Motor vehicle occupants have various safety features specifically designed to mitigate the physical harm a collision may cause them, and even bicyclists and motorcyclists may at least have helmets and other protective gear that can help reduce the severity of certain injuries. By comparison, pedestrians have virtually no protection whatsoever, and that means motor vehicle crashes that involve them often cause severe harm.
Civil litigation over pedestrian crashes are often high stakes and complex cases, which is why you should think twice before proceeding with your claim without first seeking an experienced personal injury attorney’s help. With guidance from an Auburn pedestrian accident lawyer with a track record of positive results, you could more proactively enforce your rights and have better chances of securing the restitution you deserve.
Recovering for the Effects of Pedestrian Crash Injuries
Because there is almost never anything between their bodies and the full force of an oncoming car or truck, pedestrians often suffer debilitating and permanent injuries from automobile wrecks, including:
- Bone fractures
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Neck and traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ failure
Even comparatively “minor” injuries like road rash, lacerations, and contusions can be painful to live with, require significant medical care with costs that add up over time, and potentially put the injured person out of work while they recover.
As an Auburn pedestrian accident attorney could affirm, a comprehensive lawsuit or settlement demand can account for all these damages and more, including non-economic losses like physical pain and suffering. However, unlike many other states, Washington does not allow personal injury victims to seek or be awarded punitive damages in circumstances where a defendant displays egregious negligence or willful malice.
Possible Obstacles to an Effective Civil Claim
Another way in which state law may interfere with a pedestrian accident victim’s ability to comprehensively recover for their injuries is through the “pure comparative fault” system outlined in Revised Code of Washington §4.22.005. Under this system, a court may assign an injured person a percentage of total fault for their damages if it finds that person was negligent in a way that contributed to causing or worsening their own losses—for example, they were wearing dark clothing while walking on a road at night. Based on this percentage, the court could then proportionately reduce the total amount of compensation that person could receive if the court ultimately rules in their favor.
Additionally, R.C.W. §4.16.080 limits virtually all pedestrian crash victims to a maximum of three years after their injury to file suit. Working with a skilled lawyer after a pedestrian wreck in Auburn could be vital to understanding and overcoming legal roadblocks like these.
An Auburn Pedestrian Accident Attorney Could Help
Even at low speeds, impacts between motor vehicles and unprotected pedestrians tend to have uniquely devastating effects for pedestrians, often resulting in permanent losses with life-altering consequences. No matter what injuries you sustain from an incident like this, though, you have a right to demand compensation for all your ensuing damages from the negligent party that struck you.
An Auburn pedestrian accident lawyer could discuss your options in detail during a private consultation. Schedule yours by calling today.