Kentucky’s moderate climate makes it the perfect place for residents to enjoy a leisurely walk around their neighborhood, go for a run, walk to and from school, or walk to and from work. Yet pedestrians risk injury from negligent motorists each time they take a step.
In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates more than 6,000 pedestrians die in traffic accidents each year across the United States, averaging approximately one fatality every 88 minutes. This doesn’t include the tens of thousands of pedestrians who suffer through accident injuries, some of which have lifelong effects. In Kentucky, the number of pedestrian accidents has risen from 936 to 1,099 in recent years.
Pedestrian accidents are often more dangerous and more likely to be fatal than other types of traffic accidents because victims don’t have any protection between their bodies and the road or the vehicle that hits them.
Pedestrians who jaywalk can put themselves at risk of a traffic accident. More often than not, however, pedestrian accidents happen because careless motorists fail to put safety first when driving in areas where they should expect to encounter pedestrians.
If you or your child has suffered injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle while walking or running, Kentucky law may entitle you to seek compensation for damages related to your injuries in civil court. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart to discuss your accident and injuries, determine the viability of your claim, and learn about the best path forward for your individual circumstances. We represent pedestrian accident victims throughout Kentucky. Call us today at (888) 782-9090 for a free case evaluation.
The dedicated legal team at The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart has represented accident victims for more than 40 years. The firm’s steadfast commitment to professional excellence, advocacy, and client service has resulted in the recovery of tens of millions of dollars in court awards and settlements for clients. The firm handles a wide variety of accident injury cases, including those involving pedestrians.
Some recent case examples include a range of settlements and verdicts, such as:
These recent cases are only examples and do not guarantee a specific outcome for your case. Each accident injury claim has distinctive factors that can add to or detract from the value of a claim, making it difficult to predict an outcome. However, clients can always rest assured that the skilled pedestrian accident lawyers at The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart have the experience and passion to build the strongest case possible on their behalf.
A wide variety of situations can lead to a severe, sometimes fatal, pedestrian accident. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian-involved traffic accidents in Kentucky include:
Consuming alcohol and/or drugs before getting behind the wheel impairs drivers and prevents them from reacting appropriately to driving scenarios. The NHTSA reports that drivers impaired by a 0.08 blood alcohol level have poor muscle coordination that can impact speech, vision, hearing, and reaction time. Additionally, alcohol impacts concentration, speed control, and the ability to process information. A drunk driver might see a pedestrian and still lack the reflexes and muscle coordination to stop in time to avoid a collision.
Prescription drugs can have similar effects on a driver’s ability to avoid colliding with a pedestrian. So, too, can marijuana, and with recreational use legal in the border state of Illinois but not in Kentucky, impaired drivers on their way home from a cannabis tourism trip might lack the reaction time to stop before hitting you when you are legally crossing the street.
In Kentucky and across the nation, licensed drivers have a duty to exercise care when driving anywhere near pedestrians. Most pedestrian accidents happen because motorists breach this duty and fail to yield to pedestrians, such as when someone walks or runs across the street (whether inside or outside of a crosswalk). Drivers might not see a pedestrian, or they may simply choose to keep driving and hope the pedestrian stops for them. In either case, the failure to yield can easily lead to a dangerous, sometimes deadly, collision.
In some pedestrian accidents, driver distractions lead to a driver failing to stop for a pedestrian. The increased use of cell phones has contributed to more and more of these types of accidents. The toll of distracted driving has become too large to ignore. Lawmakers across the nation have finally begun to focus their attention preventing texting and driving, passing laws that impose fines and stiff penalties for drivers who text-and-drive.
Still, cell phones do not constitute the sole means by which a driver can get distracted. Plenty of other distractions can cause a driver to not see a pedestrian right in front of them, including:
Drivers who engage in any activity that takes their hands off the wheel, their eyes away from the road, or their minds off of driving, commit the dangerous mistake of driving while distracted. This choice can lead to treacherous traffic accidents that put pedestrians in harm’s way.
You might not think of driving while drowsy or fatigued as a dangerous practice, but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says otherwise. The agency’s research concerning the relationship between sleep and driving has found that 18 hours without sleep impairs a driver to the same level as a 0.08 breath alcohol level.
Commercial truck drivers with demanding schedules as well as shift workers and other drivers who have spread themselves too thin risk causing a pedestrian accident if they fall asleep at the wheel. Drivers who have untreated sleep problems, general poor health, and improperly use medication also are at risk for fatigued or drowsy driving.
Multiple driver actions fall under the category of careless driving, but each stems from a driver’s disregard for traffic regulations and for the safety of others who share the road. Careless motorists who travel too fast for conditions, travel significantly over the posted speed limit, aggressively change lanes, and don’t follow most traffic regulations, risk hitting a pedestrian and causing severe, potentially catastrophic or deadly injuries.
Pedestrians often don’t have the chance to get out of the way of a careless driver before avoid getting hit. Careless drivers often fail to pay attention to all the information around them when they drive, which risks not seeing pedestrians before it is too late. Even a careless or reckless driver who sees a pedestrian may lack the reflexes to avoid a collision.
Most Kentucky pedestrians don’t have to worry about poorly maintained roads causing an accident, yet sometimes bad roads can lead to an accident. If streets in busy cities like Lexington and Lousiville have potholes, a pedestrian can trip when crossing the road and suffer injuries, particularly if a vehicle cannot avoid a collision.
Other issues that fall under the umbrella of poorly maintained roads include broken traffic lights, broken signs, missing signs, and malfunctioning signals. Issues with signs and signals can cause a pedestrian accident when drivers fail to stop or slow down. Pedestrians always have the right of way to a motor vehicle, but only properly-working signs and signals can protect pedestrians at blind intersections.
Automobile defects and auto part defects can cause severe traffic accidents, sometimes involving pedestrians. Automobile and auto part manufacturers don’t typically put defective merchandise on the market on purpose. Nevertheless, they have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe for use.
When defects occur during the design or manufacturing phase of a car or car part, companies sometimes don’t find out about the defect until traffic accidents occur and cause severe injuries or fatalities. Defective tires can lead to blowouts that cause drivers to lose control. Defective brakes can cause a loss of control. These are only two examples of defects that can lead to a pedestrian accident.
Suffering injuries in a Kentucky pedestrian accident caused by another party typically gives you the right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for losses related to your injuries. If the court rules in your favor or you reach a settlement agreement before trial, you may receive compensation for many different “economic” and “non-economic” losses.
Each case is different, but some of the most common losses you may recoup after a Kentucky pedestrian accident include:
If you lost a child or other loved one as a result of a pedestrian accident, you might qualify for compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit depending on your relationship with the deceased. Kentucky law permits eligible family members to take legal action and recover some of the above damages in addition to visitation and funeral or memorial service expenses. Cremation or burial expenses are also typically part of a wrongful death claim. We can help determine your eligibility and answer specific questions about what losses you can recover.
In addition, you may have personal injury protection insurance. If so, in Kentucky, that means you will need to first seek compensation from your own insurance company before going up against the at-fault driver—unless your medical bills exceed $1,000, you break a bone, or suffer permanent injury or death. You may need help filing a claim against your own policy, since it is no more likely to want to pay out on your claim than another driver’s insurance company.
The knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorneys at The Law Firm of Flora Stuart Templeton understand the challenges you face in the wake of a pedestrian accident. Our firm has years of experience holding at-fault parties accountable for causing harm to innocent victims like you. We have the resources and know-how to handle every aspect of our clients’ personal injury cases, so that they can focus on recovering their health and wellbeing.
If you have suffered injuries in a Kentucky pedestrian accident through no fault of your own, you deserve full and fair compensation. Contact The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart online or at (888) 782-9090 for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your case and determine the best path forward for your individual circumstances. We take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, collecting our fees only when our clients receive compensation from a settlement or jury award.