When a pedestrian is hit by a car or truck, the aftermath can be overwhelming for those involved. Typically, when these accidents occur, the driver is at fault for hitting the pedestrian. Understanding how a Houston auto-pedestrian accident happens as well as how liability is determined helps keep both drivers and pedestrians informed should the unexpected happen.
Typically, the driver is held responsible for car accidents involving pedestrians because drivers often drive recklessly, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, are distracted, or fail to abide by state traffic laws. In these instances, negligent drivers will be held liable for any damages caused.
Pedestrians have the right of way in certain road conditions or designated locations. An experienced personal injury lawyer can revisit the scene of an accident to determine who had the right of way. The Texas Transportation Code governs the rules of the road within the state, which includes a specific section that pertains solely to pedestrians. According to Texas Transportation Code, Title 7 §552, pedestrians do not have legal access to all roadways – in fact, they may be forbidden to walk across highways, bridges, and busy roads in high-traffic areas. Roads, where pedestrians have access, contain rules, traffic signals, and signs that instruct them on how and when to cross the street. In addition, under §552.006, a pedestrian must use a sidewalk when provided and available. All of this means where the accident occurred can make a huge difference in an auto pedestrian accident case.
The same section of the Texas Transportation Code also governs motorists, mandating that drivers must “exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian on a roadway” and “give warning by sounding the horn when necessary.” Therefore, even if a pedestrian is struck when jaywalking, he or she may be able avoid liability if they can show the driver didn’t exercise due care on the road.
Passenger vehicle drivers aren’t the only culprits when it comes to pedestrian accidents. Commercial drivers of company vehicles and their employers can also be held liable for causing pedestrian accidents in Texas. Upon impact, you will likely not know who all of the parties are that can potentially be held legally responsible for paying you financial compensation for your damages; thus, it’s best to consult with a pedestrian injury lawyer with experience handling complex cases with multiple parties.
Whether or not an employee is in a company-owned vehicle and whether or not they are acting in the course and scope of their employment duties at the time of the crash will help determine whether or not the employer and/or other third parties can be held liable for the driver’s conduct through a variety of legal theories including negligent entrustment. An employer can be liable for entrusting a vehicle to an employee the employer knew or should have known was unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless.
When a pedestrian is involved in a car accident in Texas, they are entitled to sue the driver for damages similar to what a victim in a car at the time of the accident would have been able to recover. A pedestrian can sue for costs that may be associated with medical bills and lost wages, as well as for the pain and suffering that can result from such an accident. Typically, the other driver’s insurance policy will cover at least a portion – if not all – of this compensation in the event the policyholder injures or causes the death of a pedestrian while driving.
Determining the legal implications and liability for an auto pedestrian accident can be incredibly complex. Because there are many different elements at play when these incidents occur, it’s important to utilize the knowledge and experience of a seasoned Houston pedestrian accident attorney. At Ramsey Law Group, we ensure our clients get compensation for medical costs, lost income, and the help they need after an a accident occurs. If you or someone you know has been the victim of an auto pedestrian accident, contact us today for a free consultation.