There are legions of personal injury risks tied to modern life, of course. Motor vehicle accidents in Connecticut and across the country spawn adverse – too often catastrophic and fatal – outcomes for individuals and families victimized by third-party negligence. Premises liability incidents (e.g., slip/fall, dog bites) are common injury catalysts. Defective products harm consumers. Medical error takes a heavy toll.
Today’s blog post spotlights a fundamental human activity that also routinely confronts risk. That is walking, a most simple act that many people commonly perceive as risk-free.
It isn’t. In fact, pedestrian injury and death is a sobering and seemingly intractable problem, both in Connecticut and nationally.
Putting some statistical perspective on pedestrian injury incidents
The header cited immediately above invites a simply posed query.
That is this: Just how serious a problem is pedestrian injury? Is it an unfortunate yet largely controlled challenge, or does it have outsized and growing dimensions?
Think the latter. Reams of empirical data point centrally to walkers’ vulnerability and a safety challenge that is both problematic and enduring.
Here are a couple key takeaways underscoring that reality, as noted in a Hartford Courant article from last year:
- 2019 national pedestrian death toll of nearly 6,600, a spiked fatality figure unmatched in over three decades
- Sharp 20% jump in pedestrian fatalities in Connecticut during a recent measuring period
The national safety group Governors Highway Safety Association doesn’t mince words when addressing the risks posed for walkers and adverse consequences that all too frequently result from pedestrian accidents. A GHSA principal cites to an “alarming trend” and decade-long evidence that “the number of pedestrian fatalities on our nation’s roadways has increased by more than 50%.”
Pedestrian injury causes and outcomes
Unsurprisingly, a number of broad and varied injury catalysts centrally contribute to adverse outcomes for pedestrians. Walkers are inherently vulnerable, and immediate targets for individuals who fail to exercise due caution in public areas.
One Connecticut legal source addressing pedestrian accidents and injuries duly stresses that walkers face risks in virtually any environment. It notes that accident sites are far from limited to major streets and thoroughfares; injuries can occur on “a calm, quiet street in any neighborhood in Connecticut.”
When they do, outcomes can upend the lives of victims and family loved ones. Pedestrians commonly suffer injuries such as these:
- Significant head trauma (traumatic brain injury)
- Broken bones, fractures and lacerations
- Hand, wrist and arm injuries
- Neck and spinal cord complications
- Psychological trauma
- Long-term disabling injuries, death
Pedestrians command strong rights and can pursue meaningful remedies marked by maximum financial compensation when injured by the negligent behavior of third parties. They can take empowering post-injury action by timely consulting with an experienced and empathetic personal injury legal team.