“Distracted Walking” Leading to More Emergency Room VisitsIt is just as critical to walk cell-free as it is to drive cell-free. Pedestrians who are texting or on their phones aren’t looking at the people or conditions around them. They aren’t prepared to handle any emergencies. They may even try to save their cell-phone first rather than their own bodies if an emergency occurs.

According to a Washington Post story, pedestrian accidents have been on the rise since 2010, in part due to walkers listening to music, talking, and texting. Communities are beginning to launch safety campaigns to alert students and others to the dangers of distracted walking. China went so far as to create a separate sidewalk lane for people who use mobile devices.

Types of distracted walker litigation

Common safety dictates that people with hand-held devices should look up and should check for traffic before crossing the streets, but people don’t always use their common sense. Distracted walking can lead to lawsuits even if the pedestrian is not injured:

  • If you are distracted and you walk into someone, and the person you walked into trips and falls, you can face a negligence lawsuit.
  • If you walk into the street while using your cellphone, you may cause cars to crash into each other or other pedestrians. This can lead to a lawsuit against a distracted walker, too.
  • If you are using a cellphone while injured on the property of another, the owner of the property will claim that you contributed to the negligence. For example, if you slip and fall on broken tiles while shopping, you would normally have a strong case against the owner of the business that was selling the goods. If you contributed to the fall by using your cellphone and not looking down, the store owner will claim that your lawsuit should be denied or that your damages should be reduced.
  • If you fall while walking – while you were distracted by your device – you will likely be limited to filing a claim for health benefits through your personal health insurance company.

Studies show that people under 40 and women are most prone to distracted walking accidents. Nearly 4 in 5 distracted walking accidents are due to a fall. Falls can cause spinal cord injuries, broken bones, muscle damage, and other types of physical harm.

Accidents happen for many different reasons. At Delius & McKenzie, PLLC, we work to determine how the accident happened and who is responsible. While there’s no such thing as “walker’s insurance,” distracted walkers who cause an accident may become defendants in civil cases. Our injury lawyers fight to hold wrongdoers accountable for the pain and suffering and economic losses they cause.

We handle accident cases that happen in Sevierville, Seymour, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the surrounding Tennessee regions. To learn your rights when an accident causes you any type of physical harm, call our personal injury lawyers at (865) 428-8780 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.