Serious injuries from pedestrian accidents can be life altering. Each year there are nearly 5,000 fatalities alone from pedestrian accidents in the US and thousands more victims sustain serious and/or permanent injuries with victims of the most serious injuries facing a lifetime of new challenges.
Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are legally crossing the street. Whether on a sidewalk, in a crosswalk, walking, running, in a wheelchair, pushing a stroller, on roller skates/blades, or on a skateboard, pedestrians are extremely vulnerable and at risk of injury.
Children under age 16 are the most likely to be struck by a car, but elderly victims are the most likely to die as a result of a pedestrian accident. Most pedestrian accidents occur on the weekends during the evening hours. Pedestrian accidents in the late afternoon increase when daylight savings time is removed in the winter and the sun sets earlier.
No matter how minor or serious the accident, or how it happened, pedestrian collision victims and their families often have questions about their legal rights and how to make sure that they received fair and reasonable compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. If you're visiting our website because you're a pedestrian accident victim, or a family member of someone who was struck by a motor vehicle, we hope this information begins to answer your some of your questions as you research your legal options and begin your journey to recovery.
Exceptional Settlements and Verdicts Recovered
$415,000 for the mother of a 7-year-old boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after being hit by an SUV. Read More
$400,000 for a man who was wheelchair-bound after being
$275,000 for the family of a pedestrian who was killed after being struck by an elderly driver in an SUV. Read More
When Hiring a Lawyer May Help Your Case
Not all pedestrian accident victims need the assistance of a lawyer, but it may be in your best interests to at least discuss your case with an attorney to evaluate your options. Hiring a lawyer does not automatically mean that a lawsuit will be filed, as more often than not attorneys are able to negotiate settlements for their clients before the case goes to court.
When necessary, litigation not only serves the purpose of compensating an accident victim, but holding negligent persons and companies accountable for their actions. Lawsuits can help change the law. Successful cases can help facilitate change in awareness, behavior, and the law which may help prevent future injuries and fatalities.
Washington State & King County Pedestrian Accident Statistics
- Each year in Washington State, pedestrian fatalities account for 12 percent to 14 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents.
- In Washington State, 60 percent of collisions are located on city streets, where people are expected to travel on foot.
- More than 30 percent of fatal collisions are on state roads that are typically considered regional or trans-regional facilities dedicated principally to vehicular traffic and designed accordingly (Washington State DOT).
- Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue North) was the site of 43 percent of the pedestrian accident in King County and 16 percent for Washington State as a whole during a five-year period in a recent study.
National Pedestrian Accident Statistics
There were a total of 4,881 fatal pedestrian crashes in 2005, equaling nearly thirteen people every day of the year (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts). Though the number of pedestrian fatalities fell from 5,584 in 1995 to 4,881 in 2005, the fatalities in 2005 were the highest since 4,901 fatalities were recorded in 2001. The number of reported injuries involving pedestrians fell from 84,000 in 1995 to 64,000 in 2005. Only a fraction of pedestrian crashes that cause injury are ever recorded by the police.
- Pedestrian Deaths in 1995: 5,585 (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts)
- Pedestrian Deaths in 2010: 4,280 (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts)
- Pedestrian Injuries in 1995: 84,000 (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts)
- Pedestrian Injuries in 2010: 70,000 (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts)
- According to Safe Kids USA, more than 15,500 children under the age of 14 are injured each year in pedestrian accidents
- In 2005, the total cost of pedestrian injuries and fatalities among children ages 14 and younger was approximately $1.2 billion (Safe Kids USA).
- 69 percent of pedestrians killed in 2009 were males, and almost three out of every four pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas (74 percent).
- The top four states for pedestrian fatalities are California, Florida, Texas, and New York. These four states make up 42 percent of pedestrian fatalities nationwide while only accounting for 29 percent of the total traffic fatalities across the country.
- Nearly half (48 percent) of pedestrian fatalities occur on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Many reported pedestrian accidents are caused by negligent drivers who fail to yield or take proper precautions in crosswalks and other high traffic areas. These situations include:
- Inattention: A failure by drivers to check for pedestrians in crosswalks prior to driving through them.
- Unmarked Crosswalks: Intersections are a hotspot for pedestrian accidents---especially if there is not a clearly marked crosswalk which is synced to a traffic signal.
- Left-Hand Turns: Three times as many people get hit by cars turning left than by cars turning right because both parties are looking elsewhere: The drivers are busy negotiating the intersection and street-crossers are looking straight ahead.
- Right on Red: Motorists that are turning right at a right light often fail to make a complete stop and fail to see pedestrians.
- Dark Clothes: Nearly 50 percent of all pedestrian accidents happen on the weekends and 70 percent happen at night.
- Turning: Drivers choosing to make turns without paying attention to their surroundings.
Legal Rights for Victims of Pedestrian Accidents
Davis Law Group has represented numerous pedestrian accident victims and the families of pedestrians killed by motorists since the firm was founded in 1994. Our attorneys and legal staff have the skill, knowledge, and experience necessary to achieve the best possible results for our clients and their loved ones.
Attorney Chris Davis, founder of Davis Law Group, is the author of Right of Way: The Essential Guide to Pedestrian Accident Law in Washington State, a free legal guide designed to educate pedestrian accident victims about their legal rights and help them navigate the early stages of the claims process.