Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people on Texas roads and highways. They lack basic protective features that motorists have while operating their vehicles. As a result, accidents involving pedestrians often result in catastrophic and sometimes fatal injuries. Among the measures that have been put in place to cushion them from foreseeable accidents is the introduction of crosswalks in strategic areas. Drivers and other motorists are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians at these points. Failure to do so may result in facing criminal and civil charges if their actions or inactions cause harm to people on foot.
Every driver has a responsibility to prevent foreseeable pedestrian accidents by adhering to all state and federal traffic laws. Giving up the right of way to pedestrians when approaching a crosswalk is mandatory. Unfortunately, not all drivers do. According to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, over 700 pedestrians were killed in related accidents in 2020. Thousands of others suffered serious injuries the same year. Understanding the significance of crosswalks in Missouri City pedestrian accidents is critical to helping curb the rising cases of these events.
Motorists have unique responsibilities and obligations towards pedestrians. While they often have the right of way while on major roads and highways, they must give up the same whenever they approach a crosswalk. Regardless of whether the traffic signs require them to do so or not, pedestrians already at a crosswalk may reserve the right of way. As such, motorists are required to observe standard care and act reasonably, but not all drivers do so.
The responsibilities of motorists towards pedestrians at crosswalks are universal, and any behavior contrary to this expectation may be punishable by law. Some of the reckless behaviors that amount to a breach of duty towards pedestrians at crosswalks in Missouri City are:
Any action or inaction that is a complete disregard for traffic laws is deemed as negligence. Therefore, the driver, in this case, may be held accountable for the resulting accidents and damages. As the plaintiff, it will be your responsibility to prove causation. This can be a difficult conundrum especially when you have to focus on treatment and recovery. Working with a veteran pedestrian accident attorney will relieve you of the burden that a thorough investigation is and provide the peace of mind you need to comfortably attend to other engagements other than your case.
Because many traffic accidents are brought about by the negligence of motorists, they usually assume legal responsibility for the losses caused. They are required to observe the standard of care for pedestrians since they are more vulnerable to harm than any other group of road users. As such, the driver who hit you may be set up for criminal and civil charges for the accident. Criminal lawsuits are filed by a state prosecutor on behalf of the government to punish individuals or parties for violating existing rules and regulations. On the other hand, civil cases seek to compensate plaintiffs for damages suffered after an accident deemed preventable but for carelessness.
You may also be to blame for your injuries if you were reckless as a pedestrian. For instance, it is not uncommon to see pedestrians make quick and unsafe dashes across major roads and highways where vehicles are moving fast. In these scenarios, they may be held equally accountable by virtue of contributory negligence. While you may still be eligible for compensation even when you are partially to blame for your injuries, the value of your claim is drastically reduced based on your fault. In a nutshell, your degree of liability must be 49% or below for this concept to apply.
Damages in pedestrian accident cases vary. Each claim is based on the specific losses that the plaintiff suffered following an accident evolving from negligence. Medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, therapy costs, and lost future earnings are the most commonly awarded damages in pedestrian accident lawsuits. You should be sure to discover the full extent of your losses by retaining a skilled attorney.
Pedestrian accident cases are unique and call for a proper review by a seasoned attorney. The legal team you hire can make or break your case, so it is important that you start your pursuit of justice on the right foot. Please get in touch with our offices to schedule a free case evaluation as soon as possible to learn more about the significance of crosswalks in Missouri City pedestrian accidents.