Washington Personal Injury Attorney | Pedestrian Accidents

Our Washington Personal Injury Attorney wants you to know that pedestrian accidents are an exception to the general rule that insurance coverage for medical expenses is not available from the at-fault party until the entire claim is resolved. For pedestrian accidents auto insurance of the at-fault party will usually provide immediate medical benefits.

Definition of pedestrian under Washington personal injury law.

Is most situations common sense tells us whether someone who is injured was a pedestrian or not. Occasionally it is not clear whether the injured party was a pedestrian. Washington statutes define a pedestrian as “any person who is afoot or who is using a wheelchair, a power wheelchair, or a means of conveyance propelled by human power other than a bicycle.”[1]

Sometimes Washington courts have defined pedestrian broadly to include bicyclists, when a bicyclist is in a crosswalk, for instance.[2] Washington courts have also held persons in other ambiguous situations to be pedestrians, including

  • a motorist who was struck on a freeway bridge after leaving her stalled car,[3]
  • a police officer performing his duty,[4]
  • a surveyor who was working within an unmarked crosswalk,[5]
  • a person who attempted to disengage the bumper of his disabled automobile from that of another that was being used to push it and to get it started,[6]
  • a truck driver putting tire chains on his truck which had stalled on ice at center of road,[7]
  • a person pushing a disabled vehicle partially on the road,[8]
  • a tow truck operator about to enter his truck after adjusting a tow line,[9]
  • a person attempting to enter an automobile after crossing the street,[10]
  • a person walking along the edge of a highway pulling a cart,[11]
  • a person changing his tire while stopped on the highway.[12]

On the other hand, a motorist standing on one side of his vehicle, leaning over the left fender of his stalled car, was held not a pedestrian.[13]

Liability for pedestrian injuries.

Liability and recovery for injury is not automatic. As with any personal injury claim the damages may be reduced by any fault on the part of the injured person.

In one Washington case (not one of ours) a pedestrian walked in front of a vehicle as the driver was preparing to enter a roadway. The pedestrian realized the driver had never looked in her direction, but proceeded to walk in front of the car. Although the pedestrian had the right of way, the jury found the pedestrian 50% at fault for her own injuries and the result was upheld in appeal. This firm was not involved in that case.

It is important to have an attorney review your case early, so that evidence can be analysed and preserved.

Contact a Washington Personal Injury Attorney Today!

If you have been injured as a pedestrian do not assume you will be fairly compensated. Have a Washington Personal Injury Attorney review your case; fill out the contact form or call.

I understand that my inquiry will remain confidential, but no attorney-client relationship exists until an attorney agrees to accept my case. I understand that information on this site is never a substitute for legal advice.

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[1] RCW 46.04.400.

[2] Pudmaroff v. Allen, 138 Wn.2d 55, 65, 977 P.2d 574 (1999).

[3] Stewart v. State, 92 Wn.2d 285, 597 P.2d 101 (1979).

[4] Dailey v. Lange, 20 Wn. App. 12, 578 P.2d 1322 (1978).

[5] Burns v. Dills, 68 Wn.2d377, 413 P.2d370 (1966).

[6] See v. Willett, 58 Wn.2d39, 360 P.2d592 (1961).

[7] Myers v. West Coast Fast Freight, 42 Wn.2d 524, 256 P.2d 840 (1953).

[8] Bergstrom v. Qve, 39 Wn.2d 78, 234 P.2d 548 (1951).

[9] Discargar v. City of Seattle,25 Wn. 2d I 306, 171 P.2d 205 (1946).

[10] Nylund v. Johnston, 19 Wn.2d 163, 141 P.2d 863 (1943).

[11] Flaumer v. Samuels, 4 Wn.2d 609, 104 P.2d 484 (1940).

[12] Ralston v. Vessey, 43 Wn.2d 76, 260 P.2d 324 (1953).

[13] Gooschin v. Ladd, 177 Wash. 625, 33 P.2d 653 (1934).

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