Pedestrian accidents often occur at slow rates of speed, but the damage and injury could be life-threatening. Every day in the United States, an average of sixteen people are killed in pedestrian accidents. Sadly, while thousands of these pedestrians are killed in car accidents every year, even more are left with permanent bodily injuries. Many of those injured have valid personal injury claims. A common question asked is: what if I wasn’t in the crosswalk at the time of the accident?
All cities in Texas apply the the modified contributory negligence rule. This means that the Plaintiff (the injured party) cannot be more than 50% responsible for the accident to receive compensation from the driver. In other words, the jury will have to decide who is to blame for the accident and in what proportion. The evidence presented by your personal injury lawyer during trial will help these jurors make their decision.
Does the fact that you were not in the crosswalk mean that you were over 50% responsible for the accident? The answer is not a hard yes or no, but it depends on the surrounding evidence of the crash. Was the car speeding? Were you clearly visible from a distance? Would a reasonably safe driver have stopped in time?
The answers to these questions help the jury decide how much fault is put on the driver or the pedestrian. Emphasizing the most helpful evidence is the job of your pedestrian accident lawyer. When fault is not clear and the damages are serious, it is important to have a qualified personal injury attorney on your side.
In a bid to mitigate these accidents, the necessary authorities in Sugar Land and throughout Texas have stepped up measures to safeguard the lives of both drivers and pedestrians.
From increased road safety awareness campaigns to improved infrastructures, road users should be educated in various ways to be defensive drivers and prevent accidents. While this education is commendable, the numbers are not promising as more pedestrians die each year from traffic accidents. Pedestrians often have the right of way in these accidents.
If you are hit by a car while crossing the road at designated pedestrian crossing, the blame will be on the driver. This is because drivers are expected to understand the significance of a crosswalk and slow down. Drivers are to come to a complete halt when approaching a crosswalk and a pedestrian is visible. In such a scenario, fault is clear when an accident occurs.
However, there are other cases where pedestrians cross the road at other points without a crosswalk. It is possible the local municipality never designated pedestrian crossing points, or maybe they were too far from each other to be practicable for a pedestrian. Whenever an accident occurs at such a point, you as a pedestrian become part and parcel of the potential parties to be blamed. It is the duty of your personal injury lawyer to show how the majority of the fault is on the driver.
You will still be eligible for compensation if the driver went against their legal obligation to drive reasonably safe. Pedestrians are viewed as road hazards that must be avoided at all costs. Drivers are, therefore, often expected to be on the lookout to avoid such pedestrian accidents. On the other hand, pedestrians also have an obligation to see to it that you they do not cross the road carelessly or jaywalk.
If the driver who hit you was drunk, reckless, or speeding, this evidence makes it much more likely that you will succeed in your personal injury claim. However, proving these facts may be more difficult. For example, you can produce photos of alcohol bottles removed from the vehicle, introduce police reports asserting that the driver was careless or speeding, or have eyewitnesses testify as to what happened.
Pedestrian accidents are often very serious, as the victims have no protection when being hit by a 2,000+ pound vehicle. Your medical needs may be substantial. Our lawyers at Lone Star Injury Attorneys are here to help. If you have questions on your pedestrian accident, please reach out to our office to speak to an attorney. Schedule a free consultation today.