The City of Kirkland is fortunate to enjoy some of the best walking paths in the country, including the public pathways along Lake Washington Boulevard. Kirkland officials and residents are passionate about pedestrian wellbeing. The city has led the nation in innovative pedestrian safety measures, such as the pedestrian flag program and the installation of in-pavement crosswalks lights.
Despite this commitment to safety, car-pedestrian accidents can and still do occur. When this happens, a victim traveling on foot is vulnerable to severe injuries, such as brain trauma or paralysis – even death.
We represent individuals and families affected by the actions of negligent drivers. As such, we help pursue compensation to address injuries and other losses. Damages may include pain and suffering, lost wages, medical care and more. We understand you have many questions as you contemplate your immediate costs and long-term prognosis. Below are answers to questions we commonly hear from clients with cases similar to your own.
What are the state laws for pedestrian safety?
Washington’s state laws require drivers to exercise care to prevent injury to pedestrians. This principle is outlined in the Revised Code of Washington, section 46.61.245. This statute requires drivers to “exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway.”
The law further requires drivers to use a horn or other means to warn a child or “any obviously confused or incapacitated” individual on the road. Failure to adhere to this state law and any other local ordinances may represent an act of driver negligence. A lawyer can advise you on how such actions may factor into a negligence claim or lawsuit.
How do I get compensation for my injuries?
You have several options for pursuing compensation if a negligent driver struck you while you were walking. Your primary options are as follows:
- File a claim with your own automotive insurance company. For instance, you may file an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist claim in the event a hit-and-run driver or a driver who failed to carry sufficient coverage struck you. Examine the limits of your policy -- or any family/household member under whose policy you may be covered -- to determine coverage options.
- File a claim against the negligent driver’s insurance company. You may have access to the driver’s available liability coverage, up to the limits of the policy. State minimums call for a $25,000 minimum in bodily injury liability.
- Initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident. This requires you to prove negligence and liability. It also requires you to prove you suffered damages as a result of the driver’s actions.
A lawyer can examine the details of your case to determine the most appropriate options for recovery.
Will my own actions impact my ability to secure damages?
Washington adheres to a process of pure comparative negligence. This provides you the opportunity to recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident. That being said, your compensation will be reduced in direct relation to the percentage of fault to which you are assigned. For instance, your settlement value will be reduced 10 percent if you are 10 percent at fault for the accident.
What can I do to get started in seeking compensation for my injuries?
Washington’s statute of limitations gives you just three years in which to pursue compensation after an accident. You may start by scheduling a free case evaluation with Max Meyers Law. Call 855-502-7960 today to begin the process.