Whether you are taking a leisurely stroll through Celebration Park or a brisk walk to the Trader Joe’s on South 320th Street, walking is an Earth-conscious and healthy activity. Medical studies have shown that a simple thirty-minute walk every day can drastically improve a person’s health.
While the total amount of automobile accidents last year decreased, fatalities involving pedestrians increased in 2020. Seattle and SeaTac’s surrounding areas are trying to make the roads a safer place for pedestrians by adding more crosswalks and sidewalks, yet accidents involving pedestrians still occur every day. Someone in a wheelchair, on crutches, or on foot has no protection against cars that weigh over 3,000 pounds on average.
If you have been injured in Federal Way, you may be considering taking legal action but may be unsure of how to go about it. You should consult with a pedestrian accident lawyer who can help you understand how to move forward and get the guidance you need. At Premier Law Group, our team of pedestrian accident lawyers work closely with each client so that they can focus on recovering rather than negotiating a fair settlement.
Do Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way?
Generally speaking, pedestrians have the right-of-way. There are limited exceptions to this rule, including when a person darts out into a crosswalk when a car is coming. When there are no sidewalks, pedestrians must walk facing traffic on the left side of the road. When pedestrians try to cross the street anywhere that is not an intersection, the pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to vehicles. If a person is struck by a vehicle while violating Washington State’s pedestrian laws, they could be liable for negligence.
Washington State is a comparative negligence state. This means that if a person’s negligence contributed in any way to an accident, their compensation will be reduced in proportion to the amount of their negligence. Pedestrians should walk on a sidewalk when possible, and they should always use a crosswalk. All motorists must yield to pedestrians that are using sidewalks and crosswalks.
Common Accidents Facing Pedestrians in Federal Way
The weight disparity between a pedestrian and a vehicle is stark. The average person weighs less than one tenth of a passenger vehicle. With trucks weighing more than 8,000 pounds, the injury to a pedestrian could be catastrophic. Possible injuries to a pedestrian can include:
- Spinal cord damage
- Loss of a limb
- Traumatic head or brain injury
- Scars or disfigurements to the face
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
- Loss of hearing/sight
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact an experienced attorney right away. An attorney will help you pursue compensation for your injuries from the responsible party.
How Do Pedestrian Accident Cases Work in Federal Way?
Both drivers and pedestrians owe a duty of care to each other to prevent accidents. Because Washington is a comparative negligence state, the driver’s attorney will try to place as much blame as possible on the pedestrian to limit the driver’s liability. A pedestrian could be found negligent if:
- The pedestrian is jaywalking
- The pedestrian failed to use the dedicated crosswalk or sidewalk
- The pedestrian walked out in front of traffic
- The pedestrian failed to use pedestrian signals
- The pedestrian failed to pay attention to their surroundings
This is not to say that a driver will never be found responsible in a pedestrian accident case. A driver could be found at fault if:
- The driver violates traffic laws, especially the speed limit
- The driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The driver was not obeying traffic signals
- The driver was distracted while driving
- The driver did not use a turn signal
- The driver failed to yield at a crosswalk
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, you should seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. Together, you and your attorney can discuss the facts of your case to determine who was at fault in the accident.
The Federal Way Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Premier Law Group Are Ready to Help You
With the Washington State Department of Transportation’s plan to increase pedestrian sidewalks and crosswalks, Seattle is becoming a pedestrian-friendly city. Premier Law Group is a Seattle-based law firm that reliably and confidently provides legal representation to pedestrian accident victims. Our pedestrian accident lawyers have been nationally recognized for their expertise. We have offices in Renton, Federal Way, and Bellevue, and we represent plaintiffs throughout the entire region. To schedule a no-cost, no-commitment, initial consultation, please contact our law firm today. You can contact us by visiting our website or calling (206) 880-7518.