The Danger of Distractions
With all of the distractions that smart phones present, people are paying less and less attention to their surroundings. Whether walking, driving, or simply sitting at dinner with friends and family, we’re seeing more and more people with their noses in their phones, oblivious to what’s happening around them.
While many articles and web sites focus on the danger posed to the distracted parties due to their cell phone use, other pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists are also put in danger. A simple ‘ding’ from a cell phone can bring a pedestrian to an abrupt halt to check their message, or cause a driver to take their eyes off the road-causing a hazard and opening them up to liability for any injury they may cause.
The DMV reports that more than 25 percent of car crashes involved cell phone use and at least 9 people are killed every day due to a distracted driver. Science Direct reports that the increases in injuries to pedestrians using cell phones parallel those of drivers.
At Langsam Law, we have seen the fallout of this trend of constant distraction, and have helped injured parties put their lives back together in the aftermath. However, it is important to take the proper steps in case of an injury. Our previous article on motorists outlines the steps you should take in the event of an injury, and the same procedures apply to pedestrians.
Case Study: A Cautionary Tale
An elderly woman was walking down the street in Manhattan and was knocked down by a person who was walking and texting. Believing she was uninjured, she did not gather any information from the distracted party. As it turned out, she had a fractured hip and had to have surgery and a hip replacement. Had she gathered information from the person who knocked her over as well as contact information from witnesses, it is extremely likely that she would have been able to recover financial compensation for her injury. Renters insurance and homeowners policies cover more than just on-premise injuries—they cover general negligence.