Cars can cause a lot of damage when they are in an accident. When an accident involves a pedestrian, the resulting injuries can be serious, and sometimes even tragic. Pedestrians are often struck in crosswalks, at intersections, or in parking lots due to a driver’s negligent actions or violation of basic traffic laws. The most commonly violated traffic laws that result in a pedestrian accident include:
- Failing to Yield – Drivers should yield right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections, but often don’t.
- Speeding – Drivers who are speeding typically aren’t able to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian. It takes a breaking distance of 80 ft. for a car traveling 40 mph to stop.
- Not Yielding to a School Bus – Drivers are required to stop for school buses with flashing red lights indicating they are loading or unloading passengers.
- Distracted Driving – Drivers who are on a cellphone, texting, eating, engaging with passengers in the back seat, or distracted in other ways can easily miss seeing pedestrians and strike them.
- Impaired Driving – Drivers who are under the influence of drugs (prescription or nonprescription) or alcohol have compromised judgement, vision, and reaction time.
Other Common Causes of Pedestrian Knockdown Accidents in Seattle
Pedestrians can also potentially be knocked down and injured while on sidewalks, in crosswalks, or walking along the road in the Seattle area. These knockdowns can cause traumatic brain injury, severe fractures, and back and spinal injuries, which can take months or even years to recover from. Knockdown accidents can be caused by:
- Dogs – Unleashed dogs can cause significant injuries if they knock down or bite pedestrians. Owners who don’t control their dogs can be held liable for any injuries their dog inflicts. Dog bite injuries can have lasting effects on both the affected individual and the dog.
- Distracted Walkers – Pedestrians who are busy talking to companions, listening to music, talking on a phone, texting, or even enjoying the scenery too much may cause unsafe situations by not giving enough attention to those around them.
- Joggers – Joggers can inadvertently crash into walkers if they aren’t careful about sharing the sidewalk, path, or road they are using. This can result in responsibility to compensate if injuries occur, which is likely to happen due to impact forces.
- Bicyclists – Bicycle riders are required to follow traffic laws and yield to pedestrians just like drivers. They also must share any paths or sidewalks they are using with pedestrians. In some places it is not legal for bicyclists to use the sidewalk. They could be required to compensate for any injuries they cause a pedestrian due to their carelessness or violation of local laws.
- Open Doors – “Dooring” occurs when people exit their vehicle without looking and hit someone who is passing by. It often happens in parking lots or along the side of a road.
When Minors are the Victim, Special Rules Apply
If the victim of a pedestrian accident is a minor, settling a claim for their injuries can become more involved. Specific and special rules must be followed in Washington when settling claims on behalf of minors. In such cases, the court determines if the proposed settlement is adequate and either rejects or approves it. This is true whether the claim is filed in court or not.
Were you or your child the victim of a pedestrian accident involving a car or other knockdown situation? Contact our skilled personal injury lawyers to help you get your claim settled. As always, our consultations and case evaluations are free of charge.
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