A recent fatal pedestrian accident in Vancouver serves as a stark reminder of the dangers pedestrians face every day in Washington state and across the country.
According to The Columbian, a 34-year-old man was killed when he was hit by a vehicle near the Vancouver Mall on a Tuesday afternoon shortly after 4 p.m. near the intersection of Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard and Vancouver Mall Drive.
Police say the fatal crash was caused by an 82-year-old man who was driving west on Fourth Plain Boulevard. According to the Vancouver Police Department, the driver lost control of the vehicle, drove onto a sidewalk, then hit a vehicle, crossed the traffic median, and hit the pedestrian.
Pedestrian accident statistics
Fatal accidents involving pedestrians are common in the United States, as thousands of people are hit and killed each year in collisions caused by reckless or negligent drivers. Last year, pedestrian fatalities increased nationwide, even though there were fewer drivers on the road, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
Pedestrian fatalities increased dramatically during the first half of 2021 and were projected to reach 6,721 deaths in 2020, an increase of 131 fatalities or 1.9% compared to 2019, according to the GHSA. Pedestrian fatalities have increased nationwide by 46% between 2000 and 2019.
Like many states, pedestrian fatalities increased during the first half of 2020 in Washington. A total of 47 pedestrians were killed in accidents between January and June of last year, a 7% increase compared to the same time period in 2019.
Statewide, pedestrian fatalities have been dramatically higher the past three years as well, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Between 2017 and 2019, an average of 100 pedestrians were killed in accidents each year.
What to do if you get hit by a car
Pedestrian accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. That’s why it’s important to be prepared and know what to do if you or a loved one is injured while crossing the street or walking alongside a road. Some of the suggested steps you should take to protect your rights and your health include:
Steps to take at the scene of the accident
- If you cannot do so yourself, ask someone to call the police and have them respond to your accident.
- Have the police send an ambulance, and make sure to have an EMT or another medical professional examine you. Untreated injuries can have serious, life-threatening consequences.
- Get detailed pictures of the crash scene.
- If someone saw what happened, get their name and phone number. Eyewitness testimony can be powerful evidence in an injury claim.
- Get the driver’s name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, and insurance information. If you cannot do so at the time of your crash, you can get such information later from the investigating police officer.
- Don’t discuss your accident with the other driver’s insurance until you have spoken with an attorney first. Anything you say could be used by the at-fault driver’s insurance company to dispute or deny your injury claim.
Steps to take after you leave the crash scene:
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. Even if a medical professional already examined you at the scene of the accident, you may develop symptoms later, and it’s important to get the medical care you need.
- Follow your doctor’s advice. Your health should be a priority, and listening to what your doctor says about your medical care and treatment is critical to your recovery.
- If the driver’s insurance company contacts you, don’t talk to them. Anything you say could potentially be used as evidence to reduce or deny your claim.
- Don’t post anything on social media about your injury. Insurance companies often read posts online in search of any kind of evidence they can use to minimize your claim.
- Get a copy of your official accident report. If you’re not sure how to do so, your lawyer can help you obtain a copy of your Police Traffic Collision Report, as it’s officially called in Washington state.
- Talk to an attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options.
Injured pedestrians have the right to seek compensation
If you were injured or a loved one died after getting hit by a car in southwest Washington state, having an experienced pedestrian accident attorney handle your claim can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. Instead of the at-fault driver’s insurance company pressuring you to accept a lowball settlement offer, your attorney can calculate the true cost of your accident and aggressively advocate for the compensation you deserve.
See how The Scott Law Firm, PLLC can help you, and contact us today for a free consultation. Our office is located in Vancouver, and we serve clients throughout southwest Washington state.