A pedestrian is completely unprepared to deal with the force and sheer size of a moving automobile. Pedestrian injuries are frequently fatal or devastating. If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident as a result of a driver’s negligence, we’ll explain how you can seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
Injuries to pedestrians
Pedestrian injuries are frequently caused by two factors. It’s the typical double whammy:
The collision’s direct impact can fracture bones, tear ligaments, and inflict severe wounds in soft tissue.
The pedestrian is frequently thrown into the sidewalk or roadway — or into surrounding obstructions and structures — resulting in additional injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and bleeding.
Medical care is critical. If you are a pedestrian who has been injured in an accident, get medical attention immediately . Certain types of pedestrian injuries, such as brain damage, may not become apparent immediately following the event. Obtaining a comprehensive medical evaluation from your physician or a hospital is the best method to ensure your protection and determine the full degree of your injuries.
Who Is Responsible for Pedestrian Accidents? Tort Law: An Introduction
In Washington State, pedestrian accidents are governed by tort law, which establishes who pays and how much. The careless party who caused the accident is legally accountable. If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, establishing your case entails establishing three legal propositions: carelessness (liability), causation, and damages.
Proof of a driver’s negligence can be established in a variety of ways, including demonstrating that their actions violates applicable motor vehicle statutes, such as:
- Alcohol or drug intoxication
- Driving while distracted or being inattentive, such as when using a cell phone
- Violations of the regulations of the road and failure to observe them
- Speeding or driving at an excessive rate of speed for the conditions
Causation requires establishing that their negligence resulted in the accident. This is accomplished by the use of evidence, which includes the following:
- Testimony of eyewitnesses, including your own
- Evidence obtained via videotape (if available)
- Physical evidence gathered at the scene of the accident
- According to the police report
- Admissions on the basis of interest
- Medical testimony and documents are used to establish your injuries, which may include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Notes, reports, and testimony from physicians
- Photographs of your wounds
Law Concerning Pedestrian Accidents
RCW 46.04.400 defines a pedestrian as “any person walking or utilizing a wheelchair, a motorized wheelchair, or any other mode of conveyance propelled by human power other than a bicycle.”
According to Washington State law, motorists must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and on sidewalks. When a pedestrian is struck in a crosswalk, this law benefits them.
Additionally, there are significant laws that apply to pedestrians, including the following:
- Pedestrians are not permitted to “go out” in front of moving automobiles. 46.61.235 RCW
- Pedestrians must obey all traffic signals and devices, such as stop signs and stop lights. 46.61.050 RCW
- Without sidewalks, pedestrians must walk on the left side of the road or on the shoulder, facing traffic. 46.61.250 RCW
- Pedestrians crossing at points other than intersections must yield to automobiles. 46.61.240 RCW
- If you were involved in an accident while violating any of the pedestrian regulations, this information may be used to demonstrate that your own negligence contributed to the accident.
- In accident proceedings, Washington State employs a comparative negligence standard.
- If your negligence contributed to the accident, your compensation will be decreased accordingly.
Insurance Coverage for Accidents involving Pedestrians
Liability insurance issues might be problematic in pedestrian accidents.
Typically, in a Washington State accident case, the wounded victim gets compensated under the liability provisions of the at-fault driver’s motor insurance policy.
This is also true in pedestrian accidents. However, further insurance coverage may be available.
Insurance for Personal Injury Protection If you, a member of your family, or the at-fault motorist have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage under your own insurance policy, you may be able to receive reimbursement for your medical bills. The advantage of filing a PIP claim is that you may obtain reimbursement sooner than you would under the at-fault driver’s liability coverage. Acquire and carefully study the insurance policy.
Insurance for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists If your pedestrian accident was a hit-and-run, or if the liable motorist is uninsured or underinsured, you may be eligible to obtain compensation under the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage in your own insurance policy or the policy of a household member.
In very limited circumstances, coverage for crime victims and L&I is also provided.
To recap, depending on the terms of your insurance policy, you may be eligible for compensation for pedestrian accident injuries under the following categories:
- The at-fault driver’s policy’s responsibility provisions
- PIP coverage provided by the at-fault driver’s insurance policy
- PIP coverage is included in your own or a family member’s insurance policy.
- Coverage for uninsured motorists / uninsured motorists in your own or a household member’s insurance policy
- Your medical insurance coverage
- Victims of crime and coverage under the L&I
If you sustain serious injuries in a pedestrian accident, your attorney will assist you in identifying and comprehending all available insurance coverage and potential avenues of recovery.
Should I Consult a Lawyer Following a Pedestrian Accident?
If a pedestrian accident results in substantial long-term injuries that require extensive medical treatment, speaking with an expert personal injury attorney will benefit you. It is frequently unwise for a victim to speak with an insurance company or adjuster directly. The insurance company’s objective is to settle your claim for the smallest amount possible. They are highly skilled at persuading people to say things that are detrimental to their argument.
In severe pedestrian accident cases, compensation extends beyond reimbursement for medical expenditures. You may be eligible to compensation for the following:
Disability or lifelong injury
Diminished earning capacity
Suffering, discomfort, and inconvenient
A skilled personal injury attorney will be able to completely explain how your facts match the law and what compensation you may be entitled to. You can speak with us at Caron, Colven, Robison & Shafton during a no-obligation consultation before opting to engage us.