The Long-Term Physical and Emotional Impact of Pedestrian Accidents

Over the past few years, South Carolina has earned the dubious honor as being one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. According to the Governor’s Highway Traffic Association (GHSA), 123 pedestrians were killed in 2012. The Post and Courier recently reported that South Carolina ranks near the top (number 47) for pedestrian fatalities in the United States.

As any experienced accident lawyer in Columbia, SC would tell you, accidents involving pedestrians and large vehicles are rarely minor. Pedestrians face serious risks when hit by a car, and survivors of such accidents often face a lifetime of physical and emotional hardship as a result of their accident.

The New York Times recently published an article chronicling the aftermath of numerous pedestrian accidents on crash victims. The Times report included stories from several staff members who reached one similar conclusion: getting hit by a car or truck can take an accident victim years to recover from.

Pedestrian accident survivors share similar experiences, hardships

The author of the New York Times report, former executive editor Jill Abramson, brought her personal experience of being involved in a pedestrian accident to the forefront of the article.

Abramson said she was hit by a delivery truck in 2007 while lawfully crossing a street in Times Square. She suffered severe injuries as a result of the crash, including a broken femur and pelvis. She was immobile and bedridden in the hospital after the accident. Her treatment included surgery, blood transfusions, and the insertion of an interior vena cava to prevent blood clots.

During her recovery period, Abramson recalled, she received a card from a friend who had been in a pedestrian accident. The friend warned her that life was likely never to be the same. Abramson agreed that this has been her experience. She wrote that she continues to have flashbacks to the accident and is cautious at traffic signals, even when legally crossing.

Other New York Times staff members shared similar experiences in the article. One New York Times staffer described the pedestrian crash she was in as one of the most difficult and frightening things she has experienced. Another said that despite four years passing since her accident, she still becomes very fearful when crossing the road. She said she continually looks over her shoulder as she crosses and described a feeling of panic if she thinks a car is approaching or the driver does not see her.

Lingering challenges often result from pedestrian accidents

Pedestrian accidents leave injury victims with physical injuries that can last a lifetime. But all too often, victims of these accidents also experience tremendous emotional and psychological effects after their accidents. This impact often gets under-reported. The focus is typically on the catastrophic and life-altering physical effects of a crash.

When a pedestrian accident occurs, victims should be compensated for their losses stemming from a physical injury. This may include the medical treatment, the cost of future medical care and lost wages if the injury prevents the person from going to work. But the mental and emotional harm accident victims endure is real and should not be ignored. Drivers who cause pedestrian accident must be held accountable for these losses as well.

South Carolina accident attorney Chad McGowan is ready to help victims of car and truck accidents. Contact McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC at 803-327-7800 for a free case consultation.