Pedestrian accident attorneys in Louisville, kentucky
When hit by a vehicle, a pedestrian can get seriously injured or killed since they have no protection to soften the impact. A significant number of pedestrian accidents occur in dense urban areas of Kentucky, where there is a high pedestrian concentration and heavy motor vehicle traffic. Conversely, in rural regions, there are fewer pedestrians. However, the traffic moves at higher speeds, which increases the likelihood of serious and fatal accidents.
Pedestrian’s Right-of-Way and Motorist’s Liability
Under Kentucky law, pedestrians walking within dedicated crossings have the right-of-way. Drivers must reduce speed or stop for pedestrians, and they cannot pass motorists who have stopped for pedestrians to cross.
At Intersections without a Dedicated Crossing Signal
If a pedestrian is at a traffic light without a crossing signal, they should follow the traffic rules as mentioned below:
- At a Round Green Light: If there is a round green light at the signal, pedestrians are allowed to proceed with caution.
- At a Green Arrow: The pedestrian may not cross if they are on the left-hand side of the road, and the indicator displays a green left-hand arrow. This rule is also applicable if the pedestrian is standing on the right-hand side of the road, and a right-hand green arrow is showing.
- At a Yellow Light: Yellow lights signal that the light is about to turn red, which means that there isn’t adequate time for a pedestrian to cross the road safely. Therefore, when faced with a yellow light, pedestrians are not allowed to walk through an intersection.
- At a Red Light: When faced with a red light, pedestrians are not allowed to cross the road.
Pedestrians in Areas Other than Dedicated Crossings
The law in Kentucky on pedestrians in areas other than dedicated crossings changes in accordance with the precise area.
- On the street when crossing: Pedestrians only have the right-of-way on designated crossings and not in other sections of the roadways.
- On the road with no sidewalk available: If a pedestrian is walking on the road due to the unavailability of a sidewalk, they must walk on the left-hand side of the road and as far from traffic as they can.
- On the road with sidewalk availability: When there is an accessible and open sidewalk, pedestrians cannot walk on the road.
- On the sidewalk: The right-of-way always belongs to the pedestrian on a sidewalk, and a motorist must always yield.
Common Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents
There is a strong link between automobile impact speed and the severity of the injuries that a pedestrian sustains. Nearly 5 percent of pedestrians will experience fatal injuries when hit by vehicles moving at 20 miles per hour or less. Comparatively, 40 percent of pedestrians will lose their lives if they are struck by a vehicle moving at 30 miles per hour, and 80 percent will be killed if hit by a vehicle traveling 40 miles per hour, as indicated by the US Department of Transportation.
Inability to Yield
In Kentucky, motorists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in various situations. At an intersection without traffic signs and signals, the right-of-way belongs to pedestrians. In addition, motorists must yield if the pedestrian has a WALK signal or on a green light in the absence of a pedestrian crossing signal. Drivers pulling out of alleys, private roads, or driveways should also yield to pedestrians on sidewalks.
In many accidents involving pedestrians, distraction is a cause. A motorist who is distracted with food, mobile devices, GPS, the radio, or speaking to passengers poses a threat to pedestrians and other drivers. The likelihood of a distracted driver failing to see a pedestrian and striking them is higher.
The consumption of alcohol is the reason for many pedestrian accidents. According to the Highway Safety Commission, 15 percent of pedestrians who are hit and fatally injured are struck by intoxicated drivers. In contrast, one-third of pedestrians who lose their lives on roads are legally drunk. Sometimes, inebriated pedestrians walk in the road or lie down or sit on the road.
Could a Problem in the Crosswalk cause a Pedestrian Accident?
Sometimes the motorist may not be the sole reason for a pedestrian accident. Road design and the location of the crosswalk can also be factors in a pedestrian accident. Agencies that design and maintain public crosswalks are responsible for considering the safety of pedestrians. But if the crosswalk is unsafe, those responsible for its design and upkeep could be held liable.
In cases of crosswalk location negligence, potential defendants might include government agencies and engineering firms, among others. If you or a loved one has been hurt while crossing the road, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney at the law offices of John H. Ruby & Associates can help determine who is responsible.
Our seasoned pedestrian accident lawyers in KY will send investigators to your accident scene to evaluate the location and preserve evidence. To build a robust case for you, we enlist the help of leading engineering experts and accident reconstruction specialists.
General Rules on Pedestrians
- Even if the driver has the legal right-of-way, they must always remain cautious of pedestrians to avoid accidents.
- Pedestrians cannot enter roads abruptly and without any warning.
- Motorists must yield to visually impaired pedestrians, who can be identified by the use of a visible white cane or a guide canine.
- If there has been an accident and a pedestrian sustains injuries, the driver must remain at the accident venue and alert the authorities.
Pedestrian Injuries and Deaths Are Increasing
The first step in our efforts to prevent pedestrian accident injuries and deaths is to understand the reasons behind these accidents. Let us throw some light on some of the more important reasons behind the rise in injuries and fatalities in accidents involving pedestrians:
Apart from the rise in the number of cars on the roads, there has been a proliferation in the number of more young drivers. The growing levels of income and wealth have resulted in a lot more families owning three or four cars, with separate vehicles for children.
Aging pedestrians are more at risk to suffer severe injuries or death in an accident. Widening of the roads for the increasing traffic may be having an inadvertent effect on pedestrian injuries as it puts the older pedestrians at risk. It takes them longer to cross because of their slower speeds.
The constant rise in traffic densities in our cities is placing more demands on the road users, including motorists and pedestrians alike, and putting them under increasing stress. Heavier traffic density is forcing pedestrians and drivers to shift attention from one focal point on the road to another constantly, hampering their situational awareness.
The advent and subsequent ubiquitous use of smartphones by pedestrians and motorists alike can be directly correlated to the uptick in the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Smartphone users get more and more distracted as they indulge in cognitive and visually engaging tasks on their devices.
What Should a Parent Do When a Child Is Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
Your first concern as a parent must undoubtedly be the physical safety and wellbeing of your child. Call 911 immediately and be with your child until medical help arrives at the accident scene. In the meanwhile, keep talking to your child to help soothe them, and try to keep them still as any excess movement could aggravate existing injuries.
Children are usually resilient and might seem unhurt and healthy in the immediate aftermath of a seemingly minor accident. But the importance of seeking urgent medical help cannot be stressed enough because of the unseen injuries in a pedestrian accident that may take time to become apparent.
Legal Assistance from Skilled Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Being involved in an accident is a traumatic experience. At John H. Ruby & Associates, our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers can offer you some peace of mind. We will handle all interactions with insurers and settlement negotiations, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
We will deal with the insurance company trying to take advantage of you or attempting to convince you to accept a lowball settlement offer. Our seasoned lawyers have extensive experience in handling complex accident cases and are highly knowledgeable in the claims process. Call (502) 895-2626 for a free case review with a qualified pedestrian accident attorney.