Common Pedestrian Injuries, and Those Who May Be Responsible

Pedestrians have little protection when struck by a motor vehicle, especially one traveling at a high rate of speed.  Frequent injuries include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Paralysis
  • Broken Bones
  • Internal Injuries, particularly injury to organs
  • Lacerations and severe cuts
  • Death

For those who are severely injured, the injuries may last a lifetime, sometimes preventing the accident victim from being able to work or enjoy every-day activities.  In some cases, such as with TBI and paralysis, a victim may need ongoing, 24/7 care.  In these circumstances, it’s critical to obtain dedicated, tenacious legal counsel who will work tirelessly in seeking full compensation for victims – not only for past medical bills and pain and suffering, but importantly, for the full value of future medical and care costs, and for lost wages and other damages.

At Ressler & Tesh, we have been helping injury victims and the families who have lost a loved one due the fault of someone else for years.  If you or a family member has been injured due the negligence of someone else, we would invite you to call our firm for a free consultation, and to learn how we can help.  

Pedestrian Accident Statistics – How Many Pedestrians Are Killed or Injured in the US?

Tragically, pedestrian injuries occur way too frequently in the United States, with more than 129,000 pedestrians injured in non-fatal crashes in the 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”).[1]  The CDC also reported that during that same year, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in the United States, amounting to one pedestrian death every 1.6 hours.[2]

Who May be Fault for Pedestrian Accidents?

In addition to a driver who may have hit a pedestrian, there are frequently other entities who may also be legally responsible.  When we are retained to represent an injured pedestrian or the pedestrian’s family, we will want to conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether there may be other parties liable, such as the following: 

  • Cities and Municipalities 

Pedestrian accidents and fatalities often occur at night, particularly in dimly lit areas.  Unfortunately, in many cases, proper lighting would have likely prevented the person from being hit, injured, or killed.

Additionally, in some instances, a pedestrian injury or fatality may not have been the first injury or fatality at a particular location.  Despite the occurrence of previous accidents, cities and other municipalities often refuse to fix dangerous locations.  When subsequent “accidents” occur, such events are not really accidents – they are foreseeable, and a direct consequence of a municipality’s failure to make a particular location safe.  As a result, the municipality will often be at least partially liable for the injuries and damages that occur.

  • Bars and Restaurants, When They Over serve Intoxicated Patrons 

All too frequently, bars, restaurants, and other establishments that serve alcohol will continued to serve alcohol to customers even though the customers are already over the legal limit for intoxication.  Sadly, these customers then drive drunk and cause injuries and fatalities.

Washington has adopted what are known as Dram Shop laws which are designed to hold accountable commercial establishments that continue to serve alcohol to customers after they are drunk.  In a case involving a victim injured by a driver, we will want to carefully investigate to see if the driver was intoxicated, and, if they were, to determine whether there are any commercial establishments that may be liable under Dram Shop laws.

  • Companies Who Employ Drivers

Commercial drivers include those delivery drivers (like those working for UPS), truck drivers, and numerous other types of drivers employed by various companies.  If these drivers hit a pedestrian while working for a company, it is likely that both the driver and the company will be liable for the damages and injuries sustained.

  • Uber, Lyft, and Ride Share Companies

Ride share companies such as Uber and Lyft commonly provide supplemental insurance for their drivers who cause injury.  In order for this insurance to be triggered, the driver must have their app on (so that they are driving and are available to accept rides).  In the case of Uber, the supplemental insurance is much higher if the driver is going to pick up a customer or is transporting a customer than if the driver only has their app on (in other words, while they are waiting for a customer to contact them).

  • Governmental Entities

A driver responsible for hitting a pedestrian may also be driving for a local, state, or federal agency as part of their job at the time that a pedestrian is hit.  For example, the driver may be a mail carrier.  In this case, the applicable governmental entity will also likely bear responsibility for the accident.  When a governmental entity is involved, there are special procedures that need to take place in order to initiate a lawsuit against the entity.

Who May Be Liable for Your Injuries and Damages?

We invite you to call us for a free consultation to learn more about who may be liable for your injuries and damages, and to learn your options in seeking a recovery against those responsible.  We advance litigation costs on behalf of clients so that you won’t need to worry about paying for such costs while your case proceeds, and there are no fees for our firm unless we obtain a recovery for you.


[2] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2015 Data – Pedestrians. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; 20175. Publication no. DOT-HS-812-375. Available at

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