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Walking is arguably the most common and basic of all forms of aerobic activity. With the exception of those who have limited mobility due to special needs, most everyone walks at least a little every day. Walking is good for your heart, your lungs and your muscles.

Unfortunately, the trade-off for all of those benefits is that when you walk in close proximity to motor vehicles, especially if you walk on public roads, you have some risk of getting struck and hurt. In fact, according to an analysis of traffic accident reports on a national scale, people on foot are at the highest level of risk for fatal pedestrian crashes reported in the last three decades.

Thousands of pedestrians die every year

When a motor vehicle crashes into a human walking, there’s little question about which party will suffer the worse damages. A motor vehicle may not even wind up with a chip in its paint or a dent in its fender after striking a person. However, people can easily suffer catastrophic injuries, ranging from broken bones to spinal cord or brain injuries.

Many times, pedestrian accidents are fatal, although there are also many that result in debilitating injury for the victim as well. In 2019, 6,590 pedestrians died as a result of getting struck by motor vehicles. That number represents a 5% increase from 2018, making 2019 the deadliest year for pedestrians in the last 30 years.

Injured pedestrians and surviving family members have legal rights

Drivers often don’t pay attention to pedestrians. Much like motorcycles and bikes, people on foot may simply not register in the minds of those at the wheel of a motor vehicle. Although there are situations in which the pedestrian may have some of the fault for a crash with the motor vehicle, many times, pedestrian collisions are the direct result of inadequate monitoring and improper maneuvers on the part of people in motor vehicles.

Those hurt in a crash could potentially file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, while those grieving the loss of a loved one have the option of pursuing a wrongful death claim. Compensation for lost wages, medical costs, funeral expenses and property damage are all potentially possible after a pedestrian crash caused by someone in a vehicle.