Simply going for a walk can be dangerous in many areas of Texas. Are you at risk? Are your loved ones at risk? If you are injured by a negligent driver while you are walking in the Austin area, contact an Austin personal injury attorney at once to discuss your right to compensation.
Everyone at some time or another is a pedestrian, and should you reside in a city like Austin, you already know that merely crossing the road can literally put your life at risk. Of course, negligent and careless motorists are not the only hazards that pedestrians encounter in cities like Austin.
Every year in this state, scores of people who are simply walking on a sidewalk are injured due to poor sidewalk and street maintenance, abandoned debris, ongoing construction work, bicyclists and skateboarders, and a number of other common and familiar risks.
Pedestrians wear no safety protection, so those injured by careless drivers may suffer severe injuries. If a careless driver strikes a pedestrian, that pedestrian may suffer back and neck injuries, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), internal injuries, abrasions, broken bones, and bruises.
Do Pedestrians Injured by Negligence Have Legal Recourse?
If a motorist is texting, speeding, intoxicated, reckless, or is negligent in any other way, should that motorist injure a pedestrian, the motorist will probably be held liable both for the collision and for the pedestrian’s injuries.
If you’re injured in the State of Texas because a driver was negligent while you were a pedestrian, obtain medical care at once. Then, as soon as possible, speak about your options and rights with an Austin pedestrian accident attorney.
In the State of Texas, the injured pedestrian victims of negligent drivers are legally entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and any other accident-related damages and losses.
However, while pedestrians injured by negligence are “entitled” by Texas law to compensation, to recover that compensation, an injured pedestrian may be required to prove, with an attorney’s help, that someone else’s negligence is the reason why he or she was injured.
What Will an Austin Accident Attorney Do on Your Behalf?
If you’re injured by a negligent driver, your attorney will negotiate with the driver, that driver’s insurance company, and that driver’s attorney to reach a settlement out-of-court that will be acceptable to all parties involved. That is how the majority of pedestrian accident claims are handled.
However, if a reasonable settlement amount is not offered in out-of-court negotiations, your attorney can take the case to court, explain to a jury what happened, and ask that jury to order the payment of your compensation.
How is negligence defined by Texas law? To demonstrate that a driver was negligent in an accident with a pedestrian, the pedestrian victim (the “plaintiff”) must offer evidence to show that the driver or “defendant”:
- owed to the plaintiff a “duty of care”
- breached that duty with negligence
- was responsible for the injury to the plaintiff
Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?
If you are injured as a pedestrian by a careless driver, your lawyer will determine if the driver violated the right of way laws, which require drivers to yield to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks, pedestrians on the same side of the road as the vehicle, and pedestrians who are approaching from the other side of the road.
Sadly, far too many Texas drivers frequently fail to recognize when pedestrians have the right of way, or they simply choose to ignore pedestrians’ rights.
How Is Liability Determined for Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrians, of course, also have a responsibility to exercise caution when they walk. If you wander into an intersection and you’re looking at your phone instead of looking both ways, if you are injured, the negligence is yours.
In other pedestrian accidents, more than a single party may have liability. Possibly liable parties may include the vehicle driver, the vehicle owner, the driver’s employer if the driver was working, and those who maintain the sidewalk, street, or parking lot where the accident took place.
Both drivers and pedestrians need to exercise caution and obey the traffic rules. Even when fault for a pedestrian accident seems clear to a casual observer, the Texas courts take a number of factors into account when determining what party was liable for a particular accident.
When an Accident Happens
Of course, should you bring a negligence claim against a motorist who injured you, that motorist may counter-claim that you were the negligent party. If you are injured as a pedestrian, no lawyer will be there to give you advice, so take these measures to protect yourself legally and medical:
- First, seek medical attention at once.
- Secondly, call 911 and summon the police.
- Don’t leave before the police arrive.
- If there are eyewitnesses, try to get their names and contact information.
- Make no statements and sign nothing until you’ve consulted an attorney.
How Can the Number of Pedestrian Accidents Be Reduced?
Do not be distracted when you’re walking. Be aware of your surroundings. Cross at crosswalks and use the sidewalks where possible. Never jaywalk. When it’s dark, wear bright clothing and bring a flashlight.
How can drivers help reduce the number of pedestrian accidents? Do not talk on the phone or text when you drive. Don’t be distracted by a sound system, a GPS, pets, or children. Do not eat, read, groom, or drink alcohol. Check your brakes, lights, wipers, and tires regularly.
When Should You Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If a negligent driver injures you, contact an Austin personal injury attorney as quickly as possible to review the details of the case and to explain your options and rights. Your attorney will need to examine the evidence while it’s fresh and speak to the witnesses before their memories fade.
The right Austin personal injury lawyer will identify the party or parties responsible for your accident and injury, protect your legal rights, and fight effectively for the full compensation amount you are entitled to by Texas law.
If you prevail, you will be compensated for your current and future medical costs arising from the accident, your current and projected future wages, and other accident-related costs and losses. If you are injured as a pedestrian by a negligent motorist, the law in Texas is on your side.