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According to a 2014 survey conducted by the non-profit group National Complete Streets Coalition at Smart Growth America, Texas ranks as the 10th most dangerous state for walking commuters, and the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area ranked as the seventh most dangerous urban area.
How many Americans die yearly in pedestrian accidents? Texas had almost 4,200 pedestrian fatalities from 2003-2012, the report found. That’s about 10% of national pedestrian deaths, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2013 alone, 481 crashes led to 485 pedestrian deaths in Texas, reports the Texas Department of Transportation.
The Smart Growth report also found that 47,000 pedestrians died nationwide in the decade ending in 2012, or 16 times the number of people who died in natural disasters during that time.
Even when auto-pedestrian accidents aren’t fatal, they can be debilitating, causing costly, life-changing injuries. And victims need justice. Jim Adler & Associates’ pedestrian accident lawyers help Texans whose loved ones were harmed by a car, SUV, pickup, bus, motorcycle, 18-wheeler or other vehicle gain the financial compensation they deserve.
Drivers of these vehicles often hit pedestrians out of carelessness or recklessness. Even if someone is using a crosswalk, he or she can be hit by a vehicle turning a corner too quickly and failing to yield right of way to pedestrians.
According to the Texas Transportation Code, vehicles must yield to pedestrians for safety purposes, even if the pedestrians are violating a law of the road. As for who has the legal right-of-way, a pedestrian has right-of-way if crossing in a designated crosswalk or with the protection of a traffic light or stop sign.
However, pedestrians are legally required to yield right-of-way to vehicles if they are not crossing a street in a marked crosswalk or with the protection of a traffic light or sign. Though many pedestrians are injured or killed while “jaywalking,” about half of all auto-pedestrian accidents are the fault of the driver.
Common pedestrian injuries occur when walking on a roadway’s shoulder or even a sidewalk, since many accidents involve cars entering or leaving a roadway. Injuries are also common when a driver backs up without looking. Pedestrian injuries often involve the head, legs and arms.
Pedestrians are at greater risk when it’s dark or near dusk, as driver visibility is limited. They also are more likely to be hit in cities, which have higher pedestrian traffic. Additionally, pedestrian accidents are 40 percent more likely to involve a hybrid vehicle or an electric vehicle, whose engines are quieter.
To prevail in an auto-pedestrian accident lawsuit, the victim must show that the driver of the vehicle was negligent. In legal terms, negligence means a driver failed to take reasonable care to minimize risks to others and to protect pedestrians from harm.
A driver always should yield right of way to a pedestrian, even if the pedestrian is walking against a traffic light or crossing in the middle of a street without using a crosswalk. However, such illegal crossings by a pedestrian could provide a defendant with a basis for asserting comparative negligence. That means the pedestrian would share a portion of the blame for the crash.
If a court found that a pedestrian was 40% to blame for a crash, the injured pedestrian would only be able to collect 60% of the compensatory claim he or she made to cover losses such as medical costs due to the accident.
For a driver to be fully negligent, the pedestrian must have heeded all right-of-way laws and the driver must have made a mistake which caused the accident.
The family of a person injured or killed as a pedestrian in a traffic accident can take several actions to protect their financial well-being. All medical records should be collected and secured as evidence in a potential pedestrian accident lawsuit.
If someone in your family was injured or killed in an auto-pedestrian accident which wasn’t their fault, they should not accept any settlement from an insurance company before getting legal advice. For a free case review from one of our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers, simply complete the form on this page or call us toll-free at 1-800-505-1414. Jim Adler & Associates can fight for your right to fitting and fair financial recovery after an auto-pedestrian accident in order to get your family the payments you legally deserve.