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Whether you walk for exercise or as part of your commute, in an ideal world, you should be able to do so without having to fear for your life. Sadly, pedestrians are not always guaranteed their health and safety, and pedestrian accidents can have devastating—even fatal—outcomes. Pedestrians are arguably the most vulnerable people on the roads, as they do not have the safety features offered by motor vehicles—such as airbags, seat belts, and a heavy metal enclosure—protecting them in the event of an accident. If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident, you have the right to seek justice in the civil courts.

Pedestrian accident facts

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes annual reports on pedestrian accident injuries and fatalities. According to their 2015 data, more than 5,375 pedestrians were killed in accidents during that year, and 70,000 are estimated to have sustained injuries in accidents that same year. These numbers represent an increase in both fatalities and injuries compared with the data from 2006. In an ever-changing world where passenger vehicle safety measures are constantly being upgraded, pedestrian safety is on the decline.

Staying safe as a pedestrian

Although pedestrians cannot prevent another party’s negligence from causing an accident, there are a few things they can do to mitigate dangers while on their next walk:

  • Wear bright or reflective clothing when walking after dark or in poor visibility conditions
  • Consider walking with a flashlight or while wearing a headlamp to make sure you can see others and they can see you when walking at night
  • Be mindful of any cracks in sidewalks or other obstacles such as tree roots that may be in your path to avoid a trip-and-fall accident
  • Use pedestrian easements (like sidewalks) and crosswalks wherever possible—and when not possible, stay as far to the side of the road as you can

What to do after a pedestrian accident

Being hurt in a pedestrian accident is a painful and terrifying experience that can leave you feeling unsure of where to turn for help. Here is what you need to do after a pedestrian accident:

  • Get injuries treated by a medical professional
  • Document everything related to the accident (takes photos of injuries, keep medical bills and track injury-related expenses, get contact information from accident witnesses, etc.)
  • Call a lawyer who specializes in pedestrian accident injury litigation to discuss your legal options as an accident victim

We offer legal services to injured pedestrians

If you were hurt while walking and need a pedestrian accident attorney in Seattle, call Russell & Hill, PLLC for a free case assessment. We have a proven track record of helping accident victims recover damages for their injuries, and we can help you too. Our services are offered on a fee-contingent basis, which means you do not pay any attorney’s fees until your case has resolved—whether it is via a courtroom win or a cash settlement. Our pedestrian accident attorneys specialize in handling pedestrian injury cases, and we are passionate about helping our clients get the legal justice they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

How common are pedestrian accidents in Washington?

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are common in the US and Washington. More than 6,000 pedestrians killed in this country in pedestrian crashes during the latest reporting year.

When we turn to the Washington State Department of Transportation, we see that there was a total of 2,514 pedestrian accidents during the latest reporting year. Out of those, there were:

  • 109 fatalities
  • 403 suspected serious injuries
  • 784 suspected minor injuries
  • 1,121 possible injuries

Look closely at those numbers and you will see that most pedestrian crashes result in an injury or a fatality.

Why are pedestrian accidents to devastating?

Pedestrian accidents are often severe because the human body has no protection from the force of a vehicle. The average passenger car weighs around 4,000 pounds. When a person is struck, they commonly suffer from serious injuries such as:

  • Spinal cord injuries (with possible paralysis)
  • Traumatic brain injuries/head injuries
  • Internal organ damage/internal bleeding
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations or amputations

How do pedestrian accidents happen?

Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere but are more common in crowded areas like Seattle. We find that driver inattention is a common cause of pedestrian accidents.

Distracted drivers are a problem in and around Seattle. Drivers are now commonly paying more attention to their phones or other devices. There was a total of 10,921 distracted driving crashes during the latest reporting year in Washington.

Alcohol-impaired drivers are a continual source of concern on our roadways. During the latest reporting year, drunk drivers caused more than 8,200 crashes. Out of those, there were more than 3,000 injuries and over 100 fatalities.

Other common causes of pedestrian accidents include speeding drivers and those who fail to yield the right-of-way at intersections and crosswalks.

How do I get compensation if someone hits me?

Washington is an at-fault state. This means that the driver who causes the crash is responsible for the injury and damage expenses. However, this does not mean that you will get full coverage for your injury expenses. The insurance minimums may not cover total medical expenses for many of the injuries listed above. You also need to consider the many hidden expenses related to pedestrian crashes: lost income of the victim, rehabilitation, home or vehicle modifications, and more.

Your first line of coverage should come through the at-fault driver’s insurance, but if that is not enough, you may need to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. You could be eligible to get compensation for:

  • Coverage of current and future medical expenses
  • Recovery of lost wages if you are unable to work
  • Coverage of physical therapy
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Possible punitive damages against the negligent party

A pedestrian accident can be confusing for everyone involved. If you need a Seattle pedestrian accident attorney, Russell & Hill, PLLC is ready to help. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 800-529-0842.

K
Katrina Cole via Google+
Date published: 2017-01-27
5 out of 5
Although my initial contact with this firm was not the best experience, the way this firm handled my dissatisfaction has me changing my initial 1 star rating to a 5. I had a bad experience speaking with the intake coordinator and after posting a negative review about my experience I was contacted by Jim Hill. He was very concerned about my experience and was very apologetic and sympathetic to my situation. He definitely cares about great deal about his firm and the way his firm is perceived. Although he could have easily called and apologized and got me off the phone he made sure to ask me what happened and what I was upset about that way he could try and correct it. That speaks volumes about him and the firm he runs. Thank you Jim I appreciate our conversation and your willingness to answer my questions.
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