Walking is the original form of transportation, and it is making a strong comeback. Exercise, commuting, and a surging ecological movement have all made walking a widely popular activity in Washington. In fact, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission estimates that nearly all Washington residents walk on a daily basis, and at least 25 to 30 percent of residents rely on walking as a necessary means of transportation.
Yet, with more people taking to the streets on their own two feet, there can be clashes with those driving on four wheels. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculates that in 2019, a pedestrian was killed in a traffic collision once every 85 minutes. Collisions with pedestrians are traumatic events that can change the course of a victim’s life and may sink them into serious financial instability.
The Bellevue personal injury lawyers of Tamaki Law understand the significant implications that an accident can have for a victim and their physical and financial well-being. Our legal team is comprised of dedicated professionals who are committed to using the law to help accident victims recover the compensation that they deserve. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a Bellevue driver, contact Tamaki Law for help. We want to offer you the opportunity to talk to an experienced pedestrian accident attorney for free. Contact us at (425) 679-6421 today, and let’s talk about how we may be able to help you.
Do You Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
Being involved in a serious pedestrian accident is a uniquely frightening experience. It can leave victims feeling isolated and vulnerable, even if they have the support of family or friends. It is while they are in the throes of this physically painful and emotionally draining event that insurance companies come calling, asking invasive questions about the accident. Handling these persistent phone calls, filing paperwork, and accurately presenting your side of the story can be exhausting. That’s why you need someone on your side to field the challenging aspects of the situation and represent your best interests while you focus on what’s really important: healing yourself.
An insurance company wants to protect its profits and settle for as little money as possible, while your attorney wants to protect your rights and get you the compensation that you deserve. After a serious pedestrian accident an attorney can help accomplish this by:
- Advising you of your legal rights
- Reviewing all paths available for seeking compensation
- Helping you begin the process of filing paperwork and claim forms
- Handling all communication with the insurance company
- Investigating the accident
- Gathering evidence, medical documentation, witness statements, videos, and other relevant information before it is lost or destroyed
- Calculating a fair market value for the claim
- Negotiating a settlement with the insurance company
- Preparing a lawsuit if negotiations are not conducted in good faith
Do you need an experienced pedestrian accident attorney? If you want the best opportunity to recover fair compensation, the answer is yes. At Tamaki Law, we are committed to advocating for the best interests of pedestrian accident victims. Protect your rights and avoid falling prey to being taken advantage of by an insurance company. Contact Tamaki Law for help today.
Major Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Drivers are supposed to always monitor their surroundings, which means all of their surroundings. Too often, drivers are only aware of the other cars around them and not the pedestrians that they must also share the road with. Basic negligence and a lack of awareness on the part of drivers are some of the major causes of serious collisions with pedestrians. In fact, at least 32 percent of accidents involving drivers and pedestrians were the result of distracted driving, according to data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Other major causes of pedestrian accidents in Bellevue include:
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Failure to yield
- Left-hand turn accidents
- Parking lot accidents
- Intersection accidents
- Poor visibility
Injuries Frequently Seen in Pedestrian Accidents
While pedestrians have just as much right to travel Bellevue roads and intersections as drivers do, they are typically the ones left coping with the serious repercussions of an accident. Pedestrians have the shoes on their feet and the clothes on their backs. That isn’t much in the way of protection when a 3,000-pound passenger vehicle comes crashing into a victim. Unfortunately, traumatic and even fatal injuries are often the result of such a crash. In 2016, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission found that 89 pedestrians had been involved in fatal traffic accidents with cars.
Those that survive these catastrophic collisions may be left with deep physical and emotional scars because of the violent nature of the accident. While all accidents are unique, pedestrian accidents often involve the most serious types of injuries. These injuries may include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Other head, neck, and spinal injuries
- Facial injuries
- Dental injuries
- Fractured bones
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash
- Wrongful death
Dangerous Areas of Bellevue for Pedestrians
A pedestrian accident can happen anywhere and at any time. However, there are certain areas where pedestrian accidents are more common. Areas that attract both a large number of pedestrians and drivers often play host to frequent and serious crashes. These areas can include school zones, construction zones, and parking lots. More specifically, some certain intersections and roads pose a danger to pedestrians as well. One of the most notorious sites in Bellevue for pedestrian accidents is Bellevue’s NE 8th Street. This area has seen three fatal collisions in only the span of 15 months.
While NE 8th Street is widely considered one of the most dangerous areas for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike, there are other areas of the city that have been identified as hazardous areas for those who choose to walk. The City of Bellevue has identified these areas as the top corridors for pedestrian collisions:
- 156th Ave SE
- 156th Ave NE
- Bellevue Way NE
- Main St
- 148th Ave NE
- NE 2nd St
- NE 4th St
- NE 10th St
- Northup Way
Compensation for a Serious Pedestrian Accident
The value of a pedestrian accident isn’t just an arbitrary number made up by an insurance adjuster or a computer program. To determine the value of a pedestrian accident claim, a number of factors fairly and accurately must be taken into consideration. Two of the most important factors include the severity of the injuries involved and how the accident was caused.
The severity of the injuries involved can play a huge role in determining the value of a claim. Serious injuries don’t just mean serious medical bills. They also mean more time missed from work or the possibility that a victim may not be able to return to work. When talking about compensation for an accident, these measurable losses are often referred to as economic damages. Economic damages can be calculated by examining the cost of a victim’s medical bills, their lost wages, and how much they suffered in property damage. Noneconomic damages tend to be more subjective and involve how the accident will impact a victim’s mental health and quality of life, such as disfigurement or pain and suffering. Both economic and noneconomic damages are calculated to arrive at the total value of the claim, which can include money for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
The second factor that plays into the value of a pedestrian accident case is how the accident was caused and who caused it. This is important because liability plays a role in how compensation is allocated in the Washington court system. Washington follows the “pure comparative fault” rule. This rule stipulates that the amount of liability an individual bears for causing an accident proportionately diminishes the amount of compensation they may recover. If the courts find that a pedestrian was 10 percent to blame for an accident, the individual can recover the total amount of compensation they are due minus 10 percent.
The pure comparative fault rule does not bar at-fault parties from seeking compensation either. Even if a driver is 90 percent to blame for the circumstances of an accident, they can seek the total amount of compensation they are owed minus 90 percent. Yet, the at-fault individual or their insurance company is still responsible for covering the victim’s damages.
Contact an Experienced Bellevue Pedestrian Accident Attorney
At some point, everyone is a pedestrian. Pedestrians have a right to enjoy walking in Bellevue without having to fear for their safety. When a reckless or negligent driver takes away that right, they must be held accountable for their actions. An insurance company isn’t concerned about accountability. They are concerned with quickly and cheaply wrapping up a claim so they can move on to the next one in the stack.
That’s where the legal team at Tamaki Law comes in. We pride ourselves on offering victims strong representation driven by results. If you’ve been seriously hurt in an accident by a negligent driver, you deserve your fair share of compensation. To find out how much you may be due, contact an experienced Bellevue pedestrian accident attorney today. We will provide a free initial consultation to help get you started. Let’s get to work protecting your rights. Call us at (425) 679-6421 today.