In New Orleans, walking is a way of life. People walk to work, dinner, public events and more, but in such a pedestrian-friendly city, the risk of a pedestrian-vehicle accident is high. If you have been hurt in an accident while traveling by foot in New Orleans, you need to know how to protect your interests and what you need to do in order to obtain a full recovery.
Facts about pedestrian accidents
Statistics suggest that approximately 4,800 people suffer injuries in pedestrian accidents every year. This number is high, yet there is reason to believe that many victims do not even report an incident. This is possibly because the driver leaves the scene of the accident, the victim believes he or she is partially to blame or the pedestrian does not think that he or she needs medical attention.
Pedestrian accidents often involve serious injuries, as the person walking is unprotected against the impact of a moving vehicle. Adults are not the only victims; estimates suggest that the cost of pedestrian accidents involving children 14 years and younger is more than $5 billion per year.
Is walking more dangerous than riding in a car?
After a steady decrease in pedestrian accidents in the previous years, 2014 saw an increase in the number of these incidents. It is difficult to ascertain exactly what caused this jump, and those who walk as a main form of transportation may be wondering if it is a dangerous choice. Awareness of why these types of accidents happen may be a step toward safer pedestrians and fewer injuries. Reasons can include:
- Drunk driving
While many pedestrian accidents do involve a vehicle, there are other ways that people can suffer injury while walking. These include:
- Trips and falls
- Slips and falls
- Slippery sidewalks
- Uneven walkways
- Poorly marked crosswalks
- Stepping in a hole
It may be impossible to say that walking is a more dangerous form of transportation, but injured pedestrians can be certain that they always have the right to know their legal options.
The steps to take to protect your interests
If you were hurt while walking or injured in a pedestrian-vehicle accident, you deserve to know if you have a valid claim to compensation. It is possible that you are suffering from injuries caused by factors beyond your control, but you do not have to face your difficult circumstances alone.
Protecting your interests as an injured pedestrian begins by securing legal help as soon as possible after an accident. An experienced attorney can identify liable parties, help you build a claim and advocate for your needs and rightful recovery.