Legal Blog

Intoxicated Pedestrians Have A Higher Chance Of Being Injured Or Killed When Involved In An Accident But Still Have The Right To File Suit

Attorney David I. Fuchs


Attorney David I. Fuchs


Jul. 26, 2012


News reports that sixteen percent of all car accident deaths are pedestrians and that crashes involving pedestrians are associated with the highest mortality rates. The role of pedestrian intoxication on automobile accident death and injury patterns, however, has not been well been documented until now.

A study published in Pubmed conducted at the Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia began with the hypothesis that legally drunk pedestrian traffic victims have an injury pattern that is more serious and more rapidly deadly than is the pattern for sober crash victims.

The study looked at the autopsies of 223 consecutive pedestrian victims. The results were reviewed and then classified as to whether alcohol was present in the blood. The categories were as follows: Group I, Negative (n = 165); Group II, Positive (n = 58). The study also looked at age, gender, injury to specific parts of the body, time of the day, year and survival time.

The study found that that there were more men in Group II (79%) in comparison to Group I (64%); victims younger than 40 years old, in Group II (70%) as opposed to Group I (34%); less victims older than 60 years old in Group II (8%) in contrast to Group I (38%). It was found that Group II victims suffered more frequent and more severe injuries, two times the frequency of the liver, upper and lower extremity, neck, pelvis, and rib fractures; three times more aortic injuries; five times more heart injuries. Fatality occurred within one day in 95% of the cases in Group II and in 67% of those in Group I. Accidents occurred from 1500h to 2300h in 67% of Group II and in 53% of Group I victims.