Brian White | September 15, 2020 | News
Just before 6:00 a.m., a person in a wheelchair crossing a street in southeast Houston died after being struck by a vehicle. The accident occurred on Holmes Road near Scott Street. According to Houston Police, the area is not well-lit.
The driver of the vehicle remained at the accident scene. The police said that it does not appear the driver was speeding at the time of the crash or that there were any other issues.
Pedestrian Deaths Continue to Increase in the United States
The tragic death above is another example of the dangers posed to pedestrians on U.S. streets. The number of pedestrian deaths in American has been increasing each year for several years. The current predictions state that 2019 will be the worst year for pedestrian deaths in 30 days.
Texas is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. In 2018, Texas had the highest number of motor vehicle fatalities in the country. The state had the third-highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the country.
Fatalities are only one problem. Many pedestrians sustain severe injuries in an accident. A pedestrian could sustain:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head and brain damage
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
Pedestrians and drivers can work together to decrease the number of pedestrians injured and killed each year in Texas.
How Can Motorists and Pedestrians Decrease the Number of Pedestrian Accidents in Houston?
There are numerous things that motorists and pedestrians can do to improve safety and reduce the number of accidents. Both pedestrians and motorists need to avoid distractions when driving and walking. Distractions are one of the common causes of pedestrian accidents.
Also, pedestrians and motorists need to avoid walking and driving after consuming alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drug use increase the chance of a traffic accident involving a pedestrian.
Specific steps that motorists can take to reduce the chance of a pedestrian accident include:
- Slow down, especially in neighborhoods, school zones, and near parks and playgrounds
- Always slow down when approaching an intersection and look for pedestrians who might cross the road
- Yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks
Pedestrians can also take steps to avoid an accident. Wearing brightly colored closing and walking with a flashlight can help increase visibility. Whenever possible, walk on the sidewalk and avoid walking at night, dusk, and dawn.
When preparing to cross the street, always look both ways and double-check both ways before crossing. Try to make eye contact with motorists stopped at a crosswalk or intersection before crossing the road. Pedestrians need to follow all traffic laws for pedestrians.
Can a Pedestrian Be Blamed for a Pedestrian Accident?
However, a pedestrian could be to blame for the cause of a car accident. If the pedestrian is disobeying traffic laws, the pedestrian could be at fault. For example, the pedestrian crosses an intersection against the light.
If a pedestrian contributed to the cause of an accident, the person might still recover compensation for damages, but the amount of the award may be reduced.
The contributory laws in Texas state that the victim’s award for an accident is reduced by the percent of fault assigned to the victim for the cause of the accident. If the pedestrian is 51 percent or more at fault for the cause of the accident, the pedestrian does not receive any money for an injury claim.
What Compensation Can a Pedestrian Receive for an Injury Claim?
If you sustain an injury in a pedestrian accident, you could receive compensation from the driver who hit you. The insurance company for the motorist generally pays the injury claim. The company is only liable up to the policy limits.
Damages that are often included in a pedestrian accident claim are:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Impairments and disabilities
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of income and benefits
- Decreases in earning potential
- Medical bills and expenses
Carefully documenting your damages increases your chance of recovery. See a doctor as soon as possible after a pedestrian accident. Make sure that you keep copies of all bills, invoices, proof of lost wages, and other evidence of your financial losses.
Your lawyer will work to gather evidence proving the driver was entirely to blame for the accident. An attorney can also help you document damages and avoid mistakes that could hurt your pedestrian accident claim.