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Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Common Injuries From Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian injuries in car accidents typically occur due to direct collision impacts or as a result of secondary impacts. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the immediate contact can cause a range of traumas, depending on the speed of the vehicle, the angle of impact, and the physical condition of the pedestrian. Common pedestrian accident injuries include fractures, abrasions, and internal injuries.

In some cases, the pedestrian’s body may be thrown onto the vehicle’s hood or windshield, leading to head and spinal injuries. Besides direct impacts, pedestrians can also sustain injuries from being propelled onto the road, where they may suffer from secondary impacts with other objects or vehicles. These complex dynamics underscore the severe risk pedestrians face in a pedestrian accident. If you have suffered one of these common pedestrian accident injuries, or a loved one has suffered from a fatal pedestrian accident, call the experienced pedestrian accident lawyers at PhillyLaw for a free consultation to learn about your options to recover damages from the accident.


Fractures are one of the more common pedestrian accident injuries. Fractures often occur in pedestrian accidents due to the force of impact when a walker is struck by a vehicle. The human body, particularly the bones, is not designed to withstand the sudden and intense force exerted by a moving vehicle in a pedestrian accident.

Legs, arms, ribs, and pelvis are particularly susceptible to fractures because they can absorb the brunt of the impact, depending on the collision’s angle. Furthermore, the type of fracture can vary greatly, from simple breaks that may heal with minimal medical intervention, to complex fractures that require surgery and extensive physical therapy. The severity of the fracture usually depends on factors like the speed of the vehicle at the time of impact and the pedestrian’s positioning.

Leg Fractures

When a person is hit by a car in a pedestrian accident, the legs are often the first point of contact. Fractures or broken bones sustained by pedestrians in car accidents frequently involve major bones such as the femur, tibia, and fibula in the legs.

Arm and Wrist Fractures

Arm and wrist bone fractures are also common pedestrian injuries, resulting from attempts to break a fall or shield the body during impact.

Pelvic and Rib Cage Fractures

More severe accidents can lead to pelvic fractures or rib cage injuries, which are indicative of a high-impact force and can result in significant internal damage.

Skull Fractures

Severe injuries like skull fractures are particularly dangerous and can occur if the head strikes the vehicle, the ground, or another object with substantial force during a pedestrian accident. Each type of fracture presents its own set of complications and necessitates immediate medical attention to mitigate long-term consequences.

Broken Bone Punctures

In pedestrian accidents, broken bone punctures, also known as open or compound fractures, represent a critical type of injury where the bone breaks and then pierces through the skin. These serious injuries not only involve the fracture itself but also expose the injury site to potential infection due to the opening in the skin. Such injuries often occur in high-impact collisions where the force of the accident causes the bone to break in a manner that compromises the skin’s integrity.

Treating broken bone punctures requires immediate medical attention, not only to address the fracture through stabilization or surgery but also to clean the wound and prevent infection. The recovery process can be longer and more complex in this type of pedestrian accident, involving both orthopedic and wound care specialists to ensure proper healing of the bone and surrounding tissues.


Abrasions are superficial injuries that occur when the skin is scraped off either partially or completely, exposing the layers beneath. In pedestrian accidents, these injuries are commonly seen on areas of the body that come into direct contact with the ground or the vehicle. Such injuries can range from minor injuries like minor scratches to severe road rashes, where large areas of skin are damaged.

The severity of abrasions a pedestrian suffers generally depends on the speed of the vehicle at the moment of impact and the surface on which the pedestrian lands. These injuries, while not usually life-threatening, can be extremely painful and at risk of infection if not properly treated. They can also lead to significant scarring, especially in cases of extensive road rash.

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries are among the most critical and life-threatening consequences of pedestrian accidents. These injuries often remain hidden initially, making them particularly dangerous. Internal injuries from a pedestrian accident can include internal bleeding, organ damage, or punctures. The force exerted during an accident can cause organs to be compressed, ruptured, or bruised. The liver, spleen, and kidneys are commonly affected due to their location and the nature of the force exerted during such impacts.

Additionally, lung contusions or pneumothorax (collapsed lung) can occur if the chest is sharply compressed or penetrated. The severity of these injuries can lead to significant complications, including shock, and require emergency medical intervention to prevent fatal outcomes. Identifying the signs of internal injuries—such as pain, swelling, and dizziness—is crucial for timely treatment and recovery.

Head and Brain Injuries

Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), are some of the most severe and potentially life-altering injuries occurring in pedestrian accidents. When the head is impacted by a vehicle or strikes the ground or another object, the brain can suffer from bruising, bleeding, or swelling. Symptoms of a serious head injury can range from headaches, nausea, and confusion to more severe signs like loss of consciousness, amnesia, and changes in behavior.

The long-term implications of head injuries can include cognitive impairment, memory loss, and in some cases, extended periods of rehabilitation. Immediate medical evaluation and treatment are crucial to manage the symptoms and to prevent further brain damage. The severity and impact of head injuries highlight the importance of protective measures and safe practices on the roads.

Concussions in Pedestrian Accidents

Concussions are a common yet serious type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that pedestrians may suffer from during a car accident. This form of injury occurs when a sudden, direct blow or bump to the head causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth, creating chemical changes in the brain and potentially damaging brain cells. Symptoms of a concussion can range from mild to severe and include headaches, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, memory loss, and unconsciousness.

Due to the nature of pedestrian accidents, where victims are unprotected and exposed, the risk of sustaining a concussion is considerably high if the head strikes against a hard surface or object. Immediate medical attention is critical following any head impact, even if symptoms appear mild initially, as concussions can have lasting effects if not properly diagnosed and treated. Early intervention and careful monitoring are essential to manage symptoms and facilitate recovery.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries resulting from pedestrian accidents pose a critical threat to an individual’s mobility and overall quality of life. These injuries occur when there is damage to the spinal cord or the vertebrae, ligaments, or disks of the spinal column. Spinal cord injury can lead to a range of outcomes, from minor back pains and reduced mobility to paralysis, including paraplegia or quadriplegia, depending on the injury’s location and severity. The spinal cord does not have to be severed for loss of functioning to occur; even a bruise can cause significant damage.

The impact from a vehicle can compress, twist, or sever the spinal cord, leading to immediate and sometimes permanent consequences. Symptoms of spinal injuries can include severe back pain, weakness, loss of coordination, and paralysis. Immediate medical intervention is crucial to minimize the long-term effects and to stabilize the patient’s condition. Rehabilitation and ongoing care may be necessary to assist the injured individual in regaining as much independence as possible.

Fatal Pedestrian Accidents

Death resulting from pedestrian accidents is a tragic and devastating outcome, affecting families and communities profoundly. Pedestrian fatalities in such cases often occur due to severe head injuries, spinal damage, or critical internal injuries that lead to catastrophic bodily failure. When the force of impact exceeds the body’s physical tolerance, it can result in immediate death or lead to fatal conditions that the victim can succumb to shortly after the accident.

High-speed collisions are especially notorious for causing instant fatalities due to the immense force exerted upon the body. In situations where the pedestrian endures severe trauma, death can also occur during medical treatment, despite aggressive intervention, due to complications arising from multiple injuries. The loss of life in pedestrian accidents underscores the critical need for enhanced road safety measures and increased awareness among both drivers and pedestrians to prevent such heartbreaking events.

How Pedestrian Accidents Occur

Pedestrian accidents occur for a variety of reasons, often involving a combination of environmental, behavioral, and vehicular factors. One of the primary causes is a lack of visibility, where pedestrians are not easily seen by drivers, especially during nighttime or in poorly lit areas. Distractions are another significant factor; both drivers and pedestrians distracted by mobile devices are at a higher risk of being involved in an accident due to their reduced awareness of their surroundings. Speeding vehicles limit the driver’s ability to react in time to avoid a collision, making high-speed areas particularly dangerous for pedestrians.

Additionally, alcohol and substance abuse impair judgment and reaction times, contributing to the risk of accidents for both pedestrians and drivers. Inadequate infrastructure, such as missing crosswalks, sidewalks, or pedestrian signals, also plays a crucial role in the occurrence of pedestrian accidents by failing to provide safe navigation spaces. Understanding the reasons behind pedestrian accidents is crucial for developing effective strategies to reduce their incidence and enhance road safety for all users.

Prioritize Pedestrian Safety

Protecting oneself as a pedestrian is crucial to minimize the risk of accidents and ensure safety while navigating the roads and sidewalks. One fundamental precaution is to always use designated crosswalks and pedestrian signals when crossing streets, as these are the safest points for crossing and help alert drivers to your presence. Additionally, wearing bright or reflective clothing can significantly enhance visibility, especially during night or in low-light conditions, making it easier for drivers to see you.

Pedestrians also should remain vigilant at all times, avoiding distractions such as using mobile phones or wearing headphones while walking near traffic. Always look both ways before crossing a street, even if you have the right of way, as drivers may not always stop as expected. Where sidewalks are available, use them to maintain a safe distance from the roadway. If walking on a road without sidewalks, face the oncoming traffic to see and react to any potential danger more effectively. By adopting these practical measures, pedestrians can significantly reduce their risk of involvement in accidents and enhance their overall safety.

PhillyLaw Advocates for Pedestrians Who Have Suffered Serious Injuries in Car Accidents

If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident and suffered serious injuries, do not hesitate to reach out to PhillyLaw. Our experienced legal team is dedicated to advocating for the rights of pedestrians and working tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. If a loved one has died as a result of a pedestrian accident, the personal injury attorneys at PhillyLaw have extensive experience in wrongful death claims. We understand the profound impact such accidents can have on your life, and we are here to support you through every step of the legal process. Contact PhillyLaw today for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your options for justice and recovery.