Texas is not known as a pedestrian-friendly state and ranks highest in the number of both car accidents and fatal car accidents. As a result, there are a high number of pedestrian accidents as well since drivers do not expect too many pedestrians on a number of Texas roadways.
If you or a family member have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you have certain rights available to you that an experienced Houston pedestrian accident lawyer can assist you with. Brian White is an experienced Houston personal injury attorney with a high success rate in a number of severe accident cases.
Call us today for a free initial consultation so we can review your case and determine the best strategy to receive the maximum amount of compensation to cover your injuries.
Personal injury cases must be brought within a specific time period, so it is important to contact us as soon as possible so we can ensure your case gets settled. Texas law gives the injured pedestrian two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
Pedestrian Accidents in Texas
According to the Texas DOT 2013 highlights, there were 485 Texas pedestrian fatalities in 2013 which is a 0.4% decrease from 2012. This is a step in the right direction for people who attempt to walk to work or walk to nearby stores from their home. There is a large push for large cities in Texas to become more urban and accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists, but the state has yet to implement any further regulations for drivers who break the law regarding pedestrian right of ways.
Pedestrian accidents are typically the fault of a driver who is not paying attention to the road or is not prepared to look for pedestrians crossing the street. Pedestrians usually have the right of way in most crosswalks and sidewalks, though aggressive drivers may think otherwise.
Additionally, many accidents involving pedestrians also occur in parking lots where we are accustomed to finding pedestrians, but drivers are still not as attentive as they should be. The driver must pay the price for any injuries to the pedestrian, which are often severe.
Frequently Reported Pedestrian Injuries
Injuries incurred in a pedestrian collision are affected by the height of the pedestrian, the speed of the vehicle, and the direction of impact. Due to the nature of these accidents, injuries to the lower extremities are the most common. The initial impact is often to the legs, knees, pelvis, and shins. In child victims, initial impact can injure the head, face, and neck. Pedestrians may suffer additional injuries to the upper extremities, neck, and head if they strike the hood of the vehicle or the windshield, as well as if they hit the ground.
Traumatic brain injuries, spine injuries, internal injuries, and broken bones can all arise from pedestrian accidents. Accidents involving pedestrians often turn severe since a car traveling at even a low rate of speed has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries to a pedestrian who is unprotected. Many injuries can result in death or be extremely life-altering, causing the victim severe spinal cord or brain injuries which can impact their daily life for the rest of their lives.
Pedestrian accidents almost always injure the pedestrians more than the vehicle driver. When a car strikes a pedestrian, the collision can easily result in serious to fatal injuries to the latter. In many cases, pedestrian collisions are the fault of the person behind the wheel. Drivers in Texas should always be alert and watchful for pedestrians, but this is unfortunately not always the case. The more drivers and pedestrians know about these types of collisions in Texas, the better the odds of preventing them.
Know Your Rights as a Pedestrian
As a pedestrian, you should understand your rights and the compensation you are entitled to as a victim of an accident. Accident victims have the right to be compensated for any injuries you receive in the accident as well as any pain and suffering, lost wages, or mental anguish.
In severe accidents, you are also entitled to future income if you are permanently injured. Family members of a pedestrian killed by a motor vehicle can additionally receive compensation under the state wrongful death statute. Our Houston pedestrian accident lawyers are ready to help you understand your rights and seek justice. If an insurance company contacts you for a recorded statement following an accident, politely decline them, and then call our offices to speak with one of our skilled pedestrian accident attorneys in Houston.
Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Texas
Texas’ roadways and intersections are only safe if all parties obey traffic laws and walk signals. They become dangerous when people break the rules, don’t pay attention to the road, and fail to yield the right-of-way. The number one cause of serious pedestrian accidents in Texas is negligence. Driver errors, recklessness, and carelessness contributed to the 678 pedestrians killed in Texas in 2016 – a shocking 215% increase from 2015. The most common causes of these accidents include:
- Driver distraction. If a driver is looking down at a cell phone, he or she will not see a pedestrian step out into the roadway. Driver distractions that take the hands off of the wheel, the eyes off the road, and the mind off the driving task kill pedestrians every day.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way. At an intersection, pedestrians have the right-of-way when they have the crosswalk signal to proceed, as well as if there is no crosswalk signal and it is safe to cross. Drivers making left-hand turns at green lights must yield to crossing pedestrians. Ignoring the right-of-way causes deadly accidents.
- Poorly designed intersections. In some cases, all parties follow the rules – only to still wind up in a pedestrian collision. In these events, it could be a poorly designed crosswalk or malfunctioning traffic signal to blame. The city could also be at fault for these accidents.
Hire a Houston personal injury lawyer to investigate your accident and find out its probable cause and at-fault party or parties. If you think you contributed to the accident (by jaywalking, for example), don’t give up hope. Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that as long as you were 50% or less at fault for the accident, you could still recover damages from the other party.
Ways to Prevent Pedestrian-Vehicle Collisions
As a driver, the best way to prevent running into a pedestrian is to be attentive to the road at all times. Glancing down at your cell phone to read a text message takes your eyes off of the road for a period of time that is the equivalent of driving across a football field blindfolded. Do not drive distracted, and be especially cautious at intersections, near crosswalks, and in school zones.
Do not exceed the speed limit, make unsafe lane changes, pass a stopped vehicle, pull out of driveways without checking for pedestrians, or roll through stop signs. As a pedestrian, you can prevent a collision by staying predictable to drivers and obeying the rules of foot traffic.
Only cross at an intersection when you have the right-of-way and when it’s safe to do so. Never cross the road where there is not a marked intersection or crosswalk. Look both ways before crossing a street, even if you have the walk signal. Wear brightly-colored clothing to stay visible to drivers, and avoid walking at night.
Contact An Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
While you or a loved one are battling injuries, our law firm can fight for your maximum compensation. Brian White is an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Houston who knows the ins and outs of Texas personal injury law. He can negotiate with insurance companies and build your case while you recover from serious injuries. Contact us online for a free consultation or call us at (713) 224-4878.