Advocating For Renton Residents After An Accident
Situated on the scenic Lake Washington, Renton is a stunning city to go for a walk or jog in. These are several running trails that allow local residents to enjoy the crisp Washington air while also getting in a fantastic workout. In addition, the city’s lively art community make it a wonderful place to go for a walk with the family. Sadly, negligent drivers exist in every neighborhood and one careless action can lead to a catastrophic collision with a pedestrian.
If you or someone you loved was injured by a negligent driver, reach out to the Renton pedestrian accident attorneys at Pendergast Law. With nearly 30 years in practice, our legal team can provide thorough legal support throughout the claims process so that you receive every dime you are owed after a traumatic injury. Contact us toll-free at 888-539-9211 to schedule a free case evaluation and learn how our attorneys can advocate for you in a personal injury claim.
Types Of Pedestrian Accident Injuries
When a car hits a pedestrian, the aftermath is almost always devastating. It is rare that pedestrians walk away with only minor scrapes and bruises, and the majority of the time the victim is left with a long-lasting injury and needs immediate medical attention. Even a seemingly safe passenger vehicle can put a jogger in the hospital, resulting in expensive medical bills and months out of work.
However, when a driver hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian can almost always pursue a car accident claim against the driver’s insurance policy to receive compensation. The amount of compensation a pedestrian can acquire in a claim will vary depending on the driver’s policy limit, whether or not the pedestrian has an extensive auto insurance policy, and the extent of their injuries.
Because of how unprotected pedestrians are in a collision, their injuries are often debilitating. After a car accident, you may be suffering from:
Brain damage: During a collision, you may slam your head against the car or be knocked down against the pavement, resulting in skull fractures and internal brain damage. While concussions are extremely common and must be watched closely, any damage to the brain can be long-lasting, resulting in hearing and vision problems, psychological damage, the inability to speak or communicate, and the loss of certain cognitive functions.
Spinal cord injuries: The spine is a delicate structure that supports the majority of our bodies’ functions, from our ability to walk to bladder control to how our brains communicate with our nerves. Ligament fractures, slipped discs, and nerve damage can all result in chronic pain and limited mobility. If damaged extensively, you may be left paralyzed in certain sections of your body.
Internal organ damage: Blunt force trauma and puncture wounds can cause catastrophic internal damage to a pedestrian, often requiring immediate medical care. Your lungs, kidneys, and liver could all require surgery to stop internal bleeding or ensure you do not lose the full function of the organs. In some cases, you may even need a transplant or have to adjust your lifestyle to account for the trauma.
Amputations: Amputations, or the loss of a limb, are extremely common after a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle. Everything from your pinky finger to your entire leg can become severely crushed in a crash, leading to the total loss of function. Your physician may have to amputate the damaged limb in order to promote proper healing, but the cost will follow you for the rest of your life.
Broken bones: While broken bones may seem simple, they can be extensive. You may suffer several fractures in your ribs and spine, as well as breaks in your arms and legs. All of these will require costly treatments to set the bones and ensure they heal properly. In addition, you will have to take great care to rest and recuperate, all the while remaining out of work and losing out on a much-needed income.
All of the costs related to these injuries, from your medical treatment and physical therapy to your lost wages and mental anguish, can be recovered in an auto accident claim against the at-fault driver.
Do I Have A Case?
In the vast majority of pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian is eligible for compensation from the at-fault driver. The state of Washington requires all drivers to have some form of liability policy in place before they can drive a vehicle, often taking the form of an auto insurance policy. These policies come into play when the driver, through an act of negligence, caused someone else’s injuries.
Negligence can take many forms, including:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Running red lights or ignoring stop signs
- Failing to come to a complete stop at a crosswalk
- Dangerous left-hand turns
- Failing to check blind spots
Determining negligence can be a tricky process, however. You will need to clearly outline why the driver was at fault for your injuries, often citing key pieces of evidence, such as police reports, your medical records, photos of the accident, and surveillance footage. Collecting and reviewing this evidence will take a significant amount of time, which is why contacting an attorney as soon as possible is of the utmost importance. In the state of Washington, pedestrians have up to three years to file a claim in an auto accident. While that may seem like a long time, you must also account for your treatment plan, collecting evidence, reviewing insurance policies, and negotiating with the insurance company. All of this can be difficult if your injuries are extensive, which is why you should have an experienced attorney handle your case and advocate for proper compensation after an accident.
Washington State Negligence Laws
It is important to note that negligence can go both ways and apply to a pedestrian as well as a driver. This is because Washington is a comparative negligence state, meaning multiple parties can be assigned a portion of the blame for an accident. For example, while a driver is required to obey local speed limits, pedestrians must also abide by anti-jaywalking laws and only cross the street in designated areas. If a jaywalker suddenly stepped into oncoming traffic, then it could be extremely difficult for a driver to avoid hitting them.
Luckily, comparative negligence does not mean you are completely barred from receiving compensation. If your case goes to trial, which only occurs in 10% of cases, then the jury will evaluate how much fault is applied to you and the driver. Depending on the amount of fault you are assigned, your compensation will be decreased. For example, if the jury assigns 30% of fault to you and awards you $10,000 in compensation, you may only receive $7,000. In addition, if you are assigned 50% or more fault in a pedestrian accident, you could be barred from receiving compensation altogether as you are perceived as equally or more at fault of the collision.
However, with the right attorney, you may be able to minimize the amount of fault placed on you and ensure the at-fault driver is held accountable for your injuries.
Call An Attorney Today
A pedestrian accident can be extremely scary. You are likely still dealing with the emotional trauma alongside your physical injuries. This can make it extra difficult to work through the claims process. Reviewing insurance policies, negotiating with insurance adjusters, dealing with medical bills, and collecting evidence can all lead to a significant amount of stress that you do not need while you are recovering.
That is why you should allow the Renton personal injury attorneys at Pendergast Law to shoulder your legal burdens. Our legal team can provide expert legal advice throughout the entire claims process and ensure you can focus on healing while we take on the at-fault insurance company. These companies will want to pay you as little as possible and delay in providing full coverage. Instead of taking them on alone, let us handle the negotiations and fight for your right to compensation. Call toll-free at 888-539-9211 to learn if we are the right firm for you.