Personal Injury News: Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents in Seattle

When you cross the street, walk to and from your office on your lunch break, or traverse Seattle’s sidewalks as you enjoy a night out on the town, just how safe are you? Whether or not you follow pedestrian traffic laws such as crossing at crosswalks instead of ‘jaywalking’, pedestrians are at risk for all kinds of injury and even death – just by walking down the street.

Luckily, ours is one of the safest national cities for pedestrians. Earlier this year, the Seattle Times reported on a study that found, “Among large U.S. cities, Seattle has the second-lowest fatality rate for pedestrians and cyclists, according to a new report … Seattle came away with the second-lowest fatality rate for pedestrians.” (Click here for a map of collisions involving pedestrians and/or bicyclists from 2007-August 2014.)

However, walkers still need to practice caution while they go about their travels throughout the city – particularly if they are elderly, as a 2011 local Crosscut article noted. More than half of the 62 traffic fatalities from 2008-2010 involved pedestrians, and the average age of the 25 pedestrian fatalities was 64.

As the numbers of people biking and/or walking to work only increase, there is more risk for personal injury and fatality. But there are ways that pedestrians in particular can improve on the safety of their commute. Here are some tips for avoiding pedestrian accidents in Seattle…

  • Follow pedestrian traffic laws. Many walkers know that vehicles and even cyclists must always yield to pedestrians. While this is certainly true, that doesn’t make it safe to assume or trust that drivers and cyclists will – or can – do so. Don’t cross the street where there is not a marked crosswalk or pedestrian crossing sign. Even then, look both ways and wait for drivers and cyclists to come to a complete stop before crossing in front of them.
  • Walk with others. Research has shown that accidents and fatalities resulting from pedestrian-car accidents are reduced in areas where there are more people walking. As you commute, choose routes with higher pedestrian traffic.
  • Be noticeable and alert. When walking at night, wear reflective and bright clothing, and if you can, carry a flashlight. Do not walk and talk on the phone or text-message – especially when crossing the street. Stay alert and take note of vehicles that seem to be speeding, allowing them to pass or stop before you cross the street in front of them.

If you or someone you love is a pedestrian involved in an accident with a car or bicyclist, please contact our offices to acquire the guidance and expertise to seek justice.

Featured photo source: Flickr.

Ways You Can be Compensated from a Car Accident

When you are injured and your car is damaged in a car accident that is the fault of another driver, you are entitled under the law to compensation for certain damages. In order to get the best result in compensation, you should always talk to witnesses, document the scene (with photos, if possible), call the police, and never sign anything without the presence or support of your personal injury attorney.

With all of those things, here are some of the most notable and common compensation rights for car accident victims:

  • Restitution for property damages. When your car is hit and damaged in an accident – no matter how minimal the damage – the at-fault party’s insurance company should cover a settlement amount to cover the repair costs of the damage.
  • Recompense for medical fees related to your physical injuries. If you were injured in a car accident, whether the injury was extensive or developed later (like whiplash), the personal injury damages award to you should include compensation for any medical care and treatment associated with the accident. This compensation may come in the form of reimbursement for treatments you have already received and paid for, and/or funds for estimated future or continuing costs.
  • Reparation for loss of income. If you had to miss work (and therefore, were docked pay) due to your injury recovery or medical treatment, you may be eligible for compensation for income you have lost and have the potential to make, were it not for the accident.
  • Compensation for emotional distress. Sometimes (and more often for serious accidents), you are entitled to compensation for ‘pain and suffering’ on an emotional level such as anxiety, fear, sleep loss and other responses to trauma. You may also be eligible for recompense for loss of enjoyment in your recreational activities because of the accident, and even for ‘loss of consortium’ – or the loss of companionship or your ability to maintain a sexual relationship with your spouse.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident where the other driver was at fault, please contact the Offices of Martin Law, PLLC for your legal guidance and support. We will use our expertise and knowledge of the law to acquire just compensation for your losses.

Featured photo from here, labeled for reuse.

Legal Help for Semi Truck Accidents

semi truck accident

Semi truck accidents are seldom without serious injuries and often cause fatalities, since they typically occur on highways where vehicles are traveling at high speeds. Combined with the speed of travel and the size of these trucks, the risks of serious injury and even deaths when an accident occurs are very high. Semi trucks usually weigh more than 10,000 pounds, and depending on the load they are carrying, can take much longer to stop than a normal car or passenger vehicle – especially when traveling at highway speeds.

This article includes key information and semi truck accident statistics for the Seattle area, King County, and Washington State.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists the following semi truck accident statistics for King County in recent years:

  • 9 fatalities from semi-truck accidents in 2012 (of 46 in the whole state)
  • 6 fatalities from semi-truck accidents in 2011 (of 33 in the whole state)
  • From 2001-2011, large truck accidents involving injuries decreased by 30%
  • Over 75% of fatalities from semi truck accidents from 2009-2011 were occupants of the other vehicles, while less than 18% of fatalities were occupants of the truck

According to the 2012 Washington State Annual Collision Summary, there were a total of 4,453 collisions involving heavy trucks or commercial vehicles. Of those:

  • 43 were fatal collisions
  • 83 were serious injury collisions
  • 955 were minor injury collisions
  • 3,327 were collisions where only property was damaged
  • 43 were collisions with unknown injuries

If you or someone you love is involved in a semi truck accident and has been injured or killed, please contact our offices for legal services. Since semi trucks are often owned and operated by large companies with legal teams and insurance adjustors to defend their claims, it is critical that you acquire legal representation to fight for your just recompense.

Martin Law PLLC specializes in providing expert-level legal representation, to ensure you and your loved ones receive just compensation for personal injury or wrongful death cases.

Charles Martin, Marin Law LLC
Call for a free consultation 206-684-9468

Local Seattle Car Accident Statistics

Two cars crashed

Auto accidents can present insurmountable challenges for the victims injured and/or affected, and my aim is to help these individuals to navigate the process toward acquiring recompense. However, to understand the state of our region as it relates to auto accidents, I wanted to provide some car accident statistics…

According to data from the city of Seattle:

  • The fatal accidents in 2011 were down to 19 from 23 in 2010, with 20 total fatalities in 2011 and 25 in 2010.
  • Vehicles involved in fatal accidents were also down 29 in 2011 from 36 from 2010. A total of 37 people were involved (injured, killed, and uninjured) in fatal car accidents in 2011, down from 45 in 2010. Only 5 pedestrians were involved in fatal auto accidents in 2011, compared with 10 pedestrians in 2010.
  • Fatal drunk driving collisions decreased in 2011 to 7 from 11 fatal accidents caused by drunk drivers in 2010.

According to the 2012 Annual Collision Summary for Washington State (2013’s has not yet been released):

  • A car accident occurred every 5 minutes.
  • An individual died in an auto accident every 20 hours.
  • Every 12 minutes, someone was injured in a car accident.
  • Crashes involving a motorcyclist occurred every 4 hours.
  • Pedestrians or cyclists were involved in a crash every 4 days.
  • Every 25 minutes, a car crash involving a speeding driver occurred (Speeding was the most frequent contributing circumstance in all collisions).
  • An impaired driver (i.e. DUI) was involved in a car accident every 2 hours.
  • A fatality occurred as a result of a car accident involving an impaired driver every 2 days (Half of all traffic fatalities involved an impaired driver).

In the year 2012, there were 99,560 car accidents across the state of Washington.

For a national picture of fatal car crashes, click here for a map of fatalities from a collision involving a motor vehicle between January 2001 and December 2009.

If you are involved in a car accident that caused you injury and were not at fault, contact the office of Chuck Martin. I will use my extensive knowledge and expertise to acquire the best possible settlement outcome, and argue your case for justice.

Charles Martin, Marin Law LLC
Call for a free consultation 206-684-9468

Reasons You Might Need a Car Accident Lawyer vs. Working Alone

Car_Accident

When you are the victim of an accident due to another driver’s carelessness or mistakes, it can be a harrowing time to deal with insurance, vehicle damage, and any injuries that were sustained. You have rights under the law as a victim of a car accident, and you should protect those rights to avoid paying for someone else’s missteps or negligence.

There are lots of reasons why a car accident lawyer may benefit your chances to acquire recompense, versus trying to plead your case alone. Here are some of the most important:

  • You can’t always rely on other people or insurance companies for justice. Even if the driver(s) responsible for the accident provide you with all the important information to help you get medical and vehicular reparations, their insurance company may prove difficult. Many – if not most – insurance companies will do their best not to pay or pay as little as possible for claims. They may try to pressure you or rush you into a settlement, which will often be less than fair coverage for your property and personal injury. A car accident lawyer or personal injury attorney can help to get you just compensation for your property damage and any injuries.
  • There are certain rules to follow and steps to take to sue. It’s not always as easy as filling out a police report and ‘pressing charges’. Sometimes there will be other rules that require your compliance, or more requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible for personal injury restitutions after a car accident. A lawyer can help you navigate all of these needs.
  • Lots of potential damages are available – which can you receive? People injured in car accidents are eligible for lots of different damages, beyond just coverage for your medical bills and repairs for your car, and a car accident lawyer can inform you of all of the damages you are eligible for.
  • It’s all in the negotiation and representation. A personal injury attorney will be prepared and skilled to negotiate and represent your interests, both with insurance companies and in court (if necessary), for your fair compensation.

If you have sustained personal injury in a car accident that was not your fault, please contact our offices for a conversation about your situation. We can help you to acquire a fair settlement for your injuries.

Charles Martin, Marin Law LLC
Call for a free consultation 206-684-9468