Pedestrian accidents often occur at slow rates of speed, but the damage and injury inflicted can be life-threatening. Sadly, an average of sixteen people are killed in pedestrian accidents every day in the United States. While thousands of pedestrians are killed in car accidents each year, even more are left with permanent bodily injuries. Many of these injured pedestrians have valid personal injury claims. A common question asked is, “What if I wasn’t in the crosswalk at the time of the accident?”
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 6,516 pedestrian fatalities in 2020, with thousands more suffering life-changing injuries every day. If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident anywhere in Sugar Land, consulting an experienced attorney is your best option to understand your rights and what is expected of you in a claim. It’s worth noting that Texas is a comparative negligence state, meaning that victims of personal injury may still be eligible for compensation even if they were partially at fault for the circumstances that caused their harm. Our compassionate pedestrian accident attorneys in Sugar Land are available to discuss contributory negligence as it applies to your case and to help you pursue compensation.
All cities in Texas follow the modified contributory negligence rule, which means that the Plaintiff (the injured party) cannot be more than 50% responsible for the accident to receive compensation from the driver. This implies that 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 aid these jurors in making their decision.
However, does the fact that you were not in the crosswalk imply that you were over 50% responsible for the accident? The answer is not a simple 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 assist the jury in determining how much fault is attributed to the driver or the pedestrian. Your pedestrian accident lawyer’s job is to highlight the most useful evidence. If the fault is unclear and the damages are severe, having a qualified personal injury attorney on your side is crucial.
In order to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents, authorities in Sugar Land and throughout Texas have implemented various measures to protect both drivers and pedestrians.
These measures include increased road safety awareness campaigns and improved infrastructure, which aim to educate road users on defensive driving techniques and prevent accidents. Despite these efforts, the number of pedestrian fatalities continues to rise each year, and pedestrians often have the right of way in these accidents.
If you are hit by a car while crossing the road at a designated pedestrian crossing, the driver is usually at fault. Drivers are expected to understand the importance of crosswalks and to slow down or come to a complete stop when approaching a crosswalk with a visible pedestrian. In this scenario, fault is clear in the event of an accident.
However, there are cases where pedestrians may cross the road at other points without a crosswalk. In such situations, it may be argued that the local municipality failed to designate pedestrian crossing points or that the designated points are too far apart to be practical for pedestrians. When an accident occurs at such a point, the pedestrian may be partially at fault. Your personal injury lawyer will work to show that the majority of the fault lies with the driver.
If the driver violated their legal obligation to drive with reasonable care, you may still be eligible for compensation. Pedestrians are considered road hazards that must be avoided at all costs. Therefore, drivers are expected to be vigilant and avoid such accidents involving pedestrians. On the other hand, pedestrians also have a responsibility to ensure they do not cross the road carelessly or jaywalk.
If the driver who hit you was under the influence of alcohol, driving recklessly or over the speed limit, this evidence will increase your chances of succeeding in your personal injury claim. However, providing evidence for these facts may be challenging. You can present photos of alcohol bottles retrieved from the vehicle, police reports indicating that the driver was reckless or speeding, or eyewitnesses to testify on what happened.
Pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries as the victims are unprotected when hit by a 2,000+ pound vehicle. This can lead to substantial medical needs, and our team at Lone Star Injury Attorneys is here to help. If you have questions about your pedestrian accident, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office to speak with an attorney. Schedule a free consultation today.