Pedestrians injured in an accident with a vehicle often suffer serious injuries while the responsible driver walks away uninjured. The injury victim may still suffer an uphill battle dealing with the insurance company to get compensated for their medical bills and lost wages. Injured pedestrians should act quickly to contact an experienced Clark County pedestrian accident lawyer to fight for full compensation for their injuries.
Washington Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, between 2008 and 2012, 332 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in Washington state. Pedestrians accounted for 14% of all traffic-related deaths.
More than half of all pedestrian traffic fatalities occurred at non-intersections where the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk. 2/3rds of the pedestrian fatal accidents occurred in urban areas. Over 30% of the fatal pedestrian accidents involved areas with a speed limit between 15 and 30 MPH. In a pedestrian-involved traffic accident, it is 9 times more likely to be a hit-and-run accident.
How Do You File a Claim When Injured as a Pedestrian?
Drivers generally know that they have to file a report after an accident and report the accident to their insurance company. But what is a pedestrian supposed to do after an accident?
The first thing a pedestrian should do after an accident is to seek medical attention for serious injuries. Pedestrian injuries can be serious or even life-threatening. Immediate treatment may be required to reduce the severity of an injury. Even if the pedestrian feels ok after an accident, they should still consider contacting a medical professional. Certain injuries, like head/neck/back injuries, can be difficult to detect and could develop into permanent or chronic injuries if not treated.
Reporting the Accident
If you are a pedestrian injured by a car, truck, or motorcycle, you may want to contact law enforcement if they have not already been called. Injury accidents generally require reporting to the police or other law enforcement. The investigating officer will also conduct an investigation and write a report that contains much of the information you will need for a claim.
You should also consider gathering all the relevant information you can, including the name, contact information, vehicle and license information, and insurance information of any drivers involved in the accident. You should also get the contact information from any witnesses and take pictures or video of the accident scene.
Even if you were a pedestrian, check your auto insurance policy to see if it covers your injuries in a car accident suffered as a pedestrian. Your car insurance may apply to your accident even though you weren't driving at the time.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
You should talk to an experienced Washington pedestrian injury accident attorney after your accident. Without having a lawyer on your side, there may be no one there to fight for you, to get the compensation you need from the other driver or their insurance company.
The insurance company may deny your claim, blame you for the accident, or offer you a low settlement that doesn't even cover your injuries. With a lawyer on your side, you will have someone who will deal with the insurance company to make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses.
It comes as no surprise that in an accident between a car and a pedestrian, the pedestrian will always lose. Pedestrians do not have any of the protections provided for in a car or even on a motorcycle, like airbags or helmets. Without these protections, even slow-speed accidents involving a pedestrian can result in serious or life-threatening injuries.
Children and young people are the most common group of pedestrians involved in crashes with cars. However, the elderly are generally at a higher risk of serious injury in car/pedestrian accidents. The most common injuries suffered by pedestrians in a car-related accident include:
- Broken legs
- Broken hips
- Back and spinal injuries
- Head injury and brain trauma
- Neck injury
- Internal injuries
- Facial trauma
Damages Available in a Pedestrian Injury Lawsuit
Under Washington state personal injury laws, an injury victim is entitled to compensation from those who were responsible for causing the injuries. In a pedestrian injury accident, the pedestrian can seek damages from the driver or other individuals responsible for the accident.
Damages in a personal injury lawsuit are intended to compensate the victim for their injuries and other damages that resulted from the accident, in order to put them back into a position they would have been but for the accident. Damages in a pedestrian injury lawsuit can include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium for a spouse or partner
Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim allows surviving family members to seek damages from the person responsible for causing the death of a loved one. If your child or spouse was killed by a reckless driver, a wrongful death claim may be the only way for you to hold the driver responsible for their negligence.
Under Washington's wrongful death statute, certain family members can recover damages caused by the wrongful act of another. Family members include first and second tier beneficiaries. First-tier beneficiaries include the spouse and children of the deceased victim. If there are no first-tier beneficiaries, the parents or siblings of the deceased can recover if they depended on the deceased for support.
Damages in a wrongful death claim can include losses suffered as a result of the death of the family member. This includes burial and funeral costs, as well as the loss of support, loss of services, and loss of companionship.
In general, surviving family members only have 3 years after the death of a loved one to file a wrongful death claim in Washington. However, the statute of limitations could be longer or shorter in some cases, so be sure to talk to your attorney to make sure you don't wait too long to file a claim.
Clark County Pedestrian Accident Attorney
After a pedestrian is injured in an accident with a car, the victim needs an advocate to fight to make sure they are fully compensated under Washington's personal injury laws. Quinn Posner at Posner Law Office, P.C. will watch out for you and your best interests and fight for your rights. Quinn Posner represents injured pedestrians and accident victims in Camas, Vancouver, Washougal, and Clark County. Call today for a free injury accident consultation.