Walking is a part of daily life for many Texans, but pedestrian accidents are a sobering reality across the state. The bustling streets of Houston and other major Texas cities pose significant risks, often leading to serious, sometimes fatal outcomes for pedestrians. Here’s what you need to know if you or a loved one has been involved in such an accident.
Understanding the Risks and Responsibilities
Car-pedestrian accidents have been on the rise nationwide since they reached a low point in 2009, currently accounting for about one in five crash fatalities. Texas ranks high in pedestrian accidents. In 2022, there were 5,764 car-pedestrian accidents across the state. Over 1,500 of these accidents resulted in serious injuries—including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, or disfigurement—and 829 people died.
When it comes to roadway safety, pedestrians and drivers share responsibility. Pedestrians should adhere to rules like using crosswalks and following traffic signals, while drivers must obey speed limits, use turn signals, and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Texas and other states have been addressing the rise in pedestrian deaths by adding more sidewalks, improving pedestrian signals at crosswalks, and increasing education.
The Complicated Path to Compensation
If you’ve been struck by a vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. However, determining a fair settlement as a pedestrian hit by a car is complex. Texas is a tort state, meaning the at-fault party is primarily responsible for paying medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages. However, if the driver is uninsured or the accident was a hit-and-run, the situation becomes more challenging.
Shared Fault and Other Legal Nuances
Liability isn’t always clear-cut when a pedestrian is hit with a car by accident. Texas follows a modified contributory negligence rule, which means you can only recover damages if you are 50% or less at fault. The compensation you receive is also reduced by your percentage of fault. Therefore, even if it’s apparent to you that the driver was at fault, their insurance company may attempt to spread the blame around to minimize your claim. This is why having experienced legal representation is crucial.
The Importance of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Given the intricacies of pedestrian accident claims in Texas, nothing replaces the support of a skilled attorney. This legal professional can help you navigate the claims process, establish liability, and negotiate a fair settlement. If the insurance company attempts to make a lowball offer, your attorney will fight to ensure you receive full compensation, taking your case to court if necessary.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Texas
At Nava Law Group, we bring over 150 years of combined legal experience, dedication to our clients’ needs, and an impeccable track record to every case we represent. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll a pedestrian accident can take on you and your family. That’s why we’re committed to helping you navigate this challenging time and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us at 713.661.9900 for a free consultation at one of our personal injury law offices in Houston, Bellaire, Edinburg, or Austin, TX.