If you were the victim of driver negligence while walking along or crossing a street, you should contact one of the experienced Grapevine, TX pedestrian accident attorneys at Glenn Law Firm to ensure proper legal representation and negotiation of your personal injury claim. You are about to cross the road and you hear screeching tires. Next, you are lying on the ground and in pain. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents happen all too frequently across the state of Texas. And they leave people with severe injuries, in pain, and, possibly, with lifelong scars and impairments.
Texas - One of the Most Dangerous States for Pedestrians
Unfortunately, the chances of pedestrians being injured in traffic accidents are on the increase. A recent report released by the Texas Department of Transportation indicates a 5% increase in pedestrian deaths in 2019 compared to the previous year. At the same time, a statistical report prepared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that Texas is in the top 10 nationwide for pedestrian fatalities.
The Texas Department of Transportation reports further details that 1,317 people suffered pedestrian injuries after collisions with passenger cars. As for the main reasons why these accidents happen, the TXDoT identified two main issues:
- pedestrians fail to follow traffic safety laws
- drivers fail to exercise due care on the road.
What Are the Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
In many cases, a pedestrian gets hit by a motor vehicle because a negligent driver or a drunk driver fails to give right of way to pedestrians. Even if a pedestrian is jaywalking, the Texas Transportation Code clearly stipulates that drivers should exercise due care at all times, including with respect to:
- avoiding a collision with a pedestrian on the roadway
- warning pedestrians by honking the motor vehicle horn
- exercising proper caution when they observe a child or an obviously incapacitated or confused person on the roadway.
Despite these warning, pedestrian accident victims are on the rise and the reasons for this are:
Texting and driving is one of the most common and most dangerous distractions while driving a car. A driver should be focused on the road at all times, with no exceptions. Even a second of not paying attention can cause a car to hit another vehicle, a motorcyclist, a bicyclist or a person on foot.
However, despite increasingly strict laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving, distracted driving remains a leading cause of traffic accidents, causing death and devastation to innocent pedestrians and their families.
Speeding is one of the most common causes of all traffic collisions. Even an experienced driver can lose control over a vehicle at very high speed. Also, potholes and debris on the road can cause a vehicle to suddenly change direction, especially if it is above the legal speed limit.
Driving under Influence
Drunk driving or driving under influence of drugs is a major violation of traffic laws, so much so that it may be treated as gross negligence by a judge and jury. Drunk drivers are responsible for countless fatal injuries among fellow drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists. With their focus and reaction speed impaired, they are unable to avoid a collision.
Failing to Yield Right of Way
Pedestrians have the right of way in several situations, including while crossing a road where no traffic signs or controls are present if:
- they are on the half of the road where the vehicle is driving
- they are approaching so closely from the other half of the road as to be in danger.
Moreover, a vehicle approaching another vehicle that stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the road may not pass it.
Despite these clear rules included in the Texas Code of Transportation, many pedestrians at crosswalks are hit by cars, because the motor vehicle operator failed in their duty of care and did not give them the right of way.
Types of Injuries Sustained by Pedestrian Accident Victims
Grapevine, TX pedestrian injury attorneys have seen the many ways in which people can have their lives changed forever after such an accident. Broken bones and soft tissue damage are the most common injuries after a collision with a vehicle.
However, a pedestrian accident victim may also suffer a catastrophic injury, requiring extensive medical care, such as:
- traumatic brain injury
- spinal injury
- loss of limb
Thus, the accident victims are left not only with the physical pain and mental anguish caused by the accident but also the financial burden of high hospital bills, specialized treatments, and long-term around the clock care.
For these reasons, all pedestrians injured in traffic accidents in Grapevine, TX should hire an experienced attorney to prepare their claim for damages and negotiate it with the auto insurance adjuster.
Types of Damages You Are Entitled to Receive
A claim for compensation in a personal injury case in the state of Texas may include three types of damages:
- economic damages
- non-economic damages
- punitive damages.
Economic damages cover the financial losses and expenses you incurred as a direct result of the accident, including:
- ambulance ride
- hospital stay
- medical treatment costs
- other medical expenses
- property damage (any personal item, such as a cell phone, damaged in the accident)
- loss of income
- loss of earning capacity.
Non-economic damages will compensate you for the pain and suffering you have to go through as a result of the accident, including:
- emotional distress and trauma
- loss of enjoyment of life
- loss of consortium
- loss of companionship.
Punitive damages may be awarded by court at the end of a personal injury trial if the at-fault driver is found to have acted with gross negligence.
What If You Were Partly at Fault for the Accident?
As we explained above, some Grapevine, TX pedestrian accidents are caused by the pedestrians' failure to comply with traffic safety rules. However, this does not mean that you do not have a case at all. While you should pay attention to traffic control signs and road signs, drivers operating a 4,000-plus-pound vehicle should give extra attention to people walking by the road or trying to cross it.
Moreover, the state of Texas applies the comparative negligence rule in deciding who has the right to seek financial compensation. This means that if the injured party is less than 51% at fault for the accident, they are eligible to seek compensation for pedestrian crashes.
Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Navigating pedestrian accident claims on your own is not a good idea. First of all, you are vulnerable - in pain, confused and worried about the extent of your injuries. Insurance companies are known for their aggressive treatment of an injury victim: they will force their hand to sign a claims settlement for a lowball amount or attempt to persuade them that they do not have a case and will not get any kind of compensation.
Secondly, an experienced attorney will explain all your legal options in great detail, so that you make the right choice: accepting a settlement or taking your case to court.
Moreover, the auto collision lawyer will be able to collect various pieces of evidence to build a solid case, such as:
- the police report prepared at the accident scene
- your medical record indicating the extent of your injuries
- records indicating cell phone usage by the driver at the moment of the accident
- witness statements, photos and videos
- traffic camera recordings.
At Glenn Law Firm you will find a team of Grapevine, TX pedestrian injury attorneys with a combined experience of decades and a proven track record of excellent representation for their clients. We are the force of the law fighting on your behalf to win the fair compensation you deserve.
Call us now to get a free case review: 817-424-5999!