Brain Injury From Pedestrian Accidents – Car Accident Attorney in Detroit & Southfield Michigan
Walking has many health benefits, and it is also good for the environment and your overall well-being. But for all its benefits, walking can expose you to the dangers of inattentive or negligent drivers. All it takes is one person texting, speeding, or getting behind the wheel after too many drinks to turn a brief and pleasant stroll into a never-ending nightmare.
Unfortunately, thousands of American pedestrians die in traffic accidents each year. And many of the thousands who survive the sudden, unexpected, and violent impact from a vehicle are often left with catastrophic and permanent injuries, including brain injuries.
When a pedestrian suffers injuries or is killed because of a driver’s negligence or recklessness, those responsible can and should be held accountable. At Sommers Schwartz, our Michigan pedestrian accident lawyers provide critical assistance and work to obtain the maximum amount of compensation available for individuals and families suffering simply because they were out for a walk.
Pedestrian Deaths and Injuries on the Rise
While recent years have seen a decrease in other traffic injuries and fatalities, pedestrian deaths are rising. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5,977 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in 2017 – a 33-year high. That equals roughly one pedestrian death every 88 minutes. The CDC reports that:
- About 137,000 pedestrians received treatment in emergency rooms for nonfatal crash-related injuries in 2017.
- Per trip, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than vehicle occupants to die in a car crash.
In Michigan alone, 2,403 pedestrians were involved in traffic accidents in 2019, including 149 people who lost their lives, according to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents That Can Cause Brain Injuries
Vehicles and pedestrians have coexisted for over a century, resulting in countless accidents between them. But cars became faster, and roads and highways became wider and more crowded. As distractions from smartphones and other technology increasingly distract both drivers and pedestrians, it is no surprise that the number and severity of these crashes have grown.
Many of the same acts of negligence that cause vehicle accidents also result in crashes with pedestrians, including:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Failure to stop or yield the right of way
- Backing–up suddenly or inattentively in parking lots, driveways, and other areas where pedestrian traffic is common
- Failure to compensate for poor weather or other road conditions
- Left–hand turns, where drivers may not see crossing pedestrians as they focus on oncoming traffic
Brain Injuries From Pedestrian Accidents
It does not take much imagination to understand how and why pedestrians often have catastrophic brain injuries when hit by large, fast-moving vehicles. The violent impact can throw a person into the air or onto the ground with extreme force. When the head takes the brunt of that impact, as it often does, the brain can suffer a wide range of serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Traumatic brain injury is a catastrophic type of brain damage caused by an external force striking the head, whether from the skull making an impact with the ground or an object piercing the cranial plate to penetrate the brain.
Traumatic brain injury victims often endure months or years of rehabilitation, multiple surgeries, and countless visits to the doctor. A whole team of medical professionals, including neurologists, psychologists, physical therapists, and chiropractors, can become part of the recovery process. A victim may need assistance and continuous care indefinitely, and families often must physically alter their homes.
Other common brain injuries suffered by pedestrians in traffic accidents include:
- Brain hemorrhage (bleeding around or in the brain)
- Concussions (a jolt of the brain due to a hit)
- Contusions (bruise on the brain)
- Brain hematoma (clotting in the brain)
- Penetrating injury (object goes through the skull to the brain)
Filing a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit for Compensation
Before bringing a lawsuit for your pedestrian accident, you should file an insurance claim with your insurance carrier for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. If you do not have a no-fault policy of your own, you are entitled to PIP benefits from another source, such as a spouse’s policy or the policy of a relative living in your household. If there are no PIP policies available from any of these sources, you will make your claim with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan. Michigan is a no-fault state, which means that even if you are a pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident, PIP insurance pays your medical bills and other financial damages up to the insurance policy limits or $250,000 under the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
Personal injury protection insurance only pays for “economic losses” suffered by an injured pedestrian, including:
- Necessary medical bills and treatment
- Daily monetary allotment for replacement services to aid the victim in essential activities (ex., household chores)
- Lost wages for up to three years due to injuries from the accidents
Sommers Schwartz: Michigan Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Recovering compensation for “non-economic” losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, may require filing a personal injury lawsuit. At Sommers Schwartz, we have substantial experience and a long track record of success recovering compensation for those injured in pedestrian accidents, including individuals who suffer from life-changing brain injuries. With compassion and a fierce determination to help injury victims and their families, our pedestrian accident attorneys work tirelessly to get our clients the compensation and justice they deserve.
Please contact the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at Sommers Schwartz today to arrange for your free consultation.