Recently in Pedestrian Accidents Category

Pedestrian accidents in Springfield: FAQs answered

October 30, 2014

crosswalk-354782-m.jpgA key part of any car accident injury claim is determining who is at fault. Each accident is unique, so our Missouri car accident attorneys have to consider several different factors in each case. When a pedestrian is part of the equation, there are additional issues that must be evaluated. In this post, we answer some frequently asked questions about car accidents involving pedestrians

Is a pedestrian accident always the driver's fault?

Every accident requires an investigation to determine liability, or who is at fault. There are instances where the pedestrian might have been reckless or negligent. Certain factors could cause a pedestrian to endanger his or her life, or to cause an accident through negligence (for example, impaired judgment due to alcohol or drug use, or a medical condition). Other accidents are caused by pedestrians who are simply distracted or careless, failing to pay attention to traffic around them. In any case, if the driver was being careful and following all traffic laws, and he or she was unable to avoid a pedestrian accident, the driver is not always legally liable. Once again, each case needs to be weighed separately.

If I am the driver and someone intentionally ran out in front of me, can I sue the pedestrian?
In a small number of cases, it can be possible to take legal action against the pedestrian, but it is extremely difficult: it is much easier to build a case against a driver. A case against a pedestrian requires witness statements and clear-cut evidence to demonstrate that the pedestrian was primarily at fault for the accident. In some situations, it may be possible to seek damages from other responsible parties, if it can be shown that they contributed to the pedestrian's actions.

As a pedestrian accident victim, when can I sue a driver?
If you can establish that the driver was at least partially at fault for your injuries in a pedestrian accident (for example, the driver was negligent, or impaired, or speeding, etc.), you are entitled to pursue a lawsuit. The amount you can recover is limited by the percentage the driver was at fault. That is one reason why it can be beneficial to consult a lawyer, whether you were the pedestrian or the driver: to determine the percentage of liability, and therefore the viability of a personal injury suit.

Can I seek damages from other parties (besides the driver who hit me) in a pedestrian accident?
Here again, it depends on the nature of the accident - but in certain cases, it's possible that another party could bear some measure of responsibility. For example, if the signal light was malfunctioning, or if the crosswalk or sidewalk were in disrepair, and these factors contributed to an accident, then the city or county responsible for maintenance could be found at least partially liable.

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Auto accidents involving pedestrians commonly result in serious injuries, fatalities

crosswalk-sign-1431140-m.jpgAuto accidents involving pedestrians frequently result in serious, life-threatening injuries. In fact, you can be seriously injured or even disabled if you are hit by a car traveling at just 10 miles per hour. The faster the car is going, the greater the chances of critical or even fatal injuries. Our Springfield car accident lawyers want to remind both drivers and pedestrians to be cautious of each other throughout the warm spring months ahead.

Here are a few statistics related to collisions between pedestrians and automobiles, courtesy of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

• In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed and approximately 76,000 were injured in traffic crashes nationwide.
• On average, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash every 120 minutes and injured in a traffic crash every 8 minutes.
• Fatal collisions involving pedestrians are most likely to occur between 6:00 p.m. and midnight on Fridays or Saturdays.
• Alcohol is often a major contributing factor in pedestrian accidents. In 2012, 36% of pedestrians age 16 and older who suffered fatal injuries had BACs at or above 0.08%.

I've been involved in a pedestrian accident: What should I do?

If you have been hit by a car, truck, or motorcycle, do not move until you are sure you are not seriously injured. Often, the shock and adrenaline that follow an accident make it difficult for victims to realize how badly they're hurt. You will need to be assessed by a professional emergency medical technician, which means that you may need to wait as calmly as possible for help. If you can move and you are still in danger due to oncoming traffic, move to the side of the road and make sure someone has called 911.

If you have a cell phone, and you're physically able, take pictures of the scene and your injuries. Also, when possible, make notes of the road, weather, and traffic conditions. We recommend that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as is reasonably possible, so that witnesses and evidence can be located quickly.

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One dead, five injured when suspected drunk driver plows into backyard Halloween party

October 31, 2012

898145_slow_shutter.jpgOn Tuesday, one person was killed and five others were injured when a suspected drunk driver ran off the road and crashed into a group of people attending a backyard Halloween party. It happened in Houston, Texas: television station KRTK reports that a Chevrolet Camero ran a stop sign at a three way intersection, left the roadway, jumped a steep ditch and drove through a wooden fence into a private backyard, where the party was underway.

38 year-old Ana Sylvia Borjas was pronounced dead at the scene. Five other partygoers sustained various injuries when they were struck by the vehicle: two were airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital; one was taken by ambulance; and one - a four year old girl, who was thrown from the arms of one of the other victims - sustained minor injuries.

Meanwhile, as uninjured partygoers ran to assist those who had been struck, the driver of the Camero fled the scene on foot. Following the crash, the son of the Camero's owner contacted police to report the vehicle stolen: however, when officers questioned the man, he eventually admitted that he had loaned the vehicle to a friend. Law enforcement officials continue to search for the driver, 20 year-old Johnathan Hudson, who has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing injury.

Harris County deputies suspect that Hudson may have been under the influence of alcohol. "There (are) signs that alcohol was a factor in the crash," said Sergeant Susan Cotter told television station KHOU. "The vehicle smells like alcohol."

Sadly, drunk driving accidents cause serious, life-threatening injuries throughout all year round. However, given the festivities and pedestrian traffic associated with Halloween, impaired drivers can be especially deadly at this time of year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that in 2010, 41% of U.S. highway fatalities involved drivers with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit (0.08%).

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"Distracted walking" now causing increased injury risk to pedestrians

604772_traffic_sign.jpgThough it remains an epidemic problem, most people know that distracted driving is a serious threat to roadway safety. After all, distracted driving car accidents - and the legal penalties associated with such accidents - often receive a great deal of media attention. However, distraction is proving to increase injury risks for another kind of traveler: the pedestrian. It may seem hard to believe, but a growing number of pedestrians have suffered injuries caused by "distracted walking." Within the last seven years, reports of such injuries have quadrupled, with pedestrians reportedly walking off train platforms, falling off piers, and strolling into oncoming traffic:

Evidence of the distracted walking problem can be found on busy city streets throughout the country. More and more people are regularly using electronic devices while walking - which means that many pedestrians are focused on these devices instead of being attentive to what's going on around them. When crossing the street in heavy traffic, such inattention can be deadly.

Since 2010, pedestrian fatalities have increased by 4.2% and injuries by 19%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It's impossible to determine exactly how much of that increase is related to distraction, because law enforcement agencies often don't collect that kind of information from pedestrians. However, data submitted to the Consumer Product Safety Commission reveals that emergency rooms have treated at least 1,152 people for distracted walking injuries within the last year. In fact, it's likely that the actual number is considerably higher: here again, patients may fail to mention that distraction played a role in an injury, and even if they do, emergency room professionals don't always include that detail in medical reports.

Because distracted walking has become such a prevalent issue, several states are attempting to pass laws that prohibit the use of electronic devices while walking. For example, the Utah Transit Authority tried to implement on ordinance banning pedestrians from using "cellphones, headphones or other distracting electronic devices while crossing the tracks of its light rail system on the streets of Salt Lake City." If caught violating this ordinance, offenders faced a $50 fine. However, the ordinance failed to pass the Utah Legislature. Other states (such as Arkansas, Illinois, and New York) have drafted distracted walking bills, but none have passed into law.

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Police charge driver with first-degree assault following hit and run incident in Springfield

523929_night_drive.jpgA man wanted by authorities in connection with a hit and run incident is now in custody, according to the Springfield News-Leader. 22 year-old William Lee Smith reportedly turned himself in to the Greene County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday and was subsequently charged with first degree assault.

The charge stems from an incident last weekend that began with a domestic dispute in Ash Grove and ended with a critically injured man in Springfield. Investigators allege that William Smith and his wife Cheyenne were involved in a verbal altercation on Saturday evening. During the argument, Cheyenne called her mother, Vicki Stevens, and asked Stevens to come to the Smith residence and pick up Cheyenne and her son. Cheyenne then notified the authorities of the altercation. By the time Stevens arrived, police were on the scene. They detained William while Cheyenne left with her mother and son, but ultimately, he was released.

The women headed towards Springfield. As they traveled south on West Bypass, they saw William Smith following them near the Kearney intersection. William allegedly swerved at Stevens' vehicle and stopped in front of it several times in an attempt to get the vehicle to pull over. At that point, Stevens called 911 and reported that Williams was chasing her vehicle. She then contacted her husband, Randy Stevens, and his co-worker, Jeremy Strahle. The two men met the women near Kansas and Atlantic Street.

According to the statement against William Smith, Randy Stevens and Strahle were standing outside their vehicle when Smith sped past them. He turned around and came back, authorities say. Then, "[as Smith] was rapidly accelerating the vehicle, he struck [Strahle] with the front bumper of the vehicle, throwing him into the air and landing partially on the roadway and partially in the grass area on the west side of Kansas Avenue." After hitting Strahle, Smith reportedly continued traveling south on Kansas, leaving the scene.

Smith turned himself in on Tuesday and posted a $200,000 bond. His next court date is August 16. While free on bond, Smith is neither allowed to drive nor contact his wife, child or in-laws. In addition, must wear an electronic monitoring device.

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Missouri Highway Patrol Seeks Information Regarding Fatal Hit & Run Accident: Willard Teen Killed

1028507_dark_skies_ii.jpgThe Missouri Highway Patrol is asking for the public's assistance regarding a tragic hit and run accident that killed 18 year-old Steeler Seaburn last Thursday night. Seaburn, a senior at Willard High School, was found lying on Farm Road 94 near Stick Horse Lane, and pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Patrol, an unknown vehicle was traveling north when it struck Seaburn, who was walking along the road. The accident occurred sometime between 11:30 p.m. Thursday and 2:30 a.m. Friday.

It is not known why Seaburn was walking on Farm Road 94: his car was found nearby with the flashers on and the driver's side door open. Initially, police believed that his vehicle had broken down, but it was found to be operational. Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri Highway Patrol says troopers are currently looking for anyone who might have seen anything near the accident scene: if you have any information, you can contact the Patrol at (417) 895-6868.

Seaburn was an active, popular student: he was a starting defensive back/ wide receiver for the Willard High School football team and an all-state wrestler. His wrestling coach, Kiiler Stephens, says that Seaburn was an exemplary athlete and team leader who always made people laugh. "He was the funniest human I've ever met," Stephens told the Springfield News Leader. "The kids loved him. He always had a smile at whatever he was doing."

The Willard School District was closed on Friday and remains closed today for the Easter holiday, but that didn't stop students from coming to campus to honor Seaburn, according to Willard Athletic Director Jeff Staley. "Steeler was an incredible young man who will never be forgotten. In these situations, kids rally around each other better than adults do sometimes," Staley said.

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Stone County Pedestrian, Age 5, Suffers Fatal Injuries After Being Struck by SUV

file000147360202.jpgOur Springfield, Missouri car accident lawyers were saddened to hear about the death of a young girl in Stone County who ran in front of an oncoming vehicle. It happened on Saturday night, north of Cape Fair. Family members of 5 year-old Sahara Blevins say that the little girl ran down their driveway, which declines steeply into State Highway 173: they speculate that Sahara may have been going too fast to stop herself before darting into the roadway. Sahara, who was deaf, would not have heard a vehicle approaching, nor could she have seen it, because of a blind spot on that section of the highway. She was struck by Jeep Cherokee pulling a utility trailer.

Read the Missouri Highway Patrol's official crash report.

Sahara was airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, but she ultimately died as a result of her injuries. The driver and his passenger were not injured. As is required by Missouri law, law enforcement officials tested the driver for alcohol, but they do not believe alcohol was a factor in the accident. "Right over the top at a hill is a blind spot, a bad spot, and the driver...had nothing he could do," according to Lieutenant Bob Ramsell of the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District. "He did everything he could to avoid her."

Warm, comfortable temperatures have come early to the Ozarks this year: motorists can expect to see children outside shooting baskets, or riding bikes, or simply playing with their friends. We urge drivers to exercise extreme caution by driving defensively and keeping a constant lookout. It only takes a moment for a child to run into the street, chasing a stray ball; or to fall into your path after crashing his or her bike. Slow down, especially in residential areas. And always be prepared to stop.

1027562_slow_down_please_here_live_the_people.jpgChildren as Pedestrians & Car Accidents: The Facts

• In 2009, an estimated 13,000 children ages 15 and under were injured as pedestrians in vehicle collisions, while 1/5 (19%) of all children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in car accidents were pedestrians.

• Of child pedestrian fatalities, 74% occur at non-intersection locations, and 42% occur between 4:00 p.m. and 7:59 p.m.

• A staggering number of child pedestrians are injured in their own driveways. Of non-fatal back-over injuries in children as pedestrians, 50% occur at home, and 4 out of 5 injured were ages 4 or under.

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Missouri Highway Patrol Investigates Fatal Hit and Run Accident in Barry County, Missouri

December 23, 2011

As Barry County, Missouri car accident attorneys, we have experience assisting the victims of hit and run accidents. The law defines hit and run as "failure to stop after a vehicle accident to exchange information (name, license number, and other pertinent information) with other involved parties." When an accident involves an injury, the law also stipulates that motorists "address the needs of victims as is necessary," whether that requires dialing 911 or simply waiting for emergency responders to arrive on the scene. If a driver fails to comply with any of these requirements, he or she is guilty of a serious crime.

949273_pedestrian_crossing_sign.jpgThe Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating a recent pedestrian hit and run accident in Barry County, and the family of the man killed in that accident has issued a public plea for information. At around 7:30 p.m. on December 14, 44 year-old Tommy G. Rickman was hit by a car as he walked along Business Highway 37, near Cassville. The Highway Patrol speculates that Rickman was walking in the roadway when the accident occurred. The car left the scene, and Rickman was transported to St. John's in Cassville. Doctors attempted to save him, but he died within the hour as a result of his injuries.

Rickman's family recently contacted a local news station to issue a formal request for the driver to come forward. In an email to KY3 News, Rickman's nephew wrote that the accident "broke everyone's heart." We send our condolences to the family, and join them and the Highway Patrol in their appeal to the suspect and to the public.

In their investigation, troopers are focusing on a black or dark colored crew cab pickup truck (either Ford or Chevrolet) that was seen traveling north on Business 37 around the time of the accident. If you have information about this vehicle, its owner, or the accident, please contact the Highway Patrol at (417) 895-6868.

The Highway Patrol reported that Rickman was Troop D's 110th fatality for 2011. To see the crash report, click here.

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Are Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise in Greene County Missouri?

November 23, 2011

Thumbnail image for 175765_cross_walk.jpgMissouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) issued a press release Monday November 14, 2011 with information about the number of pedestrian accident fatalities so far in 2011. The numbers are cause for concern in Greene County and throughout Missouri. MoDOT is concerned for the safety of pedestrians and wants to raise awareness. And Greene County Missouri pedestrian accident lawyers want to raise awareness too. So with that in mind, here are some of the statistics to help you be aware of the dangers.

As of the end of September, 2011, 54 pedestrians have died as a result of pedestrian traffic accidents in Missouri. One reason for concern is that 57 was the total number for 2010 pedestrian fatalities. And if the current pace is maintained (six pedestrian deaths per month), Missouri will end 2011 with 18 more pedestrian deaths, for a total of 72 pedestrians killed in motor vehicle related accidents.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Numbers
In 2009, the latest year of data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,092 fatal pedestrian accidents were reported in the United States. There were 33,808 persons killed in all reported traffic accidents nationwide.

In Missouri, there were 68 pedestrians killed that same year. While this number is too high, Missouri still fared better than many states: the top four states for number of pedestrian fatalities in 2009 were Florida (466 killed with a fatality rate of 2.51 per 100,000 population), California (563, 1.52 rate) Texas (344, 1.39 rate), and New York (306 at 1.57 rate). Missouri was ranked 25th with a rate of 1.14 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population.

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Safety Tips for Halloween Celebrations in Springfield Missouri

October 28, 2011

Halloween is a very popular holiday for young and old alike, especially here in Springfield, Missouri. But like all fun things, Halloween can also be a little risky. From pedestrian accidents to drunk driving car accidents, it is a good idea to take extra precautions while you celebrate this year. With that in mind, Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers have put together a list local safe celebration ideas and a list of safety tips.

Safe Halloween Celebration Ideas in Springfield, Missourijackolantern.jpg

For everybody:

  • Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze -Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park, Thursday, October 06, 2011 - Sunday, October 30, 2011, Fri 5:00 p.m. -9:00 p.m.; Sat & Sun 12:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m.

  • Spooktacular at Dickerson Park Zoo, Friday, October 21, 2011 - Monday, October 31, 2011, 6:30-9 p.m.

  • Halloween Hustle 5K/10K to benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Courtyard by Marriott, 8 a.m. Saturday, October 29, 2011.

  • "THEY HAVE RISEN" spooky art show at Squidfoo Art Gallery Friday, October 7 at 6:00pm - October 31 at 10:00 p.m.

  • Ghost Tour at Pythian Castle, Saturday, October 29, 2011, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

  • Hotel of Terror haunted house and scary movies, 7 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. or later thru November 4.

Just for Kids:

  • Halloween Stories and Parades at local libraries; The Library Center and Brentwood Branch Library.

  • Undead Prom at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library, October 31, 2011, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m

Adults Only:

Halloween Safety Tips

  • First and foremost remember to choose a designated driver or arrange for a transportation service.

  • Remind kids about the importance of watching for cars and how to cross the street.

  • Make sure everybody has a flashlight or glow sticks.

  • Remind your kids never to get into a car with a stranger or go into a stranger's house.

  • Make sure costumes are fire proof and provide adequate breathing and peripheral vision.

  • Make sure any costume props are dull edged and flexible.

  • Remember tricks should not include vandalism, respect others and their property and pets.

  • Coordinate the route and a time limit for trick or treating.

  • Use cell phones or cell phone aps for tracking your trick-or-treaters.

  • Carry a whistle or other warning device.

  • Everyone should have a good meal before leaving for any festivities.

  • Have your kids bring home the candy to be checked before they eat any.

Keep the distractions to a minimum while driving and keep an extra sharp eye out for all of the little spools and ghouls. Remember everybody gets excited and caught up in the fun of the holiday and may forget to look before they cross the road or pull out into traffic. By keeping a few simple safety tips in mind and remembering to look out for each other while driving and while walking, this Halloween will be as fun and enjoyable as ever.

The Springfield, Missouri car accident lawyers wish you a safe, car accident free, and fun Halloween.

Reminders for Pedestrian Safety after a Pedestrian Accident in Wright County Missouri

October 27, 2011

Walking is a great activity for so many reasons. In Wright County Missouri people walk for personal and environmental health. From saving money and fossil fuels to enjoying being outside and getting more exercise, more and more people are walking. However walking can also have some dangerous components, such as pedestrian car accidents. Wright County Missouri pedestrian accident lawyers want to improve safety for pedestrians and offer the following facts and tips.

Recent Pedestrian Accident In Mansfield, Mo
The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) is investigating a pedestrian traffic accident in Mansfield. An 89 year old man was left with serious injuries after a pick-up truck hit him while he was walking north on the edge of the southbound lane on Old Missouri 5. He was walking less than half a mile south of Mansfield when he was struck. The accident happened around 9:45 a.m. on the morning of September 20, 2011. The driver of the 1997 Dodge pickup left the scene.

Missouri Pedestrian Accident Facts
In 2009 there were 4,092 pedestrians killed and an estimated 59,000 injured in the United States. In Missouri there were 68 pedestrian fatalities that same year. This equates to a pedestrian being killed every two hours and one injured every nine minutes in pedestrian accidents nationwide.

And it is important to note that for the purposes of statistics a pedestrian is anybody on foot, including anybody sitting or lying down. And the accident statistics for pedestrian involvement does not include any accidents on private property, such as parking lots or driveways. So the numbers of pedestrians hit by vehicles is actually higher.

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Investigation into Fatal Auto-Pedestrian Accident in Mobile, Alabama Will be Followed Closely

August 18, 2011

Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers are 506099_caution_tape.jpgfollowing the investigation into a tragic pedestrian accident in Mobile, Alabama. A fatal pedestrian accident is always tragic but it is also cause for concern. The lawyers are following the investigation to see who was at fault and to see what kind of compensation and remediation will follow.

A couple vacationing from Overland Park, Kansas were staying in Mobile, Alabama on their way to Florida when tragedy struck. At about 10:30 p.m. Friday night July 29 the couple was crossing the road near the hotel where they were staying. A Mobile police officer was responding to a call. The police officer passed an intersection and then struck the couple in the middle of the roadway. After this auto pedestrian accident the man was pronounced dead at the hospital. The woman was seriously injured and is still recovering.

While the couple tried to cross the street in the middle of the block instead of at the crosswalk, at issue is whether the office could have avoided this pedestrian accident. A Mobile police spokesperson describes the officer's driving at the time as "quick pursuit" yet lights and sirens were not activated.

Springfield Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Ask Questions
The questions become:

  • Was the officer driving over the posted speed limit?

  • If the officer was in pursuit why weren't any of the vehicle's emergency warning devices activated (such as lights and sirens)?

  • Were there other factors involved, such as faulty street lighting or a problem with the police cruiser?

  • What are the police department policies for call responses?

  • What type of driver training do the officers receive from the department?

  • How are the department's training, personnel, and investigation records kept?

  • Was the officer following department protocols?

  • Was the officer current on certifications, including driver training?

  • What is the history of the officer and the department, in regards to accidents and driver safety?

  • Are proper local, state, and federal regulations being followed in the investigation?

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