The risk of a pedestrian versus automobile accident is much higher than you might think.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for accidents with automobiles in 2015. And pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed than motorists.
Pedestrian versus automobile (PVA) accidents account for a significant number of trauma cases in local emergency rooms, and it is estimated that one pedestrian is killed every 113 minutes and one injured every 8 minutes in the U.S.
What are the Most Common PVA Injuries Seen?
The types of injuries seen depend on the age of the victim, speed and type of vehicle, any objects carried on the victim at the time, and the point of contact.
According to a study conducted by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, pedestrians are more apt to suffer twice as many severe injuries compared to those in the motor vehicle and on two-wheels (i.e., motorcycle riders and cyclists).
Typically, there are five types of injuries seen in PVAs more commonly than others.
- Head Injuries – The incidence of a head injury increases with a person’s age. Children under the age of 14 are less likely to have head trauma than adults. The most common head injuries with a PVA are subdural and subarachnoid hemorrhages, which is bleeding in the brain. If the bleeding and swelling are not managed quickly, a patient could suffer from permanent deficits or die.
- Spinal Injuries – The impact of a motor vehicle on the human body is traumatic. Cars weigh considerably more than the victim, and even a small passenger vehicle can cause significant damage to an adult. Spinal cord injuries could be minor or result in permanent paralysis. The incidence of a spinal cord injuries increase with age, and elderly victims have the highest risk due to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
- Chest Injuries – Vehicles with higher clearance, such as SUVs and trucks, are more likely to strike a victim in the midsection and chest. Therefore, chest injuries are prevalent for adults. Children are more likely to suffer chest injuries regardless of the vehicle type. Aortic injuries, broken ribs, and internal organ damage are common with chest impacts.
- Abdominal Injuries – Abdominal injuries occur in young and old victims alike and include liver damage, ruptured spleens, renal failure (kidney injuries), and gastro injuries. Pelvic fractures are also quite common regardless of age, but older adults are more likely to suffer a catastrophic pelvic injury due to their height and health factors.
- Lower Extremity Injuries – By far the most common type of injury is lower extremities, such as broken legs. The area that is affected will depend on the type of vehicle and the patient’s age. For example, an adult is more likely to suffer injuries below the knee, while a child could experience damage above the knee.
The older a victim is, the more likely it is that they will die from a PVA. The CDC states that pedestrians 65 years and older accounted for 19 percent of PVA deaths and 13 percent of PVA injuries in 2015.
Injured in a PVA? You Have Rights
PVAs are often the result of driver inattention. Today, motorists are more distracted and less likely to look out for pedestrians crossing the street, especially small children.
If you or a loved one was injured in a PVA, contact an attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Hames, Anderson, Whitlow & O’Leary, P.S. can help with your claim.
We understand the severe injuries that result from PVAs, and the costs that come with them. Let our team help you get the compensation you need for your injuries and hold drivers accountable for their actions.
Schedule a consultation today at 509-586-7797, or request more information online.