Girardi | Keese

Distracted Walking Injuries: More Common Than You Think

California streets can be a dangerous place for pedestrians. According to a new study, many Americans raise the risks of a serious injury by trying to multi-task while walking.

Like driving, walking is a routine task that many of us take for granted. When we get comfortable enough to try to juggle navigating busy streets with talking or texting on a phone, the chances for a severe pedestrian accident get much higher.

According to recent research, 1,500 pedestrians suffered distraction-related personal injuries in 2010. With the consistent proliferation of smartphones among California consumers since then, the current rate of injury is probably even higher.

From a liability perspective, a distracted walker is not necessarily responsible for his or her injuries. Many lawsuits involve a concept known as comparative fault. These legal principles allow courts and juries to look at everything that went wrong in an accident and allocate liability accordingly.

But, again, the mere fact that a pedestrian was using a phone at the time of an accident does not mean that he or she is not entitled to compensation. However, the one thing that victims in this situation can be sure of is that the driver will try to argue that it was all the pedestrian's fault.

Source: WebMd, "Cell Phone 'Distracted Walking' Can Be Dangerous," Randy Dotinga, June 25, 2013

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