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What causes pedestrian injuries in Virginia?

By John Singleton on February 15, 2022

If you are a pedestrian and get struck by a car or truck, with nothing to protect your body, you are vulnerable to serious injuries. Even if you are following all traffic and safety laws, pedestrians can easily be injured or killed by negligent drivers.

Although pedestrians were involved in less than two percent of all traffic accidents in Virginia in a recent year, they made up more than 15% of all traffic fatalities.

So if you’re walking somewhere or just out for a stroll, what should you watch out for, and how can you walk more defensively?

What are the reckless driver behaviors that harm pedestrians?

  1. Speeding. When drivers go too fast, innocent pedestrians are more likely to be hurt or killed. Drivers should always obey the speed limit, especially when approaching intersections or cross walks where they could encounter pedestrians. If you see a speeding car approaching, move as far off of the road as possible, and avoid crossing until it has passed.
  2. Distracted driving is a growing concern in Virginia and across the country – mainly from the use of cell phones for talking and texting. Many people think it’s OK to check their phone at an intersection, but this behavior can have deadly consequences.
    That’s why GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys launches a safety campaign each spring and offers Texts=Wrecks scholarships for high school students. Virginia has also adopted a hands-free cell phone law that makes it illegal to hold a handheld personal communications device while driving. However, we still see people every day driving while a holding a phone.
  3. Impaired drivers who operate motor vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol threaten the safety of everyone on the road, including pedestrians, because they suffer from decreased visibility, judgment, and reaction time.
  4. Disobeying stop or yield signs. As a pedestrian, try not to assume drivers will always stop or yield as expected. If possible, make eye contact with an approaching driver before crossing a street.
  5. Bad weather. Virginia’s basic speed laws states that drivers must not drive faster than what is safe for current conditions. So drivers must slow down when visibility and stopping time are reduced by weather conditions such as fog, snow, or rain.
    If you’re out walking in bad weather, use even greater caution by staying as far off the street as possible and crossing very carefully when necessary.
  6. Left turns. Drivers who are concentrating on making a left turn are often so preoccupied with looking out for oncoming traffic that they fail to check to see if pedestrians are in the crosswalk. Again, be aware of this problem, and try to use extra caution when crossing in this situation.

In Virginia, both drivers and pedestrians are held to the same standard of care. As a pedestrian, you are expected to obey all safety precautions and pay attention to vehicles on the road. But you definitely have the right to seek compensation if your injuries were caused by a careless driver who wasn’t following the law.  Sadly, if you are a pedestrian who does everything right, you can still easily be hurt by a driver who runs a red light or speeds through an intersection.

Pedestrian injuries are often severe because they don’t have seatbelts, airbags, or any other type of safety equipment to protect them. These injuries may include broken bones, back and neck injuries, nerve damage, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and internal injuries. In some cases, pedestrian can even suffer wrongful death.

Compensation is available

You or your loved one who is out walking when you are injured by a driver can recover compensation. However, it can be difficult to recover damages in Virginia because our Commonwealth has a contributory negligence rule. That means a pedestrian who was injured must prove that the driver was 100% at fault. This is a higher standard than many other states have.

So, if you are a pedestrian who has been injured, and it wasn’t your fault, you may need a personal injury attorney to help you. An experienced Virginia pedestrian injury lawyer investigates your accident to determine the amount of compensation you deserve. This may include obtaining the following:

  1. Ambulance report
  2. Surgery records
  3. Doctor visit records
  4. Current medical bills and projecting future costs
  5. Evaluating mental anguish and emotional trauma
  6. Determining lost wages and reduced earning capacity
  7. Physical therapy and rehabilitation records
  8. Property damage analysis

We’re here for you

At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, our hearts go out to anyone who has injured in an accident. We know what it’s like because we’ve been there ourselves. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of another person’s carelessness, we believe it’s our calling to help you achieve justice — with compassion and excellence.

Call (804) 413-6777 to lean more. We will meet with you for FREE, and if you hire us, our Zero Fee Guarantee means we only get paid when you get paid.

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Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.