Cars, trucks and SUVs can make life so much simpler. Instead of needing to plan your life around the availability of public transportation or budgeting to pay for taxi or ride share services, you can simply jump in your vehicle and hit the road when you have somewhere to go.

However, the flip side of that instant convenience is the ongoing risk of an accident. Motor vehicles can cause severe injury or death to others, particularly when they strike a pedestrian instead of another vehicle.

Vehicles should do their best to safely share the road with people on bikes or on foot. Sadly, drivers often fail to properly monitor their surroundings, which can result in tragedy on the road. When the other party in a crash isn’t protected by an enclosed vehicle, the outcome can be very tragic. Even worse, these kinds of accidents seem to be happening more frequently.

Pedestrians have no protection from injury on the road

Whether the accident happens in a crosswalk, on a sidewalk or in a parking lot, the potential for grave bodily harm is present. Unlike people in vehicles, who have the protection of fiberglass, metal and windshields, pedestrians have nothing to shield their bodies from the trauma of impact. The people in the vehicle could walk away unscathed, while the pedestrian could end up in the hospital for weeks or even dead as a result of the crash.

The first concern is the damage caused by impact with the vehicle. Blunt force trauma to the midsection could cause life-threatening internal bleeding or broken bones.

The potential for injury doesn’t end there. Most people will end up falling after getting hit by the car. Striking the road, sidewalk or nearby trees or buildings can all result in severe injuries as well. Some people could even end up thrown into traffic, creating a risk for additional injuries and accidents.

The potential injuries a pedestrian can suffer when struck by a motor vehicle can be catastrophic. Broken bones are often the least concern. Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries can also be a result from these kinds of crashes. They can have a long-term or even permanent impact on mobility and the ability to continue to work.

You have the right to pursue compensation

Thousands of people die in pedestrian crashes each year, with many more suffering severe injuries. Whether you personally suffered injuries in a collision or lost a loved one due to a pedestrian accident caused by a driver, the person who caused the crash may be liable for the damages you suffer.

Depending on the specifics of your situation, you may have the right to seek reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, funeral costs and more. Holding the driver who caused your injuries or losses accountable can help stave off the social and financial consequences of a severe injury.