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Seattle Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
A pedestrian accident lawyer can offer more than legal representation and possible compensation for injuries, the attorneys at Colburn Law fight to get you back on your feet again. Don’t hesitate to contact Greg Colburn today to discuss your case (206) 919-3215. The idea of being hit by a car is scary, but it is, unfortunately, not uncommon. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in 2013. Pedestrians also accounted for 14% of motor vehicle crash fatalities that same year.
It doesn’t take a lot of speed to injure a pedestrian – while speeds faster than 30 mph are responsible for the most serious injuries and fatalities, pedestrians could be severely disabled at speeds as slow as 10 mph.
Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
When someone gets hit by a car, the first question after medics assess the injured parties is usually, “Who is at fault?” Generally, we find the answer to this question by investigating for negligence. The law finds the person who fails to exercise reasonable care under the circumstance negligent.
This concept is more clearly illustrated with an example. Say you were walking at a crosswalk with a signal. A driver turns right on red and hits you. In this case, the driver is clearly negligent: The driver didn’t yield to you, and you clearly had the right of way.
In other cases, however, a pedestrian may share some of the fault for an accident. Let’s say there was no good place to cross the street, so you as the pedestrian checked both ways and ran across the street where there was no crosswalk. A distracted driver, who was texting on his or her phone, hit you. In this case, you would both share fault.
Filing a Police Report
To determine fault, the police and insurance companies will conduct separate investigations. Police will talk to the driver, eyewitnesses, and the pedestrian. If it’s available, they’ll review footage from traffic cameras and examine the damage before filing their report. A police report generally makes a fault determination, but insurance companies may dispute these findings after their own investigation.
If you’re a pedestrian who’s been seriously injured in an accident, you may be at an inherent disadvantage. The police will talk to the driver who hit you and may have to visit you in the hospital to take a statement. Depending on your medical state, you may not be able to give them much information. That’s why it’s important to retain the services of a pedestrian injury attorney in Seattle – we’ll fight for your rights, even when you’re not feeling well enough to do so yourself.
Remember, don’t sign any documents except for the police report. The driver’s insurance company may try to approach you with an offer – don’t accept the offer unless it’s under the advice of an attorney.
Make sure you always follow-up with any eyewitnesses and the police after a pedestrian accident in Seattle. A copy of the police report can be requested through the Seattle Public Request Unit.
Pedestrian Related Injuries in Washington (2008-2017)
This Data released by the Washington State Department of Transportation shows there was a significant increase in pedestrian-related accidents between 2014-2016. Accidents involving pedestrian and/or bicycle crashes in Washington saw a ten year low during 2013. Data is still being collected for 2018, as of April there were 693 total crashes.
Special Considerations for Pedestrian Crashes
If you’ve been in a motor vehicle crash, your personal injury claim will almost always be against the other driver. In some cases, however, you may have a case against a municipality. If, for example, a Seattle roadway is laid out improperly, there was a malfunctioning traffic signal, or there weren’t any crosswalks available, you may be able to file a claim against the city. A Seattle personal injury attorney at Colburn Law can help you identify the parties at fault and pursue a settlement to compensate for your injuries.
Your Next Steps: Contacting a Pedestrian Attorney in Seattle, WA
Car crashes involving pedestrians are often serious, and those injured may require extensive rehabilitation. At Colburn Law, our Seattle pedestrian accident attorneys know firsthand that these medical bills get expensive. We’re committed to helping you get back on your feet by securing the best outcome possible.
Your first step is to call my office for a free initial consultation. I will meet you wherever you’re most comfortable, whether it’s at your home or in the hospital. After a review of your legal options, I will help you decide on your next best steps. Schedule your consultation now.