According to Washington’s Preliminary 2013 Annual Collision Summary, 1,700 Washington pedestrians were involved in a fatal/injury related collision with an automobile in 2013.  In fact, a pedestrian (or bicyclist) was involved in a crash almost every three hours.  Further, a pedestrian (or bicyclist) was killed in a crash with a vehicle every six days.

Pedestrian accidents are very real in Seattle, as well as, in all of Washington for that matter.  Pedestrians that are struck by automobiles can suffer serious and devastating injuries.  They can also incur substantial medical expenses and time away from work.  The following provides a further insight into pedestrian accidents in Washington.  In particular, it examines issues that may affect filing a personal injury claim after these accidents occur.

Proving Negligence

As stated above, pedestrians can suffer a vast array of serious and devastating injuries following a collision with an automobile.  These injuries can lead to exorbitant medical expenses, time away from work, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.  In some cases, injured pedestrians can seek to recover these damages by means of filing a civil lawsuit.

However, please keep in mind that if a lawsuit is filed, an injured pedestrian must prove that an automobile driver was negligent before the pedestrian can successfully recover any losses sustained.  This basically means that the pedestrian must show that the driver was at-fault for the collision.  Some examples of a driver’s negligence may include that a driver:

  • Disregarded a crosswalk;
  • Ignored a traffic signal;
  • Violated a traffic ordinance (e.g., unlawfully passed a school bus); or,
  • Was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Pedestrian Not Violating the Law

In addition to proving that a driver was negligent, a pedestrian (filing a civil lawsuit) must also show that he was not violating the law at the time of the collision.  A few Washington laws are important to consider when determining if a pedestrian was in violation of the law at the time of an accident.  Some of these laws involve:

  • Following traffic signals at intersections: Pedestrians don’t automatically have the right-of-way at intersections.  Pedestrians must follow any displayed traffic signal devices and walk only when it’s safe to do so.
  • Walking on roadways: Pedestrians must use sidewalks when one is available.  If there’s no sidewalk, pedestrians must walk facing traffic on the far left side of the shoulder.
  • Running into traffic: Drivers will not be found negligent for accidents where a pedestrian ran into traffic and failed to give a driver a reasonable amount of time to avoid an accident.
  • Crossing the street when there is no crosswalk: If no crosswalk is present to assist pedestrians in crossing the street, pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to all oncoming vehicles.

We’re here to Help

The experienced attorneys at Phillips Law Firm understand that pedestrian accidents are never easy.  The law may be difficult to understand.  Injuries translate into escalated emotions that need a friendly ear.  Questions require answers delivered with passion and dedication.

Our firm has represented numerous pedestrians that have been injured by means of negligent and careless drivers.  Our team of attorneys stands ready to answer your questions and assist in your case.  Contact us now!