No one expects to go for a walk and be involved in a pedestrian accident, but they sadly happen all too often in Texas. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that pedestrian deaths are on the rise in our state and now account for one in every five traffic fatalities. From 2018 to 2019, the number of pedestrianfatalities increased by five percent, with 5,975 traffic crashes involving pedestrians in Texas in 2019 alone. When you are walking legally on the sidewalk, in a parking lot, or across a public roadway, you should not have to fear being hit by a car. Drivers have a legal obligation to avoid hitting pedestrians when they drive. Passenger vehicles are large, weigh thousands of pounds, and can cause serious damage to an unprotected pedestrian at any speed. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a pedestrian accident, contact an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer today to discuss your case as time limits apply to roadway crash claims in Texas.
Texas Right-of-Way Laws
The Texas Transportation Code defines the right-of-way laws for the state. Pedestrians are required to obey traffic control devices, just like passenger vehicles are, unless they are superseded by a police officer who is controlling traffic. Traffic control devices include crosswalk signals, pavement striping, traffic signs, and traffic lights.
In Texas, the following are some of the most important rules for pedestrians:
- Pedestrians must heed “Walk,” “Don’t Walk,” or “Wait” indicators.
- Pedestrians may not begin to cross the road in the direction of a “Don’t Walk” or “Wait” signal.
- The operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian who is facing a “Walk” signal and is proceeding across the road.
- Pedestrians who have partially crossed the road while the “Walk” signal is displayed should proceed to a sidewalk or safety island if the signal changes to a “Don’t Walk” or “Wait” signal.
- Pedestrians will yield the right-of-way to a passenger vehicle if crossing the road outside of a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, or where a pedestrian tunnel or crossing has been provided.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, it is usually caused by the negligence of the driver of that vehicle. Many drivers only focus on other vehicles around them and not on people who are walking near the road. There are many common causes of pedestrian accidents, including:
- Distracted driving
- Not driving safely in hazardous weather
- Drunk driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Failing to signal when turning
- Failing to stop at a stop sign
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Losing control of their vehicle
- Not stopping in time when yielding the right of way
- Failing to comply with traffic signs and signals
- Road rage
- Slowdowns because of crowds or traffic
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians do not have the protections that passenger vehicles have. Even the smallest vehicle is still made of metal and weighs thousands of pounds. Vehicles can cause serious bodily damage to a pedestrian. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, they can be thrown many feet forward, over the hood, or be run over by the vehicle. The impact transfers all the energy and momentum from the vehicle into the pedestrian’s body that can result in severe injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Loss of limbs
- Soft tissue damage
- Road rash
- Organ damage
- Psychological trauma such as PTSD
These injuries can be incredibly painful and may require surgery and extensive rehabilitation in order to recover – and a complete recovery is often impossible. The costs of medical care will pile up and can be overwhelming. Contact our law firm today to discuss your situation so we can ease your mind and help you focus on your recovery.
Amarillo Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
If you want to sue the driver or drivers who caused your pedestrian accident injuries, you must file a claim within our state’s applicable statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a strict deadline within which an injured party must take legal action against another party or else they forfeit their right to make a claim. In Texas, pedestrian accident lawsuits must be filed within two years from the crash date to seek compensation from the liable driver.
Most people are unfamiliar with the legal process they must go through after an auto pedestrian accident. It can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you’ve never handled an insurance claim before or been to court for any reason. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, our firm is here to help. We are available to meet with you and discuss any injury you sustained to see if a negligent party caused it. We will build a case to help you get the financial compensation you deserve. We know this is a difficult time for you and your family. We will listen to you and fight for you every step of the way to get you the maximum recovery possible. Our overall goal is to take the burden of the case off of you, so you can focus on recovery. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the fault of another, contact Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP today at 806-373-1515 to discuss your situation.