Most living in Hawaii probably realize how fortunate they are to have a climate unique among the 50 states. With fine temperatures all year round, many residents choose to walk from place to place, rather than drive or take a taxi.
Unfortunately, nothing spoils a good walk like being struck by a moving vehicle. While you might have thought the odds of such an accident are low, they actually happen with alarming frequency. When they do happen, the consequences can be severe.
Pedestrian accident facts for Hawaii
Looking only at non-fatal pedestrian accidents, in 2011, 601 people went to a hospital for treatment for injuries. Around 23 percent of those victims required hospitalization. Over the span of five years between 2007 and 2011, hospitals treated more than 3,000 pedestrians for injuries suffered after a motor vehicle struck them.
Not surprisingly, the majority of accidents occur in Honolulu, as 72 percent of all incidents in which patients visited an emergency room or were hospitalized happened in this county. The vast majority of accidents (almost 90 percent in total) happened on public roadways.
Common injuries in pedestrian accidents
Some pedestrians are fortunate enough to be able to walk away from a collision with a vehicle unhurt or with minor injuries. Others are not so lucky. During the five years referenced above, 130 pedestrians suffered fatal injuries in Hawaii, which is an average of 26 each year.
Among the most frequently incurred serious injuries are:
- Skull fractures
- Fractures of the leg/foot
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
Most of these injury types would require hospitalization. The average hospital stay after a pedestrian accident (for those not treated and released) is nine days. The average cost of a stay is close to $60,000.
What to do after being the victim of a pedestrian accident
An accident between a moving vehicle and a pedestrian can be a traumatic experience. In the flurry of activity that follows, you may not be thinking about anything except your current condition and simply trying to get through. At some point, however, it will be time to start thinking about your future. The expense of recovery from a serious injury goes beyond the cost of a hospital stay. There may be ongoing treatment required and you may have to miss work.
It's okay to focus on your recovery, but you may wish to allow a lawyer to see to your rights as a victim. A lawyer who routinely handles personal injury cases can help you claim the compensation you need and deserve after an accident caused by another party's negligent or reckless actions.