Pedestrian Struck by Drunk Driver in West SeattleA 55-year-old man was seriously injured in a Seattle car accident that may have involved a drunk driver. According to a news report in The West Seattle Herald, the pedestrian accident occurred at S.W. 102 St. and 16 Ave S.W. in White Center. The authorities have not released information regarding the specifics of the crash. The pedestrian has been listed in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center. Officials have charged the 50-year-old female driver with DUI and vehicular assault.
Drunk driving remains a serious problem in the state of Washington. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 457 fatalities suffered in Washington State car accidents in the year 2011 of which only 60 percent did not involve alcohol. About six percent of all fatal car accidents statewide that year involved alcohol below the legal limit and 34 percent of fatal crashes involved drivers with a BAC over .08 percent.
Under Washington Statute 46.61.522: “A person is guilty of vehicular assault if he or she operates or drives any vehicle in a reckless manner and causes substantial bodily harm to another or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol causes substantial bodily harm to another. ”
Drivers charged with vehicular assault can face serious criminal penalties if they are convicted. Their penalties, however, will not automatically result in adequate financial compensation for injured victims. Victims of drunk drivers who wish to pursue financial compensation for their pain and suffering will have to take action on their own.
If a drunk driver has injured you or a loved one, it is important that you stay abreast of the ongoing investigation. The at-fault driver does not have to be convicted for you to receive compensation, but the court case could strengthen your claim that the at-fault driver caused your injuries through an act of negligence.
If you can prove that you suffered an injury because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another, you can use a personal injury claim to receive support for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, the cost of rehabilitation and other related damages. An experienced Seattle car accident attorney can help you better understand your legal rights and options.