Legal Options When a Pedestrian Is Hit By a Car

August 10, 2023 | By Impact Legal Car Accident Attorneys
Legal Options When a Pedestrian Is Hit By a Car

While Arizona highways and interstates can be significantly dangerous, some of the most dangerous roads in the state are actually streets within the city of Phoenix, especially for pedestrians. Common causes of these AZ crashes were speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving. As reported by Channel 12, speeding contributed to about 31% of deadly accidents on these roads. Drunk driving played a role in 22% of fatal accidents, and distracted driving was a factor in about 10% of the accidents. In many of these accidents on Phoenix streets, pedestrians are hit, injured, or killed. In Arizona, getting hit by a vehicle while walking is in the top 20 causes of death.

In this article, we'll discuss legal options for pedestrians, state laws, and the most dangerous roads for pedestrians in Phoenix. If you've been injured as a pedestrian by a negligent driver, be sure to call or text our injury lawyers at (602) 345-1818 or fill out our convenient and confidential online contact form here, and we will reach out to you to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. 

The Numbers + the Most Dangerous Streets for Pedestrians

According to an analysis of Arizona Department of Transportation data by the Arizona Republic, about 100 pedestrians are killed every year in Phoenix. The city has the highest death rate among Arizona cities with a population of 10,000 or more, according to the analysis.

The following data was reported by Channel 12 and derived from data gathered by the NHTSA. Here are the most dangerous streets in Phoenix, AZ: 

  • 43rd Avenue from Lamar Road to McDowell Road
  • Indian School Road from 53rd Avenue to 91st Avenue
  • Indian School Road from 40th Avenue to Third Street
  • McDowell Road from Scottsdale Road to 36th Street
  • 19th Avenue from Shangri-La Road to Union Hills Drive
  • Northern Avenue from 19th Avenue to 56th Avenue
  • Bell Road from 26th Street to 23rd Avenue
  • Bethany Home Road from 35th Avenue to 12th Place
  • Thomas Road from 71st Avenue to 37th Avenue 

Each of the above streets had at least 10 serious accidents or five deaths within 300 feet of each other. Additionally, each of these streets shared certain features that make them especially dangerous for pedestrians, including:

  1. A minimum of five travel lanes
  2. A 40-mile-per-hour speed limit
  3. Pedestrian deaths that happened away from intersections with no traffic signal
  4. Had not been redesigned in at least 10 years

While Phoenix scores high on the list of dangerous Arizona cities for pedestrians, it's not alone in the large number of pedestrian-vehicle accidents in the state. In a span of eight years, nearly 1,600 pedestrians were hit by vehicles and killed, predominately in large cities like Phoenix, Glendale, and Tucson.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents are typically caused by negligent drivers. However, sometimes pedestrians also contribute to accidents. Common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Speeding
  • Disregarding traffic signs or signals
  • Not watching for pedestrians
  • Failing to yield the right of way of the pedestrian
  • Failing to use turn signals

A pedestrian may also contribute to an accident in these common ways:

  • Walking in the street while intoxicated
  • Crossing the street without utilizing the crosswalk
  • Distracted walking, such as listening to music or using a mobile device
  • Suddenly walking in front of traffic

Arizona Laws Meant to Keep Pedestrians Safe

Arizona, like many states, has laws in place to keep pedestrians safe. Of course, Arizona drivers are required to uphold a duty of care when it comes to operating their vehicles reasonably and safely; this includes keeping an eye out for pedestrians to avoid hitting them. In addition to this duty, the state also requires drivers to:

  1. Yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street using the crosswalk
  2.  Avoid passing vehicles that are stopped at a crosswalk
  3. Avoid passing a school bus when it is stopped and the lights are flashing
  4. Decrease speed while in school zones

To cut down on accidents, Arizona also requires that pedestrians:

  1. Follow control signals at crosswalks
  2. Not cross roads outside of the marked crosswalk, when between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation
  3. Yield to the right of way of all vehicles while not in a crosswalk
  4. Avoid darting into traffic
  5. Walk expeditiously when approaching the other side of the crosswalk
  6. Avoid walking on the road when a sidewalk is available
  7. If a sidewalk is not available, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the shoulder of the road facing oncoming traffic

Who Is At Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?

As discussed above, drivers have a duty of care to pedestrians to drive reasonably and carefully. A driver can be sued for negligence if he or she has breached his/her duty of care. Pedestrians also have a duty of care. If a pedestrian has breached his/her duty of care, the pedestrian may also be found liable for the accident. 

In the case of shared liability, Arizona's theory of pure comparative fault may allow both at-fault parties to recover. For example, if Josh, a pedestrian, was hit as a result of his darting in front of Karen's car before she had time to look up from her phone and hit her brakes, both parties could share liability. In the event that the court found Josh 20% liable and Karen 80% liable, Josh would only be able to receive legal compensation for 80% of his losses. 

Schedule a Free Consultation with our Injury Lawyers in Phoenix 

Have you been injured as a result of a negligent driver while you were walking? If so, you may be entitled to legal compensation to help you recover financially, physically, and emotionally from your injuries. For a free review of your case, call our injury lawyers in Phoenix at (602) 345-1818 or fill out our convenient online contact form here

The information on our blog and website is for general informational purposes only, and it is not intended to serve as legal advice. For legal advice about your unique situation, call or text our car accident lawyers today. 

We are located in Arizona and New Mexico. We serve clients in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Maricopa, and the entire state of Arizona. We also serve clients in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Roswell, Farmington, Los Alamos, Las Cruces, and the entire state of New Mexico.