Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Serving Denver & the Greater Colorado Area for Three Decades
Pedestrian accidents have become a national problem due to lack of awareness on both the parts of pedestrians and drivers. In Colorado alone, over 600 pedestrians have lost their lives in the past 10 years. Survivors of pedestrian accidents face devastating personal injuries, not to mention loss of income. Many of these accidents are avoidable if a few safety precautions are taken into consideration.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Colorado, before you talk to anyone from the other party’s insurance company, talk to me.
I’ve handled thousands of personal injury cases over the past 30 years. Contact me for a free consultation at (303) 454-8000 or toll-free at (800) ROSEN-911, or by filling out the form on the right.
It’s important for drivers and pedestrians alike to know their rights when it comes to pedestrian accidents. Below is some information to help you stay informed about pedestrian safety.
Pedestrian Accident Facts & Resources
The Colorado Department of Transportation reports that in 2015 there were over 1,300 crashes involving pedestrians in Colorado. If you have been injured in a traffic accident while just walking around, here are answers to your most important questions.
Many Colorado residents have been devastated by pedestrian accidents. Between 2003 and 2012, 565 people were killed while walking in Colorado, as reported on the Transportation for America Dangerous by Design 2014 report. Pedestrian fatalities cost the state $86 million in 2013.
Colorado’s overall Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) is 34.1, which ranks 29 out of 50 states, according to a Transportation for America Dangerous by Design 2014 report. Older pedestrians died at a rate of 3.06 per 100,000 residents in Colorado, compared to 1.49 per 100,000 for residents of all ages, ranking the state 21st nationally for fatality rate for pedestrians over the age of 65.
A National Problem
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2013, with an additional 150,000 pedestrians receiving emergency treatment.
- Statistics show one crash-related pedestrian fatality every 2 hours, and a pedestrian injury every four minutes.
- Pedestrians are one-and-a-half times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip.
- Fatal pedestrian accidents account for almost 12 percent of total traffic deaths nationwide.
Older pedestrians were the most at risk, with those over age 65 accounting for 19 percent of all pedestrian deaths and 10 percent of all pedestrian injuries in 2013.
Alcohol impairment, either of the driver or of the pedestrian, was reported in 48 percent of the accidents that resulted in the death of a pedestrian. Of the pedestrians involved, 34 percent had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. Most pedestrian deaths occurred at night in non-intersection locations in urban areas.
I’ve Been Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident and Have Decided to File an Injury Claim. What Should I Do Next?
Record as much information as you can about the accident, your injuries, and any other losses you have sustained as a result of the accident, such as wages or earning capacity. Locate people who witnessed the accident and notify anyone you think might have been responsible. You will also need to contact a Colorado personal injury attorney who regularly handles pedestrian accidents.
Is the Driver Always at Fault for an Accident If the Pedestrian Was Walking in a Marked Crosswalk?
In Colorado, drivers are legally required to yield the right of way to pedestrians within a crosswalk who are in the same half of the roadway as the vehicle, or to pedestrians who are approaching closely enough from the opposite side of the road to present a danger. Where traffic control devices are in operation, pedestrians may cross between two adjacent intersections only in a marked crosswalk and may cross an intersection diagonally only if authorized by that traffic control device.
What If I Am Partly at Fault for the Accident?
If you bear some responsibility for the accident, the amount that you can recover may be reduced. Since Colorado is a modified comparative fault state, a damaged party cannot recover if 50 percent or more at fault for an injury. If you are 49 percent or less at fault, the amount of your recovery will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
What Damages Are Recoverable in a Pedestrian Accident Case?
Although what can be recovered in any individual case depends upon the issues involved, you could potentially recover damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, past and future pain and suffering, and loss of earning capacity, if applicable. Exemplary (“punitive”) damages are also available in Colorado if the injury involved fraud, malice, or willful and wanton conduct.
What If a Bicyclist Hits Me While I Am Jogging on a Bike Path? Can I Recover Damages?
An accident involving a cyclist and a pedestrian differs from a motor vehicle accident: instead of recovering damages through the at-fault party’s insurance company, an injured pedestrian may be able to recover damages through the at-fault cyclist’s homeowners insurance.
Common Causes of Accidents Involving Pedestrians
Pedestrians can put themselves in danger of being hit if they leave a curb suddenly and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle. According to Colorado law, pedestrians have the right-of-way to the crosswalk, although they must avoid crossing a roadway at any point other than a marked crosswalk.
Motorists can cause pedestrian accidents when they fail to come to a complete stop at a stop light, fail to stop before turning right at an intersection, crowd pedestrians on a road or street, drive too fast in residential areas, and drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Colorado drivers have a duty to maintain a proper lookout and to exercise due care with respect to pedestrians. Drivers must yield to pedestrians when the “walk” signal is illuminated as well as at a crosswalk where there is no signal, and when crossing the roadway
Safety Tips for Pedestrians and Drivers
Here are few tips from the University of Colorado/Boulder for pedestrians to follow to reduce the likelihood of an accident. Pedestrians should:
- Make themselves visible and avoid dangerous behavior and situations.
- Make eye contact with drivers, and be especially careful at intersections, where drivers often fail to yield the right-of-way to them.
- Increase their visibility while walking at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing light-colored or reflective clothing.
- Cross the street at designated crosswalks, and stay on the sidewalk, whenever possible.
- Walk facing the oncoming traffic, if walking on the sidewalk or in crosswalks is not possible.
- Pay attention to their surroundings at all times, and especially when wearing headphones while walking.
Drivers can also help reduce pedestrian accidents. Drivers should:
- Be aware of crossing pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks, and never pass a vehicle stopped at a pedestrian crosswalk.
- Obey the posted speed limit and always be prepared to stop for a pedestrian, especially in school areas.
- Be aware of pedestrians when turning and yield the right-of-way to them.
How Soon Do I Need to Bring a Lawsuit After a Pedestrian Accident?
Colorado has a three-year statute of limitations that governs all actions for bodily injury or property damage arising out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle.
If you, as a pedestrian, were seriously injured in a traffic accident, contact the Law Offices of Daniel R. Rosen online or call 303-454-8000 to schedule your free initial consultation today.