A 16-year-old student at Kent-Meridian High School was critically injured on Wednesday after a car struck him while he was in a crosswalk. Although the accident happened at 12:30 pm, the school was closed for a scheduled administrative day off and few students were on campus.
The 22-year-old driver who struck the student was speeding as he drove into the school parking lot. Kent Police Detective Melanie Robinson told reporters that he apparently lost control of his vehicle before the crash. He has been arrested for investigation of vehicular assault. The student is currently receiving care at Harborview Medical Center and was listed in critical condition.
What comes next for an injured victim?
Victims of pedestrian versus motor vehicle accidents often have a long road to recovery ahead of them. The injuries caused by a massive, heavy car striking an unprotected pedestrian can be life-changing. People who have been in these severe accidents will probably have big medical bills for emergency and follow-up surgeries, time in a hospital or rehabilitation facility, physical therapy to regain strength, and more. They are also likely to need significant time off of school or work to recover.
Police are currently investigating the speeding driver; if he is found to have caused the accident by driving recklessly, he will probably be charged with vehicular assault. This case will proceed in criminal court and will be focused on punishing the driver for committing a crime. If the victim needs to recover money from that driver’s insurance to pay for medical bills and other damages, that case will be filed in civil court.
What do personal injury attorneys do?
Personal injury attorneys handle civil, not criminal, cases. Their job is helping victims navigate the complexities of civil cases. While injured people can sometimes handle making claims in smaller cases with minimal injuries on their own, when a victim’s injuries are severe, these cases can be very complex and confusing for people without legal training.
A personal injury attorney can be a go-between who handles issues with the insurance company while the victim recovers. They can also investigate the circumstances of an accident; insurance companies will sometimes attempt to claim that a victim is at fault for their own injuries and doesn’t deserve compensation.
If you or your loved one has been severely injured in a pedestrian accident, it’s time to speak with a personal injury attorney. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis; you won’t be handed a bill just for speaking with a lawyer, and their fees will come out of the money from the final settlement, not out of your bank account.