The last thing anyone expects when they go for a walk is to get hit by a car, but it happens – frequently.
In Texas, pedestrian accidents occur more often at night (visibility is a factor) and in cities more often than in rural areas.
However, in cities, pedestrian accidents do not happen most often in intersections, like one might assume; they happen in crosswalks, on sidewalks or on the side of the road. These types of injuries can be devastating or fatal.
The offending driver may be held responsible for damages in a negligence case, which could include:
The injured plaintiff would have two years from the date of injury to bring a personal injury case (keep in mind that it’s also two years for wrongful death). Let’s take a look at Texas pedestrian laws in detail.
According to the state’s pedestrian and right-of-way laws, walkers must obey official traffic control devices unless those are superseded by a police official who happens to be standing there controlling traffic. A device would include signals, traffic signs and pavement striping.
If there isn’t a sidewalk there to use, walkers should only use the left side of the road facing traffic; that way, they can see whoever is coming toward them.
When crossing the street, pedestrians are:
There are, of course, more rules... but they are very particular (“Don’t jump from a publicly owned bridge”), and most of them don’t apply to regular people.
Most pedestrian accidents occur because new drivers focus on cars, not people. The most that Driver’s Education classes focus on is “Don’t Hit Those People.”
This can lead to forgetting about pedestrian laws later on or driving in a reckless fashion. Some of the more common reasons for pedestrian accidents include:
Think of your car. Even if it’s not very big – a sedan, maybe, or a VW Bug – it could still do some serious damage if it hit something.
Now think of it hitting a person. A tiny person who is not fully clothed from playing goalie at the hockey game. In comparison, the fact that anyone can survive such an encounter is astonishing.
Severe injuries are frequent, because the forward momentum from the car is then transferred to the person, which then flings them forward several feet or yards. When the person lands, that can result in many types of injuries, like:
Texas follows the concept of “comparative negligence” in personal injury cases. This is also called “proportionate responsibility.”
Basically, this means that a formula is followed to calculate a degree of fault for each driver. The amount of recover you can receive will be reduced by the percentage of your own negligence in contributing to the accident.
So, if you flung yourself in front of the car, you probably won’t receive anything. If you weren’t looking when you walked into the crosswalk, the jury might find you 30% responsible and reduce your damages accordingly.
Furthermore, Texas follows the “51% bar rule,” which means that if you are more than 51% to blame for your injuries, you cannot recover anything. Now, you can still get 50%, but 51% means nothing.
It helps to have an attorney on your side that can help you stay under that 51% bar and get the damages you need to help while you recover. Check out the Enjuris law firm directory for Texas and talk with a qualified attorney now.
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