Here in Washington, walking is a way of life for most of us, whether we do it as a means of transportation or recreation. But according to recent studies and data, it’s becoming increasingly dangerous to be a pedestrian. According to the latest report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, approximately 6,590 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2019 representing their highest figure in 30 years.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver. You owe it to yourself to get the advice of a Bellevue pedestrian injury attorney to understand your legal rights and options. At Northwest Law Group, we can help. We are dedicated to representing accident victims and helping them get the compensation they deserve after an accident.When Car Meets Human
As experienced pedestrian injury lawyers in Bellevue, we know that in most cases in a collision between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle happens, the pedestrian is the vulnerable party. The pedestrian is smaller, less visible, and far less protected. Without the safety features afforded to a driver or passenger in the way of a large cage of metal, seatbelts, and airbags, the pedestrian will usually be the one left with serious and often catastrophic injuries.
Unfortunately, it takes very little impact to cause serious injuries to a pedestrian. Even the impact of a relatively slow-moving vehicle can cause devastating injuries such as
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Compound fractures
- Crush injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Burns, scarring, and disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Wrongful death
as well as other injuries.Both Drivers and Pedestrians Share Responsibility
When drivers and pedestrians share the road, they both have a duty of care toward each other.
A driver is required to exercise reasonable care to ensure the safety of those around him or her. Failing to exercise care can be considered negligence if the driver causes an accident that injures a pedestrian. But a pedestrian also has a duty of care for the safety of others as well as their own safety.
Although drivers and pedestrians must both exercise caution and care when sharing the road, many pedestrian accidents are caused by the carelessness and negligence of the driver.
- Distracted driving -- Although we commonly think of texting when we think of distracted driving, it is anything that takes visual, manual, and cognitive senses off the road. Driver distraction puts unsuspecting pedestrians at risk.
- Speeding -- Not only is speeding a violation of the law but when it causes the injury or fatality of another, it is considered negligent. The faster a driver is traveling, the more serious a potential injury to a pedestrian due to the force of impact.
- Impaired driving -- A driver who is impaired by alcohol or drugs will suffer in reaction time, reasoning, and general driving skills. Driving while impaired is a traffic violation and is considered negligence per se if it results in injuries to another.
- Failure to yield -- Rolling stops or failure to yield at an intersection is a significant risk to a pedestrian.
- Left-hand turns -- When a driver’s attention is focused more on getting through the intersection than the pedestrians crossing the street, you have the potential for grave harm to the pedestrian.
- Backing up accidents -- Unfortunately, many tragedies have happened when a driver has backed up out of a driveway or parking space without checking thoroughly behind them.
- Weather and poor visibility
Under Washington’s pure comparative negligence laws, if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and you are partially at fault, you may still be entitled to compensation from a negligent driver to the degree that they were found at fault. In situations like this, it’s important to get the advice of an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Bellevue to discuss your case and understand your legal rights.
Get the peace of mind of having a Bellevue pedestrian injury law firm in your corner. At Northwest Law Group, we offer a free consultation so you can understand your rights and options under the law. You never pay any legal fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Our pedestrian injury lawyers serve Bellevue and other communities throughout Washington State, including:
- Federal Way
- Maple Valley
- University Place
- Lake Stevens
- Mill Creek
- Mountlake Terrace
- Port Orchard
- Bainbridge Island
- Port Gamble