Practice Areas

Data Elements: Practice-Areas.aspx

Injuries To Pedestrians And Bicyclists Can Be Avoided

Data indicates that speed and distracted driving, such as talking or texting on a cell phone, are critical factors among pedestrian and bicycle traffic accidents. In fact, studies have found that pedestrians have a 90% chance of surviving a crash at 19 mph or less, but only a 50% chance of surviving when the vehicle is traveling at higher speeds. 

As populations increase in major cities, motorists are more likely to encounter either a pedestrian or bicyclist on the roadways. It is imperative that motorists remain vigilant and exercise extra care. There is no such thing as minor injuries when a motor vehicle collides with either a pedestrian or bicyclist. Even if the physical injuries don't appear significant, the emotional trauma resulting from such collisions can last years and in many cases victims may never recover. 

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has posted the following "Safety Tips for Drivers to Save Lives" and "Safety Tips for Pedestrians" on their website to help reduce injury causing incidents between pedestrians and motorists. They include the following: 

Safety Tips For Drivers To Save Lives

  • Stop for people in crosswalks
  • Put the phone down
  • Don't drive while impaired or sleep deprived
  • Look, and then look again, before turning
  • Pass at a safe distance
  • Drive the posted speed limit, or slower
  • Use your lights

Safety Tips For Pedestrians

  • Walk on sidewalks
  • Take care when crossing
  • Look left, right, and left for traffic
  • Walk where you can be most visible
  • Watch your children
  • Impairment (Don't take alcohol risks when walking)
  • Obey traffic signals

Washington Laws

Regarding Pedestrians

Washington State law is favorable to pedestrians and bicyclists. In general, pedestrians must use sidewalks when available, and drivers must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks. When no sidewalk is available, pedestrians must walk on the left side of the roadway or shoulder, facing traffic. Further, no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or move into traffic in such a manner that the driver cannot stop.

Every intersection in Washington is a crosswalk, whether marked or unmarked. Drivers are required to stop, and remain stopped, to allow all pedestrians to cross the road within a crosswalk or intersection. If a pedestrian is crossing the road at any point other than a marked crosswalk, or unmarked crosswalk or intersection, the pedestrian shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway. Additionally, pedestrians must obey all traffic signals or control devices, unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer.

Regarding Bicyclists

Bicyclists riding on roadways are subject to all the same duties applicable to drivers under Washington law. However, Bicyclists riding on a sidewalk or crosswalk are granted all the same rights, and subject to all the same duties, as pedestrians. This means that when a bicyclist is within a crosswalk or on a sidewalk, they are treated the same as pedestrians and drivers must yield the right of way to the bicyclist. As between a pedestrian and bicyclists riding on a sidewalk or crosswalk, the bicyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians.

Although the law places restrictions and duties upon both pedestrians and bicyclists, the law places a greater duty on drivers to exercise due care to avoid a collision. Therefore, if you have been injured either as a pedestrian or bicyclist, you likely have a valid claim for your injuries against the negligent driver.

Bicycle 20Injury 20Lawyer 20  20Monroe 20Persona 2Aaf36b


17.3% of Traffic related Fatalities Involved Pedestrians

In 2020, 17.3% of all traffic fatalities were pedestrians - 97 pedestrian fatalities total. 

Learn More
54,769 Pedestrians were Injured in 2020

An estimated 54,769 pedestrians suffered injuries resulting from traffic crashes in 2020. 

Learn More
Pedestrians Accounted for 16% of Child Traffic Fatalities

16% of children 14 years-old and younger killed in traffic crashes 

Learn More

How will my medical bills be paid?

Determining who pays for the injured pedestrian or bicyclists medical bills is complicated. Unlike when an occupant of a vehicle is injured in a traffic collision, pedestrians and bicyclists are usually considered “insureds” under the at-fault driver’s automobile policy. This means that the injured pedestrian or bicyclists medical bills will be initially covered under the vehicle’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, if available. If the vehicle that hit the pedestrian or bicyclist did not have PIP coverage, then the medical bills may be paid under any PIP coverage the injured pedestrian or bicyclist has on their own personal auto policy. If no PIP coverage is available at all, then the personal health insurance of the injured pedestrian or bicyclist will need to be utilized to pay for the injured victim’s treatment up front, leaving the victim responsible for paying any co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles. Fortunately, all medical payments, whether paid by auto or personal health insurance, should be reimbursed when the case settles with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. 

Paying 20Bills 20  20Monroe 20Personal 20Injury 20Lawyer 20

What is The Statute of Limitations?

There is a time limit to bring legal action for personal injury claims in Washington State. In most cases, the personal injury statute of limitations in Washington is three years from the date of the injury. However, the statute of limitations may differ depending on the specific facts and type of the case.

If an injured victim fails to either settle their case or file a lawsuit against the correct defendant before the statute of limitations lapses, they will be barred from receiving compensation for their injuries. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced pedestrian/bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss any important deadlines that will affect your case or prevent you from recovering.

Statute 20Of 20Limitations 20  20Monroe 20Personal 20 0003

What Damages Are Available?

Economic 20Damages 20  20Monroe 20Personal 20Injury 0001

Economic Damages

Economic damages compensate the injured victim for actual monetary loss. Examples include:

  • Medical Expenses (including cost of medical treatment and/or equipment)
  • Prescriptions
  • Lost Wages/Lost Opportunity
  • Domestic Service Expenses
  • Funeral & Burial Expenses
Emotional 20Distress 20  20Monroe 20Personal 20Injury 20La

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are subjective, non-monetary losses. Examples include:

  • Pain & Suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Emotional Distress
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Loss of Society & Companionship
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Pre-Death Terror & Fright
Bicycle 20Repair 20  20Monroe 20Personal 20Injury 20Lawyer

Other Damages

Other types of damages injured victims may be entitled to include:

  • Bicycle Damage Repairs/Total Loss Value
  • Diminished Value
  • Loss of Use of Property
  • Other Damaged Property