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Pedestrian accidents in the U.S.

As many Washington residents already know, pedestrian accidents constitute a public safety issue affecting the entire country. In 2012, traffic accidents involving pedestrians accounted for nearly 4,750 fatalities and approximately 76,000 injured individuals, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The federal agency, which is part and parcel of the U.S. Department of Transportation, regularly publishes reports that compile and analyze traffic safety data, and their reported number of deaths related to pedestrian accidents in 2012 reflects a 6-percent increase from 2011. Moreover, a considerable portion of these fatal accidents in 2012 involved impairment, according to the agency's findings. Reportedly, 14 percent of them involved a driver with a blood alcohol content level that exceeded the legal limit and 34 percent involved a pedestrian who was legally drunk. In other words, 48 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents were linked to alcohol, altogether.

The NHTSA reports several noteworthy facts regarding pedestrian incidents. For instance, 70 percent took place outside of intersections and an equal percentage occurred at night, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

If a pedestrian were killed in a traffic accident where impaired driving was incontrovertibly a contributing factor, certain family members of the decedent may be entitled to wrongful death compensation. Their first move, in all likelihood, would be to seek out the counsel and guidance of a personal injury lawyer immediately following the DUI accident. By showing that the at-fault driver was negligent at the time of the crash, claimants in a wrongful death suit may convince a civil court to hold the driver liable. In this way, grieving family members may recover many of the pecuniary losses they suffered with the sudden death of their loved one, such as funeral costs and other end-of-life expenses.

Source: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, "Traffic Safety Facts Pedestrians", October 31, 2014

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