If you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, it is likely that you face serious injuries. Many car accident statistics show that pedestrians involved in car accidents often make up the largest number of injuries and deaths from these crashes, especially in densely populated areas. Drivers are often in a better position to avoid the crash, and they should be held liable in most pedestrian accident cases.
If you or a loved one faced serious injuries in a pedestrian car accident, call the Houston pedestrian car accident lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm today. Our attorneys can help you and your family recover the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages after your accident. To set up a free legal consultation, call our attorneys at (817) 476-1797.
Car Accident Injury Claims for Pedestrians in Texas
Victims of car accidents are often able to file claims against the driver’s insurance or file a lawsuit in court to seek compensation for their injuries. There is no requirement that you need to have been driving or that you need to carry your own insurance if you were injured as a pedestrian.
Filing a claim can be confusing for most people unfamiliar with car accidents. First, you may think that you need to use insurance to file your claim. Texas is a “fault” state for insurance as opposed to a “no-fault” state. This means that every driver needs to carry insurance in case they injure someone, and their insurance should pay for the injuries that are their fault. While this means that the driver likely has insurance to cover some of your damages, it does not mean that you are required to file through that insurance.
Insurance coverage usually falls short in covering damages, especially in very severe injury cases. Insurance coverage can usually pay for medical bills and lost wages after an accident, but these damages may be reduced to cover only a portion of the damages. Moreover, an insurance claim usually does not cover damages for pain and suffering. Since this can be one of the most substantial parts of the compensation in your injury case, you may be missing out if you file your claim through the driver’s insurance company.
Instead, talk to an attorney about taking your case to court. It is difficult to know if the insurance payout will be enough to cover your damages without first talking to a lawyer about what your case is worth and how much you may be able to claim in court. Our attorneys can help you value your case and understand what your injuries are worth and fight to maximize your damages by filing your claim in a court of law.
Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrians typically only come across cars on the road in two situations: either the car leaves the road surface and strikes pedestrians along the roadway or the pedestrian is crosses the street and is hit by a car. As a pedestrian walking on the road surface, it is important to always face traffic and carry a light or wear reflective clothing if you are walking at night. In these cases, the judge and jury review the totality of the circumstances to determine who is at fault for the accident, with drivers who were speeding, inattentive, or driving under the influence usually taking the blame for accidents they cause. If you are walking off the roadway, such as on a sidewalk, there are virtually no excuses as to why you should be hit by a car, and the accident is usually the driver’s fault.
In cases where the pedestrian is hit while crossing the street, there are laws that can help determine fault. The Texas Transportation Code dictates laws for drivers and pedestrians alike concerning crosswalks and right-of-way. Section 552.001 and .002 of this code give the right of way at a crosswalk to the pedestrian when they have a green light or a “Walk” sign. This applies whether the crosswalk is marked or not, and drivers must yield to these pedestrians. If a driver hits a pedestrian while the pedestrian had a green light or a “Walk” sign, the accident is likely the driver’s fault. This applies even if the driver was making a legal turn while they shared the green light since pedestrians have the right of way over the vehicle.
If there is no traffic control device or traffic light, the pedestrian still has the right of way in a crosswalk. However, drivers only need to yield to pedestrians on their side of the street, which means that drivers can make turns through a crosswalk or cross through the intersection while pedestrians are in the crosswalk – but only if their half of the road is clear.
The law does explicitly state that a pedestrian cannot step off the curb if the driver is too close to yield. In these cases, the pedestrian may actually be at least partly at fault for their own injuries, but the limit of how close a driver must be before it is “impossible for the [driver] to yield” is up to the jury to determine. As such, fault in many of these cases comes down to what the jury decides based on the evidence you present.
For a Free Consultation on Your Case, Call Our Houston Pedestrian Accident Injury Lawyers
The injuries and damages you suffer after a pedestrian car accident can be catastrophic and life-altering. For help seeking justice and compensation in your case, contact the Houston pedestrian accident lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm today. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling auto accident cases and representing victims in their fight to get financial compensation. To schedule a free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.