If you suffered a TBI or other catastrophic injury as a pedestrian in Phoenix or elsewhere in southwest Arizona, you’re probably wondering if you can seek compensation. The answer depends on both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s degree of fault. Many drivers are to blame because, for example, a distraction caused them to crash.

A greater number of distracted drivers, as well as several other reasons, have contributed to an overall increase in pedestrian accidents. In fact, pedestrian fatalities have been going up steadily since 2009.

GHSA analyzes traffic deaths in 2019

It appears that 2019, the latest year for which at least partial data is available, proved to be no different. The Governors Highway Safety Administration made a preliminary analysis of traffic deaths that year and estimated 6,590 pedestrian deaths in all. This is 5% more from 2018 and 60% more than the 4,109 who died in 2009.

The GHSA said that five states, which altogether comprise about one-third of the U.S. population, accounted for 47% of the deaths. One was Arizona; the others were California, Texas, Georgia and Florida. The highest fatality rates per 100,000 people were in New Mexico, Hawaii and Florida. The lowest were found in Idaho, Wisconsin and Vermont.

Growing number of SUVs partly to blame

Between 2009 and 2018, all other traffic deaths saw a 2% increase. Though this is also troubling, it hardly has the magnitude of this trend in pedestrian deaths. The GHSA report mentions that more drivers distracted by their phones are one factor.

The growing popularity of SUVs and light trucks is another critical factor. They made up 69% of all new vehicle sales in 2019, compared to 48% in 2009, and everyone probably knows that these vehicles are much more deadly than ordinary cars when they are involved in a pedestrian accident.

A lawyer to handle the filing process

Personal injury claims arising from pedestrian accidents can take a while to settle. You want to know how much you might be eligible for and, in particular, if you’ll be covered for all past and future medical expenses. It may be wise, then, to consult a lawyer before filing.