Seattle Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Washington State and Seattle City Pedestrians Laws
Traffic laws in Seattle don’t just apply to drivers — pedestrians are responsible for following posted traffic signs and obeying the signals at guided intersections. For example, the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.61. 235 directs pedestrians to use the sidewalk wherever there is one available. If no sidewalk has been constructed, pedestrians and cyclists should walk facing traffic on the left shoulder or side of the road. Cyclists and drivers must yield to someone afoot in a crosswalk or sidewalk.
Pedestrians have the right-of-way at uncontrolled intersections (without signals or signs), including those with crosswalks and without. Vehicles must stop and remain stopped until any pedestrians have crossed the road in a marked crosswalk or other appropriate location. If a pedestrian crosses the road at any location other than a marked crosswalk, or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, the drivers have the right-of-way. Crossing at inappropriate locations is considered jaywalking, and you can receive a citation from the Seattle police for doing it. Jaywalking can increase the chances of an accident involving pedestrian injuries. If you were struck by a car when crossing the road, where you were crossing and whether you were following Seattle traffic laws matters. The driver may argue that you caused the accident by jaywalking or not following traffic signs. If you think you may have broken traffic laws, you could still have a case for compensatory damages. Contact a pedestrian accident law firm in Seattle to learn about your options.
Pedestrian Accidents Statistics in Seattle, WA
Statistics surrounding pedestrian accidents in Seattle:
- 12–14% of vehicle-related deaths involve pedestrian accidents
- December and January have the most fatal pedestrian accidents
- Hit-and-run drivers account for about 20% of pedestrian accidents
- Drinking and driving causes nearly 50% of pedestrian accident fatalities
- About one in five children killed in vehicle-related accidents are pedestrians
- Seattle pedestrian accidents currently account for 15% of traffic-related deaths
- City streets have the highest incidence of pedestrian fatalities following collisions
- A fatal pedestrian accident or sidewalk injury is more likely on weekends and at night; 75% of pedestrian deaths occur at night
Each year sees a pedestrian accident claim brought by a number of victims who have suffered life-changing injuries.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Seattle
Pedestrian vehicle accidents include collisions involving passenger cars, commercial trucks, motorcycles, and even bicycles.
Although some collisions are due to pedestrian negligence, such as jaywalking or viewing a phone, most of the pedestrian auto accidents our pedestrian accident law group in Seattle handles involve a negligent or distracted driver.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents in Seattle include:
- Fatigued drivers
- Speeding drivers
- Hitting a pedestrian in a parking lot
- Distracted driving, or texting and driving
- Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Drivers making a left- or right-hand turn into the path of a pedestrian
This is not an exhaustive list of pedestrian and bicycle accident causes in Seattle; there are many more. As your Seattle pedestrian accident lawyer, we carefully investigate your claim to determine where the fault lies.
Common Sidewalk Injuries in Seattle Pedestrian Accident Claims
In a collision involving a driver encased in a heavy metal object impacting someone afoot without protection, the pedestrian’s injuries will be much worse than the driver of the vehicle. Pedestrians hit by car injuries can be catastrophic, rendering you permanently disabled, in chronic pain, and facing a radically changed life.
Some of the most common injuries pedestrians suffer in a collision with a car include the following:
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding, which could turn septic
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) leading to long-term cognitive impairment
- Spinal cord injuries, such as a painful slipped disc or partial or total paralysis
- Crushing injuries, usually the hands, feet, and limbs, or involuntary amputation
- Broken bones or sprains, strains, and overextension of ligaments and tendons
- Lacerations from the road or vehicle causing disfigurement or needing skin grafts
Many pedestrians suffer multiple severe injuries after a crash, rendering them unable to work or care for themselves independently. You could face a long, painful road to recovery; even then, full recovery may not be guaranteed.
Who Is Liable for WA Crosswalk Accidents?
The cause of a pedestrian accident and the injuries that the victim suffers are just part of the case for the compensatory damages that your pedestrian accident lawyer in Seattle works to construct. Determining who is liable for the accident is a key factor because the party found liable for the accident is responsible for paying the claim.
Although the liable party is fairly obvious in some cases, such as a drunk driver who runs a stop sign and strikes a pedestrian in a crosswalk, at other times, determining legal liability can be more complex.
Some of the parties that could contribute to liability in your pedestrian accident include the following individuals and entities:
- Private drivers, who have an implied responsibility to operate their vehicles safely
- Commercial truck drivers, who must be extra careful due to their vehicles’ size
- The municipality responsible for administering government vehicle operations
- Government vehicle operators, including bus drivers or street sweeper trucks
- Commercial truck carriers, who are responsible for hiring and training drivers
- Restaurants and bars that overserve patrons, contributing to drunk driving
- Contractors, who are responsible for maintaining functional traffic signals
- Road contractors and the government agencies that hire them
This list is by no means an exhaustive catalog of possible at-fault parties in a Seattle pedestrian accident case. Sometimes, the liability may rest with more than one party, so your Seattle pedestrian accident lawyer may name multiple defendants in your personal injury lawsuit.
Common Damages for Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Compensatory damages from a Seattle pedestrian accident are intended to make victims financially whole after the incident.
Washington State provides a legal vehicle by which an accident victim can claim compensation from the party that caused their accident. As the plaintiff in the case, you are eligible to seek economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault party (the defendant).
Economic damages are the fixed, identifiable costs that the plaintiff incurred due to the accident and their injuries, such as:
- Medical bills, emergency treatment, and aftercare
- Physical or occupational therapy or chiropractic care
- Lost wages from time missed at work because of your injuries
- Modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate your new disability
- Chronic long-term care costs, such as a nursing home or in-home health care
- Reduced employment opportunities because of your new physical limitations
Non-economic damages are non-quantifiable yet just as impactful. They are often calculated based on the amount of your economic damages and include:
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional trauma, including PTSD and anxiety
- Loss of consortium and damaged relationships
Non-economic damages are capped at 45% of the average annual salary for the state in the year that the collision occurred, multiplied by your life expectancy at the time of the collision (although this cannot be under 15 years).
Wrongful Death Claims After a Fatal Pedestrian Accident
Tragically, many pedestrians do not survive after being struck by a car. If your loved one died from their injuries in a traffic accident, we can help.
As your pedestrian accident attorney in Seattle, we build a case for wrongful death. It’s similar to a personal injury case, and you can recover compensation per RCW 4.20.010.
The damages you may be awarded include compensation for:
- Emotional distress
- Burial and funeral costs
- Loss of intimate relationship
- Loss of society and companionship
- Medical expenses incurred by your loved one
- Loss of income, retirement benefits, and pensions
- Loss of employment benefits from the decedent’s employer
Losing a loved one is a painful and stressful time. Although you may not be thinking about a lawsuit, the compensation you receive can take the financial burden off your shoulders as you grieve.
Washington’s Contributory Negligence Law
The defendant’s lawyer may make a case that you were at fault or that your careless actions led to the conditions causing the accident. In Washington State, this is referred to as “contributory negligence”, or a defense that can lessen the defendant’s liability. Washington civil courts compare each party’s negligence, following the guidelines of RCW 4.22.005. The judge looks at the evidence prepared by each party and may determine whether the plaintiff was negligent, and if so, how much of the total blame for the accident they should take. If a judge determines that the plaintiff is more than 50% responsible for the accident, they cannot receive compensation from the defendant. However, if the plaintiff is less than 50% but more than 1% responsible for the accident, their award will be reduced accordingly.
The minutes, days, and weeks after being injured in a pedestrian accident are painful, confusing, and stressful, but you don’t have to go through it all alone. The legal process can be overwhelming as you recover from your injuries, but know that the Lehmbecker Law team is here to help you.
We’ll represent your interests within the court system and to the other party, acting on your behalf in filing legal paperwork, responding to communications from the defendant’s lawyer and insurance company, and negotiating a fair settlement on your behalf.
We’ll also fiercely litigate your case in court, protecting you and your family at every turn. Contact us today to speak to a seasoned personal injury lawyer about your case
Why Choose Lehmbecker Law Firm for Your Pedestrian Accident in Seattle?
The advice and counsel of a Seattle, Washington personal injury lawyer can guide pedestrian accident victims through the process of obtaining compensation after a pedestrian accident.
But not all attorneys in Seattle have the experience and resources to litigate a complicated case where liability may be murky or multiple defendants contributed to the accident.
Lehmbecker Law has the experience and focuses you need after being struck by a car. Working with us, you receive:
We offer contingency billing, which means that we only assess legal fees if we win. You won’t have to worry about paying for legal services while your case is pending.
Start Working with a Seattle Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Lehmbecker Law fights to ensure that the driver responsible for your injuries is accountable and you get the compensation you deserve. A crosswalk accident attorney in Seattle protects your rights.
Get Back on Your Feet After a Pedestrian Accident
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Full handling of all legal communications, filings, and other legal matters
A thorough investigation into all parties who contributed to the accident
Regular updates on the progress of your case
Determined negotiation on your behalf
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Law Firm in Seattle Today
Call Lehmbecker Law to schedule a free pedestrian traffic accident claim review. Our pedestrian accident lawyer will listen to your story and explain your legal options.