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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

Injured as a pedestrian in a car accident? It's time to speak with a lawyer.

One moment you're focused on hitting the next mile marker of your run, and the next you're staring at a set of headlights bearing down on you. When you wake up, you're on the pavement, disoriented and in an unimaginable amount of pain. If this sounds anything like your accident, you're not alone.

For runners, joggers, other pedestrians and cyclists throughout Washington, the risk of being involved in an accident with a car, truck or other vehicle is an everyday reality. Motorists are often preoccupied trying to look out for other vehicles or are distracted by changing the radio dial, talking on the phone, checking a text or otherwise failing to properly pay attention. All too often these distractions lead to accidents with pedestrians trying to cross the street or cyclists who have a legal right to share the roads.

Pedestrians are often the losers in accidents involving motor vehicles

You may have had a walk signal at an intersection and a car pulled up too quickly and knocked you over. Or maybe you were biking down the street and a car clipped you as it tried to pass. No matter the circumstances, it's important to understand that as a pedestrian or cyclist, you have rights to compensation for your injuries.

Even a glancing blow with a car can inflict serious, even life-threatening injuries. In fact, pedestrian and bicycle-related incidents with motor vehicles account for a significant number of fatal motor vehicle accidents in the state.

Perhaps you were lucky and will only be laid up for weeks or months recovering from the accident. During that time, medical bills will accumulate, you will likely be out of work and out of a paycheck, and perhaps you have loved ones to consider and need to find a way to make ends meet. Or maybe you recently lost a loved one to an accident and need some help determining whether to pursue a wrongful death claim.

After your accident, you can be sure the insurance company will look to settle your claim quickly and quietly. Although the amount offered may seem like enough, you are likely entitled to significantly more.

Instead of attempting to deal with the insurance company or other parties on your own, a personal injury lawyer can be your primary resource when pursuing the treatment and compensation you need to recover. Your lawyer can determine what really happened with your accident, hold negligent parties accountable, manage the insurance company, and ultimately help you get the money you need.

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