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Hit-and-Run Accidents are Harming Pedestrians in Phoenix

At times, it seems like a certain type of accident keeps happening over and over again in the Phoenix area, making headlines and causing citizens to ask themselves why tragedies continue to take place. Recently, there have been a number of pedestrian collisions with hit-and-run automobile drivers in Maricopa County and several of them have caused serious harm. At least one has proven to be fatal.

Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to understand why drivers flee the scene after colliding with a pedestrian. In some instances, the driver simply fears any fallout that may happen due to the collision and determines that avoiding any contact with the police or the victim may be the best option to avoid problems. In other cases, a driver may realize she is responsible and therefore will flee to hide her identity, especially if other factors are in play like a driver who is drunk or high. And in some other situations, a driver may not realize that he collided with a person, instead thinking that he hit debris or some other object, leading that driver to flee but possibly not with the intention of leaving an injured victim behind.

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College Bowl Games Coming to Phoenix

For fans of college football, the days surrounding January 1st of any year can be some of the best of the season. With the current post season structure and the four team playoff system, some of the biggest bowl games will happen between New Year’s Eve and January 2nd of this year with two of those games taking place in the Phoenix area. Fans are excitedly anticipating the Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale and the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl at Chase Field in Phoenix.

The Fiesta Bowl will feature Notre Dame taking on Ohio State in a matchup of two of the nation’s premier football programs. Set for Friday, January 1, 2016, the event will also have a number of official and unofficial associated events surrounding the game including pregame parties, a parade, receptions, and designated gatherings for fans from out of state. Tens of thousands of spectators are expected in the area around the stadium with many others anticipated in area restaurants and bars, setting up for a potentially busy day in Glendale on Friday.

The University of Phoenix Stadium normally hosts home football games for the Arizona Cardinals at this time of year so officials are prepared in much of the same way they would be if the NFL were playing. However, the addition of other activities like the parade and pregames means that the Fiesta Bowl will have a different spin on it than a standard Cardinals game and there could be complications to traffic flow and pedestrian safety as a result.

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Pedestrian Killed by Fleeing Driver in Glendale

When you walk in the Phoenix area, when should you feel safe? Should you feel safe when you are on a sidewalk? When you are in a crosswalk marked for pedestrians? When you walk near your home, a school, or your work? As a pedestrian, you should be able to feel safe and secure anytime you walk in a reasonable manner as the laws in Arizona guarantee it. Yet if others near you, including those who drive cars and trucks, fail to follow the law by ignoring your rights, you may be at risk for a collision at any point during your walk.

Pedestrian accidents are a significant problem in the greater Phoenix area with nearly a thousand incidents taking place each year. In 2014 alone, there were 944 traffic collisions involving pedestrians in Arizona and 147 of them proved to be fatal. Many, many more caused injuries to the pedestrians or others involved in the crash and still others caused monetary damage to property.
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Crash with Pedestrian Turns Fatal in Scottsdale

At some point, almost everyone is a pedestrian. Whether they walk primarily from location to location or simply walk a short distance after parking a car, most people travel by foot across a street, along a sidewalk, or through a parking lot during most days. This means that pedestrian safety should be at the forefront of discussions on how to keep Arizona residents safe yet far too often, safety is only considered after a car accident takes place.

With slightly over 4 million people calling Maricopa County home, the potential for pedestrian collisions is extreme. Most of these accidents involve a person walking as well as a vehicle, like a car, but in some cases, even a bicycle or a motorcycle might be involved. The legal implications of a pedestrian crash in the Phoenix area can be very complicated as both the pedestrian and the others involved had legal responsibilities prior to the impact and that violations of those responsibilities by one or more parties can be the cause of a collision. While some accidents may seem clear, it is often difficult to determine whether a victim can bring a claim for his or her injuries without speaking to a skilled attorney. Personal injury lawyers in Phoenix may be able to help you sort through the details if you have been involved in an accident or if your loved one was injured or killed in a traffic crash.
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Teen Crossing Street in Glendale Killed by Fleeing Car

Across the Phoenix area, many schools are starting back into session this week and kids are returning to the classroom. Yet some remain out and with their summer breaks comes kids who have additional free time and may be seen in and around the Valley. As a result, all drivers should be aware of kids and teenagers when they are navigate the roads as these groups are more likely to be present now than at some other times of the year.

Many young people choose to walk or ride a bicycle around the Phoenix area for a means of transportation and as a result, pedestrian accidents and bicycle collisions involving children are a potential that no driver can afford to ignore. The facts continue to bear the conclusion that when a large, heavy car and a small, unprotected child collide, the child is injured more than 90 percent of the time and far too often loses his or her life.
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Driver Charged with Causing Fatal Pedestrian Crash

Pedestrians and cars do not mix well in the Valley or elsewhere in Arizona. When a collision between these groups occurs, the pedestrian involved is almost always injured and far too often, the pedestrian loses his or her life due to the injuries that are sustained in the crash.

In most cases, the term “accident” is a misnomer because it implies that a collision happens by chance and not by fault. Rather, in the majority of car accidents in Phoenix, a crash can be blamed on the actions of one or more drivers involved and often is the result of negligent conduct behind the wheel. Common causes of collisions include speeding, driving while distracted, texting while driving, following too closely, and failing to yield the right-of-way. But perhaps the risky conduct that receives the most attention by the public is driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
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Pedestrian Accident in Phoenix Injures 1

When a traffic accident happens in the Phoenix area, several laws are triggered that determine whether those who are hurt in the crash may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries. In a typical case, one driver acts negligently and makes an error behind the wheel. Those who are injured as the result of the driver’s conduct can bring a civil claim against that motorist and/or the driver automobile insurance company for financial payment which can cover the totality of losses. This is true even if a victim is in the same car as an at-fault driver.

But in many cases, some amount of fault may rest on the shoulders of multiple people who are involved in a car accident. When that happens, each at-fault party’s responsibility will be weighed and that weight will play a role in how much money a victim may be able to receive. This means that even if someone makes a small mistake or contributes to an accident, whether that person is a driver, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist, that person can still receive the compensation that he or she needs and deserves. Speaking with a personal injury attorney in Phoenix can help you learn about your rights if a crash has altered your life or has harmed someone you love.
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2 Seriously Injured when Car Hits Oregano’s Restaurant

Phoenix is unique when compared to many other large American cities because it is relatively new and therefore has a more modern design. From its wide streets to its buildings with ample parking, many areas in the Valley of the Sun were planned with a large population in mind and as a result, drivers who choose to navigate the area by car can move with relative ease.

Despite these designs and the ability to travel by car to almost all places, car accidents continue to happen in Phoenix every day and many of them result in injuries ranging from the minor to the critical. Some collisions even cause death to drivers, passengers, or pedestrians involved. While many happen on local roads, some of these accidents happen in parking lots themselves and may involve a mix of an automobile and a pedestrian – a dangerous combination and one that almost always results in injuries.
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Pedestrian Struck by Hit-and-Run Driver in Glendale

What rights do pedestrians have to walk in the Phoenix area? At first, that may seem like a silly question. Obviously, everyone has the right to walk from place to place, not only in Phoenix but in any city across Arizona. Yet when it comes to local traffic rules, it seems that drivers often forget or ignore the rights of others to walk along sidewalks, at crosswalks, and in other designated areas. This ignorance is not just rude but it is outright dangerous as failing to respect the rights of pedestrians can cause treacherous situations and may even lead to pedestrian accidents.

In the unfortunate situations where a collision does occur between a pedestrian and a vehicle, the pedestrian nearly always sustains injuries that can range from bumps and bruises to fractured bones and internal bleeding to, in the most extreme cases, death. Depending on the actual crash, these injuries may last from days to years or may never fully heal, leaving victims and their families to suffer indefinitely. Regrettably, nothing can nullify the suffering experienced by these victims but the laws in Phoenix are on a victim’s side to enable him or her to seek relief. With a civil claim for damages, a victim or a victim’s surviving family members may be able to obtain monetary compensation that can ease the financial burden experienced by these pedestrian collisions and that can enable those suffering to move forwards with their lives.
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Pedestrian Killed in Phoenix Car Accident

In a perfect world, pedestrians would walk around the greater Phoenix area without their personal safety on their minds. No drivers would operate their cars in a negligent manner and no collisions between vehicles or involving pedestrians would occur. However, reality is far from perfect and in today’s society, thousands of lives are affected annually by such collisions.

In 2013 alone, 1,596 traffic accidents involving pedestrians occurred in Arizona and nearly 10 percent of those, or 158, resulted in the pedestrian’s death. Pedestrian accidents account for a small percentage of all collisions in Phoenix but the damages they cause are disproportionately large because there is little to nothing to protect a person walking from the full impact of a vehicle. As a result, serious injuries, damages, and even death are likely to occur in a Phoenix pedestrian accident or when a collision happens elsewhere in Arizona.
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