of 14, compared to the same period last year.
Survivors of pedestrian accidents are often left with debilitating injuries. Some people may recover from those injuries with time, while others are unable to resume the activities of their normal daily lives. Injury victims may also struggle with mounting medical debt.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation that could help with medical costs and lost wages. Contact the law office of John R. Colvin to request your free, no-obligation consultation: 1-931-962-1044.
Types of Pedestrian Injuries
When a car strikes an adult pedestrian, the front bumper usually makes contact with the pedestrian’s lower legs. That impact alone can cause serious injuries, and, depending on the speed of the vehicle, serious injuries can occur as the pedestrian tumbles onto the hood of the car. When a car is traveling at a high speed, a pedestrian’s head may hit or penetrate the windshield.
Injuries that are common in adult pedestrian accidents include head trauma, brain injuries, fractures of the legs and pelvis, and knee ligament injuries. Children struck by cars are more likely to have injuries to the spine, head, chest, and abdomen.
Because pedestrians may suffer several complex injuries in a crash, they may need to be taken to a Level 1 Trauma Center for treatment. Only six hospitals in Tennessee have Level 1 certification.
Level 1 Trauma Centers are required to be fully staffed around the clock, every day, with operating teams that can mobilize quickly for incoming patients. For seriously injured pedestrians, these hospitals offer the best hope of survival.
Treatment of Pedestrian Fractures
Fractures of the pelvic bone can be life-threatening, especially when the bone is broken in multiple places. The broken bits of bone may penetrate organs or cut arteries, resulting in severe internal bleeding. According to Los Angeles hospital Cedars-Sinai, a severe pelvic fracture often results in extensive surgery and lengthy physical therapy and rehabilitation.
To repair the pelvic bone, a surgeon may use any combination of surgical pins, screws, and plates. That surgical hardware can cause severe and persistent pain; however, removing that hardware once the bone has healed carries a risk of nerve damage, additional fractures, and infection.
Surgical hardware may also be necessary for repairing complex fractures in other parts of the body. And when a person’s injuries render them immobile for a long period of time, they will need rehabilitative therapy to regain strength and range of motion. Complete recovery may not be possible, especially if the victim has other underlying health problems or is elderly.
Risks for Elderly People
According to Smart Growth America, a non-profit organization that promotes pedestrian safety, the risk of being struck by a car increases significantly for people older than 65, with people age 75 and older at the highest risk. As people age, their bodies begin to slow down, which means it simply takes longer to cross a street or to get out of the way of an oncoming vehicle. A decrease in visual and auditory acuity may also interfere with the ability to see or hear approaching vehicles.
Not only are elderly pedestrians at higher risk of being injured, they also tend to suffer more serious injuries than younger people, and their bodies are less able to recover from those injuries. Pedestrians age 70 and older also have the highest mortality rate among pedestrian accident victims.
Some pedestrian accidents occur because of one or more factors beyond a driver’s control – poor light conditions, fog, slick roads, and pedestrians who unexpectedly enter the roadway. Often, however, drivers engage in behavior that increases the risk of striking a pedestrian. Those behaviors include speeding, driving while distracted, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In Memphis, ranked by Smart Growth America as the 9th most dangerous city for pedestrians in 2016, city leaders have been discussing how infrastructure improvements could promote pedestrian safety. Adding crosswalks, improving sidewalks, and launching public awareness campaigns could help reduce pedestrian fatalities. But careless and negligent drivers will likely continue to pose a threat to pedestrian safety.
If you have suffered a serious injury as a pedestrian and believe a careless or negligent driver is to blame, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact John R. Colvin, either online or by calling 1-931-962-1044 to request your free, no-obligation case consultation.