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Crosswalks are there to make crossing the street safer for you and other pedestrians. On busy roadways, vehicles of all types rush past pedestrians on the sidewalks, sometimes at high speeds. Ideally, using a crosswalk instead of jaywalking protects a pedestrian from injuries, but crosswalks are not perfect. Sometimes, drivers erroneously drive into or through crosswalks, colliding with pedestrians as they cross the street. In other cases, crosswalk accidents are collisions between pedestrians or between pedestrians and bicyclists.
When an individual is injured in a crosswalk accident, he or she may pursue compensation for his or her injury damages through a personal injury claim. Recovering compensation this way requires the victim to demonstrate that his or her accident occurred because of another party’s negligence. In other words, the victim must prove that if everybody involved in the accident had followed the rules of the road and behaved in a safe, responsible manner, the pedestrian accident would not have happened and he or she would not have been injured.
In Washington, drivers are required by law to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists in marked and unmarked crosswalks any time there is a pedestrian or bicyclist on or within one lane of the portion of the roadway where the motor vehicle is traveling or turning.
Drivers are required to exercise due care to avoid colliding with bicyclists and pedestrians in the roadway. “Due care” can include using the vehicle’s horn to signal its presence. Under Washington law, pedestrians and bicyclists are required to exercise caution as well and may not bolt into traffic suddenly, creating a situation where a driver cannot safely stop to avoid a collision.
A crosswalk is merely a setting where accidents can occur. The same types of accident that can occur in other areas of the roadway can occur in a crosswalk, such as:
In some cases, crosswalk accidents are not caused by an individual’s negligence, but by poor roadway design or construction. Uneven pavement, unexpected curb heights, and faulty traffic signals can all create dangerous crosswalk conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike.
You can be injured in a variety of ways in a crosswalk accident. The type and severity of the injuries you sustain depend on a few factors, such as the speed at which the collision occurred, whether your collision was with a bicyclist, a car, or a large truck, the angle at which the collision occurred, and your overall fitness level.
Injuries that can result from a crosswalk accident include:
These injuries can have long term or permanent complications. For example, broken bones in the face could lead to permanent disfigurement. A deep cut that does not receive prompt medical attention could lead to excessive bleeding, putting the victim at risk of going into hypovolemic shock.
A victim can die at the scene of the accident or shortly afterward from his or her injury. When this happens, his or her loved ones may seek compensation for their damages through a wrongful death claim.
Through a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for the following damages:
Your claim needs to be supported by evidence. The body of evidence you provide with your claim must show the dollar amount of your tangible losses as well as the extent of your intangible losses, like your emotional trauma following the accident, in order to assign an appropriate dollar figure to these losses. Additionally, your evidence must show that your injury was the direct result of the other party’s negligence.
Your body of evidence can include:
In Washington, you can recover compensation for your damages even if you were partially at fault for the collision. For example, if you were in the crosswalk when the traffic signal displayed the orange “wait” signal and you were struck by a vehicle whose driver was reading a text message at the time of the collision, you could both be deemed to be negligent. In this scenario, the total amount of compensation you can recover is reduced according to your percentage of fault. For example, if you are deemed to be 30 percent at fault for the accident, you can only recover up to 70 percent of your claims total value. This premise is known as pure contributory fault.
When you are injured because of another party’s negligence, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for your resulting damages through a personal injury claim. Working with an experienced Seattle crosswalk accident lawyer to pursue your claim will give it a better chance of resulting in an appropriate settlement for your damages. To learn more about the personal injury claim process and what you can realistically expect for your claim, contact Khan Law Firm PLLC today to set up your free case review with us.