Walking from your vehicle to your office building, from a store to your parked car, in a residential area or on city streets. These are all times when a person is considered a pedestrian. One could be walking in a parking lot, on a sidewalk or in a crossing walk. However, risks of being involved in an auto-pedestrian accident remain. If a motorist is not paying attention, is reckless or intoxicated, a pedestrian could be struck by a vehicle, resulting in serious and even fatal injuries.
In Seattle and other major cities across the nation, individuals seek to get around by foot. This is an efficient and healthy way to get around. However, it is often the only way individuals can get from point A to point B. Oftentimes, motorists are aware of pedestrians traveling on sidewalks and in crosswalks. However, when motorists fail to take note of these individuals, a pedestrian collision could occur. Following any type of accident, it is important to stop to assess the situation. Unfortunately, not all motorists do this, leaving some victims in a difficult position.
Many do not realize this, but one often becomes a pedestrian at many points in the day. When individuals in Washington and other states across the nation get out of their vehicle, while they walk to and from their vehicle, he or she is a pedestrian. This means that whether a person is walking, running, jogging or simply heading to their vehicle in a parking lot, they are pedestrians. It also means that these individuals are put at risk when traveling by foot near traffic.
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us. Let's face it, most residents in Washington state and other states in the United States have started their holiday shopping even before Thanksgiving happened.
At some point of another, we are all pedestrians. This could be when we are walking on the sidewalk, in a parking lot to and from our vehicles, in a residential area or in a park. No matter where Washington residents are walking, it is always important to be aware of vehicles traveling nearby. Even more so, motorists are supposed to be on the lookout for pedestrians, giving them the right of way when crossing the street. Failure to use caution around pedestrians, remain attentive and follow the rules of the road could be the cause of a pedestrian accident.
Readers of this blog know that Washington state law provides that those who are injured in a car accident can recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit if the accident was caused by another driver's negligence. In the case of a fatal accident, the immediate family may be compensated for their damages through a lawsuit based on the legal theory of wrongful death.
A previous post here discussed the difference between "economic" and "non-economic" damages in relation to civil actions for personal injury and wrongful death. Our readers in Seattle might remember that economic damages refer to relatively objectively quantifiable injury, such as recovery for medical costs associated with an accident, or actual lost wages due to inability to work as a result of the injury. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, refer to more subjective claims, such as compensation for pain and suffering, or loss of companionship or consortium.
Seattle is an amazing city in many ways. It has major sports franchises, beautiful scenery, waterfronts and outdoor activities within a close proximity, and is known for its environmental consciousness. One way that many of the city's residents demonstrate this dedication to ecological health is by walking to their destinations instead of driving vehicles with internal combustion engines which burn fossil fuels whose by-products contribute to air pollution and climate change. Sometimes, this dedication comes at a price, however, because while many people walk, there are still a great number of vehicles on the roads that can pose a threat to pedestrians.
Previous posts here have discussed some of the major elements of claims arising out of car accidents. These tend to be personal injury claims for which the victim requests compensation for various consequences of the crash. The most serious injury claim of all is, of course, wrongful death. When someone dies as the result of another party's negligence, the family would be the ones who may be entitled to compensation. But, what kinds of damages are recoverable in such instances?
There is an old saying that "no good deed goes unpunished." In this rather cynical view, going out of one's way to help someone else is just asking for trouble. While likely not completely true, as with most old adages, one can often find isolated examples that support the principle. Unfortunately for a would-be "good Samaritan" on Interstate 90 in Washington, this old saying turned out to be all too accurate.