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What duties do drivers owe to pedestrians?

As a previous post discussed, individuals in Seattle often end up being a pedestrian at some point in their commute to and from work. Whether it is a brief moment in a parking lot, at a bus stop, to and from a light rail station or because they are getting around by foot, the sidewalks and crosswalks are frequently used in the city. While this is an effective way to get around, walking where vehicles are also present can generate some safety issues. If a motorist is not attentive or fails to drive safely, this could result in a serious auto-pedestrian accident.

What duties are owed to pedestrians? Whether a pedestrian is walking on a sidewalk, on the side of the road, in a crosswalk or in a parking lot, the motorists traveling near them owe pedestrians a certain duty. This means that drivers should be attentive and aware of the pedestrian's presence, follow the rules of the road, yield to pedestrians and not drive recklessly.

When a pedestrian is injured in a motor vehicle accident, the cause of the collision is often questioned. To answer this question, one must further investigate the matter. Was the motorist at fault? Was the driver speeding, did not stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, driving under the influence, distracted or commit any other negligent act? If the answer is yes to any of these, it might be possible to hold a negligent driver liable for a pedestrian accident.

A personal injury action could help with accountability. This legal action is also a mechanism to assist victims with the collection of compensation. A monetary award could help cover medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other related losses. It could also be used to punish a motorist for his or her wrongdoings.

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