red car speeding past pedestrians crossing street at crosswalk

Pedestrian Accidents Are on the Rise in Colorado

Over the last decade or so, the United States has seen a disturbing rise in pedestrian traffic fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) categorizes all traffic fatalities in the following categories: fatalities in passenger cars (including light trucks), fatalities in large trucks (driver), fatalities in large trucks (passenger), motorcycle fatalities, and pedestrian/bicycle/non-occupant fatalities. According to the NHTSA, from 2008 to 2017, the “proportion of non-occupant fatalities… increased from 14 percent to 19 percent.” That means that, of all traffic fatalities, pedestrians and others not in a vehicle accounted for 19 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2017. The NHTSA continued, “during this same decade, the percentage of passenger car occupant fatalities decreased from 39 percent to 36 percent” and all other categories of traffic fatalities either diminished proportionally or stayed the same.

Basically, as a proportion of all traffic fatalities, pedestrian (non-occupant) fatalities have been on the rise.

We can theorize about some possible causes of this increase in non-occupant fatalities—chief among them may be the proliferation of handheld electronic devices that conspire to consume as much of our attention as they can, which can lead to distracted drivers and pedestrians alike. Another cause of the increase in non-occupant fatalities may include the ever-growing size of a typical car favored by a typical American consumer, who more frequently chooses an SUV or pickup truck over the comparatively smaller sedan or hatchback. Such vehicles typically have a higher hood and flatter front-end, which does not bode well in the event it strikes a human being. Other explanations abound in the far reaches of academia and the internet.

Whatever the reasons for the increase, certain common-sense measures can be taken on an individual basis to minimize the risk of becoming another non-occupant traffic fatality statistic:

  1. When walking on a sidewalk adjacent to a busy street or highway, periodically survey your surroundings and make a mental note of any available “escape routes” should you need to evade an out-of-control car.
  2. If you wear headphones or are speaking on the phone while near traffic, keep the volume to a level such that you can still hear if someone yells at you to alert you of an impending crash, as well as being able to hear car horns and other tip-offs that something is not right;
  3. Phone use should come second to traffic safety, and never look at your phone while walking across the street, even at a designated crosswalk;
  4. Speaking of crosswalks, use them. They are there for a reason and using them in lieu of jaywalking is generally safer;
  5. Assume that you are invisible to motorists and act accordingly. Regardless of where you are walking, do not just assume that motorists will see you and avoid you or stop for you—keep an eye out for any vehicles that do not seem to be slowing down for you and drivers that are not paying attention, and be prepared to stop or even jump out of the way if needed;
  6. Move in a natural, predictable manner and avoid any unexpected movements that could throw off an approaching motorist. This is especially important if you are walking with or against traffic and a vehicle might be turning in front of you to enter a driveway or business.

The above tips are in no way meant to blame individuals who have been struck by an automobile through no fault of their own. Even if everyone followed these basic rules, we might still have a big non-occupant fatality problem. However, in some cases it is within the power of the pedestrian to avoid a potential crash, so we hope you will take some of these tips to heart and exercise some additional caution the next time you are out and about near motor vehicle traffic.

If you or a loved one is hurt in a collision by someone driving a car, truck, or bus, call 720-580-4266 to speak with an experienced accident attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. and get a Legal Game Plan set up so you can deal with the insurance companies on your terms.

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Case Results


CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver. As a result of the motor vehicle accident, client was rendered a quadriplegic and needed a life care plan.
Outcome: $9,600,000

CASE: Against Insurance company for failure to pay for property damage after a gas and fire explosion.
Outcome: $1,600,000

CASE: Medical malpractice for failure to diagnose a descending aorta aneurism, resulting in death.
Outcome: $1,300,000

CASE: Neck and back injuries from car accident. Client had ongoing symptoms and needed injections for attempted remediation of pain.
Settled for $485,000

CASE: Client was injured in a 2 vehicle collision. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion and multiple injuries to the neck.
Outcome: $6,000,000

CASE: Client was in her car and was T-Boned by a commercial vehicle. Her cerebral spinal fluid leaked and she suffered a concussion and traumatic brain injury with neck and lumbar (low back) injuries. Her neck injury caused radiating pain, numbness and tingling in her arms.
Outcome: $3,400,000

CASE: Client was driving on a rural road when another car crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision in the snow and ice. Client did physical work for a living. Both knees were injured, along with a neck injury.
Outcome: $2,300,000

CASE: Client was driving on South Parker road when another vehicle rapidly changed lanes and rear-ended the client. That vehicle was cited for careless driving. The collision caused a concussion with traumatic brain Injury. Client missed time from work and had a positive correlation between brain scan and neuropsychological test results.
Outcome: $950,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a dump truck, was then knocked forward and hit another vehicle. Client had a concussion with traumatic brain injury. Client underwent a brain scan which showed hypoperfusion, correlated with her concussion symptoms. Client suffered neck injuries and injuries to her low back.
Outcome: $650,000

CASE: Client was rear-ended. The mechanism of injury from the forces in the collision caused her neck injury and at the same time, damaged her organs inside her throat. Client had swallowing and choking issues.
Outcome: $1,250,000

CASE: Client was in a motor vehicle accident. Both injections in the neck rendered some temporary relief. The Injections were transforaminal epidural steroid injections. Surgery was recommended on the lumbar (low back). The low back was injured by the forces in the collisions.
Outcome: $933,000

CASE: The client was driving in her car and was rear-ended thereby causing injuries to her lower back and neck. Client also suffered a concussion. Client had to undergo facet injections multiple times, through multiple procedures. Client also had cognitive issues which required cognitive training and therapy.
Outcome: $400,000

CASE: Client was entering a highway from an on ramp and was rear-ended by a commercial van. Client tested positive for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and failed conservative treatment. Client underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgey, which involved removal of the first rib to attempt to relieve pressure in the thoracic outlet. Client also suffered a back injury.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver, who crossed the center line of the road. Client underwent multiple surgeries and could not work. Client was late 40s and needed a modified life care plan.
Outcome: $750,000

CASE: Client was rear ended by a tow truck driver who was a diabetic. The diabetic at fault party was a non-compliant diabetic and claimed he had a syncope episode, and was “blacked out”. Client had a preexisting back condition known and the forces from the collision aggravated, or made worse, the preexisting back condition in addition to, causing neck injuries.
Outcome: $350,000

CASE: Client was a passenger in a car where the driver fell asleep on a country road in the early morning hours. The car rolled multiple times. Client had eye injuries, facial injuries and neck and knee injuries.
Outcome: $850,000

CASE: Client was on the job, driving her own car, when she was rear-ended. She suffered a concussion with traumatic brain injury and pursued Workers Compensation Claim.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice in Central City. He suffered back injuries, that did not require injections.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE: Client slipped and fell on snow and ice on a sidewalk in front of a business. She had to have knee surgery and multiple injections in her back.
Outcome: $175,000

CASE: Client was visiting a friend who was renting a house. Client tripped on untreated, dangerous section of deck and injured his back.
Outcome: $150,000

CASE:Client was rear ended and needed fusion spinal surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Outcome: $125,000

CASE:Client was rear-ended and had to have rotator cuff surgery. Insurance proceeds were limited.
Settled for $65,000

CASE:Client was at Denver International Aiport traveling through Denver, slipped and fell and broke her ankle.
Settled for $118,750

CASE:Client was exposed to mold in a multi-family dwelling that was caused by leaking water.
Settled for $125,000

CASE:Motorcycle accident, reconstructive surgery, post-traumatic stress disorder, neurological injuries
Settled for $1,275,000



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