The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported that the state had more than 5,500 pedestrian accidents in 2017 and had the third highest rate of traffic fatalities in the country. Houston pedestrians face risks from distracted drivers, dumb drivers, poorly maintained sidewalks and crosswalks, and an increase in the number of large SUVs, not to mention commuter rail. If you were a pedestrian hit by a car in Houston, you need to contact the pedestrian accident lawyers at Blass Law. Many factors may contribute to pedestrian accident injuries and an experienced pedestrian accident attorney will know how to get you all of the compensation you deserve. Call (713) 225-1900 for a confidential case evaluation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that everyone is a pedestrian at some time. It gives a broad definition of pedestrian as “any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down.”
Texas law defines when pedestrians have the right-of-way:
- When they are crossing at a crosswalk and the light facing them is green, unless it is only a green arrow signaling cars to turn right.
- When the light control signals “Walk.”
- At a crosswalk without a signal when the pedestrian is in the half of the roadway in which the car is traveling, or so close to it the pedestrian is in danger.
- When walking along the side of the roadway when there is no sidewalk, facing traffic if possible.
- When on a sidewalk and crossing an alley, driveway, or building entrance.
A pedestrian does not have the right-of-way when crossing at a place other than a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. However, motorists have a duty to avoid hitting pedestrians whether or not the pedestrian has the legal right of way. A capable pedestrian accident attorney can help determine if a driver was distracted or impaired and thus responsible for injuries under Texas’ shared fault rule.
Most Common Types of Houston Auto-Pedestrian Accidents
Auto-pedestrian accidents happen almost daily in Houston, with injuries than range from mild to severe. The most common causes of auto pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving. This can be texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, looking at a map or Rideshare app., etc. Any activity that involves taking the mind off of driving, hands off the wheel, or eyes of the road can result in a tragic accident.
- Speeding, or not exceeding the posted speed limit, but going too fast for road conditions and the weather.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian.
- Turning without signaling or without looking for pedestrians.
- Disobeying traffic signals.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol.
Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault for a Car Accident?
We have all heard the adage that pedestrians always have the right-of-way, but that is not the case. As mentioned above, pedestrians can be at fault or partially at fault for a car accident when they fail to yield to the right-of-way of drivers or fail follow traffic laws. If a pedestrian is at fault, they may be liable for injuries to the car driver and damage to the vehicle.
The following are some common reasons pedestrians may be at fault for auto pedestrian accidents.
- Darting into the roadway without looking for cars.
- Crossing while distracted, like being in a conversation with a fellow pedestrian, texting, talking on the phone, wearing earphones and listening to music, reading a book, or another conversation.
- Crossing between intersections where there is no crosswalk.
- Failing to follow traffic signals, such as crossing during the “Don’t Walk” signal.
- Wearing dark clothing while walking at night so as to be almost invisible to drivers.
No matter how the accident happened, a pedestrian who was injured by being hit by a car needs to contact an auto-pedestrian accident lawyer to determine who was at fault, or at least partially at fault, for the accident.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Car accidents involving pedestrians can result in serious injuries. Pedestrians who are hit by a vehicle are vulnerable to very serious injuries. Pedestrian car accident victims often suffer life-altering injuries that can impact their ability to earn a living or care for their families. Some of the most common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Broken bones. Legs, arms, pelvis and hips
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions
- Torn and sprained ligaments
- Cuts, bruises, abrasions, scrape, and road burns
- Internal injuries and internal bleeding
- Wrongful death
Pedestrian accident victims have rights.
What to do if You are a Pedestrian Hit by a Car or Witness a Pedestrian Accident
- Safety is the first priority. The first thing to do is to be sure the injured person is in a safe place. If you are the one injured and cannot move yourself, ask for help from the driver.
- Call the police. If you report an accident involving an injury, the police will be on the scene at some point as well as an ambulance. They are supposed to take witness statements and prepare a report.
- Be sure to get contact information from the driver. Get the driver’s full name, address, driver’s license number, and insurance information.
- Get information about the vehicle including the make, model, year, license plate number, and vehicle identification number (VIN), which should be on the insurance card.
- Photographs. If you can, whether you are the victim or a witness, take photographs of the scene. Photograph any damage to the car that hit the pedestrian, the surrounding area, the injuries the pedestrian is suffering from, and anything else that seems relevant.
- Witness statements. If you can write down statements and have them signed and dated, that will help. You can also record witness statements on the video feature of your cell phone. Be sure to get the witnesses’ names and contact information.
Being hit by a car is an extremely traumatic event, no matter how minor or how serious the injuries are. In addition to the usual damages available for personal injury cases, you should also be able to collect for the emotional distress caused to you by being a pedestrian hit by a car.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
At Blass Law, we know that being hit by a car can have a lasting impact on your emotional and physical health and your family’s well being. We know how to investigate pedestrian accidents and get compensation for all of your injuries. If you or a family member suffered injuries as a result of being hit by a car, you need to call the auto pedestrian accident attorneys at Blass Law. Call (713) 225-1900 today or request a confidential case evaluation online.