Brian White | September 29, 2023 | Pedestrian Accident
Suppose a car hits a pedestrian. Who pays the medical bill for the actions of negligent drivers? Who pays the bill for impaired drivers? If you are hit by a car in Houston, this question is going to become very important to you, and very quickly. When a pedestrian gets hit by a car in Houston, several options may arise.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Following is a list of some of the most common factors that lead to pedestrian accidents, organized into two sections: (i) driver negligence and (ii) environmental factors.
Driver negligence causes most pedestrian accidents. This might mean:
- Texting and driving;
- Backing up without looking;
- Running red lights;
- Failure to yield to pedestrians;
- Sudden lane changes;
- Lane splitting (motorcyclists);
- Failure to signal lane changes;
- Failure to check blind spots;
- Reckless driving: Racing, tailgating, speeding, and other similar behaviors can all cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle and spin out of control, hitting a pedestrian;
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance (driving in the dark without working headlights, for example); and
- Any number of other negligent acts or omissions.
Many “driver negligence” accidents are simply the result of driver inexperience.
When environmental factors cause a pedestrian accident, the accident is sometimes nobody’s fault. This is bad news if you’re an injured pedestrian. In some cases, however, a party might bear liability for failing to take precautions against a known environmental risk. The two most common environmental factors leading to pedestrian accidents are:
- Poor road conditions. This could mean unrepaired potholes, lack of signage, inadequate lighting, and more. Such conditions are almost always the fault of a government. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to sue a government for money damages. Road construction can generate challenges for drivers. Construction workers are often the pedestrians who get hit in construction zone accidents.
- Weather conditions: Rain, snow, fog, and other hazards. The legal community often refers to such conditions as “Acts of God.” Nevertheless, it is often possible to hold a human liable for failing to properly prepare for or deal with anticipated weather conditions. For example, a driver who hits a pedestrian while driving in the fog with their bright lights on is likely to bear liability.
It would be impossible to list every single factor that might increase the likelihood of a pedestrian accident, but these are some of the most prominent.
How Can I Pay My Medical Bills After a Pedestrian Accident?
Medical bills for pedestrian accidents can grow exponentially because pedestrian accidents frequently generate catastrophic injuries, such as concussions and spinal cord injuries. Following are a few possible options for paying your bills:
- File a third-party claim against the driver’s insurance (if they were at fault). Since Texas is a “fault” auto insurance state, this approach should work, at least up to the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage. You might have to negotiate a settlement.
- Go to trial. If the jury takes your side, the defendant must compensate you.
- Your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. You can file a claim against your own PIP insurance policy, no matter whose fault the accident was. Strictly speaking, Texas does not require its drivers to purchase PIP insurance. You will get it anyway, though, unless you turn it down in writing. It pays benefits even if you were a pedestrian.
- Your health insurance: Your health insurance will pay your medical expenses regardless of fault. They might seek reimbursement, however, from any settlement or judgment you receive. This is to ensure that you don’t receive a double recovery for the same injury.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: UM/UIM insurance is not mandatory in Texas. If you have it, though, it will pay off even if the driver who hit you was uninsured or uninsured. It also pays off for hit-and-run accidents, even if you are never able to locate the driver.
- Workers’ compensation: Workers’ compensation might apply if, for example, you are a construction worker hit by a motorist on a highway.
Other options, such as Medicare, might also be available.
There Is No Better Time To Contact a Houston Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Than Right Now
The sooner you press your claim, the better your chances of both winning and receiving every penny you are entitled to. The longer you wait, however, the more stale the evidence will grow. Physical evidence deteriorates, and witness memories fade.
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054