What rights do injured pedestrians have when they’re hit by a car?
Concerns over pedestrian safety are increasing. More and more vehicles are striking people while they’re walking, whether it’s due to speeding or distracted driving. Safer roads are not only for drivers of automobiles but walkers and bicyclists as well.
Unfortunately, pedestrians are oftentimes at the greatest risk when they’re involved in a serious collision with a car. If you or a loved one have been injured while walking outdoors, our Michigan personal injury lawyers can help you recover damages, including your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs associated with the accident.
For more than 60 years, the Michigan pedestrian accident attorneys at Sinas Dramis have helped victims struck and injured by motor vehicles obtain the results they deserve. We will fight for you and your rights and will stand beside you every step of the way.
Laws Governing Michigan Pedestrian Accidents
Michigan law requires that if a sidewalk is present, pedestrians — whether walking or running — should use that sidewalk. If there’s no sidewalk, Michigan law requires pedestrians to use the edge of the street and run/walk against the traffic/facing traffic.
The most serious Michigan pedestrian accidents happen when a motor vehicle strikes someone who is walking or running. In recent years, there has been a rather alarming rise in pedestrian deaths. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in crashes in 2017 alone and accounted for 16% of all traffic fatalities.
Top causes of pedestrian versus motor vehicle accidents include:
- Speeding drivers
- Drinking and driving
- Distracted drivers and distracted walkers/runner (particularly cell phone use)
- Increase in motor vehicle travel overall
- More people are walking and running
Pedestrians Injured by Roadways or Sidewalks
While most Michigan pedestrian accidents involve motor vehicles, many do not. Tripping on cracked pavement or uneven cement causes about 25 percent of pedestrian accidents. Michigan law requires that a city or municipality make sure that a sidewalk is in a reasonably safe condition. People injured due to a defective condition on a sidewalk may be entitled under the public sidewalk exception to governmental immunity to bring a claim against the governmental agency responsible for the maintenance and repair of the sidewalk.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
By nature, pedestrian accident injuries are oftentimes more significant than other types of injuries, especially in comparison to collisions between two motor vehicles. Simply because walkers, runners, bikers, and joggers lack any type of protection from a vehicle, they’re at a much greater risk for injury. Many of the clients we’ve helped in the past have suffered from the following pedestrian accident injuries:
- traumatic brain injury
- spinal cord injury
- lower extremity injuries
- bruises, lacerations, abrasions
- sprains and breaks
Contact a Michigan Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
When you’re seriously injured as the result of a collision with an automobile or because of a significant defect in a sidewalk or roadway, enlisting the help of a qualified personal injury attorney can make all the difference in obtaining the compensation and access to resources you deserve. The attorneys at Sinas Dramis Law Firm have helped many injured pedestrians over the years and will help guide you throughout your case and the complicated insurance claims process.
Call us today for an initial case review to see how we can help at 866.758.0031.
Additional Information About Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians injured in accidents involving motor vehicles may be entitled to personal injury protection (PIP) benefits under the Michigan No-Fault statute. Under the no-fault statute, injured pedestrians can receive no-fault benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident so long as a motor vehicle was a major contributing factor causing injuries.
If the driver of the motor vehicle that caused your injury was negligent, Michigan law allows the pedestrian to bring a negligence claim against the driver and his or her insurer. In this negligence lawsuit, the injured person may recover non-economic damages — sometimes called “pain and suffering” damages.
Grand Rapids auto accident attorney, Tom Sinas, explains the recent update to Grand Rapids’ pedestrian ordinances. In addition, he outlines other long-standing city laws and tips for safety for walkers and drivers alike.