Grand Junction Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s Western Slope, Grand Junction has a reputation as a safe and friendly community. From the Colorado National Monument to lively downtown to the many art murals, Grand Junction is a wonderful place to call home, especially for those traveling to each new sight on foot. Sadly, even the most beautiful places can be incredibly dangerous. For many pedestrians, our streets and roadways aren’t always safe and friendly.
If you or a loved one was struck by a vehicle while walking, you need an experienced Grand Junction traffic accident attorney who can advocate on your behalf. The legal team at Peters & Nolan, LLC, will investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident thoroughly and build the best possible case. Our number-one goal is to secure fair and full compensation for our clients. For excellent legal help, call our firm at (970) 243-4357 today.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of one pedestrian is killed every 1.6 hours in the United States. That is 15 pedestrians killed every day. Overall, pedestrians are one and a half times more likely than motor vehicle occupants to be killed due to a collision on any given trip.
It might be tempting to think pedestrian accidents exclusively happen in big cities with high volumes of traffic and dangerous roads, such as New York City and Los Angeles, but the problem can actually be worse in small communities. This is due to a number of factors:
- Poor intersection design: Smaller towns and cities have limited budgets. While large cities can dedicate millions to reconstructing their roads and intersections when safety issues become evident, smaller towns can’t just rip up an intersection and build a new one. This means that many towns use intersections that are old-fashioned when it comes to safety considerations.
- Driver distraction: Many drivers assume that because they are in a more rural area, they can risk being distracted, either by checking their phone, paying too much attention to a pedestrian, or just zoning out. However, this can (and often does) lead to serious accidents with pedestrians.
- Dangerously high speed limits: Speed limits are set by the local government and are based on suggestions made by the federal government. Unfortunately, in more rural areas with limited traffic, the limits are often too high, and do not take into consideration the blind turns, sudden twists, and wildlife.
Drivers owe those around them on the road a duty of care: all drivers have a certain level of responsibility when it comes to keeping others reasonably safe. This level of care is especially important to pedestrians, who can easily be killed when a driver is not paying close enough attention. Knowing why and where pedestrian accidents happen won’t undo the damage that has already been done, but having this information may help you in your claim.
- Intersections: A significant number of pedestrian accidents occur at intersections. Many intersections are poorly designed, with inadequate signage, poorly-timed light changes, or a lack of space to fit all of the pedestrians. Even in well-designed intersections, vehicles making left turns collide with pedestrians without ever looking for them. Whatever the reason, pedestrians are at a high risk of injury when crossing at intersections, and drivers need to be alert at all times to avoid collisions.
- Parking lots: Parking lots also pose a serious danger to pedestrians, as they tend to be crowded with cars and there are rarely clear lanes of traffic for people walking to and from their vehicles. Property owners have a responsibility for creating and maintaining safe spaces that protect users.
- Quiet vehicles: Colorado residents have a reputation for being environmentally conscious. This means an increasing number of people are driving hybrid and electric vehicles. Unfortunately, these vehicles are much quieter than the traditional internal combustion engine, so pedestrians are often unaware of cars approaching behind them or turning around corners. This is one unintended consequence of otherwise beneficial technology.
- Negligent drivers: Ultimately, negligent drivers are almost always the cause behind pedestrian accidents. Some drivers engage in reckless behaviors that put everyone around them at risk. This includes driving while intoxicated, driving while fatigued, distracted driving, excessive speeding, or other actions that can lead to accidents.
Car accidents that involve pedestrians are particularly dangerous because of how unprotected pedestrians are on the sidewalk. When a driver hits a pedestrian because of negligent driving behavior the injured party may be eligible for compensatory restitution. These behaviors and habits include:
- Failure to come to a complete stop at stop signs and traffic lights
- Failure to slow down or stop at marked crosswalks
- Taking turns at high speeds and left turns in particular
- Distracted driving- texting and talking on the phone, setting GPS navigation, attending to children or other passengers in the backseat
Many people assume that the driver of a vehicle that hits a pedestrian is obviously at fault, but that is not always the case. If the driver was negligent then they are considered at fault, but a pedestrian can also be partially at fault for an accident if they were not adhering to traffic and safety laws. That is why pedestrians should always use designated crosswalks and not run out into busy traffic.
If a pedestrian moves into oncoming traffic and a car must swerve to keep from hitting them, but then crashes themselves or hits another vehicle, that pedestrian may be partially at fault. The laws around motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians may sound overwhelming, but a skilled personal injury attorney can help you wade through all of the legal technicalities.
When someone is in a car, he has the benefit of four hard, metal walls, a crumple zone, airbags, and seatbelts. A pedestrian on foot has no such safety features. They don’t even have helmets, like bike riders. That means there is no protection for pedestrians if and when they are hit by cars. That lack of cushion can easily lead to serious injuries. In fact, pedestrians are at high risk of being killed in collisions with vehicles, especially high-speed ones.
On our experience, pedestrians experience some of the most devastating injuries possible in vehicle collisions, including:
- Brain damage
- Crush injuries
- Road rash
- Fractured bones
- Deep lacerations
- Severe burns
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb
When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian takes the entire force of the collision, and the human body is simply not designed to withstand such high levels of impact. Even a slow-moving car can cause serious damage, and these kinds of injuries are not easy to recover from. They require weeks (or months) of rest, surgeries, and medications. That can rack up a large bill and leave you unable to work. Thankfully, with the right attorney by your side, you may be able to file a claim and recover enough compensation to recover in comfort.
If you are walking and you or someone you are with is struck by a vehicle these are the next actions you should take:
- Get medical attention immediately, even if you feel you can walk away relatively unscathed. It is important to have a professional take a look at your injuries.
- Call the police to report the accident.
- Take part in the exchange of contact and insurance information with the driver of the vehicle.
- If you are able, gather evidence at the scene. That includes photos of the area, the car, and any injuries. Take down the names and numbers of anyone who witnessed what happened.
- Notify your own auto insurance company, this will be crucial if the driver of the vehicle is uninsured or if they happen to flee the scene.
- Call a Grand Junction car accident attorney immediately to protect your rights and negotiate with the insurance adjusters on your behalf. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know the specific time limits for filing a pedestrian accident suit in the state of Colorado. It is important to hire an advocate who is ready and willing to work for you while you recover.
The experienced pedestrian accident lawyers at Peters & Nolan, LLC, can evaluate your situation and offer advice on the best way to proceed with a personal injury claim. We will negotiate with the insurance adjusters so that you do not have to. Insurance companies notoriously prefer for their claimants to not understand the claims process or have legal counsel. Do not speak with any adjusters. A skilled attorney will communicate for you. We will not let them pressure you into taking a lowball offer. It is your attorney’s responsibility to get the best possible settlement for your claim.
A pedestrian accident injury can be life changing. Drivers have a responsibility to exercise reasonable caution while on the road. A failure to do so means they can be found liable for any resulting accidents or injuries. We’re here to help you get justice for your accident and how it has affected your life.
Call (970) 243-4357 today to schedule a free consultation.
- Street Systems - City of Grand Junction
- Everyone is a Pedestrian - Colorado Department of Transportation
- Pedestrian Traffic Safety Facts - NHTSA
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.
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