In 2021, there were 5,366 crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in 841 deaths. Another 1,470 people were seriously injured.
Even though pedestrians are often the most severely injured in pedestrian accidents, it may be surprising to know that pedestrians could be held responsible for road accidents.
If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you might wonder what you can recover in damages.
You may also be curious if you could be held responsible for the accident and how that may affect your case.
You deserve to recover compensation if you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, but it is difficult without a qualified pedestrian accident lawyer.
Read on to learn more about pedestrian accidents, how liability is determined in these accidents, and how an attorney can help you.
What is a Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian accident is a collision involving someone on foot and someone in a vehicle. A vehicle can be a car, motorcycle, or bicycle.
Pedestrian accidents occur everywhere, including sidewalks, parking lots, public parks, streets, and anywhere else where pedestrians share lanes of travel with drivers, motorcyclists, and bicyclists.
When a person suffers injuries in this type of accident, their pedestrian accident lawyer may encourage them to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation from the at-fault party.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Numerous types of negligence may cause a pedestrian accident, including:
- Texting and driving or other forms of distracted driving, like checking email or fiddling with the radio console;
- Failing to give right of way to pedestrians;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Failing to use a turn signal;
- Driving recklessly; and
- Failing to check for pedestrians at a crosswalk.
While these reasons commonly establish the driver’s liability, a pedestrian may also be found responsible for an accident. Common causes of pedestrian accidents which may be the fault of the pedestrian include:
- The pedestrian was distracted and not paying attention to cars, bicyclists, or motorcyclists around them;
- The pedestrian failed to use a designated crosswalk;
- The pedestrian walked in front of a vehicle that had the right of way;
- The pedestrian was under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and
- The pedestrian did not walk at a crosswalk when the walk light was on.
Even when pedestrians do nothing wrong, at-fault drivers and insurance companies may use these causes to avoid liability.
A qualified pedestrian accident attorney anticipates these strategies and works to protect your rights while fighting to get you the compensation you deserve.
When Is a Pedestrian at Fault for a Car Accident?
When is a pedestrian at fault for a car accident? Pedestrians, like drivers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians, must act according to the rules of the road.
If they fail to adhere to these rules, they may be held responsible for any pedestrian accident.
The criteria to establish a driver’s liability are the same criteria used to establish the potential liability of a pedestrian in an accident. This includes satisfying the following four elements:
- Duty. All drivers, pedestrians, and other road users must follow all traffic laws and behave reasonably.
- Breach of Duty. When a driver fails to adhere to the rules of the road and, for example, runs a red light and hits a pedestrian, they have breached their duty. Additionally, when pedestrians fail to walk within a crosswalk, they may have breached their duty to act reasonably and may have contributed to their injuries.
- Causation. The third element requires showing that the breach of duty caused someone else harm. Drivers violate laws all the time without causing injury to someone else. For you to recover damages, the breach must have caused harm to you in some meaningful way.
- Damages. The last element must establish that the injured victim suffered damages from the accident.
Proving negligence requires the legal expertise of a qualified pedestrian accident lawyer and is crucial to recovering financial compensation from the liable party.
Do I Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
Do I need a pedestrian accident attorney? Texas uses a system of modified comparative negligence. A person cannot recover damages if they are 51% or more responsible for an accident.
Within this limitation, each defendant is liable for damages in proportion to their degree of responsibility.
For example, where a driver was 70% at fault and a pedestrian was 30% at fault for an accident, the injured pedestrian’s compensation is reduced by 30%.
As a pedestrian, you may be worried if you can still recover compensation even if you believe you may have contributed to your accident somehow.
It is important to remember that you may still be eligible even if the court finds you partly responsible.
What Can I Recover?
Under Texas law, an injured victim may recover compensatory damages in the form of economic and non-economic damages from the liable party.
Economic damages represent direct financial losses resulting from your injuries. These damages include the following:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Property damage.
Receipts, invoices, pay stubs, and other documentation assist your pedestrian accident attorney in calculating and proving your economic losses.
Non-economic damages represent psychological and emotional losses resulting from your injury and include the following losses:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Permanent injury or disability.
Due to their subjective nature, proving non-economic damages will likely require the assistance of an attorney.
At Armstrong Lee & Baker, LLP, we are advocates. The relationship with our clients represents a sacred trust. We never view our clients as just a number or another case.
We are mindful of the hardship and heartache you may be experiencing and work diligently to represent the best interests of those who have been wronged, injured, and lost loved ones.
The attorneys at Armstrong Lee & Baker are well-equipped to handle all kinds of personal injury and commercial litigation and are serious about getting justice for our client’s injuries.
We have dedicated our careers to fighting for the rights of our clients.
If you or someone you care about suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, please get in touch with our pedestrian accident lawyers for a free consultation to find out how we can help you.