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Making a case after a pedestrian accident

Walking is great exercise. Not only does a person burn calories, but also gets a chance to enjoy the outdoors while slowing down and taking in the world around him or her. But that world can be a dangerous place. One danger for Washington pedestrians is the cars whizzing past, the drivers of those cars often unaware of the pedestrians who share the roads with them.

Readers may think the risk is small, but the statistics paint a grimmer picture. Annually, about 5,000 pedestrians die in accidents involving motor vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Many more get hurt in auto-pedestrian accidents. For example, in 2012, more than 75,000 pedestrians suffered injuries from getting hit by a car or truck.

Pedestrians hit by a car or truck have legal options. One choice is to file a lawsuit. Before doing so, the injured pedestrian needs to figure if the case can be proven. In other words, the victim needs to present evidence demonstrating that the driver of the vehicle owed the pedestrian a duty of care, that the driver breached that duty, and that the breach caused the accident and, ultimately, the pedestrian's injury.

But that's just the first analytical step. There are more. One of those steps is to figure who is legally responsible for the accident. That sounds more obvious than it is. Sure, the driver may be at fault. But often other people are too. For instance, maybe the pedestrian was partially at fault. Or maybe the city has some blame because it failed to properly maintain the sidewalk, causing the pedestrian to walk in the road. Or maybe a company is; for example, because it owned the vehicle and employed the driver that caused the accident.

Because of the many issues that need to be addressed when filing pedestrian accident lawsuits, Washingtonians may benefit from discussing their situations with an experienced pedestrian-accident attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Pedestrian Accidents Overview," Accessed Dec. 6, 2016

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