Were you a pedestrian injured in a traffic accident?
What is a Pedestrian Accident?
- Most pedestrian accidents take place in urban and non-intersection areas.
- More than two-thirds of pedestrians killed are male and almost one-fifth of fatalities are of Hispanic origin.
- In the United States, a pedestrian is killed in a vehicle crash every 107 minutes.
- Saturday and Sunday have the highest probability for pedestrian accidents.
- The deadliest days of the year for pedestrian accidents are January 1st followed by October 31st.
In 2018, Texas had the third-highest number of pedestrian traffic fatalities, with more than 564 reported in that year alone. Injuries from these accidents can be catastrophic, life-changing, and even result in death. This reinforces the importance of knowing what to do if you become the victim of such an accident.
Why choose Angel Reyes as your Pedestrian Accident Law Firm?
Unfortunately, speeding, impaired driving, and distraction remain key factors in pedestrian knock-downs. If you or a loved one were hurt because of a negligent driver, it’s essential to align yourself with an experienced team. The Dallas car accident attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley leverage their knowledge and resources to help pedestrian accident victims pursue fair financial recovery for their losses.
In the past three decades, Angel L. Reyes has helped clients secure over $800 million in compensation for their injuries while the firm boasts an overall 98% success rate. When going up against insurance companies, it pays to have a skilled advocate whose expertise in personal injury litigation gives victims an upper hand. Our lawyers take pride in offering results-driven, compassionate, and professional legal support to victims throughout Dallas. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee arrangement, meaning there are no upfront costs. We only get paid if money damages are recovered in your claim.
What Causes a Pedestrian Accident?
Both drivers and pedestrians are expected to obey the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care at all times. Unfortunately, negligent driving leads to dozens of injuries each year, and Texas is among the top 5 states for pedestrian fatalities.
At Reyes Browne Reilley, our personal injury lawyers investigate pedestrian knock-downs arising from reckless motorist behavior, such as:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drowsy driving
- Disobeying traffic lights and signs
- Failure to yield right of way to pedestrians
- Failing to use a signal when turning in a crosswalk
It costs nothing to speak to a dedicated attorney about your rights to compensation. The initial case review is complimentary and, you are under no obligation to retain our services.
How Can You Stay Safe?
Pedestrian accidents are unfortunately very common and the best way to decrease your chances of becoming a victim is to be proactive and exercise reasonable care. Some things to remember:
- If you’re walking or biking in the dark, carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing so you can be easily seen by traffic.
- Always walk on the sidewalk. If there isn’t a sidewalk available, be sure to walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic.
- Cross the road at crosswalks or intersections where drivers are expecting to see pedestrians. If there isn’t a crosswalk available, wait for a gap in traffic that will allow you enough time to cross safely, and continue to look for traffic as you cross.
- If you’re intoxicated, avoid walking as alcohol can impair your reflexes and judgement.
Seeking Maximum Compensation for Pedestrian Injuries
Pedestrian accident claims are seldom straightforward, and when victims incur debilitating injuries and economic losses, your choice of a law firm can make a world of difference.
Our veteran attorneys will advance a strong case that demands full compensation for losses such as:
- Past and future hospital expenses
- Loss of wages
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Loss of future earning potential
- Permanent disability
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Car Accidents
When motor vehicles and pedestrians collide, the impact can result in devastating injuries for the person traveling on foot. Pedestrians are vulnerable in these situations, as they have virtually no protection from the impact with a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, many pedestrians are killed in traffic collisions throughout the United States every year.
Numerous individuals suffer non-life-threatening injuries in pedestrian accidents every day. While some of these injuries might be relatively minor, it is not unusual for these injuries to have life-changing consequences.
Types of Injuries in Accidents Involving Pedestrians
Common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Head trauma
- Whiplash and Neck Trauma
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal injuries
- Bone fractures
Damage to the head is frequently severe. These injuries are common with pedestrian accidents, as the force of the car could knock over the pedestrian and cause their head to strike the pavement.
Head trauma can cause skull fractures and damage to the brain. Traumatic brain injuries can have permanent side effects, including cognitive issues, personality changes, tinnitus, or chronic headaches.
There are different types of traumatic brain injuries. While concussions are the most common example of these injuries, other forms of traumatic brain injuries could include diffuse axonal injuries, brain contusions, or penetrating wounds.
Damage to the spinal cord is another serious injury that is common in pedestrian accidents. The spinal cord could suffer damage following an impact to the head, neck, or back. One of the most significant consequences of spinal damage is paralysis.
Paralysis can take multiple forms. In rare cases, it could impact only a single limb or side of the body. More common forms of paralysis include paraplegia and quadriplegia. Paraplegia is the loss of feeling or motor control from the waist down. Quadriplegia involves paralysis below the neck.
Severe burns can occur in a pedestrian accident under certain circumstances. When the vehicle involved in the accident suffers major damage, it can catch on fire. This fire could cause extensive burn injuries to a pedestrian trapped against or beneath the burning vehicle. These burns can lead to permanent scarring and disfigurement. In many cases, a burn could also cause chronic pain that lasts for the rest of the injury victim’s life.
Injuries to organs within the body can also occur in a pedestrian accident. These injuries are common in these cases due to the high propensity for pedestrians to be crushed by an automobile. Internal injuries could involve acute damage to the organs themselves. Additionally, internal bleeding is also a potentially life-threatening consequence of internal injuries.
Broken bones are one of the most common injuries in a pedestrian injury accident. The specific type of fracture suffered by a pedestrian will depend in part on how the accident occurred. For example, a pedestrian that is knocked on their back could suffer broken ribs. Alternatively, broken legs or ankles are common for pedestrians that are run over by an automobile. Fractures in the arms, wrists, feet, and skull are also common.
Frequently Asked Questions on Pedestrian Accidents
What should you do if you’re a Pedestrian hit by a car?
Seek medical care
As a pedestrian, your first step following a car accident should involve seeking medical treatment. In many cases, a pedestrian’s injuries are so severe that emergency medical intervention is necessary. However, even if your injuries seem minor, it is still best to see a doctor. This ensures the creation of medical records that can bolster your claim while limiting the severity of your injuries through prompt treatment.
Contact the police
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, you should report it to the police immediately. In fact, the law requires reporting accidents to law enforcement in cases of bodily injury or serious property damage. If you are severely injured, another party can file the report on your behalf. When the police arrive, they will typically take a statement from everyone involved.
Investigate the scene
If you do not require emergency medical care, try to gather evidence at the accident scene. This might involve taking photographs of the intersection, street signs, skid marks, the weather, as well as the car that hit you. This step should also include speaking with any witnesses. When an independent witness testifies that the driver was responsible for the accident, the jury could give their testimony substantial weight.
Do Pedestrians have the right of way in Texas?
There is a common belief that pedestrians always have the right of way, but that is not true in Texas. Personal injury lawyers know that these accidents can be devastating, so it is in everyone’s best interests to follow what the law prescribes.
When Pedestrians Have the Right of Way
The Texas Transportation Code specifies when pedestrians have the right of way and when drivers have it. You can help avoid a Dallas car accident by knowing that pedestrians have the right of way in the following situations:
- If a pedestrian signal says “Walk,” and the individual crosses the street
- A pedestrian crosses the street in a marked or unmarked crosswalk going in the same direction of traffic when the light is green
- The pedestrian crosses a street in a crosswalk and is in the same half of the road as the approaching vehicle
- When a car exits from a driveway, building, or alley, and a pedestrian is walking on a sidewalk that crosses it.
When do Drivers Have the Right of Way?
There are also several situations where the driver has the right of way, including the following:
- The pedestrian approaches an intersection that has a steady red or yellow signal
- The pedestrian signal says “Don’t Walk”
- The pedestrian crosses the street at an intersection outside of a crosswalk
- A pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing is available, but the pedestrian crosses the street anyway
- A pedestrian is standing in a safe location such as a curb and suddenly enters the crosswalk when it is too late for an approaching vehicle to stop
- If two adjacent intersections both have operating traffic signals, then the pedestrian may only cross the street between those two signals if they are in a marked crosswalk
- If a sidewalk is available, pedestrians are not allowed to walk on the road
An experienced attorney will investigate what caused the pedestrian accident in Dallas and whether or not the driver is liable. If they are, then the pedestrian may be able to recover a number of economic and non-economic damages, ranging from medical bills to pain and suffering to loss of consortium.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accidents?
The Statute of Limitations dictates your deadline to file a lawsuit. To determine the statute of limitations in a Dallas pedestrian accident lawsuit, there are several facts to consider:
- Whether or not the victim survived the car accident
- Whether the defendant is a government entity
- Whether any exceptions may apply to your case
In Most Cases, You Have Two Years
In general, the statute of limitations is two years. You need to either file a lawsuit or risk losing your legal right to do so.
In accidents where the victim eventually died, more time may be allotted. For example, if someone is severely injured and succumbs three months later due to those injuries, then the statute of limitations would not begin to “toll” (or start ticking) until their death.
Is it Ever Shorter Than Two Years?
In accidents where the defendant is a government entity, then your Dallas pedestrian accident lawyer would have six months in which to file a notice of claim. Notably, in some instances against government entities, it may be even less than six months. Two examples of a pedestrian accident lawsuit against a government entity would be if the victim were hit by a police vehicle or a school bus.
Do any Exceptions Apply to My Case?
There are exceptions to the Statute of Limitations. Pursuant to Chapter 16 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, if the pedestrian who was injured is under 18 years old or is “of unsound mind,” it does not begin to run until the victim either turns 18 or becomes mentally competent. Another exception is– if the driver who allegedly hit the pedestrian leaves the state of Texas for a period of time after the accident– the clock will pause until that person returns.
Who is at Fault if a Pedestrian is Hit By a Car While Jaywalking?
However, jaywalking does not entirely absolve the driver of liability. Thanks to Texas’ approach to comparative negligence, a jaywalking pedestrian could still be entitled to recover monetary compensation following an accident. If a motorist has struck you, a Texas car accident lawyer might be able to help.
Jaywalking laws in Texas
As noted, jaywalking is illegal per the Texas Transportation Code Section 552.005. Pedestrians are required to yield the right-of-way to vehicles when crossing the road– unless within a marked crosswalk.
Typically, evidence of a party violating the right-of-way can be used as evidence of negligence in a civil lawsuit. However, more than one factor can lead to a pedestrian accident. The law does not automatically prohibit a plaintiff from seeking compensation if they are partially at fault.
How state law approaches shared fault
It’s possible for an injured pedestrian to recover compensation even if they were jaywalking at the time– thanks to a legal doctrine known as modified comparative negligence. Under this, sharing in the fault of an accident will not bar a plaintiff from recovering compensation for their injuries.
Under modified comparative negligence, a pedestrian is only barred from recovering compensation for their injuries if they are more than 50 percent liable for causing the accident. If the driver’s actions primarily contributed to the accident, a jaywalking pedestrian could still be entitled to compensation.
At trial, a jury will assign a degree of fault to every party. In cases where the plaintiff’s degree of fault is 50 percent or less, the jury will enter an award in their favor. The jury is required to reduce the amount by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault, however. A Dallas pedestrian accident attorney can advise you on the potential of shared responsibility or fault– in your case.
Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Protect Pedestrians in Texas?
When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, the driver’s insurance will typically reimburse the medical costs associated with the pedestrian’s injuries. If the driver is uninsured or underinsured, then the uninsured motorist coverage that the pedestrian carries under their auto insurance policy will generally handle those costs.
What costs and expenses will be reimbursed by uninsured motorist coverage?
Even though Texas does not require drivers to carry uninsured motorist insurance, drivers should have it. By some estimates, up to 14% of all drivers in Texas do not carry any insurance. Suppose an uninsured driver strikes you. In that case, your own uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage will reimburse expenses for common injuries and damages, including medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Will an insurance carrier deny coverage if a pedestrian was at fault for the accident?
A pedestrian can be at fault, for example, by crossing a street against a traffic light or not remaining within the crosswalk. Texas law applies a form of comparative negligence that might preclude an injured pedestrian from recovering damages. For example, if a pedestrian is determined to be more than 51% at fault for an accident. An experienced attorney will be your best advocate for negotiating with your insurance company to prevent any denial of UMBI coverage due to claims of personal fault.
What is the deadline to file a claim for UMBI coverage?
In response to the inquiry “is there a statute of limitations to file a claim for UMBI coverage,” pedestrians should understand that Texas law requires an injured party to file a lawsuit for damages within two years after an accident. Insurance companies typically impose a much shorter period for filing claims. Accordingly, a pedestrian who has suffered injuries should not hesitate to initiate a UMBI claim.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident, Call Us Now!
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident as the result of a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, disability, lost wages, and the pain and suffering you’ve experienced. Call us at (214) 526-7900 for a free consultation with our Dallas car accident attorneys. Our phone lines are open and our attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley are ready to help you get on the road to recovery.