Bellingham Man Victim of Pedestrian Hit and Run Accident
A 44-year-old male was clipped by a vehicle while using a crosswalk to cross the Guide Meridian from east to west near Westerly Road. The incident took place about 11:20 p.m. October 30, 2017. According to Bellingham Police Lt. Danette Beckley, witnesses told police the car sped north on Guide Meridian from Westerly road. Police were left looking for the perpetrator as he or she fled the scene, making this a pedestrian hit and run accident.
While Bellingham is generally considered a “walkable” city (according to rankings by Walk City, Bellingham is in the top 10 for walking and biking cities in Washington State) there are still many preventable pedestrian accidents every year, including pedestrian hit and run accidents.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a pedestrian hit and run accident, you may be entitled to a bigger settlement than your car insurance company is offering. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer today.
Hit and run accident defined
A hit and run accident is an accident involving at least one vehicle where the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident before police arrive and without providing their insurance or contact information. A hit and run accident can happen after a car crashes into a parked car, another moving vehicle, a pedestrian or cyclist.
Pedestrian hit and run accident statistics
According to federal data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatal hit and run crashes in the United States rose 13.7 percent from 2009 to 2011 (from 1,274 in 2009, to 1,393 in 2010, to 1,449 in 2011). Notably, this trend was occurring at the same time as overall traffic deaths fell 4.5 percent from 33,883 in 2009 to 32,367 in 2011.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 11 percent of all motor vehicle accidents reported to police involve at least one driver leaving the scene of an accident. Sixty percent of hit and run accident fatalities are pedestrians and most of these accidents occur late at night, on weekends and involve an impaired driver. States are working to crack down on hit and run drivers by closing loopholes and increasing fines.
Why do drivers flee the scene of an accident?
The main reason that a driver would flee the scene of an accident is if they fear additional consequences such as a DUI arrest, deportation for immigration status, reckless driving ticket, a warrant is out for their arrest or they were driving without a license/on a suspended license/without car insurance.
What can pedestrians do to protect themselves from being hit by a vehicle?
If a pedestrian is walking after dark he or she can benefit from certain safety choices:
- Wear bright/reflective clothing
- Watch out for vehicles speeding or swerving in the area before crossing the street
- Always use designated crosswalks
- Wait until you are sure that all vehicles have come to a stop before crossing at a crosswalk
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!