Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

The estate of Brian Beaver, a 24-year-old Washington man, who was killed by a drunk driver filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a Montana bar claiming that the saloon illegally over served alcohol to the driver that killed Beaver.

Beaver, who was married and the father of a young son, was visiting Montana and was walking on a sidewalk with two friends when a car driven by Brain Holm drove up onto the sidewalk and struck Beaver. Beaver was thrown against a brick wall and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

bellevue drunk driving car accident lawyerToxicology reports on Holm showed that he was intoxicated at the time of the accident and he had taken a prescription painkiller, Ambien and an antidepressant prior to the drunk driving accident.

Holm was convicted of Vehicular Homicide and was sentenced to 30 years in prison; He is currently free as he appeals his conviction.

Beaver’s estate filed suit against KT’s Hayloft Saloon under dram shop liability. Dram shop liability refers to laws that oversee taverns, saloons, bars, and other establishments that serve alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person who subsequently injures or kills another due to their intoxication.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for personal injury, pain and suffering, medical and burial costs, loss of consortium, emotional distress, wrongful death and loss of future earnings.

According to the Missoulian, in an article reported by Martin Kidston, the saloon has video footage of Holm at the bar showing that he was in the bar between 6pm and 10:30pm and that alcohol was provided to him in a “To Go” cup.
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Tonight, the number of children going trick or treating might be down because of the rain, but some children will brave the elements and will be going door to door in the greater Seattle metropolitan area. It’s important that children stay safe and drivers be on alert for little ghosts and goblins to do unpredictable things like dashing across a dark street.

Some advice for motorists

bellevue pedestrian accident lawyer

  • Drive slowly and cautiously especially in residential areas and where children are trick or treating.

We always review motor vehicle accident cases with serious injuries that have recently settled. One such case is Sawyer v. Crete Carrier Corporation represented by fellow AAJ members Kenneth J. Fulginiti and Thomas J. Duffy Jr. In this case, a security guard was awarded $3.75M after receiving disabling injuries in a pedestrian accident. This case is an excellent illustration of “vicarious liability”. Let’s describe the case and then look at what the legal doctrine of “vicarious liability” means. Citation: Sawyer v. Crete Carrier Corp., No. 3493 (Pa., Phila. Co. Com. Pleas June 12, 2012).

The Case

Susan Sawyer worked as security guard at a marine terminal insuring that trucks that entered and left the facility had the proper records. Her job required her to leave the guard shack. On one occasion, Sawyer left the guard shack to inspect a trailer and a truck driven by Sean O’Neal went through a stop sign and ran her over, crushing her ankle. At the time, the O’Neal was likely distracted because he was talking on his cell phone and was holding a dog in his lap while he drove.

The entire truck accident was caught on a surveillance tape.

Sawyer suffered serious injuries to her foot and ankle. Her injuries included crush injuries, damage to the bones, degloving injuries to her leg, ankle and foot and was left disabled with post-traumatic arthritis, neuritis and complex regional pain syndrome.

Sawyer filed suit against O’Neal claiming that he negligently operated his truck by failing to keep a proper lookout, moving his truck while Sawyer was next to it and for running a stop sign. She also filed suit against Crete Carrier, O’Neal’s employer under the doctrine of vicarious liability.

Sawyer also filed suit against the port alleging that the closure of the exit gate over the weekend and the traffic layout increased the danger to her.

All the parties to the suit settled the lawsuit for $3.75 million prior to trial. Crete Carrier agreed to pay $3 million.

The settlement amount took into account that Sawyer was permanently disabled and included amounts for future lost earnings, medical expenses and life-care costs.

Vicarious Liability/Respondeat Superior

Sawyer was able to bring suit against not only against O’Neal but also his employer, Crete Carrier, under the legal doctrine “Respondeat Superior” or vicarious liability which is Latin for “let the master answer.” This legal doctrine is recognized in civil law and it states that in some circumstances that employers can be held responsible for the actions or omissions by their employee performed during course of their employment.

In many vicarious liability cases we have see that the employer failed to screen employees for previous driving records and to provide proper training and support.

One famous case illustrating vicarious liability dates back to the 1990s and Domino’s pizza. Domino’s pizza used to offer a pledge that you would receive your pizza within 30 minutes of your order or the pizza would be free. After a Domino’s driver was ran a red light and collided with a car driven by an Indiana woman, the woman’ family sued claiming the guarantee led to reckless driving. The woman’s family received a substantial settlement in the case.
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Stacey Lain Broyles, 47, and his dog were killed last night when they were hit by a vehicle that then left the accident scene.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s office are asking anyone with information about a hit-and-run car accident in Index last night to call the Tip Line at 425-388-3845.

Broyles was walking his dog in the 50700 block of Index-Galena Road around 11:00pm when they were both hit. Broyles was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle but his injuries were so severe that he did not survive. His dog also died.

It is incomprehensible that a person would hit both a man and a dog and then not stay at the accident scene to render aid. Most likely the hit-and-driver has damages to his/her vehicle and someone will turn them in to the authorities.

Leaving the scene of a pedestrian accident is morally wrong and is also a crime in the state of Washington. The law requires a person to stay at the scene of the accident and provide aid to the victim. The driver will face felony charges when apprehended.

Hit and Run Accidents on the Rise

Hit and run accidents are in the news far too often. Whether the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or just made an impulse decision to leave the scene, this a trend that, as personal injury lawyers, we have seen rising since 2003.

What makes a person leave the scene of an accident? In many cases, the hit-and-run driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving without a valid license or insurance and they know penalties may be severe. They might be an illegal alien who fears being deported or they might be a person who is fleeing the scene of a crime.

Often, however, the driver is apprehended or turns themselves in and they must face justice.
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Prosecutors in San Francisco plan to charge Chris Bucchere, 36, with vehicular manslaughter after he was involved in a bicycle vs. pedestrian accident in which Sutchi Hui, 71, was killed. If convicted Bucchere faces up to six years in prison.

Prosecutors allege that Bucchere was driving at least 10 miles per hour above the 25 mph posed speed limit when he struck Hui with his bicycle. Hui suffered multiple injuries including a skull fracture, broken jaw, arm and leg.
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Witnesses report seeing Bucchere running several red lights and stop signs as well as speeding prior to the accident. Another bicyclist apparently stopped at the intersection while Bucchere ran through it.

An e-mail that has circulated throughout the media quoted Bucchere as writing after the accident:

“I was already way too committed to stop. … I couldn’t see a line through the crowd and I couldn’t stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find.”

Bucchere claims he rode through the intersection on a yellow light.

Is a Charge of Vehicular Homicide Appropriate?

Vehicular homicide can be charged if a motorist was found to be operating a vehicle with reckless disregard to the safety of others. If the prosecutors can show that Bucchere was speeding and running red lights, they may very well be able to prove reckless disregard.

This was the third fatal bicycle accident involving a pedestrian in San Francisco this year.

In Washington state, bicyclists have the same and rights and responsibilities as the drivers of cars and trucks according to vehicle code RCW 46.61.755. Bicyclists who violate traffic laws — including speeding and running stop signs — will be cited.
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Cellphone and loud music are a distraction when we’re driving, that’s common knowledge at this point. But there are more people on the road than just drivers, and these pedestrians and cyclists are also prone to distracting gadgets.

This point is reinforced by a new study published in The Journal of Injury Prevention. Researchers from the University of Maryland examined pedestrian-car accident profiles over the last six years, and found that injury rates tripled for people wearing headphones. This alarmed researchers, who noted that it is a limited study but also saw the data as cause for further investigation.

Richard Lichenstein, M.D. was the lead author of the study, and put it this way: “Everybody is aware of the risk of cell phones and texting in automobiles, but I see more and more teens distracted with the latest devices and headphones in their ears.”

Dr. Lichenstein makes a good point, though it’s based on anecdotal evidence. Consider all of the times you’ve seen a young person bumping around the sidewalk or crossing an intersection while looking at a phone and listening to headphones. Lichenstein’s study supports his eye-ball test. Of the 116 reported deaths or injuries that he tracked, the majority of victims were male and younger than 30. Most strikingly, 74 percent of the cases stated that the victim was wearing headphones at the time of the crash.

The primary flaw of the relatively small study was that the source of most of the information came from media reports, which is not the most reliable source. That being the case, researchers were careful not to put too much stock in the specifics of the data, instead presenting the study as a means of highlighting the issue of pedestrian distraction itself.

Just like driving safety, children are taught how to move safely around the streets from a young age. What we learn to look both ways before crossing the street and to always use our ears to inform us of what’s going on around us. More simply, to use our eyes and ears at all times. But handheld devices–and especially devices that engage eyes and ears with headphones-can dramatically impair those senses.

Comparisons have been drawn between distracted and drunk driving. Perhaps an appropriate parallel to distracted walking is public intoxication. But unlike drunk driving, not since prohibition has public intoxication been a hot button national issue. It’s simply hard envision a person walking around on his or her phone ever being viewed as a public evil like distracted driving. That’s because young people like those the study found were more likely to be involved in a headphones-related accident don’t use cellphones as a communication device. It’s a connection to the virtual self where we store information, entertainment and of course our entire social network. But no matter how connected to our devices we become, our bodies stay in the here and now of the physical world, where crosswalks, cars and unexpected dangers remain.

The solution may be as simple as parents and teachers integrating an awareness of just how distracting mp3 players and cell phone applications can be into the routine lessons about looking both ways. As the researches pointed out, a thorough investigation into the dangers that these devices can pose to pedestrians can help us all understand what needs to be done.
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The family of a young man who was struck and killed by a drunk driver has been awarded $11M from a Tennessee jury. The award included $5M in punitive damages. (Citation: Hudson v. Wilcox, No. 26601 (Tenn., Washington Co. Cir. Nov. 18, 2011).)

David Hudson, 27, a small business owner was crossing a street when he was hit by David Wilcox who was allegedly driving while intoxicated and without his headlights on when the pedestrian accident occurred.

Wrongful Death Claims
lynnwood pedestrian accident lawyer
David Hudson’s estate which includes his parents and siblings filed a wrongful death claim after his death. A wrongful death claim can be filed on the behalf of a loved one who has been killed due to the wrongful or negligent act of another. Often times a wrongful death claim arises out of the negligent use of an automobile accident (i.e., a drunk driving accident, a hit and run accident, or a pedestrian accident) but they can also arise from on-the-job accidents, medical malpractice, school sports or even criminal actions such as murder or manslaughter.

Wrongful death claims can also in product liability law in which a person is killed by a defective or dangerous product.

Wrongful death statutes allow the family of the deceased to recover damages for a wrongful death. Damages might include burial costs, medical costs, future lost earnings and pain and suffering.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages can be awarded by a judge (if a jury trial is not held) or by a jury. Punitive damages do provide compensation to the plaintiffs for their loss but they are damages intended to punish or deter the defendant or others from behaving in a similar fashion.

In the case of David Hudson, the jury was sending a message to drunken drivers that their actions are not to be tolerated.

Punitive damages are applied differently depending on the state. Many insurance companies have lobbied states which have enacted “caps” on punitive damages awards.

Washington Wrongful Death Claims

The Farber Law Group has more than 30 years experience assisting families who have had a loved one die an untimely death whether it was a child who was not supervised properly at school, a construction worker who fell from a poorly erected scaffold or the death of a pedestrian caused by a drunken driver.

Statute of Limitations

Immediate family members of someone who died due to the negligence of another may have a Washington wrongful death claim. Every state has a time limit — called a “statute of limitations” — on which a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in court. You should seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney who is experienced with Washington’s wrongful death statute and who can evaluate your claim.
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If you’ve ever been in an accident and tried to collect an accident settlement from an attorney, then you know just how complicated, stressful and frustrating the process is. What should be a matter of asking and receiving the correct amount of money for your accident settlements is actually much more complicated than that and not nearly as straightforward as you may think.

The truth is, if you know what you are doing, you should be able to negotiate the right accident settlement without even hiring an attorney.

You may be wondering why that would be a good option. In fact, it often seems as though you would want a lawyer on your side during such a complicated process. There are a couple reasons hiring an attorney is not necessarily the best idea.

For one thing, you have to consider the cost. It may not be a financially sound decision to hire an attorney if your expected settlement is not that much. Remember you will always get less if you hire an attorney. Not to say they aren’t worth the money in some cases, but if you don’t get enough, you could end up spending money instead of receiving when it’s all said and done. A lawyer may be able to get you a higher accident settlement amount, but after they take their fee off the top, you end up with less than the lower amount you would have gotten on your own.

The other reason is that many personal injury cases are not as difficult as they may initially appear; in fact it’s often a straightforward process. If it’s a clear cut case of the defendant being at fault, getting an accident settlement amount that is fair should not be much of a problem.

When should you hire an attorney when dealing with accident settlements? If you aren’t absolutely sure the other party is fully to blame, and possibly if the dollar amount is large (more than several thousand dollars). In these cases, an attorney can make a difference. You can always hire an attorney if you think it’s necessary during any part of the process so if you start to feel like you’re unsure of what you’re doing, contact a lawyer.

Accident settlements don’t have to be complicated, and you have plenty of options to make sure you are compensated for your injuries.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents due to the negligence of another.

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In the past decade, the number of car accident deaths have steadily declined. Unfortunately, that can not be said for pedestrian accidents. Every year, more than 4,000 people are killed in pedestrian accidents and nearly 70,000 pedestrians are injured.

Whether you are running, jogging or walking your dog, you need to be especially careful now that fall is upon us and the days are shorter.

One of the most common sense suggestions for pedestrians is to wear clothes so that you will be seen. A white shirt, a reflective vest and lights made for runners/walkers can help you stay visible. It is amazing the number of pedestrians who just do not make themselves visible.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control provides the following safety tips for pedestrians:

  • Cross at designated intersections where drivers most expect pedestrians.
  • Pedestrians should be especially careful at intersections. Some drivers may fail to yield or they may fail to notice pedestrians when they make a turn.
  • Avoid crossing freeways or highways as cars travel at high rate of speeds and pedestrians often miscalculate their ability to cross the highway.
  • Do not cross train tracks except at marked railroad crossings and NEVER cross tracks unless barriers are not down.
  • Wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
  • Walk or jog on sidewalks.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in pedestrian accidents due to the negligence of a motorist and the family of those killed. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.

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Family settles wrongful death lawsuit with Metro after pedestrian killed in bus accident
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The Washington State Patrol reports that there have been 7 fatal pedestrian accidents in Southwest Washington in the past 10 months.

The WSP provides the following safety tips for pedestrians to avoid a pedestrian accident:

  1. Do not walk on freeways.
  2. If your vehicle becomes disabled on the freeway, pull to the right as far as possible. Stay in your vehicle if possible. If you exit your car, exit from the passenger side. Avoid standing between two vehicles.
  3. If you have a flat tire on the traffic side of your vehicle, call roadside assistant or 911. The WSP will respond to help you.
  4. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, move your vehicle as far right as possible and call 911.
  5. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and your car or truck is not drivable, leave your vehicle and move to a safe place and call 911.
  6. If you stop to help at a motor vehicle accident, be sure you park your vehicle in a safe location, call 911 and watch traffic.

Source:
Washington State Patrol Media Release Car Pedestrian Fatalities

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in pedestrian accidents due to the negligence of another and the family of those killed.

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