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, or running, pedestrians are extremely vulnerable and at risk of being injured.
When drivers fail to use caution and crash into a pedestrian, the victim is often left with serious injuries, mounting medical bills, the inability to work, and pain and suffering. If you are unsure where to turn after you or a loved one has been hit by a vehicle, call Davis Law Group at (206) 727-4000.
Causes of Pedestrian & Crosswalk Accidents
For 35 years, the number of pedestrians killed each year decreased. But starting in 2010, the number of fatalities began increasing. According to data in the US Department of Transportation Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), in 2016 a total of 5,987 pedestrians died in collisions with highway vehicles, an average of more than 16 per day. Most pedestrian fatalities occur in urban environments. Data indicates that 18 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes occur at intersections, 72 percent at non-intersections, and 10 percent at other locations such as roadsides or shoulders, sidewalks, and median crossing islands.
Source: NTSB Special Investigation Report: Pedestrian Safety, September 2018. NTSB/SIR-18/03 B2018-101632
According to the NTSB study the following factors are commonly involved in causing injury to pedestrians in an accident:
- Distracted drivers
- Drunk drivers
- Drug-impaired drivers
- Poor visibility at night
- Poorly designed roads/intersections
- Weather conditions
Washington state law permits injured pedestrians to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver who hit them to recover damages. Contact an attorney to learn more about your legal rights.
Most Common Injuries in a Pedestrian Collision
Pedestrians, whether they are walking, jogging, running, commuting or sitting on a park bench, can be vulnerable to an accident. It’s important to be aware of the injuries that can be sustained as a result.
The most common injuries include:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Pelvic injuries
- Broken bones
Depending on the area hit and the speed of the car, the pedestrian may fall to the ground, into an object (building, another vehicle, etc.), or onto the hood or into the windshield of the car.
Accidents Involving Pedestrians in Unmarked Crosswalks
In Seattle, and other metro area cities, pedestrians have the right-of-way at any intersection — even if there is not a marked crosswalk. According to Seattle municipal code, pedestrians are permitted to cross any intersection where two streets meet — it is as if there were a "virtual crosswalk" at every corner.
An "unmarked" crosswalk is a legal crossing approximately perpendicular to the roadway that does not have painted lines or special surface material to designate the prolongation of the sidewalks of an intersecting cross street. Particularly when you are traveling in residential areas, it is important to understand that there are unmarked crosswalks at every intersection. Pedestrians are allowed to walk across the street at the intersection and vehicles must stop and allow them to safely cross.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
At Davis Law Group, we feel that the most effective way to reduce the number of accidents involving pedestrians throughout the city of Seattle and its greater metro area is to hold negligent drivers accountable.
Our goal is to educate the public on the different types of pedestrian accidents. Understanding how these accidents happen is the first step toward preventing accidents in the future — both while behind the wheel and when as a pedestrian.
The following are some common scenarios or locations in which pedestrian accidents occur.
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Intersection accidents
- Backing accidents
- Failure to yield accidents
- Left-hand turn accidents
- Crosswalk accidents
- Parking lot accidents
Most pedestrian accidents fit into one of the above categories. But the lawyers at Seattle-based Davis Law Group know that every pedestrian accident is unique and the circumstances involved in each case vary greatly. Call us at (206) 727-4000 to discuss your pedestrian collision.
Washington State & Seattle City Pedestrians Laws
Even with a growing presence of traffic signals, crosswalks, and sidewalks, Seattle can be a dangerous city for pedestrians. Below is a list of pedestrian laws based on the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC).
- SMC 11.40.160 - Crossing intersection diagonally
- SMC 11.40.180 - Standard of care for drivers of motor vehicles
- SMC 11.40.220 - Walking on the sidewalk
- SMC 11.40.240 - Walking in the roadway
- SMC 11.40.250 - Playing in streets
- SMC 11.40.420 - Pedestrian right-of-way
- SMC 11.58.310 - Regard for pedestrians
- SMC 11.40.160 - Crossing intersection
Below is a list of pedestrian laws based on the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).
- RCW 46.04.160 - Crosswalk
- WAC 132E-16-040 - Right of Way
- WAC 504-14-940 - Pedestrians
- RCW 46.61.235 - Crosswalks
- RCW 46.61.240 - Crossing at other than crosswalks
- RCW 46.61.261 - Sidewalks, crosswalks (pedestrians, bicycles)
- RCW 70.84.040 - Precautions for drivers of motor vehicles approaching a pedestrian who is using a white cane, dog guide, or service animal
Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Victims
The types of damages and amount of compensation available in your pedestrian accident case depend on the nature and severity of your injuries and the value of your expenses and losses. No two cases are alike, and we recommend you consult with a personal injury lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case.
We believe your financial recovery should be unique. The particulars of each case will determine what compensation is available, but generally, your recovery should include money for past, current, and future:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages/earning capacity
- Loss of essential services
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
If you played a small part in causing your crash, you can still receive partial damages. Under Washington state’s contributory negligence law you can request compensation. The law allows a judge or jury to establish which percentage of responsibility, if any, can be assigned to the victim. The total recoverable damages are then determined by that percentage number.
Free Legal Consultation With A Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Being hurt in a pedestrian crash or losing a loved one this way can be devastating. Getting back to your pre-injury condition requires medical attention, time and money. You can hold the driver responsible for the accident accountable for their actions with a trustworthy personal injury lawyer by your side.
While you recover from your injuries, you shouldn't have to worry about dealing with insurance companies. Having a pedestrian accident attorney fighting for you means that you will have an advocate who will work hard to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Hiring the right attorney can make all the difference in your pedestrian accident case. For a free case evaluation, call the award-winning accident attorneys at Davis Law Group at (206) 727-4000 or fill out the confidential contact form on this page.