Serious and fatal pedestrian accidents are on the rise nationwide. An increasing number of walkers continue to be seriously injured and killed in Colorado, including the Denver metro area which is among the most dangerous in the state.
The number of fatal pedestrian accidents in Colorado has more than doubled in the last decade. In many cases, a lack of adequate infrastructure, including sidewalks, streetlights and marked crossings, is to blame. But far too many motorists fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
The Colorado Department of Transportation’s “Left Behind” campaign publishes heartbreaking images of shoes, cell phones and other personal belongings left at the scene after a walker is struck by a motor vehicle. Of course our pedestrian injury lawyers in Denver know these avoidable tragedies also leave behind spouses, children, loved ones and friends.
There is no such thing as a minor pedestrian accident. Even at low speeds, these collisions often result in broken bones and joints, traumatic brain injuries and other life-altering and disabling medical consequences.
Most accidents involving pedestrians occur at night, or in low-light conditions. However, an increasing number are occurring during daylight hours, especially at intersections and in school zones. The Colorado Department of Transportation continues to install bright neon LED pedestrian signs in high traffic areas.
Nationwide, the AAA Foundation reports 84 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur on roads with speed limits of 30 mph or higher. The risk of fatal injuries increases exponentially at speeds greater than 25 mph, making speeding a significant contributing factor in many accidents.
Colorado Revised Statutes § 42-4-802 governs the rights of walkers in crosswalks and requires all vehicles to yield the right of way. This includes unmarked crosswalks at intersections. It is also a violation to stop a vehicle in a crosswalk or otherwise impede pedestrian flow.
However, the reality is that pedestrians will also be found to have the right of way in many other situations - including crossing midblock. Motorists should always yield the right of way - the few moments it takes are always worth avoiding being blamed for a tragedy.
Unfortunately, pedestrians may also be unfairly blamed by law enforcement. However, it’s important to note that liability will ultimately be determined independently by insurance adjusters - even if a citation is issued - and your pedestrian injury attorney. Additionally, Colorado’s comparative fault laws still permit a victim to make a claim for damages provided he or she is not found at majority fault.
Because these are complex claims and often involve serious, debilitating and disabling injuries, contacting an experienced pedestrian injury lawyer in Denver as soon as possible after a collision occurs is the best thing you can do to protect your rights and the financial wellbeing of you and your family.
Ken Fiedler Injury Law provides passionate, principled and proven representation to victims and families looking for an experienced personal injury lawyer in Denver or the surrounding areas, including Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Ken Caryl, Columbine, Golden, Lakewood, Broomfield, and Arvada.