Factors Affecting the Severity of Pedestrians Injuries
When a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian, the resulting injuries are almost always catastrophic in nature – primarily due to the fact that they do not have any kind of external protection. Even cyclists – who are among the most vulnerable road users – tend to wear a helmet, which can reduce the risk of fatal injuries to a significant extent.
Pedestrians, on the other hand, are completely exposed to all the hazards on the roadway. According to knowledgeable Michigan pedestrian accident lawyers, there are three key factors that determine the severity of pedestrian injuries in the event of an accident – the impact speed, the age of the pedestrian, and the vehicle size and type.
Data shows that at an impact speed of 17 mph, there is a 10% chance that the pedestrian might suffer a serious or fatal injury. At 25 mph, there is a 25% chance. At 33 mph, there is a 50% chance. At 41 mph, there is a 75% chance. And at 48 mph, there is a 90% chance of a serious or fatal injury. At even higher speeds, the risk of pedestrian fatalities is significantly increased.
Age of the Victim
Data shows that children under the age of 10 and adults over the age of 65 are at a higher risk of sustaining serious or fatal injuries in the event of an accident compared to people from any other age group.
There is also a connection between impact speed and the age of the pedestrian. For instance, the risk of serious or fatal injuries for a 70-year-old person at an impact speed of 25 mph is similar to the risk for a 30-year-old person at an impact speed of 35 mph.
One of the reasons why older adults account for a disproportionate percentage of pedestrian accident victims is that their eyesight and hearing ability tend to be diminished compared to young people. They might not be able to see or hear oncoming vehicles. Moreover, slower reflexes can make it harder for older people to move fast or take any kind of evasive action to avoid getting struck by an oncoming vehicle.
Studies show that the risk of serious pedestrian accident injuries is relatively high in accidents caused by SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans – compared to regular-sized cars. SUVs, in particular, are deadly for pedestrians, as the risk of fatal injuries increases by 81% when an SUV is involved.
This is because SUVs and pickup trucks are taller than cars. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, they are more likely to be struck in the legs. On the other hand, when they are hit by an SUV, the point of impact is likely to be higher on the body, which significantly increases the risk of serious or fatal injuries.
Common Injuries That Can Result from Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents can result in serious injuries – especially at high speeds. These might include:
- Ligament tears
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic amputation resulting in limb loss
- Injuries to internal organs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
No-Fault Benefits for Pedestrians in Michigan
Under Michigan law, pedestrians who are injured by motor vehicles can file a personal injury protection (PIP) claim – also referred to as a no-fault claim – with their auto insurance provider and receive compensation.
If you do not own a vehicle that is titled and insured in Michigan, you might be able to receive PIP benefits by filing a claim with the auto insurance company of a family member whom you are living with.
If neither of these options is available to you, you can file a claim with the Michigan Department of State and receive compensation under the Assigned Claims Plan.
Based on this, no-fault benefits are unlikely to cover the expenses associated with your treatment – especially if you have suffered serious injuries. Under Michigan law, you have the right to bring a pedestrian accident claim against the at-fault driver and recover compensation for your injuries and other monetary losses.
How a Michigan Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Experienced Michigan pedestrian accident attorneys can investigate your case, gather evidence to establish the fault and liability of the driver who caused the accident (as well as other parties, if any), and negotiate with the insurance company to get a settlement that adequately covers all the economic and non-economic damages you suffered as a result of the accident.
Depending on the circumstances, your Detroit pedestrian accident attorney might be able to use a wide range of evidence to establish the liability of the at-fault driver. These might include:
- Photographic evidence from the accident scene.
- Statements and testimonies from people who witnessed the accident.
- Reports from accident reconstruction experts.
- Footage from surveillance cameras at the scene of the accident.
The stronger the evidence, the more aggressive your Detroit pedestrian accident lawyer can be while negotiating with the negligent party’s insurance company. It is why you should contact a lawyer as soon as you possibly can after the accident so that they have sufficient time to investigate and gather the evidence they need.
Potential Damages You Can Recover in a Michigan Pedestrian Accident Claim
- Medical bills associated with your treatment
- Cost of long-term therapy and rehab
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Punitive damages (if the reckless behavior of the defendant was particularly egregious)