When a person on the street is hit by a car or truck, chances are it will result in a serious injury or death. The speed and weight of the vehicle compared to that of the person gives it a deadly advantage. Often, accidents involving pedestrians are the result of a driver being careless or distracted.
Driving too fast, taking a corner too sharply, driving drunk, or driving while texting is just some of the distracted driving behaviors that may prevent a vehicle operator from seeing pedestrians and hitting them while driving. If you have been injured, contact our Texas pedestrian accident lawyers today for a free case evaluation.
At Ramsey Law Group, we are known for helping injury victims in Texas and throughout the United States secure multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts. Our experienced and skilled litigators can help you hold the party who struck you accountable.
We offer free consultations; call (888) 335-7477 or send us a message online today.
Every community has its most dangerous intersections, typically due to inadequate traffic lights or stop signs. Some of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in Texas include:
Motorists are responsible for most pedestrian accidents. However, pedestrians also have a legal obligation to walk safely and follow traffic laws to avoid a collision. As a result, there are times when a pedestrian can be partially or entirely at fault for an accident. Therefore, a thorough investigation must be completed to determine which parties are liable and their percentage of fault in causing the accident. Examples of evidence include photos or videos of the accident, the scene, vehicle damage, road conditions, and the clothes you wore at the time of the crash. In addition, the police report, eyewitness testimony, and medical records will be critical. If necessary, your attorney may hire an accident and medical experts to recreate the scene and testify to the extent of your injuries and how they were caused.
Once the liable party is identified, to hold them accountable, you must demonstrate that their negligence caused the collision. That will require proof of the following four elements:
Texas courts follow a modified comparative negligence rule with a 51% bar. This law can dramatically reduce or eliminate your compensation if you are also responsible for your accident. Each party involved is assigned a percentage of fault; if you are found more than 50 percent at fault, you are barred from recovering compensation. If you are less than 51 percent to blame, you can receive compensation, but your degree of responsibility will lower it. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 and found 20 percent responsible, you will receive 80 percent or $80,000. On the other hand, if you are awarded $100,000 and found 51 percent at fault, you will not receive anything.
Most pedestrian accident lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis. That means your attorney will advance any costs related to pursuing your claim, and you only have to pay legal fees if you win. Once you recover compensation, a lawyer will typically take 25 to 40 percent of any settlement or award. Some pedestrian accident lawyers may reduce their contingency fee if there is a quick settlement and raise it if your case goes to trial. Others may use a sliding scale fee based on the amount of compensation you recover. It will depend on the lawyer you hire, type of case, the work involved, and your case’s value. Before signing an agreement, discussing the terms with your potential pedestrian accident lawyer is highly recommended.
The choices you make immediately after a pedestrian accident in Texas can significantly impact your ability to pursue a claim and the amount of compensation you recover. Here are the recommended steps:
Notify the Police
Call 911 if you or anyone requires emergency medical care. If not, still notify the police of the collision for an accident report to be created. The police report will contain critical facts and details, such as contact information for the parties involved and any witnesses, the extent of damage and injuries, their impression of how the accident happened, and their opinion on fault. This report can carry significant weight in an insurance company’s decision on who was responsible.
Document the Accident
If you can remain at the scene, document it as much as possible by taking photos or videos of the following:
Ask the parties involved and any witnesses for their contact information. Witness testimony can be critical to helping you prove fault.
Seek Medical Attention
If you are not taken to the hospital, see a doctor as soon as possible after leaving the scene. Severe injuries can have delayed symptoms, and it is also critical to have medical documentation linking your harm to the accident.
These accidents can lead to everything from broken bones to massive head injuries, internal and external bleeding, and sometimes death. Ramsey Law Group understands how daunting it can be to be the victim of a pedestrian accident and have to not only focus on getting better, but also to navigate dealing with insurance companies and holding the responsible party accountable. We have worked on numerous personal injury cases for clients injured by a vehicle while on foot, and take pride in our ability to help them during this trying time for their families.
The actions of the driver and the pedestrian, as well as the environment where the accident takes place, need to be evaluated before a legal course of action is determined. Even when pedestrians have taken steps to be careful, like not jaywalking, avoiding busy streets, and not walking at night, accidents can still happen.
The size and type of vehicle, and the speed at which they are driving can all impact the severity of a pedestrian injury. Additionally, there are specific laws that may require more scrutiny when evaluating a case. For example, Texas has specific traffic safety laws for those operating a motor vehicle around school zones and construction sites, both of which contain a higher number of pedestrians daily and also have strict speed limit laws.
Looking at all of the nuanced legal aspects of a claim and gathering evidence from police, witnesses, hospital reports, and other relevant sources allows us to build a strong case to help an injured pedestrian. Ultimately, we assist our client in seeking compensation for medical costs, any lost income associated with missing work to heal or because they are permanently disabled, payment for therapy, and to help with pain and suffering.
Almost every pedestrian accident is caused by the negligence or inattentiveness of a car or motorcycle driver. Drivers get distracted when talking on cell phones, eating while driving, programming a GPS, and applying makeup while driving and this distractedness causes pedestrian accidents.
Driver confusion when a driver is unfamiliar with the area is also a common cause of auto-pedestrian crashes. In busy cities, aggressive driving is a top cause of pedestrian accidents. In addition to distracted driving, speeding, and aggression, other causes of a pedestrian accident can include: intoxicated driving, failing to stop or yield, improper lane use, weather conditions, left-hand turns, unmarked crosswalks, road construction, back over accidents, and more.
Pedestrian safety remains a top concern as more and more Americans head outdoors to hike and bike for their health. Some of the top tips for pedestrian safety include:
A pedestrian hit by a car should call the police, take photographs of the accident scene and of the car that hit you, get witnesses’ names, and call your insurance company. If you are hurt, seek medical attention immediately. If the pain is severe, go to the emergency room. After contacting the police, exchanging information, and gather evidence – if possible – and receiving medical care, the next step should be to consult with a Houston personal injury lawyer.
While your primary legal claim will likely be against the driver of the car that hit you, you might also be able to bring a claim against other responsible parties – such as the municipality in which you were hit – if something they control contributed to or caused your pedestrian accident.
The driver should report the accident to their auto insurance company, but you will have to file a claim directly with them. However, before speaking to an insurance adjuster, it is in your best interests to consult a pedestrian accident attorney first. The at-fault party’s insurance adjuster may seem friendly, but they are not on your side. Instead, they may try to take advantage of your situation by offering a quick settlement and fast cash. Although this offer can be tempting, the figure will likely be much lower than your case’s actual worth. An attorney can help you protect your rights and decide the best course of action.
If you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident, contact Ramsey Law Group at 1-888-335-7477 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We can get you the help you need handling the insurance company and legal proceeding and can help you and your family get through this trying time.