An elderly woman was struck and killed by an automobile while crossing the street in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The woman was crossing Wedington Drive in Fayetteville around 6 in the evening when she was first struck by one automobile, then struck again by another vehicle. When EMTs arrived at the scene of this horrible pedestrian accident in Arkansas, they rushed the victim to nearby Washington Regional Medical Center. The woman’s injuries were too severe and doctors were unable to save her life.
Unfortunately, her story is far too common not only in Arkansas but in the United States as a whole. Distracted, intoxicated, reckless, and careless drivers kill or injure elderly individuals and children far more often than they do “average” adults in America. This tragic trend is made worse by the fact that age also plays a factor in whether or not at-fault drivers make the choice to stay and help after they’ve struck someone or flee.
Certain Populations at Much Higher Risk for Hit and Run Pedestrian Accidents in Arkansas
The populations most at risk for serious, even fatal, injury during pedestrian accidents in Arkansas are children (under the age of 12 years old) and elderly individuals (65-years-old or older). Indeed, CDC statistics show that elderly victims over the age of 65 represent 20% of all fatalities in pedestrian/automobile collisions nationwide. Children represent another huge subset of total victims. An article published in The Journal of American Medicine notes that over 50,000 children are involved in pedestrian accidents every year resulting in 1,800 fatalities.
Why are These Populations At Risk?
These two populations are at much higher risk for multiple reasons.
- Expert analysis and scientific study suggest that children under the age of 11 don’t have the mental capacity to accurately assess spatial relations when objects (such as automobiles) are moving toward them, thus they don’t truly understand the danger they’re in.
- Studies have also shown that reaction time decreases as we age (due to decreased perceptive abilities and physical infirmity) putting aged individuals at much higher risk of actually being struck by automobiles in high-risk situations such as crossing the street.
However, not only are these two age groups more likely to be victims of automobile crashes, they’re likely to suffer more severe injuries during the impact due to their stature and overall physical composition (bone strength, muscle tone, etc.).
Victim’s Age Has a Tremendous Effect on Hit and Run Accident Outcomes
In addition to playing a significant factor in whether or not victims are struck by cars and how likely they are to survive related injuries, victim age plays a significant factor in hit and run pedestrian accidents in Arkansas as well.
Hit and run drivers who kill or injure victims under the age of 11 years old or over the age of 65 are much more likely to be identified and held accountable. Why? Analysts suggest that law enforcement agencies expend more resources to resolve cases involving these at-risk populations and the general public becomes more fully invested in helping in such investigations.
Drivers are less likely to flee if the victim they’ve struck is a child or an elderly individual. Perhaps the at-fault driver feels more remorse or guilt if the victim is in one of these high-risk categories.
At-Fault Drivers Liable for Losses Regardless of Victim Age
At-fault drivers involved in pedestrian accidents in Arkansas can be held legally liable for financial losses regardless of the victim’s age. While most people automatically think of medical expenses being the only recoverable damages victims can seek in civil lawsuits, there are many other intangibles that come into play when a lawyer crafts an adequate demand letter. These other financial losses can include:
- Lost wages (if victims don’t work, family members will still likely have to take time off to care for them)
- Lost income
- Transportation expenses (to and from doctor’s appointments and rehab)
- Replacement of personal property lost or damaged in the accident (including mobility devices)
- Pain and suffering
That’s why, if you’ve been injured by a reckless driver, you should always speak with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Arkansas before settling any insurance claim.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a hit-and-run, call an experienced personal injury attorney at the Pfeifer Law Firm. The consultation is free, and you don’t owe anything until a recovery is made for you. If you cannot come to us, we will come to you. Call us at 501-374-4440.