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Common Reasons Why Drivers Hit Pedestrians in Tulsa

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Common Reasons Why Drivers Hit Pedestrians in Tulsa

Negligent drivers and pedestrians are often a bad mix. This is especially true when a driver is in a hurry, distracted or intoxicated. If you were hit while walking, speak with a Tulsa accident lawyer today. 

Unfortunately, cars and pedestrians are often a bad combination. In 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 5,900 pedestrians lost their lives due to collisions with cars. In the same year, approximately 137,000 pedestrians suffered nonfatal injuries that were treated in emergency rooms across the country. That is a pedestrian fatality every 85 minutes. In 2020, those numbers continued to soar despite the pandemic lockdown.

For the most part, roadways and traffic laws are designed to facilitate vehicular traffic, not pedestrian traffic. Yet nationwide, many communities, including Tulsa, are seeking to make their communities more walkable. Pedestrian traffic makes communities more vibrant and more livable. It helps revitalize small businesses within the community. For that reason, all communities should be concerned about protecting pedestrians. Anyone injured should learn about their rights from a Tulsa accident lawyer.

Oklahoma is a Comparative Fault State

Accidents occur for many reasons. A driver may not see a pedestrian or may be in a hurry. A pedestrian may cross in an unexpected place instead of at a designated intersection. A pedestrian may be wearing darker clothing, making it difficult to see the pedestrian. Sometimes, the fault is that of the driver, and sometimes, the fault is that of the pedestrian. Sometimes, the fault is shared.

The fault is often a complicated subject. Oklahoma is a comparative fault state. That means that a person who shares some fault, but not more than 49% fault, can bring a lawsuit against another person who is more at fault for the accident. When injured, it is always a good idea to have experienced legal representation on your side. When the question of fault is at issue, it is even more important to do so. Our Tulsa accident lawyers are here to help you every step of the way.

Oklahoma Law Regarding Pedestrian Right-of-Way

Oklahoma laws regarding a pedestrian’s right-of-way are fairly straightforward to understand.  At all times, a driver must obey the posted speed limit.

Drivers must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian who is crossing within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the crosswalk where the vehicle is traveling. Drivers of other vehicles may not pass a vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian until that move can be made safely.

A pedestrian may not suddenly leave the curb or enter the path of an oncoming vehicle that is so close that it makes it impossible for the driver to yield the right-of-way. Likewise, a pedestrian who is crossing at a non-designated crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to all other vehicular traffic.

If a sidewalk is provided, the pedestrian must use it. If there is no sidewalk, then a pedestrian may only walk on the left side of the roadway or shoulder and must face traffic approaching from the other direction.

Most Common Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents

Speeding: Sometimes, drivers are just in a hurry. Driving over the posted speed limit always poses a threat to others. It just takes longer to recognize and react to possible danger. The greater the vehicle’s speed, the greater the degree of injury to a pedestrian at impact. The likelihood of pedestrian death is nearly 100% for speeds over 50 mph.

Failure to Stop or Yield: Running a stop sign or a red light is a leading cause of pedestrian accidents. Failure to yield often occurs when a driver is making a turn before letting pedestrian traffic clear enough. But failure to yield also occurs when a driver plows through a crosswalk containing a pedestrian who has already begun to cross.

Driving Under the Influence: Always a bad decision on the part of a driver, driving under the influence makes any accident more likely. This can occur at night, at a time when it is especially difficult to see a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Distracted Driving: Cell phone use or engaging in any activity that distracts a driver can mean an accident. A driver must place their full attention on the task at hand. Oklahoma has laws that prohibit distracted driving.

Because pedestrians have little to protect them at impact, an accident can have devastating effects. Pedestrians often suffer serious personal injuries and death. If you or a loved one are involved in a pedestrian accident, you must work with an experienced traffic accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Get a Free Consultation with Our Tulsa Accident Lawyers

If you have been hit by a car or truck, it is vital that you get the legal help you need. Contact our team of experienced Tulsa accident lawyers today at Wandres Law, PC,  to see what we can do for you. The case evaluation is free. Call (918) 641-4044 or contact us online today.

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Increase in Bicycle and Pedestrian Crashes in Tulsa

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As fatal bicycle and pedestrian accidents increase in Tulsa, as a cyclist, it is important to keep yourself safe when you are around vehicle traffic. If an accident happens, you should be aware of what to do to protect your rights. Calling a Tulsa personal injury attorney is imperative.

In late September, police in Tulsa issued a plea to drivers to pay attention and reminded drivers to be aware that they share the roads with cyclists and pedestrians. This plea came after there were recently several fatal accidents involving cars hitting bicycles and people walking. Even if such accidents are not fatal, they often ersult in serious injuries to victims.

If you or a loved one was a victim of an accident, as a pedestrian or while riding a bicycle, you should contact Wandres Law, a Tulsa personal injury attorney, right away. We can evaluate your rights, and help you hold negligent drivers responsible for the harm and losses they caused.

Increased Accidents in Tulsa

In a single week in September 2020, police in Tulsa reported the following tragic accidents:

  1. A car hit a man who was walking near 70th and Admiral, and the man did not survive his injuries;
  2. A cyclist died after a driver hit him while riding near Lewis and Pine;
  3. A driver hit another cyclist near 31st and Sheridan, and the victim was not expected to survive their injuries

In many situations, these fatal accidents would not have happened if a driver had paid more careful attention to the road, and complied with all applicable traffic laws. 

Injuries to Cyclists and Pedestrians

Neither pedestrians nor cyclists wear much beyond a helmet to protect them from the impact of a crash. Even if a cyclist has a helmet, the helmet will not protect from head injuries 100 percent of the time, and helmets obviously offer no protection to the rest of the body. Pedestrians, of course, do not generally have head protection, so they are completely vulnerable to the impact of a car, truck, or SUV. 

Because of their vulnerability, and because of the weight and force of a vehicle impact, it is no surprise that many times, the injuries resulting from these accidents are fatal. It can, of course, be devastating to family members and other loved ones to learn that they suddenly and unexpectedly suffered a tragic loss. We have, unfortunately, represented those who, beyond the loss of someone they love, have also lost their financial, emotional, and practical support in an instant. 

Even when a cyclist or pedestrian survives a collision with a motor vehicle, they often sustain a variety of traumatic injuries. Some injuries common in such crashes include:

  1. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  2. Spinal cord injury (SCI)
  3. Crush injuries
  4. Traumatic amputations
  5. Back injuries
  6. Face and jaw fractures
  7. Severe Internal injuries

Victims of pedestrian and bicycle accidents often need emergency transportation, trauma care, hospitalization, surgery, and extensive rehabilitation. The costs of medical care alone can be overwhelming, and these expenses are often combined with lost income and other long-term losses, such as permanent impairment or disfigurement. 

Liability for Pedestrian and Bicycle Crashes

Because the injuries and losses can be so severe from pedestrian and bicycle accidents, it is important to know your legal rights. If you are injured in any sort of collision that isn’t your fault, whether it be while walking, biking or driving, you have the right to hold negligent parties liable for your losses. If someone died in an accident, their surviving family members can seek compensation from liable parties by filing a wrongful death claim. 

Some examples of negligent conduct that can lead to liability include:

  1. Distracted driving
  2. Drunk driving
  3. Failure to yield
  4. Not obeying traffic signals
  5. Speeding
  6. Aggressive driving
  7. Other violations of traffic regulations

Once our team determines who can be held liable for an accident, we can file the necessary claims and lawsuits to seek compensation for your losses. As an injury victim, losses can include:

  1. Past and future medical bills
  2. Physical and mental pain and suffering
  3. Past and future lost income
  4. Permanent injuries and disabilities

We will seek maximum compensation from negligent drivers who cause severe injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. 

Learn How Wandres Law and our experienced team of Tulsa Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help

At Wandres Law, PC, we believe that everyone, including cyclists and pedestrians, should be able to share the road without suffering serious or fatal injuries. When a driver is irresponsible and collides with a person or vehicle, we work to hold that driver accountable for their actions by seeking full compensation for injured accident victims. If you believe you or a loved one might have a claim following an accident, you should consult with our team of experienced Tulsa personal injury lawyers at no cost. Call (918) 641 4044 or contact us online. – we’re ready to help you and your family.

Tulsa Personal Injury Attorney

Who is at fault for a pedestrian accident in Tulsa?

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There is a long-held adage that “the pedestrian has the right of way.” There is a good deal of truth to this concept, although there are instances in which whether or not a pedestrian had the right of way in the event of an accident is not entirely clear. With this in mind, there are a number of factors to bear in mind when determining who is at fault for a pedestrian accident in Tulsa.

The Modified Comparative Negligence Standard in Oklahoma

A pedestrian accident that occurs in Tulsa is subject to what is known as the Oklahoma modified comparative negligence standard, according to the Oklahoma Insurance Department. What this means is that the conduct of the parties of an accident, in this case, a motorcar driver and a pedestrian, are both taking into consideration.

A determination of the percentage to which each party is at fault is taken into consideration. Provided that the pedestrian seeking compensation for injuries, damages, and losses is deemed to be less than 50% at fault, he or she can recover compensation. However, compensation will be offset based upon the percentage a pedestrian is deemed to be at fault for causing an accident.

Pedestrian in a Crosswalk Versus Jaywalking

One of the most significant distinctions, when it comes to allocating fault in a pedestrian accident, is whether the pedestrian was appropriately in a crosswalk or whether the individual was jaywalking at the time of the accident. As a general consideration, a pedestrian injured by a motor vehicle in a crosswalk is likely to be deemed less than 50% at fault, and usually substantially so.

On the other hand, if a pedestrian is jaywalking across a roadway, a possibility exists that the individual will be deemed to be more than 50% at fault. In that scenario, a pedestrian would lack the legal ability to obtain compensation.

If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian, you need to take a proactive approach to protect your legal rights. The first step in that regard is to schedule a consultation with an experienced, tenacious attorney at Wandres Law.

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