Pedestrian Accident FAQ’s
WASHINGTON PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
What makes an accident a pedestrian accident?
If you are on foot and the accident involves a motor vehicle, Washington law recognizes the accident as a pedestrian accident.
Doesn’t a pedestrian always have the right of way in Washington State?
No. If you are at an intersection that has crosswalk lights that instruct pedestrians as to when they can cross the street and when not to proceed, you only have the right of way when the sign is green and says “Walk.”
At the same time, it is the law in Washington State that every corner is a designated crossing location, and pedestrians do have the right of way. Oncoming traffic is supposed to stop and let you cross, even if there is no crosswalk painted at that location. Considering the risk of severe injury if you cross in front of a moving vehicle, insisting on your “right of way” does not make sense.
You do not have the right of way, if you cross the street between intersections.
If I am injured in a pedestrian accident, who pays for my medical expenses?
The person who is at fault for the accident has a responsibility to pay. It is important to exchange contact and insurance information if the person does the right thing and stops to assist you. If the person keeps on driving, a hit and run accident, you may need to file a claim against your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Should I accept a settlement from the insurance company?
You need to be very cautious about accepting a settlement. You may be tempted to accept the offer because your pedestrian injury may have left you strapped for cash, and you may be experiencing pressure from debt collectors, etc.
You never want to settle a personal injury claim until you know that your medical injuries have been resolved. Once you accept the insurance company’s offer, you cannot go back to them for additional damages.
Instead, take the wiser course of action. Hire a personal injury attorney who knows exactly what you should be compensated for. The attorney will be able to assess your pedestrian injury claim objectively, without emotions clouding his/her judgment. We don’t charge anything when you call us to seek advice about your pedestrian injury, so it only makes sense to contact Boyd Buckingham for solid legal advice. Your call could secure what you are really entitle to, not what the insurance companies want to think you deserve.
What damages can I seek for my pedestrian accident?
You are entitled to compensation for any medical expenses related to your pedestrian accident. If you lose wages, you can seek damages for wages lost even if you are covered by sick leave or use vacation pay. If the pedestrian accident leaves you permanently impaired, you can seek damages on several levels, such as compensation for your loss of earning power or to cover a permanent need for healthcare assistance. You may also seek damages for your pain and suffering.
How much compensation can I expect for work lost?
You can expect compensation, as long as your loss of work was ordered by a doctor. This is one reason it is so important to seek medical attention for any injuries, no matter how minor they may seem at the time. Talk to the doctor about your job description and typical tasks you perform. An experienced physician will be able to tell if you should take time off from work to recover from your injuries.
If you are ordered to take off work, you are entitled to compensation for the money you would have earned during the time you are under doctor’s orders.
How much compensation can I expect for the pain and suffering my pedestrian accident has caused?
A great deal depends upon how thoroughly you keep records of the pain and suffering you experience after a pedestrian accident. You need to be very thorough in reporting all of your complaints. Keep a journal where you record your feelings on a daily basis. The journal can provide a powerful tool for proving your pain and suffering if your case goes before a jury.
What do I need to do so that I am compensated adequately for my pedestrian accident?
Do all the things recommended for demonstrating that you experienced pain and suffering as a result of your pedestrian accident. But in addition, make sure that you do not stop treatment until you have felt like yourself again for several weeks. If your symptoms continue, don’t stop going to the doctor. Insurance companies will look at this as proof that you have recovered.
You also need to make sure you see the right type of specialist. The following doctors treat and diagnose different symptoms:
- Neurologist—See a neurologist if you suffer from severe, consistent headaches. Dizziness, vertigo, numbness, paralysis and loss of motion and/or feeling are symptoms of problems with nerve function. If you experience memory loss, fainting spells or changes in your cognitive functions, the best physician to see is a neurologist.
- Orthopedist—See an orthopedist if you experience severe or continuous neck and/or back pain. Discomfort in your shoulders, knees, hands and feet can indicate problems with the bones.
- Psychologist / Psychiatrist—Accidents often cause anxiety, depression, withdrawal, fear, phobias, and other behavioral issues.
- Physical Therapist / Chiropractor—Physical therapists and chiropractors help you recover from the muscular, tendon and ligament damage caused by many accidents.
Should I be concerned about what type of doctor I see?
It is important to visit the right doctor, so you get the appropriate treatment for your pedestrian injuries. If you don’t have a primary care physician, we can recommend which types of specialists our previous clients have found useful.