Seattle Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

You were injured as a pedestrian. Now what?

Seattle Pedestrian Accidents Lawyer

Any accident involving a pedestrian can be catastrophic. This is particularly true when the injury was caused by a car. While the driver of a vehicle is protected by seatbelts, airbags and the vehicle itself, pedestrians are completely unprotected. Drivers have an obligation to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner and that includes being constantly on the lookout for pedestrians. This is why if you are struck by a car while walking, it is typically the driver who is found to be at fault.

Whether you were injured by a car or by another means, if the other party was negligent, you deserve to be made whole financially. Your job is to focus on recovering from your injury. We will handle the rest. Unlike the insurance companies, our only interest is in protecting you and putting you in the best position possible.

Common Pedestrian Accident Questions

You will have peace of mind that your attorneys truly care about you and your family. Michelle & Court have over 35 years of combined experience and will use all of that experience towards helping you.

We will take the stress of dealing with the insurance companies away from you, and will get you the compensation you deserve. Money that will help to cover lost wages, medical expenses, pain & suffering, etc.

We will personally handle your case every step of the way, including contacting the insurance companies, contacting the at-fault party and/or their attorney, investigation, research, drafting pleadings, conducting depositions, and taking cases through trial when necessary. This process will often be resolved over the course of several months, but can sometimes take years. Throughout this process, we are there for our clients. We care about what our clients are going through and we want them to feel comfortable that they are in the best hands.

We will meet with you, gain an understanding of your individual situation and if we decide to work together, our fee does not get paid until the insurance company pays you.

It is scary to find yourself or your loved one a victim of any type of injury or loss. It is your job to heal. It is our job to deal with everything else.

Individual cities will often have their own Municipal Codes governing pedestrians.  There are also state laws that govern pedestrians.  Here is an overview of the state laws:  
  • b>Traffic signals – Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and traffic control devices unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer (RCW 46.61.050).  
  • b>Sidewalks – Drivers and bicyclists must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks (RCW 46.61.261).  
  • b>Pedestrians on roadways – Pedestrians must use sidewalks when they are available. If sidewalks are not available, pedestrians must walk on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic (RCW 46.61.250).  
  • b>Moving into traffic – No pedestrian or bicycle shall suddenly leave a curb and move into traffic so that the driver can not stop (RCW 46.61.235).  
  • b>Drivers exercise due care – Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary (RCW 46.61.245).  
  • b>Stop for pedestrians at intersections – Drivers shall stop at intersections to allow pedestrians and bicycles to cross the road within a marked or unmarked crosswalk (RCW 46.61.235). See Washington’s Crosswalk Law for more information.  
Yield to vehicles outside intersections – Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway (RCW 46.61.240).

It comes down to the issue of negligence. Drivers have a duty to exercise due care to avoid an accident with a pedestrian. Due to this, in the majority of cases drivers are going to be determined at fault, or at least partially at fault.

If there is a police report written, they will typically document who is at fault in their opinion. Insurance companies may not necessarily agree with this, however.

  • The two primary types of damages that can be recovered are economic/special damages, and non-economic/general damages.
  • Economic damages are for out-of-pocket costs that are incurred due to the injury.  For example:
    • Medical costs, including unreimbursed bills, long-term/chronic care costs, medical devices, home modifications, physical therapy, etc.
    • Property damages;
    • Lost wages or employment opportunity
  • General damages are for other harms that you have suffered but are more difficult to calculate, such as:
    • Enjoyment/Quality of life
    • Pain & suffering
    • Loss of consortium/companionship

First, we are very sorry for your loss.  We understand that despite this horrible loss, you may still be stuck with medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses. You may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to recover these costs and more. Please visit our wrongful death page and reach out at any time for a consultation.

If the driver that hit you does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your medical bills, etc., you are likely to receive coverage under your own Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage.

If you were crossing at an intersection, then yes, you will most likely be able to successfully pursue litigation. The reason for this is that drivers must stop at intersections to allow pedestrians to cross even if there is not a marked crosswalk.  There can still be contributory negligence on the part of a pedestrian in this situation, however.

If you were not at an intersection, then as a pedestrian you are supposed to yield to vehicles.  That said, drivers still have a duty of care to avoid hitting pedestrians.  So if you are crossing where you are not supposed to be but a speeding car with a distracted driver hits you, then there is fault that can be assigned to both parties.

Possibly.  We are always looking to see if negligence extends beyond the immediate cause of your injury.  For instance in a car vs. pedestrian accident, we would also look at:

  • Condition of the Vehicle Prior to the AccidentWas there a defective part? Did the brakes fail? A faulty tire blow-out? Was there a recent service appointment where something went wrong? If an issue such as the above is present, the vehicle manufacturer and/or service shop can be held accountable.

  • Condition of the Road & SurroundingsWas there an unfixed pothole to blame? A defective light or crosswalk signal? A poorly lit intersection?  Some other obstruction blocking the driver’s line of sight such as an overgrown tree?  If one or more of these types of issues are present, the government/municipality in charge of maintaining safe conditions could be held liable.

Injuries in pedestrian accidents are often severe, particularly when caused by a vehicle.  Some of the more common injuries include:

  • Head and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spine Injuries
  • Broken Bones 
  • Internal injuries including bleeding & organ damage
  • Loss of limbs

It is also important to not that some of injures may be present immediately, while others manifest over time.  This is why it is important to have both initial and ongoing medical treatment.

Absolutely. We want to know as much about what caused your injury as possible and who is to blame.  In a pedestrian injury case, we look at many things, including:

  • What were the road conditions like at the time?
  • Were all traffic signals working properly?
  • Was there sufficient lighting?
  • Did the vehicle have any defects or recent service visits?
  • Have there been previous accidents at the same location?

The list above is not exhaustive, but gives you an idea of some of the areas we look into.  The facts and circumstances of your particular case will ultimately dictate where the investigation takes us.

Uber and Lyft drivers have the same responsibilities as all other drivers on the road, so you can still pursue legal action.  In fact, ride share companies carry supplemental insurance for their drivers when the app is ON as follows:

UBER and LYFT:

  • Driver is available or waiting for a ride
    • When the driver’s personal auto insurance isn’t enough to cover damages, Uber maintains third party liability in the following amounts:
      • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
      • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
      • $25,000 in property damage per accident

  • En route to pick up riders & during trips
    • $1,000,000 third-party liability

When pedestrians and cyclists share the same sidewalk/path, cyclists can go racing past an unaware pedestrian at speeds of 10-20 mph depending on conditions.  Many cyclists also do not properly alert pedestrians when they are coming up behind them.  The combination of these factors can lead to accidents with serious injuries.

Because cyclists have a duty to yield to pedestrians, they are often going to be determined to be at fault for an accident.  That will not always be the case, however, as it ultimately comes down the issue of negligence.

If the cyclist is determined to be at fault, or at least partially at fault, then you can seek to recover through the other cyclist’s homeowner/renters insurance.

Most people think of pedestrian accidents as involving a motor vehicle.  This is not always the case.  For instance, pedestrians can be injured due to cracks in the sidewalk.

Pedestrians of course have their own duty of care, but you cannot always see all potential risks.  Also, local/county governments are required to keep their sidewalks safe, so if you are injured due to an unsafe sidewalk condition, you may be able to recover for your losses.  

Both private construction companies and government construction employees owe a duty of care to the public and if their negligence causes an injury to you as you are walking by, you very well may be able to successfully pursue legal action.  

The same holds true for private homeowners. If you are walking by someone’s house and are injured, give us a call.

The most common defenses we see is that the insurance company will try to claim:

  • You are at fault for the accident
  • You are partially at fault, referred to as contributory negligence
  • No proximate cause – they acknowledge you are injured but try to claim it was not caused by the accident (this is more common in car accident cases as the cause of the injury in pedestrian accident cases is usually obvious).

Despite these available defenses, we will do everything possible to still maximize your recovery.

General/Insurance FAQ's

We’ll keep this answer simple: Yes, you need an attorney if you want to maximize your recovery. It’s just one of those things that is best left to the experts.

Insurance companies want to pay out the minimums, close your file, and move on. Attorneys get in the way of that.

This question will get you a very lawyer-like answer: it depends. We need to know a lot more about your injury and get deep into the case before we can fully answer this question.

The word “win” also means different things to different people. For instance, if an insurance adjustor offers you $500 to settle your case and then after we get involved the offer goes up to $20,000, many people would consider that a win. In some cases, we would agree with this. In others, we may believe that more money is deserved and will urge you to keep fighting.

What we can tell you is this. We will put you in the best position to maximize your recovery, whether that is through a settlement or trial.

Similar answer here to the question above about whether you will “win” your case. While this is another great question, it’s not one that can be answered until many things happen first. Fault and seriousness of the injury, are a couple of the main factors at play.

The two primary types of damages that can be recovered are economic/special damages, and non-economic/general damages.

Economic damages are for out-of-pocket costs that are incurred due to the injury.  For example:

  • Medical costs, including unreimbursed bills, long-term/chronic care costs, medical devices, home modifications, physical therapy, etc.
  • Property damages;
  • Lost wages or employment opportunity

General damages are for other harms that you have suffered but are more difficult to calculate, such as:

  • Enjoyment/Quality of life
  • Pain & suffering
  • Loss of consortium/companionship
No. There is no cap on either economic (out of pocket) or general damages in Washington State. However, Washington does not allow you to recover punitive damages.
The deadline to file a claim, also called the statute of limitations, is 3 years for most personal injury cases in Washington State. The clock starts ticking on the same day of your accident/injury.
The vast majority of cases get resolved through a settlement prior to trial. That said, there are some cases where trial is the only way to get the compensation you deserve.
It varies quite a lot. It can be a few months to a couple of years (and occasionally even longer in serious injury cases). To get the biggest settlement, we typically want to wait until treatment finished, and you have reached what is referred to as maximum medical improvement. It’s important to remember that you also have some say in how long your case will go on for, meaning that if a settlement offer is made, you can decide whether or not to accept it/
Yes. Nothing is more important than your health and physical recovery. It’s important to reach out to an attorney as well, but don’t feel like you must speak to an attorney before visiting the doctor. Just make sure to document everything about your medical visits and care.

It’s not uncommon for injury victims to be partially at fault for an accident. This does not mean you are completely responsible and you very well may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Washington State uses a “pure comparative negligence” calculation, where the amount of money you recover gets reduced by the percentage you are considered to be at fault. For example, Let’s say you recover $100,000 but are determined to be 25% at fault, your total recovery would then be $75,000.

If you have Personal Injury Protection, then you can recover economic damages for medical bills, etc. However ,you will not be able to recover any general/non-economic damages (such as pain & suffering).
Once the settlement is finalized, you can typically get a check within 30 days, but this is not a requirement under Washington law. There are a number of circumstances that could cause it to take longer.

Protect yourself with a pedestrian accident lawyer.

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