Pedestrian traffic accidents that result in serious injury or even death are unfortunately common, even in the wonderful state of Washington. In fact, according to a booklet on pedestrian traffic fatalities by state from the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), the year 2009 alone saw 61 pedestrians killed within the state, out of the 4,092 fatalities throughout the United States.
Furthermore, pedestrian accidents that don’t lead to death are massive in number. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2011, 69,000 pedestrians were hurt in accidents across the U.S., which amounts to one pedestrian injury occurring every 8 minutes.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident in Tacoma, you may have legal rights to help you recover compensation to cover the costs of your injuries. Consult a legal professional to understand your rights and consider the following points.
Recovering Compensation from the At-Fault Party
In many scenarios, the driver who hits a pedestrian will be at fault for the accident, though the pedestrian’s own actions can affect liability.
In the event that the driver is liable for the accident, because Washington is an at-fault state, the pedestrian can file a claim with the driver’s insurance company in order to secure compensation for damages. This entails demonstrating proof of the accident and subsequent injuries, along with proving fault of the driver.
Many injured pedestrians fear that if the offending motorist was driving without insurance at the time or lacked enough insurance to cover the subsequent costs, that he or she won’t be able to recover payment for injuries. Depending on the terms of your insurance policy (and if you possess uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage), you may be able to file a claim with your own provider to recover compensation. Additionally, if you were injured by a hit-and-run driver and were not able to discover the identity of the motorist, uninsured motorist coverage generally will allow you to recover payment.
Why You Should Seek the Help of an Attorney Today
Unfortunately, even if you do have proof that the other driver was responsible for the accident, an insurance provider still may attempt to withhold payment. An adjuster may claim that your proof of liability isn’t adequate or may employ a number of other tactics that keep you from receiving any money. Of course, the longer you are forced to wait, the more time you wait to pay the costs of your medical bills or postpone payment as the bills pile up.
An accident attorney can help you deal with these tactics and negotiate with an insurance provider to help secure money for your claim. If you cannot settle the claim, your lawyer can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
It is also important to note that while you may wish to delay speaking with an attorney and filing an accident claim until later on, or you just can’t seem to find time to fit it into your schedule, waiting too long may prevent you from ever recovering payment. The Revised Code of Washington Section 4.16.080 provides that you only have three years to take legal action after personal injury.
Pick Up the Phone and Call an Attorney in Tacoma
Of course, the most important thing to take care of after a pedestrian accident is your own physical health. But if you have been hit by a car, once you receive medical treatment, contact Max Meyers Law, PLLC immediately. We can help you file a claim if you have been injured in Tacoma. Set up a consultation today by calling 888-230-4970.