Can You Sue if You Are Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian in Texas?
Pedestrian car accidents are often some of the most dangerous crashes. Where victims of bicycle accidents and motorcycle accidents may at least have a helmet, people on foot are some of the most vulnerable car crash victims. If you or a loved one was hit by a car as a pedestrian, it is important to understand your rights. For help with your case and for more information about filing a lawsuit against the driver, contact the Dallas pedestrian accident lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm today.
Can I File a Lawsuit for a Pedestrian Car Accident?
Any time you are injured in a car accident in Texas, you can file a lawsuit for your injuries. Texas law requires all drivers to carry car insurance in an attempt to reduce the number of car crashes. Usually, damages may be available to cover minor injuries and vehicle damage if you file through insurance. However, more serious injuries or car accident deaths may require a lawsuit for full compensation.
In a pedestrian accident, the injuries are often more severe than in a car crash, or the victim is killed. The crumple zones and bumpers on cars work to reduce the impact of an accident, but when the victim is hit directly, the car has substantially greater momentum and can cause serious injuries. Even low-speed pedestrian accidents can cause broken bones or knock a pedestrian to the ground, causing severe brain trauma. If the driver runs over the victim, they could suffer serious crushing injuries. These kinds of injuries often require emergency medical intervention and could be life-threatening.
Texas law requires minimum levels of auto insurance, but these are often too low to cover pedestrian injuries. The minimum insurance coverage ensures only $30,000 of coverage per person for physical injuries and $60,000 per accident. These damages may hardly cover the hospital stays and emergency transportation for some accidents, let alone the cost of surgeries, medical imaging, rehabilitation, and ongoing home care for more severe injuries.
When you file for a lawsuit, you may also open the door to additional damages that an insurance claim will not cover. Insurance typically only covers medical expenses and lost wages up to policy limits. There may also be deductibles or reduced coverage limits that prevent you from receiving full compensation. In a lawsuit, you can claim 100% of the damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from the accident. This can include complex damages, like reduced earning capacity, if permanent injuries make it harder to work. These can also cover non-economic damages, like pain and suffering compensation, which is difficult to place a dollar amount on.
Proving Your Pedestrian Accident Case
Texas law makes efforts to protect pedestrians from car accidents. Anywhere in Texas, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks. If there are traffic control signals for pedestrians, they should yield to cars in the street when the signal says to – but drivers should always be on the lookout for pedestrians. Especially if the pedestrian is blind or visually impaired, the driver could face serious legal penalties for causing an accident.
Many pedestrian accidents occur due to drivers running a red light or stop sign or turns through a crosswalk. If you were injured in this way while obeying any “do not cross” signals, the driver will have violated rules specifically intended to protect pedestrians and others.
When you sue for a car accident claim, you must prove that the at-fault driver breached a duty that they owed you, and that breach resulted in your injuries. Failing to follow clear traffic laws regarding pedestrians in crosswalks is an excellent example of a breach of duty that can cause serious injuries. In other cases, the driver may have been speeding, driving under the influence, or driving distracted. Many drunk driving and texting and driving accidents put pedestrians in unnecessary danger when the drivers fail to follow the rules of the road.
To prove your case, you must also prove the injuries you suffered. If you sought immediate medical care after the accident, your medical records could help provide excellent evidence of how severe your injuries were. In addition, the hospital bills and checks paid from your bank account can show how much you actually spent on medical care.
If you missed work, you can prove the lost wages by presenting evidence of your typical wages. Financial experts can testify to how this income would change in the future, and how much you would lose moving forward with your injury.
Pain and suffering can be difficult to prove, but well worth it. These damages are often the highest portion of damages in a car accident lawsuit, and Texas law places no caps or restrictions on these damages for car crash cases.
Dallas, TX Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Dallas while walking on foot, contact The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Arlington TX personal injury lawyers have decades of experience representing car accident victims, and we fight to ensure that our clients get the full compensation they need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For a free consultation on your case, call us today at (817) 476-1797.