While most Seattle residents travel by motor vehicle, many people in the city are frequently pedestrians. Whether this is because they choose to walk, are walking in a parking lot, traveling on a sidewalk or are crossing the street in a crosswalk, many individuals become a pedestrian at some point. Although walking to and from our destinations is a great form of exercise and is relatively safe, being a pedestrian presents several dangers to individuals. Because motor vehicles are often present when pedestrians walk, there is always a chance that an auto-pedestrian accident could occur.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, or NHTSA, roughly 5,000 pedestrians die because of motor vehicle accidents each year. Moreover, motor vehicles are also the cause for nearly 76,000 injuries suffered by pedestrians. When a pedestrian is injured or killed in an automobile collision, the pedestrian or their surviving loved ones might be able to recover damages if someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to their fatal or serious injuries.
To establish negligence in an auto-pedestrian collision, fault must be proven. This means that the person believed to be responsible owed the victim a legal duty under the circumstances. In the case of a pedestrian accident, this would mean that the driver owed the pedestrian the legal duty to drive safely and yield to the pedestrian while he or she crossed the road. Next, it must be shown that this legal duty was breached due to action or inaction by the partly presumed at fault. Third, this breach must have caused the accident that injured the pedestrian.
If all of these can be established, negligence can be proven in an auto-pedestrian case. And depending on the circumstances of the incident, a victim will likely be able to recover any damages arising from the incident. Such damages can include medical bills, rehabilitation, future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other related expenses.