When it comes to accidents involving pedestrians, the consequences can be devastating. According to recent statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 657 fatal accidents involving pedestrians in the state of Texas in 2019. If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Pearland, Texas, or the nearby areas of Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, or Corpus Christi, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP, our personal injury attorneys have years of experience working with individuals and families who have been injured in a pedestrian accident. Our firm is dedicated to providing reliable legal counsel and aggressive representation to injured victims so that they can pursue compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and any additional pain and suffering they’ve been forced to endure. If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, call or reach out to our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Many people involved in a pedestrian accident may be asking themselves who is actually at fault when a pedestrian is hit? Determining liability is one of the first steps in the personal injury claims process.
Because Texas is considered an at-fault state, the pedestrian’s health insurance company will pay for any medical bills. However, the driver of the car that hit the pedestrian can still be liable for the accident. Most traffic laws require drivers to be alert to hazards and to pay attention to the road, so if a driver is not performing these duties and hits a pedestrian, then they are violating the law — and can be held liable for any injuries or damages they cause.
Texas’ Right of Way Law
If the “Walk” sign is on when you are walking in a crosswalk and a vehicle hits you, the driver has violated the law. Pedestrians have the right of way in all crosswalks, however, if you or a loved one has been hit by a car when you were not using a crosswalk, you may still have a case. Consulting with an attorney to discuss the details of your case is always a good idea so that you can investigate whether or not there was a violation of right of way law.
The Pedestrian’s Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the pedestrian to make sure that the road is clear before crossing. Pedestrians also must pay attention to “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signals as well, and cannot suddenly run into the road. Just like drivers, pedestrians must obey traffic laws.
Other (Hazardous Circumstances)
If a pedestrian was walking in the middle of the road at night and wearing all black when they were hit, this may understandably be a difficult case to pursue. Walking in the middle of the road at night while wearing dark clothing presents a significant challenge for any driver to avoid. These types of hazardous circumstances could be reasonably avoided by wearing reflective clothing and walking on the sidewalk or off the road entirely.
Whether or not your personal injury claim will be successful largely depends on who is at fault in the accident. There are even cases where both the driver and the pedestrian share some level of fault, and therefore, can both be found liable for the accident.
If you can prove that the driver of the vehicle was negligent, then you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. Negligence is caused when a person was supposed to perform a duty (like pay attention to the road), but instead breached that duty (such as not looking for pedestrians before accelerating), there was a cause in fact (the accident directly caused an injury), the cause was proximate (reasonably could have been avoided), and you can legitimately receive damages for it.
Modified Comparative Fault Rule
Texas is somewhat unique in that the state follows a modified comparative fault rule. When it’s time to argue a personal injury claim in court, insurance adjusters will try to argue that the driver is partially (or comparatively) responsible for the accident.
If the case goes to trial, then a jury will determine a percentage of fault for anyone involved in the accident. If the victim is assigned any percentage of fault, any compensation they are awarded will be reduced by that same percentage.
For example, if the jury chooses to award the victim $100,000 in compensation, but also rules that the pedestrian was 20% at fault for the accident because they were crossing the crosswalk when the traffic signs indicated not to, then the victim’s compensation would be reduced by 20%, or $20,000. This means that the pedestrian will only be eligible to collect $80,000 in compensation.
Additionally, if the jury decides that the victim is over 50% at fault for the accident, then they will not be eligible to receive any compensation at all for their injuries.
What Steps Should I Take?
Your next steps depend on the circumstances that lead to the accident and the extent of the injuries or damages that have been suffered.
If You Are The Victim
Any auto accident will change your life, but if you are injured as a pedestrian, the consequences can be absolutely devastating. If you have been hit by a car or truck as a pedestrian, you will likely want to file a personal injury claim against the driver of the vehicle to pursue compensation for your injuries and any additional pain and suffering you’ve been forced to endure. An experienced Texas personal injury attorney can help you get the process started and guide you along the way.
If You Are Representing A Loved One
If a loved one has passed away due to the negligent actions of another, no amount of compensation will ever replace who you’ve lost. However, you can consult with an attorney to learn about how to file a wrongful death claim for your loved one. Filing a wrongful death claim can help you recover compensation for a number of different costs, including medical bills and other damages like lost wages, loss of future earning potential, and loss of consortium.
Work with An Experienced Law Firm
Suffering from a pedestrian accident is a challenge that no one should go through alone. The consequences of such an accident can force victims to battle with extensive injury challenges for weeks, months, or even years. If you have been injured as a pedestrian and you believe the driver’s negligent actions caused the accident, contact our firm, Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP, today for help.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys have spent years working with injured victims and their families in an effort to help them pursue the justice they deserve. Our top priority is to help our clients receive the compensation they need and deserve so that they can recover from their injuries and get their life back. If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, don’t wait. Call or reach out to our office today to schedule your own free case consultation.
PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN PEARLAND, TEXAS
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP have secured successful verdicts and large settlements for injured victims and their families in Pearland, Texas, and the nearby areas of Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi, Texas. We are here to answer all of your questions and provide you with the reliable legal counsel and guidance you need to pursue the justice you deserve. Reach out to our office today for your own free case consultation.