Pedestrians Hit by Cars

Aug 31

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department released a recent report stating that 40 pedestrians were killed in Indianapolis in 2022. When it comes to the entire state, over 130 pedestrians were killed that same year. These statistics are record numbers for Indiana and should be alarming for residents across the state. Working with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney from Blackburn Romey can help you understand the law and recover compensation for your injuries.


What are Indiana’s laws for pedestrians?

In the United States, each state has laws and regulations explaining who has the right of way in specific situations or circumstances. However, many car accidents involving pedestrians still occur because an individual does not know or understand who has the right of way.

Indiana has implemented certain right-of-way laws that are simple and easy to understand. For example, the law states that pedestrians have the right of way when an intersection or crosswalk is present. Therefore, when there is no marked crosswalk or intersection, the pedestrian must yield the right of way. This means that they must stop and ensure no vehicle is approaching before proceeding across.

The following are a few other rules that Indiana Code 9-21-17 provides:

  • Pedestrians must obey all traffic control signals and devices.
  • Pedestrians are not allowed to leave the sidewalk or curb and proceed into the path of an oncoming vehicle that cannot stop or slow down in time.
  • When a driver stops at an intersection or crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to walk across, vehicles behind the driver are not permitted to overtake the stopped vehicle.
  • Pedestrians should never cross an intersection diagonally unless a traffic signal or device indicates to do so.
  • When a sidewalk is present, pedestrians are not allowed to walk on the road.
  • When a motorist needs to drive across a sidewalk, they must yield the right of way to pedestrians.


How to prove liability in a pedestrian accident in Indiana

You may be entitled to compensation if you have been struck by a vehicle while crossing a road. However, before you can receive any compensation, you must be able to prove that the driver was at fault. To successfully do this, you should consider hiring an Indiana personal injury attorney. 

At Blackburn Romey, we will listen to your experience, gather the proper evidence, and help you build a strong case against the person at fault for your injuries. Many pedestrian accidents are due to a driver’s careless behavior. If this is the case for you, we must establish these four key elements to prove that the driver was at fault:

  1. Duty of care: The driver had to be reasonable safe and careful to avoid harming the pedestrian. 
  2. Breach: The driver breached their duty of care by failing to exercise reasonable care or follow traffic laws and struck the pedestrian.  
  3. Causation: The driver of the vehicle was a cause of the pedestrian’s injuries.
  4. Damages: The pedestrian suffered harm from the driver’s careless and negligent behavior.

It is important to remember that a motorist may recover damages from a pedestrian if they can prove that the pedestrian was negligent. So, if you intentionally walked in front of an oncoming vehicle, you may be considered reckless or negligent and a cause of the accident. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney will know exactly what is needed to build a strong case on your behalf. Call Blackburn Romey in Indiana today to discuss your case.


Can a motor vehicle driver and pedestrian both be considered negligent?

In Indiana, the fault may be assessed to multiple people. If a pedestrian was partially at fault for an accident with a motor vehicle driver, their damages would be reduced by the amount of fault they had. The amount of fault an individual has is given as a percentage. However, if a person, such as a pedestrian, is more than 50 percent at fault, they cannot recover any damages from the motor vehicle driver.

Pedestrians Hit by Cars

Sometimes, the city may share fault for a pedestrian accident. This may happen when a street or road is poorly designed or a traffic signal device fails to give a proper signal. The government has special laws in place when it comes to its own fault and a pedestrian accident attorney may be vital to receiving any compensation in those circumstances.


Common types of injuries that result from pedestrian accidents

Since the human body cannot withstand a motor vehicle’s force, weight, or impact, it is no surprise that pedestrian accidents result in severe and often fatal injuries. Our Indiana pedestrian accident lawyers have seen the devastating effects of these accidents and helped numerous clients get through these trying times. Here are some of the most common catastrophic injuries that result from pedestrian accidents:

  • Broken, fractured, or crushed bones: When a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle, they can break or fracture their arms, legs, wrists, hands, back, shoulders, neck, and more. This is because the car is a lot heavier and stronger than a person’s bones, causing them to break or fracture easily. These types of injuries are very painful, cause a lot of suffering, and can lead to life-changing consequences.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: It is not uncommon for a pedestrian to be struck in the head by a vehicle or to fall on the ground and bump their head on the roadway. When this happens, skull and brain injuries often occur. This can lead to concussions and traumatic brain injuries, which are life-threatening and dangerous. Some symptoms you can look for if you think you might have a traumatic brain injury are headaches, nausea, tiredness, dizziness, light sensitivity, irritability, depression, inability to focus or concentrate, and more.
  • Soft tissue injuries: A variety of soft tissue injuries occur when a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian. Some of the most seen soft tissue injuries include lacerations, cuts, sprains, strains, tears, and dislocations. Although these are usually easy to recover from, they typically come with much pain and suffering.
  • Spinal cord and back injuries: Spinal cord and back injuries are among the most common injuries resulting from pedestrian accidents. This is because the amount of force or impact from the motor vehicle can cause your back or spinal cord to become damaged, dislocated, or crushed. This is very dangerous and life-altering as the spinal cord sends sensory information and motor commands to the brain. Therefore, those who have spinal cord or back injuries often require long-term assistance and care.
  • Internal organ damage and internal bleeding: When a person is hit by a vehicle, they may suffer internal or internal organ damage. The most common organs damaged from these accidents are the lungs, brain, spleen, and kidney. Unfortunately, internal injuries are often not treated immediately, as the symptoms can take time. This can lead to severe, permanent injuries or even death.
  • Amputations or loss of limbs: If a motor vehicle driver runs over any part of the pedestrian’s body, they may lose one or more limbs. This means that they will need to learn how to live life in a wheelchair or using a prosthetic. When individuals lose a body part, this not only causes devastating physical changes to their lives but can also cause mental trauma and depression for years to come.
  • Paralysis: A vehicle-pedestrian collision’s force, weight, and impact can cause the individual to become paralyzed. This means they may never be able to walk or use their arms or any other body part for the rest of their lives. As a result, they may undergo many surgeries, physical and occupational therapies, and rehabilitation to learn how to adjust to their new normal.


What are the most common pedestrian accidents?

Even though a pedestrian accident can occur anywhere at any time, some pedestrian accidents happen more than others. The most common pedestrian accidents include:

  • Parking lot accidents: A parking lot is a common area where pedestrians and motorists are found. However, many vehicle drivers fail to look around and check their blind spots when driving around, pulling into parking spots, or backing up. This can quickly cause a pedestrian accident.
  • Crosswalk accidents: Crosswalks typically mean that a pedestrian can cross. However, if a vehicle driver does not take the time to stop, slow down, or make sure that a pedestrian is not crossing, they may cause a pedestrian accident. It is recommended that pedestrians never assume that a vehicle will stop for them before proceeding across. If it is dark, you should wear some type of light or retro-reflective clothes to ensure drivers can see you. Having the right-of-way does not mean you will be protected from harm.
  • Distracted driver accidents: When drivers do not give their full attention to driving, they may hit or run a pedestrian over. The most common forms of distracted driving are texting, talking on the phone, looking at the radio, messing with the air conditioner controls, reaching for an object in the car, or playing with the GPS. However, when an individual gets behind the wheel, they must focus on the task of driving. Therefore, their hands should remain on the steering wheel, and their eyes should be concentrated on the road. Indiana law forbids driving while holding a cell phone or electronic device while the vehicle is in motion.
  • Intoxicated driving: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that alcohol was involved in almost half (46 percent) of all pedestrian accidents in 2019. When a person drives while intoxicated, their reaction times may be significantly reduced. Therefore, they may not see or notice the pedestrian in time to prevent an accident.
  • Poor visibility or inclement weather: When foggy, snowing, hailing, or raining outside, many drivers cannot see far ahead from their vehicles. The roads can also become slippery or wet, which means they may be unable to stop or slow down. Some drivers do not change their behavior to adjust to these dangers. Therefore, a pedestrian accident may occur when a person is crossing or walking on the roadway during inclement weather.


What types of losses can a pedestrian claim?

If you are a pedestrian involved in an accident with a vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. When determining your losses, you should consider all the negative effects your accident has caused you. This can be economic or noneconomic losses, and both are equally important. Some of the most common losses that our clients claim for pedestrian accidents are:

  • Medical costs
  • Loss of wages
  • Mental and emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement or disability
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Home modifications
  • Rehabilitation or therapy

While this is not an exhaustive list of damages you can claim, it includes the most common ones. Speaking with an Indiana pedestrian accident attorney from Blackburn Romey can help you understand the type of damages you can claim in a lawsuit.


Eight tips for pedestrians walking on the roads or sidewalks near vehicles

Our Indiana personal injury attorneys at Blackburn Romey know and understand that people enjoy getting fresh air and exercise outside. However, we want to ensure that pedestrians know certain tips that may keep them safe when walking near motor vehicles. Here are eight tips that we believe will help make a difference:

  • Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available.
  • If you must walk on the roadway, make sure that you face the traffic and stay as close to the edge of the road as possible.
  • Look to your left and right more than once before deciding to cross. 
  • Always remain alert, focused, and aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not assume that motor vehicle drivers notice you.
  • When a crosswalk is present, make sure that you use it to cross.
  • Wear bright, colorful, or reflective clothing when walking.
  • Never walk on railroad tracks.


Contact an Indiana pedestrian accident lawyer from Blackburn Romey today

If you suffer injuries from a pedestrian accident, the experienced and skilled attorneys at Blackburn Romey are here to help you. We know that these cases can become difficult and complex, but we will do everything we can to stand up for your rights, ensure that your side of the story is told, and demand fair compensation for you. Contact our team to get started today, and we will schedule your free consultation at one of our Indiana offices. 

Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Tom Blackburn, who has more than 47 years of legal experience, including over 39 years specializing as a personal injury attorney.