Few vehicular accidents cause more bodily harm than when a vehicle hits a pedestrian or a bicyclist. A college community like State College has many pedestrians and bicyclists going about their business every day of the week. When the driver of a car or an even larger vehicle, like an SUV, makes an error and strikes someone walking or riding a bicycle, Pennsylvania law holds the driver accountable for injuries.
Elderly and youth are most at-risk
Nearly 6,000 pedestrians died and another 137,000 suffered bodily injuries after being struck by vehicles in 2017, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported. Most at-risk are the elderly and youth under age 15. Many elderly pedestrians rely on public transportation instead of owning and driving their own cars. Youth ages 15 and under are too young to drive, so they join the elderly as the pedestrians most often struck by vehicles.
Pedestrians run a much higher risk of dying in accident due to the lack of safety equipment versus a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds striking them at almost any speed. The potential for life-threatening injuries is very high as is the likelihood of having lasting injuries that affect the victim’s quality of life.
Pedestrians usually have the right-of-way
Especially when located in walkways and crosswalks, pedestrians, generally, have the right-of-way at all times. That means drivers and others must slow down and stop if necessary instead of endangering a pedestrian or worse. Pedestrians rarely are at fault in an accident with a vehicle but, sometimes, do wind up being held liable if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or, otherwise, acted in a reckless manner that caused the accident.
In an accident, the driver’s auto insurance should cover medical costs as well as pain and suffering and any loss of income. Whenever suffering injury in an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can be an asset to make a strong case and obtain the best possible settlement while holding the liable party responsible.