Written by Stryder Wegener
Most people know that if you’re walking across a street within a marked crosswalk, you have the right-of-way, and vehicles – including bicycles – must yield to you. If they don’t, they are at fault in an accident. Pedestrian accidents under those circumstances are likely compensable, meaning you can receive money to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
But what if you’re hit by a car, motorcycle, or bike outside of a marked crosswalk? You may be wondering if you can still be compensated for your injuries. The short answer is yes, but you need to contact a skilled Seattle pedestrian accident lawyer to discuss the details of your case.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, getting medical help is your top priority. Once you start recovering from the crash, your next step should be contacting a personal injury attorney at Emerald City Law Group to discuss possible compensation for your damages. We can gather details and evidence surrounding your accident, and help determine whether you should pursue a claim against the other party. To schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case, contact us today at (206) 973-0407.
Pedestrian Accidents are on the Rise
Many people walk around the Seattle area. More pedestrians mean more opportunity for clashes with vehicles. According to statics from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the number of pedestrian accidents is rising. Pedestrian deaths increased from 50 in 2013, to 89 in 2016. Thousands more pedestrians are injured yearly. It is unclear whether the increase is from greater numbers of pedestrians, or other factors such as distracted driving or excessive speed. But whatever the cause, damages resulting from pedestrian accidents must be addressed.
Pedestrians and the Law
There are several traffic laws pertaining to pedestrians. In Seattle, for instance, you must use a sidewalk if available. If there are none, you must walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. Pedestrians must also follow traffic control signals, and give vehicles the right-of-way if the sign says, “do not walk.”
If you are crossing at an intersection without control signals, with or without crosswalks, vehicles must yield to you by stopping and allowing you to cross safely. If you incurred injuries while crossing under these circumstances, you might be entitled to compensation.
Understand that the law does not allow you to cross streets haphazardly. Crossing a street other than at an intersection, with a marked or unmarked crosswalk, is called “jaywalking,” and you can be ticketed for it. In addition, crossing a road outside of a marked crosswalk or at an intersection can strip pedestrians of their right-of-way. Instead, vehicles have the right-of-way under those circumstances, and walkers must yield to them.
If you were injured while allegedly jaywalking or failing to follow other traffic laws pertaining to pedestrians, you need to speak with a Seattle pedestrian accident lawyer right away. Under state law, a defense to your claim can be “comparative fault,” meaning you may bear some responsibility for your accident. The issue of being in a crosswalk, or crossing at an intersection in an unmarked crosswalk, can be very important, and our experienced attorneys can provide insight into the law of contributory negligence and evaluate your chance of recovery.
Call a Seattle Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Help
Being injured in a pedestrian accident is physically painful, financially impactful, and emotionally draining. You need to recover from your bodily injuries and determine if you are entitled to compensation. Emerald City Law Group can help. While we’ve provided some insight into the law through this brief discussion about how crosswalks might factor into pedestrian accidents, you can’t evaluate your own possible claim. Call us today at (206) 973-0407, or reach out online to schedule a free case consultation.