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What to Know About Pedestrian Accidents in Colorado

Colorado is one of the sunniest states in the US, even sunnier than Florida. It also boasts an active population of joggers and walkers. Denver is well known for its walkable downtown, which has over 1300 crosswalks to keep its vast amount of pedestrians safe.

With all this sun and its walking access, yearly outdoor activities are a way of life. Even in the winter, employees are walking to work, runners are breathing in the fresh mountain air as they put in the miles, and skaters, bladers, and scooter riders are taking up space on the streets and sidewalks.

But, too many have paid the ultimate price for that energetic lifestyle. Pedestrians are considered those who are on foot or use a conveyance that’s not a bicycle, and drivers often have a tumultuous relationship with them.

When the relationship isn’t respected, pedestrian accidents are the outcome, leading to serious injuries and loss of life. There were 92 Colorado pedestrians killed in 2021.

Whether you’re a routine pedestrian, a routine driver, or both, understanding how to navigate the congestion of the city roadways or the unpredictability of the winding mountainous roadways is essential to your safety and the safety of those around you.

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?

You’ve heard that pedestrians are always right, but the truth is that’s not always the case. And even if the jogger does have the right of way, getting hit by a car isn’t a great way to prove the point.

In Colorado, pedestrians can be held accountable for causing an accident. Like drivers, pedestrians have laws to follow, and vigilance must be the standard. Running into traffic, crossing outside of the crosswalk, and walking or riding on roads that don’t allow pedestrians will generally find the pedestrian at fault if an accident is the outcome.

    1. The Colorado driving handbook details right-of-way as follows:
    1. “Where vehicles or pedestrians meet one another, and there are no signs or signals to regulate traffic, there are rules that say who must yield the right-of-way. These rules tell drivers who goes first and who must wait in different traffic situations. The law states who must yield the right-of-way; it does not give anyone the right-of-way, even if your traffic signal is green. You must do everything you can to prevent striking a pedestrian or another vehicle, regardless of the circumstances. Pedestrians: When driving, you should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians under all conditions. Be particularly watchful for children, elderly and blind persons. Most blind persons are easily recognized by the white cane they carry and/or by their guide dog. Pedestrians have the right-of-way at all intersections and crosswalks. Drivers must come to a complete stop and let the person pass safely.”


Types of Auto and Pedestrian Accident Damages

There are three kinds of damages you may be entitled to after a car vs. pedestrian accident in Colorado.

Economic Damages

Lost income and property, as well as bills associated with the vehicle accident, may be distributed to the victim, including future financial losses.

Non-Economic Damages

Losses not involving money, such as pain and suffering, stress, physical discomfort, anxiety, depression, and an overall loss in quality of life, may be considered when determining damages.

Punitive Damages

If one party was intentional in their dangerous actions or had a disregard for the safety of others, the victim may receive punitive damages on top of other compensation.

If the victim sustains a bodily impairment such as disfigurement, a chronic brain injury, or the accident caused death, those factors will be considered when determining compensation.

How to Keep Pedestrians Safe

Both drivers and pedestrians should always use common sense when on or near roadways, avoid distracted driving or walking, and never drive, walk, or run while under the influence or while tired. These are just a few tips for being smart and safe on the road.

CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) took it upon itself to highlight pedestrian safety in 2022, partnering with local businesses and installing neon signs in their storefront windows. These illuminated images of a person walking are intended to remind drivers to keep an eye out for pedestrians.

In 2020, CDOT started the Left Behind campaign that reminds drivers and pedestrians alike about the tangible items left behind after a fatal collision using reminders such as broken phones and lost shoes as imagery.

These campaigns and other safety precautions have been designed to bring awareness to the loss of life and encourage competent, responsible driver and pedestrian habits.

Things Every Pedestrian Should Know

  1. A pedestrian can be held liable for any harm caused in a collision with a vehicle, including the driver’s medical bills as well as their own.
  2. Each accident scenario is weighed to determine who is at fault, and compensation is based on the discovery. In some cases, both pedestrian and driver are at fault, in which case the insurance adjuster will find the percentage that each is culpable and base the damages awarded on the findings.
  3. A pedestrian can file a claim against the driver involved in the accident, even if the pedestrian was in the wrong. Working with a pedestrian accident attorney will help determine whether you have a case and any next steps.
  4. Colorado offers pedestrian safety zones; these areas are meant for pedestrians alone, including sidewalks, crosswalks, and footpaths. These spaces are intended to further protect pedestrians.


Accident Attorneys Who Fight for You

It’s our business to understand and interpret Colorado’s accident laws. Our legal team applies years of experience to each case so you get the best representation possible. If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, you likely have a lot on your plate. You don’t have to navigate the legal system alone; we can help.

If you or someone you know could use some legal guidance, contact our North Denver accident attorneys today.

Read more about pedestrian accidents:

  1. Fatal pedestrian accident involved unoccupied, defective vehicle
  2. How to Avoid a Parking Lot Accident
  3. The Most Dangerous Intersections in Denver
  4. Woman found lying on west Aurora street victim of hit-and-run
  5. Tips for Being a Safe and Smart Pedestrian in Colorado


At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., we are honored to help accident victims in their time of need, and take our responsibility as personal injury lawyers incredibly seriously. We know how important it is for victims to secure the full and fair compensation they need following a serious accident, and that is why we take a hands-on, personalized approach to every case we handle.

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