Despite news reports, awareness campaigns, and legislative measures, the number of pedestrian fatalities across the United States continues to rise each year. In fact, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there were over 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2017 alone. This number doesn’t even account for the 70,000 severely injured pedestrians who were sent to emergency hospitals. While pedestrians can’t control the negligent actions or inactions of drivers, they can take specific steps to reduce their chances of being involved in a tragic accident.
It isn’t just drivers who participate in distracted behaviors that lead to accidents. Pedestrians are equally guilty of walking and crossing streets while using their mobile phones. This is extremely dangerous because pedestrians are so focused on their cell phones that they don’t pay attention to their surroundings. If you’re involved in a conversation or receive an important text, wait until you’ve crossed the street or find a safe place to use your phone.
Walking Under the Influence
This may surprise you, but walking can be just as dangerous as driving if you’re intoxicated. This is because your spatial awareness and judgement skills are still compromised, even if you aren’t behind the wheel. There have been cases where intoxicated pedestrians have walked into traffic or injured themselves because they aren’t able to accurately account for their surroundings. If you plan to have a fun night out, call a friend or order a rideshare.
Per traffic laws in Oklahoma, pedestrians are required to use designated crosswalks and marked pathways when crossing streets. By jaywalking, pedestrians place their lives in the hands of unwary drivers who may be distracted or speeding. These drivers may have trouble dodging the pedestrians or stopping their cars in time.
Filing a Claim
Personal injury lawsuits can be difficult to judge if liability is shared between the pedestrian and the driver. In fact, because Oklahoma operates under a 51% Bar Rule, a pedestrian may not receive any damages if they are found to be over 50% responsible for their injuries. Even being partially responsible can limit your damages and prevent you from maximizing your claim. For this reason, it’s essential to retain the services of an exceptional personal injury attorney if you plan to file a claim.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the Oklahoma pedestrian accident attorneys at Martin Jean & Jackson. With over 100 years of collective legal experience, our team has the knowledge and resources to effectively investigate your case and develop a strategy to represent your claim in court.
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