A pedestrian is defined as any person not in or upon a motor vehicle or other vehicle. In 2008, 4,378 pedestrians were run over and killed by vehicles in the United States. On average, a pedestrian is killed by a vehicle every 120 minutes and injured by vehicles every 8 minutes. In fact, there were 69,000 pedestrians injured by vehicles in 2008 which is the last years statistics of this kind were compiled nationwide.
Walton Law Firm has handled pedestrian accidents/collisions for many years. These type cases require particular attention when it comes to gathering and preserving evidence at the scene. There are several short lived evidentiary items which must be gathered quickly if they are to be preserved. A few of these items include the following: shoe scuff marks on pavement; cloth/fabric transfers on pavement or vehicle; blood marks/trails on pavement or vehicle; law enforcement paint marks on pavement; and client’s personal items such as shoes, glasses, cell phone, handbag and/or other personal property found in or near the roadway.
Another important item of evidence that should be gathered as quickly as possible is any and all video tape from video cameras positioned at or near the intersection or roadway where the collision occurred. Many businesses now have video cameras (as do cities) at or near the vicinity where pedestrians’ are struck. Therefore, it is helpful to follow up regarding any potential video tape that may actually show the collision event.
It is important to cross a roadway at a crossing specifically marked for pedestrians. To do otherwise you put yourself at serious risk of injury and further run the risk of being found contributory negligent thereby preventing you from pursuing a recovery from the driver who struck you. It is also a great idea to wear light colored clothing and/or reflective clothing or gear if you walk or run at night on or near a roadway.
It is also interesting to note that Alabama law provides that every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person.
Photographs of the scene taken as quickly as possible can also be very useful. It is wise to check with first responders and other witnesses to see if they may have taken photographs with their cell phone or otherwise. A real game changer in these type cases and other personal injury type cases is the use of www.VPike.com and/or www.EarthGoogle.com which will allow us to pull up the collision site during the first appointment with the client. Being able to look at the site is very helpful when initially determining how to proceed.