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Nordstrom Law Firm
2013
Top Lawyers in Washington
Highest in Ethical Standards & Professional Excellence*
*As listed in The Legal Network

Auto or Pedestrian Accidents

Auto Accidents
Pedestrian Accidents

Auto Accidents

Auto accidents come suddenly and unexpectedly and can affect your life in many ways. The first few moments after an accident can be the most important in protecting your rights. There are some things that you can do to protect yourself immediately after an accident including:

  • Report the accident to law enforcement.
  • Get contact information from everyone involved and any witnesses.
  • Get statements from witnesses.
  • Seek medical attention even if you do not think you are injured. After an accident you may be in shock or have injuries that you are not aware of.
  • Take photos of the accident scene and any injuries.
  • Do not admit guilt.
  • Write down everything that happened and everything that you remember about the accident as soon as possible, before your memory fades.
  • Speak to an experienced auto accident attorney right away.

As time goes on after an accident your life will be affected in many ways. You may have expenses, such as vehicle repairs, and suffer physical and emotional consequences, or miss work. Some things that you can do to help with your case include:

  • Keep all receipts for any expenses related to the accident, including auto repairs and medical bills
  • Keep a journal of how the accident affects your everyday life including any physical and emotional pain or limitations
  • If your job is affected, by causing you to miss time at work, change duties, or even lose your job, keep a record of this as well, including all lost income
Fault

Do not assume that you were at fault. Many factors are involved when determining fault, and there may be circumstances involved which you are not aware of. Elements of fault include:

  • Traffic laws,
  • Defective vehicles,
  • Defective or faulty traffic signals or signage,
  • Driver impairment.

If you receive a ticket that does not mean you are at fault. Always talk to an attorney before paying any fines or pleading guilty. You could hurt your case by doing this or open the opportunity for the other driver to sue you.

Insurance

Insurance companies will often try to play on your emotions and offer a quick settlement. They do this in an attempt to pay an amount less than you are entitled to. Always talk to an attorney before accepting any kind of offer. If you accept the offer you give up your right to pursue the matter further. Insurance companies may also try to get your medical records. Never turn this information over without talking to an attorney first. Remember that just because they ask for something does not necessarily mean you have to comply. In some cases you will be required to provide medical records, but giving over too much information can hurt your case.

Sadly, the other driver may not have been insured. If your policy includes “uninsured motorist coverage” then your insurance will cover your injuries if the other driver was at fault. Collision coverage will cover damage to your vehicle no matter who was at fault. If the other driver has no insurance you can try to sue them, but even if you win you may never get paid.

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Pedestrian Accidents

When pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles the results are usually catastrophic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, about 5,000 pedestrians are killed and 100,000 injured each year in accidents involving motor vehicles. While a small percentage of pedestrian accidents are caused by drivers intentionally striking pedestrians, most are due to driver negligence including:

  • Speeding,
  • Drunk driving,
  • Distracted drivers,
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals,
  • Failure to observe crosswalks,
  • Failure to use turn signals,
  • Failure to use appropriate caution in bad weather,
  • Failure to use extra care in areas where children are known to be present.

In some cases the accident is the fault of both the driver and the pedestrian. This does not mean that the pedestrian is not entitled to compensation, but can mean that the compensation is reduced according to the amount of responsibility the pedestrian had in the accident. A drunk or speeding driver who strikes a pedestrian crossing in an inappropriate manner, such as out side of a crosswalk, would still be responsible for a portion of the injuries.

Common pedestrian actions which can constitute fault or partial fault include:

  • Crossing under the “don’t walk” signal,
  • Crossing the street outside of crosswalks,
  • Entering a moving stream of traffic,
  • Suddenly rushing out into the road.

As with any type of accident there are certain things that you should do if you are involved in a pedestrian accident including:

  • Report the accident to law enforcement.
  • Get contact information from everyone involved and any witnesses.
  • Get statements from witnesses.
  • Seek medical attention even if you do not think you are injured. After an accident you may be in shock or have injuries that you are not aware of.
  • Take photos of the accident scene and any injuries.
  • Do not admit guilt.
  • Write down everything that happened and everything that you remember about the accident as soon as possible, before your memory fades
  • Keep all receipts for any expenses related to the accident, including medical bills.
  • Keep a journal of how the accident affects your everyday life including any physical and emotional pain or limitations.
  • If your job is affected, by causing you to miss time at work, change duties, or even lose your job, keep a record of this as well, including all lost income.
  • Speak to an experienced pedestrian accident attorney right away.

After an accident you will have a limited amount of time to pursue a lawsuit. Pedestrian accidents often involve a great deal of pain, suffering and medical expense. Pedestrian accidents often result in death. Loved ones may be entitled to compensation in these cases. Contact the Nordstrom Law Firm today at 509-924-8000 or through our contact form.

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