A car hits you as you cross through an intersection. Can you get money for that? Find the answer in this post.

Pedestrian injuries, overall, are falling. But they’re on the rise in one respect: distracted walking.

Can you guess what’s distracting them?

No, it’s not the beautiful woman or handsome young man across the street.

You probably got it, though – smartphones. Texting, talking on the phone, e-mailing, listening to music, watching videos, or whatever it happens to be.

Smartphones are super cool and handy – there’s no doubt about that. But as a whole, we’re letting them get a little too much of our attention.

Ohio State did some research, and found that cell-phone-related pedestrian injuries more than doubled from 750 to 1,500 from 2005 to 2010.

And note that smartphone use has increased significantly since 2010. So those numbers are likely higher today.

  1. Fault Gets Complicated in Pedestrian Accidents

Now if you’re on your cell phone and you walk right through an intersection the crossing sign says not to, and without looking, you clearly have some level of fault if a car hits you.

But then they have some responsibility. Let’s say they were talking on their cell phone too.

You now have a complicated mess of partial fault to sort out.

  1. Pedestrians and Drivers Both Have a Duty of Care

A “duty of care” is a reasonable standard of behavior you must follow while driving or walking as a pedestrian to avoid causing harm to others.

For drivers, the most common breaches of this “duty of care” are:

  • Distracted driving: eating, texting, talking on the cell phone, putting on makeup etc…
  • Speeding
  • Not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks
  • Failing to obey traffic signs and lights
  • Failing to use a turn signal when turning or changing lanes
  • Driving too fast for weather or traffic conditions
  • DWI
  • Drivers also have a duty of care to exercise a higher level of caution when they observe, or should know, children play in the area.

Pedestrians also have a “duty of care.” And here are the most common ways they breach that duty of care:

  • Ignoring a walk/stop walking signal in an intersection
  • Disrupting the flow of traffic
  • Jaywalking in areas not clearly marked as crosswalks
  • Darting in front of a vehicle
  1. Walk Defensively, Just Like You Drive Your Car

If you have to text or e-mail, stop and sit on a bench. Or stand out of the way of foot traffic. Don’t listen to music or watch videos while you walk. That eats up your data anyway.

Statistics say you probably won’t get hurt if you do. But, you raise your chances of getting hurt, and you could be the one person that experiences catastrophic injuries.

And think of it this way: if you get hit by a car, it’s a guarantee the car always gets the better end of the deal. You might get some money out of it. But the pain, suffering, and inconvenience simply isn’t worth it.

So be safe out there. And if you do get in an accident, talk to a Dallas personal injury lawyer to see if you can recover compensation for your injuries.