Pedestrians suffer injuries in collisions with motor vehicles much more often than you might expect, and those injuries can be debilitating and life-threatening. In most cases, a pedestrian vehicle accident results from a negligent motorist. There are many different causes of pedestrian collisions involving motor vehicles, and it is important to seek help from a car accident lawyer if you were injured in a crash caused by an at-fault motorist. Pedestrian accidents are largely preventable, yet it is important to remember that pedestrians can also be at fault in some situations.
Getting the Facts About Pedestrian Accidents Involving Motor Vehicles
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 6,000 pedestrians are killed in traffic collisions on an annual basis and about 137,000 sustain non-fatal injuries that require treatment in emergency departments. The CDC explains that the following pedestrians are at greatest risk of injury in a collision involving a negligent automobile driver:
- Pedestrians aged 65 and older;
- Pedestrians under the age of 15;
- Pedestrians walking in areas or times of frequent intoxicated driving;
- Pedestrians walking in areas where cars travel at higher speeds;
- Pedestrians walking in urban areas;
- Pedestrians crossing the street at non-intersection locations; and
- Pedestrians walking at night.
Distracted Walking and Pedestrian Liability
What happens if a pedestrian is also partially at fault due to distracted walking? Although motor vehicle drivers are supposed to give pedestrians the right of way in most situations, it is critical for pedestrians to know that distracted walking could put them at risk of having a damages award reduced due to comparative negligence. For example, if a pedestrian is distracted and crosses a street—even in a crosswalk—against a “do not walk” sign because that pedestrian is distracted by a podcast she is listening to or because that pedestrian is looking down at her phone to reply to a text, the at-fault driver might argue that the pedestrian bears some responsibility for the collision.
Under Colorado law, as long as the pedestrian is not 50 percent or more at fault, the law says that the pedestrian can still recover damages. However, that pedestrian’s damages award will be reduced by her percentage of fault. For example, if a distracted pedestrian is found to be 10 percent at fault and the court awards that plaintiff a total of $50,000 in damages, that total would be reduced by 10 percent (the plaintiff’s portion of fault), and the plaintiff would recover $45,000. Yet once a plaintiff is 50 percent or more at fault, that plaintiff is then barred from any monetary recovery.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Colorado
Many pedestrians are at serious risk of injury in a collision caused by a negligent motorist. Do you need help learning about your options for financial compensation after a pedestrian vehicle accident? One of the aggressive Colorado pedestrian car accident lawyers at our firm can speak with you today about your case. Contact McCormick & Murphy, P.C. for more information about how we may be able to assist you with your claim.