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Pedestrian Accident

Committed to protecting the legal rights of victims everywhere


When it comes to vulnerability on Seattle’s roads and walkways, there are few parties more at risk for serious injuries in an accident than pedestrians. When a car collides with a person who is walking, the pedestrian often suffers from severe and permanent injuries, some of which may be fatal. Our Seattle personal injury attorneys at the Khan Injury Law will work for you after you have been hit. Contact us today for a free case consultation.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents are almost always preventable, and occur because of an error made on the part of the pedestrian or the part of the driver. While pedestrians can certainly be to blame for the accidents in which they are involved – in fact, pedestrian-caused accidents due to distracted walking are actually on the rise – drivers are often at fault. A pedestrian accident may be caused due to:


When a driver is traveling at an unsafe speed, they may be unable to stop in time in order to avoid a pedestrian who is crossing in front of them. Sadly, the faster that a vehicle is traveling at the time of collision, the more severe the pedestrian’s injuries;

Driving while distracted 

Driving while distracted is one of the most dangerous things that a driver can do. When a driver takes their eyes off of the road for even a second, enough time has passed for a pedestrian to step in front of the car and be struck;

Failing to yield or stop

A pedestrian accident is most common when a driver fails to yield or to stop for a pedestrian who is crossing in front of their vehicle. In most circumstances, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, unless traffic signals indicate otherwise. Even if the pedestrian does not have the right of way, a driver is better off paying attention and yielding to them, than hitting them and causing severe injuries or death;

Drunk driving

When a driver is drunk they may not have the response time necessary to stop if a pedestrian is in front of their vehicle; and

Pedestrian errors

As mentioned above, some pedestrian accidents are caused because of pedestrian errors. A pedestrian may fail to yield to a vehicle, may walk in the street when a sidewalk is provided, or may walk while distracted or intoxicated, all of which increase the risk for an accident.

When a pedestrian accident happens, finding out what – or rather, who – caused the accident is essential. If you are a pedestrian who is hit by a car in Washington, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries even if you contributed to the accident, based on the state’s contributory fault laws.

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When a car and a pedestrian collide, the driver of the car is usually unharmed, whereas the pedestrian is often severely injured. Some of the injuries most common in a pedestrian accident include:

Internal bleeding

Internal bleeding occurs when an organ is hit with force or is punctured. Internal bleeding can be extremely dangerous, as it is not always immediately obvious as is external bleeding. In addition to organs that are located in more central locations (e.g. the kidneys, lungs, etc.), bleeding may also occur in the brain. If bleeding is uncontrolled, the victim can experience permanent brain damage or death.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)

 The risk of bleeding in the brain for a pedestrian struck by a car is not the only brain injury that a pedestrian may sustain; concussions, diffuse axonal, and coup-contrecoup injuries are also possible, as are actual penetration injuries in rare cases. Brain injuries are traumatic not only in name, but also in effect; a TBI may leave a person permanently unable to care for themselves.

Ligament, muscle, and tendon injuries

The ligaments, muscles, and tendons are all essential tissues within the body. While these types of injuries are rarely fatal, they can be quite painful. Further, depending upon the extent and the location of the injury, harm to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments can be debilitating.

Spinal column and spinal cord injuries

There are 33 vertebrae in the spinal column, all of which form the spine and protect the spinal cord. If the back is impacted in a pedestrian accident, as it often is, the spinal column may be injured, which can be extremely painful. In the worst of cases, the spinal column is impacted to the point where the spinal cord is interfered with. Responsible for sending signals from the brain to the rest of the body, a spinal cord injury can result in complete or partial paralysis.


What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident

If you are hit by a car, there is a good chance that you will be physically unable to take any immediate actions. Hopefully, you will immediately be transported to the emergency department where you will receive the care that you need. Be sure that you receive all necessary treatments, and ask a loved one to document all care you receive. You should also ask a loved one to ensure that the accident was reported and that a police report has been filed. Request a copy of this report.

In addition to ensuring the accident is reported and seeking all of the medical care that you need, you need to contact an experienced Seattle pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney is essential when your injuries are serious, or when there are any allegations that you were at fault for your accident.

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Our Attorneys Can Help

Our Seattle pedestrian accident attorneys can help by:

  • Reconstructing your accident to determine exactly what happened;
  • Interviewing eyewitnesses and experts;
  • Organizing your medical bills and health records;
  • Filing your claim with an insurance company;
  • Negotiating with an insurance adjuster;
  • Filing a lawsuit in civil court; and
  • Doing everything else necessary to improve your chances of recovering your full damages amount.

At Khan Injury Law, we have helped numerous pedestrian accident victims, and understand what you are going through. Call us today for a free case consultation to begin the process of getting your life back.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pedestrian Accidents in Seattle

Yes, if you can prove someone was responsible for your accident and injuries. In Washington, this is called establishing fault. A negligent motorist is at fault for striking you and hurting you. Unless you somehow contributed to your accident, the negligent driver should pay all of your past, present, and future medical expenses.

Pedestrians tend to suffer serious injuries. They usually must miss some work to rehab or just rest. An attorney should seek compensation for any lost income.

Other losses include property damage and pain and suffering. We meet with our clients to fully review all of the compensation they might receive in a case.

Probably not. We can successfully settle most claims by negotiating with the driver who hit you or (more likely) the driver’s insurance company. A settlement helps our clients avoid the stress and uncertainty of a trial, while still providing meaningful compensation.

Sometimes, a trial is unavoidable, however. For example, the driver might insist that you are primarily at fault for the accident because you weren’t watching where you were walking or were jaywalking at the time. Or there might be disagreement about the severity of your injuries. But few cases go to trial.

A few factors could. For one, any contributory fault will reduce your compensation proportionally. As an example, you might have been jaywalking when you were hit. Because you were breaking the law, you are partially at fault, even if the other driver was distracted or speeding. If you were 50% to blame, you will receive only half of the compensation you otherwise would get.

Relatedly, you could receive less if you don’t receive prompt medical care. You have a duty as a victim to minimize your losses, and this means receiving professional medical care. If a doctor recommends physical therapy, make sure to go every day.

Another factor could be the amount of insurance the driver has. It’s hard to get more in compensation than the amount of the policy.

Not a lot of time. Washington’s statute of limitations gives you three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Wait too long and you’ll lose the right to sue, permanently.

We encourage you to schedule a consultation to meet with a member of our team. In a consultation, feel free to ask any questions about your case. We strive to provide an overview of what you can expect in the settlement process. Also, consider how comfortable you felt talking with us. We believe that open communication is essential to any attorney-client relationship.

Not until you meet with an attorney. Some adjusters use these interviews to dig for information showing you are partially at fault for the collision. An attorney can help you answer any questions and clarify answers.