Traveling by foot can be a healthy and cost-effective way to get around Albuquerque, but it can also be dangerous. Many New Mexico residents are injured and killed every year while out walking.
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one because of a negligent driver’s actions behind the wheel, we can help. The Albuquerque pedestrian accident lawyers of Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm have dedicated their careers to standing up for accident victims and those who have been wrongfully harmed. We offer a free consultation to all injury victims in the Albuquerque or Bernalillo County areas, so contact our law office today to schedule your no-obligation case evaluation.
New Mexico Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrians are by far the most vulnerable road users in New Mexico. According to data from the Governor’s Safety Highway Association, New Mexico has the highest pedestrian fatality rate, with 4.77 deaths per 100,000 people.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) also collects data on pedestrian accidents:
- Pedestrians were involved in only 1.3% of car accidents, but made up 20% of all traffic fatalities in 2019.
- In 2020, alcohol played a role in 37% of pedestrian accidents.
- A pedestrian accident occurred every 18 hours in 2020.
Collected data also shows that the greatest number of pedestrian accidents occur on Fridays, and that October is the most dangerous month of the year.
The Most Dangerous Places To Be a Pedestrian in Albuquerque
Anytime that a person travels by foot, they are at risk of being hit by negligent and reckless drivers. However, certain roads and intersections have a larger concentration of pedestrian accidents than other areas. Albuquerque pedestrians are at a much greater risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident when walking on Central Avenue through Nob Hill, Old Town, and near the University of New Mexico.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian collision anywhere in Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, or elsewhere in New Mexico, Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm is here for you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney.
Major Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents in Albuquerque
Causes of pedestrian accidents vary, and we know that no two crashes involving pedestrians are exactly the same. However, in our time representing personal injury victims in Albuquerque, our lawyers have identified some of the most common contributing factors:
- Alcohol or drug use
- Distracted driving (including cell phone use)
- Running red lights or ignoring traffic signs
Human error is the main thread connecting the above causes of pedestrian crashes.
When Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way?
Just like cars and bicyclists, pedestrians have a right to safely access and use public roads. However, they must do so in accordance with traffic laws that determine when they have the right of way. Pedestrians are afforded the right of way when in:
- A marked crosswalk controlled by a traffic signal
- A marked crosswalk that is not controlled by a traffic signal
- An unmarked crosswalk at an intersection
If a negligent driver fails to yield the right of way to a pedestrian and causes them to suffer a severe injury, the injured person may pursue financial recovery via an insurance claim. Our Albuquerque pedestrian accident lawyers are standing by to help.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrian injury claims tend to involve much more severe injuries than insurance claims for motor vehicle accidents. Pedestrians lack the same vital protections that vehicle occupants enjoy, such as seat belts and air bags.
When handling a pedestrian accident claim, it is not uncommon for us to work with injured pedestrians who are dealing with some of the following catastrophic injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Chest and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
As pedestrian accident attorneys, it is our job to obtain compensation on behalf of those who have been injured in an Albuquerque pedestrian accident.
When To Speak With an Albuquerque Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
We recommend that an injured pedestrian speaks with an Albuquerque pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible after their accident. While taking legal action may be the last thing on your mind, the insurance company for the at-fault driver will use this to their advantage.
Anything you say to the company can be used against you when you later try to recover financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, mental anguish, and other damages. Even a seemingly innocent comment, such as replying with a social nicety like “I’m fine” to being asked how you are doing may lead an insurance adjuster to claim that you are not seriously injured.
An Albuquerque pedestrian accident attorney from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm can advise you on how best to handle the insurance company and, if you wish, take over communications with them altogether. When it comes time to file a personal injury lawsuit, we’ll be by your side every step of the way.
How To Prevent Pedestrian Accidents in Albuquerque
Pedestrian accidents are rarely the result of pedestrian error, and instead are most often caused by negligent drivers. However, there are several precautionary measures that pedestrians can take to lower their risk of being involved in such accidents.
Wear Brightly Colored Clothing
Whenever possible, wear brightly colored clothing that stands out from your surrounding environment. Drivers who are distracted or otherwise not paying attention will have a much harder time spotting you crossing the road if you are dressed in dark clothing that does not reflect light well.
If traveling at night, consider wearing a reflector vest or belt to improve your chances of being seen.
Use Sidewalks and Crosswalks Correctly
Use sidewalks wherever they are available, and only cross at marked or designated crosswalks, or at unmarked crosswalks at the corners of intersections. When there are no sidewalks, travel on the far side of the road or in the shoulder while facing the flow of traffic. When walking in school zones, cross where there are visible signs or crossing guards controlling the flow of traffic.
Even the most cautious pedestrian may still be hit by a negligent, reckless, or hit-and-run driver. Since many drivers in Albuquerque, New Mexico continue to engage in behind-the-wheel behavior that is dangerous to pedestrians, legislative action is needed.
Vision Zero is a “data-driven safe system approach” intended to reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities in our state. If current conditions are left unchanged, it will be pedestrians that continue to suffer physical injuries, financial losses, and emotional trauma.
What To Do After a Pedestrian Accident
A pedestrian accident is a traumatic event. Knowing exactly what to do in the aftermath can be difficult, if not impossible. As personal injury accident lawyers, we recommend taking the following steps.
Call 911 right away. The typical pedestrian accident case involves severe injuries, and the sooner you are evaluated by a professional, the better. If you’ve been seriously injured, you might be transported to the hospital via ambulance. Emergency responders may also advise that you locate one of the local emergency rooms and proceed there on your own.
Calling 911 should also summon a police officer to the scene of the accident. This officer will create a police report that can be used as evidence when an injured party files a personal injury claim to recover damages suffered in the accident.
Preserve Important Evidence
Evidence proving that the at-fault party caused the accident can disappear surprisingly quickly. For this reason, we recommend that you take pictures and videos of the accident scene, capturing as much information as possible. Bring these photos and videos with you when you meet with Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm for your free pedestrian accident consultation.
Seek Medical Care
Even if you don’t believe you are seriously injured, it is essential that you seek prompt medical attention. Emergency medical care can be lifesaving in the event that you are suffering from an especially severe or traumatic injury. As an injured pedestrian, you have two primary options for medical care following an accident:
- The emergency room
- Your regular doctor
If you elect to forego going to the emergency room and instead schedule an appointment with your regular doctor, be sure to mention that you’ve been in an accident and need to be evaluated for injuries. Let them know that this appointment can’t wait. If your doctor can’t see you within the next day or two, go to the emergency room instead.
Do not let any worries about medical bills interfere with the process of going to the doctor or hospital. As your pedestrian accident attorney, we can help you navigate the process of filing a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company. This is often the most effective method to recover fair compensation for your economic damages, including doctor bills and property damage.
Meet With an Albuquerque Pedestrian Accident Attorney
You deserve maximum compensation for your injuries. Unfortunately, the insurance company will do everything in its power to lower your overall settlement, even going as far as trying to make you admit fault.
Do not allow yourself to be pushed around by a big company that cares more about its bottom line than helping accident victims—meet with a pedestrian accident lawyer who is prepared to take on your case.
Ideally, you should work with someone who has a history of handling pedestrian accident settlement negotiations for past clients. Do not rely on past successes alone, though. Only work with a lawyer who you feel comfortable with, and who you confidently believe has the experience and knowledge it takes to successfully navigate a pedestrian accident claim.
We’re the Albuquerque Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Who Care
Not every Albuquerque pedestrian accident attorney values the attorney-client relationship like we do. When you choose to work with Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm, you can be assured that you are choosing legal representation that cares about more than just your accident—we care about who you are.
Our Albuquerque pedestrian accident lawyers are able to secure favorable results for injury victims because they get to know them on a more personal level, learning how the accident has affected various aspects of their lives. If you are ready to learn how our attorneys can help support your personal injury case, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Not only is our first meeting always free, but there is never any obligation to commit to working with our law firm.