How Our Lawyers Can Help You After a Texas Pedestrian Accident
In addition to investigating your case, the pedestrian accident attorneys of Tate Law Offices, P.C., can help you by:
- Assisting you to get the immediate medical attention you need – It is crucial that you get medical care right away after a pedestrian accident and that your treatment goes uninterrupted while your case is pending. We can work with health care providers to help you get the treatment you need throughout your case.
- Dealing with insurance companies on your behalf – You have enough to handle with your physical recovery. We will handle the insurance companies. We can file all necessary claims with the insurance companies and deal directly with their adjusters and attorneys. Keep in mind: Insurance companies want to protect their profits by paying as little as possible in damages. However, we will be aggressive in seeking a settlement that provides the maximum amount of compensation for you.
- Securing and evaluating evidence – It takes evidence to win a case. So, as soon as we are on the job, we start collecting witness statements, police reports and internal files, photographs, phone records and video recordings. We also consult with any necessary experts such as accident reconstruction specialists. Much of our analysis will revolve around Texas right-of-way law regarding pedestrians.
- Filing all claims and, if necessary, filing a lawsuit on your behalf – If an insurance company refuses to pay a fair settlement amount, our experienced trial attorneys can take your case to court and present your case to the jury. Fortunately, after we have built up your case, we are able to settle the majority of cases without a trial.
- Keeping you updated throughout your case – We believe it is crucial for our clients to know what is going on with their case at all times. We will keep you informed, return your calls and answer all of your questions.
What Can You Recover in a Texas Pedestrian Accident Case?
When a pedestrian is struck by a metal vehicle weighing several thousand pounds – even in a low-speed collision – it can result in severe and even fatal injuries. Victims of Texas pedestrian accidents can suffer:
- Spinal cord injuries (including paralysis)
- Traumatic brain injury (ranging from concussions to more severe TBI)
A victim may require emergency medical treatment, lengthy hospitalization, extensive rehabilitation and an ongoing need for medication and use of assistive devices. The victim may be unable to return to school or work. Family members may be impacted as well by being forced to provide around-the-clock care.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, our goal will be to return you and your family as close as possible to the condition you enjoyed before the crash. We will seek the maximum amount of compensation, including payment of:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and lost earning capacity
- Permanent impairment
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium and loss of services
- Emotional distress (if a family member witnessed the accident)
- Other relevant damages.
In some cases, punitive damages may be sought as well – not to make a victim “whole” again but rather to punish a defendant who engaged in grossly negligent or willful misconduct such as drunk driving or other egregious actions.
If a pedestrian accident resulted in the death of a loved one, our lawyers can seek wrongful death and survival damages, including funeral and burial expenses and compensation for the loss of your family member’s services, companionship and society.
Can You Recover If You Were Partially At Fault for Your Pedestrian Accident?
It is possible that you may have partially contributed to your pedestrian accident. For instance, you may have walked slightly onto the road or crossed in the middle of a road instead of at a crosswalk.
Texas follows a modified comparative negligence law, or the law of “proportionate responsibility.” Under this law, you would be barred from a recovery only if your percentage of responsibility for the accident was found to be greater than 50 percent.
Otherwise, your damages would be reduced according to the proportion of fault attributed to you. So, if you were 10 percent at fault, your damages would be reduced by 10 percent. Therefore, you would collect 90 percent of your damages.
Tate Law Offices, P.C., will aggressively work to protect your rights and counter efforts to put an undue amount of fault on you for your accident.
Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen in Texas?
The National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC) ranks four Texas metro areas among the 25 most dangerous in the country for pedestrians. The NCSC bases its rankings on the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI), which measures “the relative likelihood in a given area of a person on foot being hit by a vehicle and killed.” The Texas metro areas ranked by the NCSC are:
*Based on data from 2003 to 2012
The NCSC primarily blames pedestrian accidents on cities and roads being designed for cars, not pedestrians. This is true – to an extent. As the personal injury attorneys of Tate Law Offices, P.C., have seen, driver negligence is a major factor as well. Simply put: No reasonable excuse exists for most pedestrian accidents. Drivers are just not skilled at identifying pedestrians.
Proving Driver Negligence in a Texas Pedestrian Accident
Establishing fault in a pedestrian accident case primarily is a matter of proving negligence, or a person’s failure to follow a reasonable standard of care under the circumstances. This requires evidence that proves four elements:
- Duty – You must show that the driver (the defendant) owed a legal duty to you as a pedestrian (the plaintiff). Generally speaking, the law requires drivers to be careful when encountering anyone they meet on the road such as pedestrians.
- Breach – The driver breached the duty owed to you. This means the driver failed to behave like a reasonable, prudent person would have behaved in the same or similar circumstances. For instance, the driver failed to:
- Follow the speed limit or drive at a safe speed given road or weather conditions
- Stop at a red light or stop sign to allow pedestrians to cross
- Watch for pedestrians at a crosswalk or a well-known crossing
- Stop for a school bus that was letting off children
- Check for pedestrians before backing out of a parking space
- Yield the right of way to pedestrians walking in a parking lot.
Of course, the underlying reason for a driver’s breach of his or her duty of care may be distracted driving such as talking on a cell phone or texting while driving, drunk driving or driving while fatigued.
- Causation –The driver’s conduct proximately caused your injuries. In other words, “but for” the driver’s failure to safely share the road with you and other pedestrians, you would not have suffered your injuries.
- Damages – You suffered actual injuries and losses. For example, you suffered substantial physical and emotional injuries, causing significant financial losses due to medical bills and your inability to work.
The pedestrian accident lawyers of Tate Law Offices, P.C., know how to identify and overcome obstacles that can arise when proving these elements. We believe our extensive experience in this area of the law makes a true difference in our clients’ lives.
Contact Our Texas Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Today
- Dangerous by Design, Smart Growth America
- Traffic Safety Performance (Core Outcome) Measures for Texas, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration