Texas Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pedestrians have a right to walk on and near roadways in Texas. However, traveling on foot is not always safe – even if the pedestrian is crossing the street legally – so accidents occur much more often than they should. In many cases, these accidents result in serious injuries or even death. Ted Machi & Associates understands how dangerous the road can be for a pedestrian, even when they are doing everything right. We are experts in the field of pedestrian accidents, and we can help you determine whether you qualify for compensation.
Pedestrian Fatalities and Injuries in Texas
Every year, thousands of people are killed while walking in Texas. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the Texas pedestrian fatality rate in 2016 was 2.44 per 100,000 members of the population. In fact, Texas has more than its fair share of pedestrian fatalities with the ninth highest rate overall. While the majority of these fatalities occurred at night, approximately one in four occurred during daylight hours. An even higher number of people were injured in Texas pedestrian accidents but were not killed.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can occur for a variety of reasons; in many cases, pedestrian accidents are the result of a combination of factors. The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that sunlight amount and location are major factors in pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian accidents are more likely in low light conditions when drivers cannot see people walking on or near the road as easily.
In addition, the majority of accidents occur on local city streets and state highways, with fewer accidents occurring on county roads and local streets outside the city. Most pedestrian accidents occur on travel lanes or at intersections, with fewer accidents on the shoulder, in driveways, or on other non-travel roadways. Pedestrian accidents may be more likely when either the pedestrian or the driver is distracted or under the influence of alcohol. Bad weather is another major cause of pedestrian accidents.
Who Is At Fault?
In many cases, the driver is the one responsible when a pedestrian is hit on the road; however, it is also possible for the pedestrian to be partially or even entirely responsible for the accident. The most important factor for determining fault is determining who had the right of way. Under Texas law, drivers have a responsibility to yield to pedestrians when a posted signal indicates that pedestrians can cross the road.
Drivers also have a responsibility to yield when they are exiting or entering a roadway, driving in parking lots, or driving in an area designed primarily for foot traffic. On the other hand, pedestrians have a responsibility to pay attention to posted signals and cross the road responsibly.
Pedestrians should only cross the street using established crosswalks and avoid entering the roadway when traffic signals have already switched from “walk” to “wait.” Some specific situations in which a pedestrian may be liable for an accident include:
- The pedestrian is walking in locations where pedestrians access is not allowed
- The pedestrian is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The pedestrian is crossing the road in an area where crossing is prohibited
- The pedestrian is crossing against the signal
Modified Comparative Negligence for Pedestrian Accidents
In many cases, the pedestrian and the driver will share fault for the accident. When this occurs, it is often necessary to establish which party is most at fault for the accident. The amount of fault each party shares will determine which party can seek damages, as well as the amount of compensation the injured party can receive.
Since Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, the plaintiff in the case can only receive compensation for their damages if they are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident. For example, if there’s proof that the pedestrian intentionally darted in front of the vehicle, it’s likely that the pedestrian will be found mostly to completely at fault, and therefore unable to recover damages.
Does Insurance Pay for Pedestrian Accidents?
When a pedestrian accident occurs, the person at fault is held legally responsible for the damages. If the driver is responsible for the accident, his or her auto accident insurance may cover some or all of the damages owed to the injured pedestrian. The amount the insurance company will cover depends on the limits on the policy and the circumstances of the accidents. Injured pedestrians may also be covered by their own health insurance or disability insurance policies.
Can You Sue after a Pedestrian Accident?
Following a pedestrian accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for injuries or other damage related to the incident. However, to win a lawsuit, you must be able to prove that another party was more at fault for the accident than you were. For example, if you were crossing the street in an appropriate location with the proper signal and you are struck by a vehicle, you can sue the driver for the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, and any other expenses or losses you experience.
If you have been injured in an accident and you are planning to file a lawsuit, it is important to take action as quickly as possible. Texas law requires that all personal injury claims be filed within a specific amount of time after the date the accident occurs. For this reason, filing a timely claim is essential. If you miss the filing deadline, you may not be able to recover any compensation even if the evidence clearly shows that someone else was at fault for the accident.
Texas Pedestrian Accident Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you love was injured in a pedestrian accident in the state of Texas, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Machi & Associates can help. We understand how complicated these cases can be, and we will help you gather all of the evidence you need to make a strong case in court. Throughout the entire process, we will be by your side, helping you as you prepare for court and reviewing any settlement offers you receive. Contact Ted Machi & Associates today to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.