Pedestrian Accidents and Personal Injury: Know Your Rights

Pedestrian Accidents and Personal Injury: Know Your Rights

Texas, unfortunately, carries the somber distinction of being the second most dangerous state for pedestrians in the United States. In 2022 alone, over 600 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents, making it crucial for pedestrians and drivers to understand their rights and obligations.

This blog delves into the intricacies of pedestrian accidents and personal injury law in Texas, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate the aftermath of such an incident.

Pedestrian Rights and Laws in Texas

Texas law grants pedestrians specific rights, ensuring their safety and fair treatment on the roads. These rights include:

  1. Right of Way: Pedestrians have the right of way in marked crosswalks, even when the traffic signal displays a green light for vehicles. Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians at all crosswalks, as outlined in Texas Transportation Code § 552.003.
  2. Right to a Safe Sidewalk: Municipalities and property owners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition. This obligation is enshrined in Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 101.001, which holds property owners liable for injuries caused by hazardous conditions on their premises.
  3. Right to a Safe Roadway: Drivers owe pedestrians a duty of reasonable care to avoid causing harm. This duty encompasses obeying traffic laws, yielding the right of way, and maintaining a safe distance from pedestrians. Failure to adhere to this duty constitutes negligence, as per Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 95.001.

Determining Fault and Compensation

In the unfortunate event of a pedestrian accident, establishing fault becomes paramount in pursuit of compensation for injuries and damages. Texas follows the modified comparative negligence rule in personal injury cases. This rule dictates that a plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by their percentage of fault in the accident.

For example, if a pedestrian is found to be 20% responsible for the accident, they can only recover 80% of their damages. This principle is codified in Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 33.001.

Several crucial factors contribute to determining fault in a pedestrian accident.

  • Driver behavior: Was the driver speeding, distracted, under the influence, or violating any traffic laws? These violations can be established by police reports, witness accounts, or dashcam footage.
  • Pedestrian behavior: Was the pedestrian crossing the street legally or jaywalking? Witness statements and CCTV footage can help clarify this point.
  • Weather conditions: Did rain, snow, or fog play a role in the accident? Weather reports and eyewitness accounts can provide valuable information.
  • Traffic signal status: Was the pedestrian crossing with or against the traffic signal? This information can be obtained from the police report or eyewitness accounts.

learn how to protect your rights if a car hit you while crossing the street

Gathering Evidence and Documentation

Securing evidence is crucial for building a strong personal injury case. The following can be significantly impactful.

Police Report

Obtain a copy of the official police report filed at the accident scene. This document typically includes details like driver and pedestrian information, weather conditions, and observations by the responding officers.

Medical Records 

Maintain meticulous records of all medical bills, treatment plans, and doctor’s notes related to your injuries. These records will be crucial in demonstrating the extent of your injuries and the medical expenses incurred.

Witness Statements

Obtain contact information from any individuals who witnessed the accident. Their written statements can corroborate your account of the incident and provide valuable insights.

Photos and Videos

Capture photos and videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any damage to your property. These visuals can serve as compelling evidence when presenting your case.

How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help

Navigating the complexities of a personal injury claim can be overwhelming. Consulting with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can be an invaluable asset. A seasoned attorney can provide comprehensive assistance in several aspects:

  • Accident Investigation: Your lawyer will meticulously investigate the accident, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and reconstruct the events leading to the incident. This in-depth investigation will help establish fault and build a strong case.
  • Insurance Negotiation: Insurance companies often attempt to offer settlements that fail to adequately compensate victims for their injuries. A skilled lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, ensuring you receive a fair and just settlement.
  • Litigation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your lawyer will represent you in court. Their legal expertise will be crucial in presenting your case effectively and securing the compensation you deserve.

Remember, you have rights after a pedestrian accident. By understanding your legal options and seeking experienced legal representation, you can maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney at Brent Coon & Associates at 409-222-2222 to discuss your specific case.

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