Did you suffer injuries in a pedestrian accident? Did it result from a driver’s reckless misconduct? If so, do not hesitate to contact the Washington personal injury lawyers of Tamaki Law to discuss your legal options for seeking compensation from the at-fault driver. We could help you hold them liable for their actions and fight for the justice you deserve.
Pedestrians are always at risk of injuries and death while crossing the street, walking through parking lots, or simply being around moving vehicles. Many drivers ignore traffic signals and signs indicating that they must stop so a pedestrian can proceed on a crosswalk. Unfortunately, this can lead to catastrophic accidents.
Washington has many large cities with densely populated areas. Although there are crosswalks and other designated pathways for pedestrians, driver error and inattention put them in harm’s way. A great example is the Deception Pass Bridge. There’s a small walkway on both sides, but there isn’t much of a barrier protecting walkers and runners from the cars zipping by. A driver could easily become distracted at the wheel and drift onto the walkway, injuring or killing a pedestrian.
The Washington pedestrian accident attorneys of Tamaki Law understand the devastation of being involved in an accident involving a car or truck. Such a crash often leads to debilitating injuries for the pedestrian that require emergency medical care and ongoing treatment.
Medical bills are expensive and can lead to significant economic strain if you can’t afford to pay them. The at-fault driver should be held accountable for what they’ve done. Call us for a free consultation at Tamaki Law to learn more about how we can help.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Typically, pedestrian accidents happen because a motor vehicle driver makes a dangerous error. Drivers who ignore traffic signs or text behind the wheel can crash into someone attempting to cross the road. They might not see what’s happening in front of them, and by the time they realize they’re on a collision course with a pedestrian, it’s too late.
The most common causes of pedestrian accidents are:
- Speeding – Driving above the speed limit can cause the driver to lose control and veer off the road. If someone’s walking on the sidewalk, there isn’t much they can do to avoid the approaching vehicle.
- Distracted driving – Distractions are a common problem among motorists. Anything could take their hands, eyes, or focus off of the task of driving. When that happens, they could cause severe injuries or death to a pedestrian.
- Driving under the influence – Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s driving abilities and judgment. They can’t function normally or react quickly to what’s happening in front of them.
- Failing to yield the right of way – When someone’s standing at a crosswalk, they’re allowed to proceed if they have a green light or walk signal. Drivers must stop and allow them to cross. However, blowing through a stop sign or red light puts the pedestrian at risk of severe injury.
- Reckless driving – Reckless driving can involve road rage, weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, tailgating, and other dangerous actions. The driver could lose control of their car and crash into a person walking on a sidewalk or crosswalk.
Whether one of these factors or something else caused the accident you were involved in, you should seek immediate legal action to hold the at-fault driver liable. Tamaki Law can investigate the incident, gather evidence, and find a way to prove someone else was responsible for your injuries.
Common Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Many pedestrian accidents don’t happen at crosswalks. Various scenarios could result in injuries and fatalities to people walking through a parking lot or even just sitting outside at a restaurant.
The most common types of pedestrian accidents that can occur are:
- Backing up accidents – A driver backing out of a parking space should always look behind them for anyone passing by their vehicle.
- Jogging accidents – People jogging, especially at night, are at greater risk of getting hit by a car. Most drivers aren’t actively looking for pedestrians and might not see you jogging on the side of the road.
- Crosswalk accidents – Crosswalks allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. However, an approaching driver might speed up to try to beat the light, which can prevent them from stopping in time to avoid hitting you.
- Parking lot accidents – There’s a lot of foot traffic in parking lots. People are walking to and from restaurants, stores, and other establishments. Drivers must slow down and monitor the area to avoid running someone over.
- Hit and run accidents – Some incidents involve a driver who crashes into a pedestrian and decides to flee the scene without checking on the victim’s well-being.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of all possible pedestrian accidents. If any of these or another cause led to your injuries, don’t wait to seek legal action. The Washington pedestrian accident attorneys of Tamaki Law can immediately begin to work on your case, so we don’t miss any filing deadlines.
Common Injuries Pedestrians Face in Accidents Involving Motor Vehicles
Pedestrians often sustain life-threatening or debilitating injuries. When you’re walking across the street, nothing can protect you from the full impact of a car against your body. Many people die at the scene, while others end up with permanent physical damage and ongoing psychological issues.
The most common injuries caused by pedestrian accidents are:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Loss of limb
- Crush injuries
- Psychological and emotional trauma
- Road rash
- Burns and cuts
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Permanent impairment or disability
- Internal bleeding
- Organ failure
The time you spend treating your injuries can be excruciating and overwhelming. You might feel frustrated about what happened to you and worry about the costs you’re incurring. You shouldn’t face the consequences of someone else’s poor decisions. Let Tamaki Law represent you in your case to try to reach the best possible outcome.
Compensation You Could Pursue in an Insurance Claim
Many people don’t realize that they can file a car insurance claim even if they were a pedestrian at the time of the accident. State law requires all motorists to buy and maintain insurance coverage with minimum liability limits for bodily injury and property damage. Depending on the coverage amount on the at-fault driver’s policy, you might be able to obtain compensation for your total losses.
The losses you could seek to have compensated in a liability claim are:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you use up the total limits or find out that the driver doesn’t have liability coverage, you might be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) insurance can be used under these circumstances:
- The at-fault motorist doesn’t have liability insurance.
- The at-fault driver’s liability coverage isn’t high enough to cover your total losses.
- A hit-and-run driver caused the accident.
UM coverage is optional in Washington, but all insurance carriers must offer it to their policyholders. If this coverage is on your policy, you could potentially pursue a settlement to compensate you for your medical treatment, lost wages, and other costs. Every policy is different, but yours might also include coverage for property damage and pain and suffering.
Washington Laws Regarding Lawsuits
Another option for holding a negligent driver liable after a pedestrian accident is filing a lawsuit. Washington law requires initiating your case within three years from the date of the accident if you want to seek compensation. This is called a statute of limitations. It’s a strict deadline, and if you don’t follow it, you could lose your right to pursue legal action against the person that caused your injuries.
Some scenarios allow an accident victim to toll the statute of limitations. That means you could extend the deadline if either of these factors exists:
- You were under a personal disability, meaning you were under 18 years old or mentally incompetent or disabled when the accident happened. The clock would start running once you turn 18 or gain mental competency.
- If the defendant isn’t a resident or left the state, the statute would temporarily pause and wouldn’t begin again until they return to Washington. Their absence also wouldn’t count towards the three-year timeframe.
Pure comparative fault could negatively impact the outcome of your case. If the jury determines your actions contributed to the crash, they could reduce the value of your compensation. For example, let’s say you suffered $100,000 in losses. Under circumstances where you were not at all at fault for the accident, you could pursue $100,000 in compensation. However, if the jury assigns you with 20 percent fault, you could only seek up to $80,000 in compensation.
At Tamaki Law, our Washington pedestrian accident attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases. We know what it takes to hold people liable for their actions and seek the compensation our clients rightfully deserve. When you hire us, we will treat you and your case as a priority to try to reach your legal goals.
If you sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident in Washington, call Tamaki Law immediately. We can meet you for a free consultation and get you on the road to recovery. Call now at (800) 801-9564.