Many drivers lack adequate knowledge of how to safely share the road with pedestrians. Negligent or distracted driving accounts for many of the auto vs. pedestrian accidents that take place in Bellevue and these collisions have the potential to result in very serious or fatal injuries to the pedestrian.
The Jones Firm has experience defending pedestrians in their cases against drives who struck them, we can defend you too.
As a pedestrian, it is in your best physical interest to know the legalities surrounding pedestrian traffic laws and safety. Being conscious of traffic safety laws and staying hyper-aware when walking around busy roadways will greatly decrease your chances of being struck by a vehicle.
Who is considered a pedestrian?
Legally, both walkers and bicyclists are considered to be pedestrians. If you are struck by a car while out walking or cycling, you are eligible for personal injury claims. People often wonder if personal injury claims between cyclists and walkers have the same validity — because both are legally considered to be pedestrians, their injury claims have the same level of validity.
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As a pedestrian who regularly walks or cycles around Bellevue, it is important to understand your rights and the traffic laws surrounding pedestrians. Understanding your rights and the legalities of being an injured pedestrian will help you to understand the best course of legal action to take should you be involved in a collision.
Drivers are expected by law to yield to pedestrians wherever a crosswalk is present. This means that even though the light may be green a driver is still expected to yield to any pedestrians that are intending to cross the street.
In some cases, if a pedestrian dashes suddenly from the curb in front of a moving car and did not give the vehicle sufficient notice of their intent to cross, pedestrians may receive partial blame for an ensuing accident.
In situations where the driver was at fault for striking a pedestrian while they were crossing the street, drivers may receive larger fines if the collision took place in any of the following locations:
- A school zone
- A reduced speed zone
- In the vicinity of a playground
In situations where a pedestrian is crossing the street where there is no crosswalk present, it is the pedestrian’s duty to yield to oncoming traffic.
Failure of the pedestrian to yield the right of way to traffic when crossing a street where there isn’t a crosswalk could result in possible legal trouble for the pedestrian for violating traffic laws.
Drivers must always exercise due care while driving on the road. This means that even if a driver has the right of way, they must do their utmost to avoid a collision with a pedestrian. If a driver strikes a pedestrian and it can be proven that they did not do their utmost to avoid the collision, they can be held partially liable for the pedestrian’s injuries.
This means that even if you otherwise would not be guilty of any traffic infringement and you have the right of way, you are still required to exercise due care while driving around pedestrians.
What options do I have as an injured pedestrian?
As an injured pedestrian, you may not be aware but you do have multiple options available to you. Below we will list several different scenarios and insurance coverage types and the implications of those.
1. The driver has PIP coverage.
If the offending driver has PIP (personal injury protection) coverage, you will be able to access their policy to cover the expenses of the injuries you’ve sustained as a result of the accident.
2. The driver does not have PIP coverage, but you have PIP or uninsured motorist coverage through your own car insurance.
If the offending driver does not have PIP coverage, then you will have to look at your own insurance to see if your insurance policy will cover the medical expenses from the injuries you sustained (in most cases if you have PIP insurance or elective uninsured motorist coverage, these will cover your injuries).
3. You do not have the necessary elective coverages on your insurance policy and neither does the offending driver, but you have health insurance.
If neither you nor the offending driver posses PIP coverage or uninsured motorist coverage, then you will need to turn to your health insurance to cover your medical expenses.
4. Neither you nor the driver has the necessary insurance coverage policies and you do not have health insurance coverage.
In this unfortunate scenario where neither you nor the offending driver has PIP coverage and you do not have uninsured motorist coverage or health insurance, then you will likely have to pay for your own medical expenses out of pocket. This is the most difficult scenario and is far from ideal for victims of pedestrian-car accidents.
What do pedestrian accident attorneys do?
Too many injured pedestrians do not receive adequate compensation for their injuries. This results in excessive stress, having to pay out of pocket for injuries that were inflicted on you by someone else, lost wages, and weeks of recovery.
Working with a pedestrian accident attorney will alleviate some of the legal stress as well as ensure a more favorable compensatory outcome.
A pedestrian accident attorney will navigate the legal side of dealing with documents, claims, and insurance adjusters for you. It is the job of your accident attorney to assist you with your claim and in building a strong case so that you can devote more of your time and energy to physical recovery.
Hire a pedestrian accident attorney today
Here at the Jones Firm, Dax Jones has had years of experience working as a car-pedestrian accident attorney and has represented numerous clients throughout Snohomish, Pierce, and King counties. Dax Jones offers his clients professional, legal advice and one-on-one attention throughout the process of filing a claim and building their case.
Contact Dax Jones at the Jones Firm for a free consultation and to start receiving legal counsel today.