Few accidents are as terrible as pedestrian collisions. Houston and other Texas cities were not designed with pedestrians in mind. Nonetheless, pedestrians are often sent to the hospital in the back of an ambulance after being struck by a reckless or negligent motorist, sometimes at very high speeds.
At The Stano Law Firm, we are proud to represent injured pedestrians as they seek to hold defendants accountable for their injuries. As you struggle to recover, the last thing you need to worry about is a lawsuit. Let us analyze your ability to seek compensation and then negotiate with the motorist who hurt you. We can explain more about this complicated process in a free case evaluation with our Houston pedestrian accident lawyer.
Where Pedestrian Accidents Happen
We see pedestrian accidents happen wherever there are motor vehicles, but the following are common locations:
- Intersections. Most accidents probably happen at intersections, where impatient motorists plow into a crowd trying to cross. Many motorists who make a right-turn on a red light fail to check that the way is clear, and pedestrians suffer the consequences. Other drivers fall asleep or are intoxicated and don’t hit the brakes in time.
- Streets. Unfortunately, some pedestrians jaywalk, even though they are supposed to cross at the intersection. A pedestrian who flings himself into the road or highway is at increased risk of a collision.
- Shoulders. Pedestrians should use the sidewalk, but there might not be one. In that case, you can walk on the road. Many careless or fatigued motorists drift onto the shoulder, and they can mow down a pedestrian who is walking there.
- Parking lots. Pedestrians are also at risk when simply crossing a parking lot. Many drivers don’t check their mirrors before backing out, and they can slam into a pedestrian trying to get to the bank or grocery store.
Regardless of where you were hurt, you might have the right to sue. Contact us to find out more.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians have absolutely no protection when they are struck. Conversely, car passengers have the car to shield them, and even bicyclists are usually wearing a helmet. Because pedestrians are so exposed, they can suffer brutal injuries in a crash:
- Lower body injuries: broken legs, knee injuries, foot injuries, torn ligaments and tendons, abrasions, and friction burns.
- Upper body injuries: heart contusions, punctured lungs, back injuries, herniated discs, spinal column injuries.
- Head injuries: concussion, moderate traumatic brain injuries, hemorrhage, paralysis.
- Catastrophic injuries: severe TBIs, paralysis, burns, amputated limbs, and crush injuries.
Many accident victims need an immediate lift to the hospital in the back of an ambulance. Do not try to move around if you are in extreme pain. Instead, ask someone at the scene to call emergency services for you and wait patiently for them to arrive.
Also pay attention to your symptoms in the weeks following the crash. Even a pedestrian who walks away feeling “fine” could quickly develop serious problems. Back injuries and head injuries are types which can worsen in the days following a crash. You should immediately go to the hospital if you are feeling pain.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
Negligent motorists should pay compensation to victims, including pedestrians. At The Stano Law Firm, we can seek money damages for your losses, including:
- Full cost of past and present medical care
- Lost income or lost wages, including future lost earnings
- Property damage, if the crash damaged property
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
We fully analyze your case to settle on the maximum amount of compensation we can ask for. Share helpful documents with your attorney, such as your medical bills and proof of income. These docs help identify your out-of-pocket expenses We can then use our experience to request a fair amount for subjective losses like emotional distress, suffering, and disfigurement.
Keys to Receiving Fair Compensation
Most pedestrians make a claim on the driver’s liability insurance. However, they quickly experience shock at how difficult it is to get an insurer to pay out compensation, but there are certain steps you can take to improve your odds of success.
- First, hire an attorney. The insurer is more likely to take your claim seriously if you have an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Houston. An attorney can also gather helpful evidence to show the driver is at fault.
- Second, collect as much evidence as you can at the accident scene. If you can move around, get pictures of the cars involved and anything else that seems relevant.
- Third, remember to go to the hospital to receive treatment. This step shows you are proactively trying to get better. The defendant can’t blame you for the pain and limitations you experience if you received prompt medical care.
Deadlines for Suing
The statute of limitations for pedestrian accidents gives you two years to file a lawsuit in court to seek compensation. When you go over this deadline, a judge will likely dismiss your case, and you are simply out of luck. We strongly recommend that you meet with an experienced Houston pedestrian accident attorney to discuss your options. If you are approaching the two-year deadline, our firm can quickly get a case filed.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics in Texas
Texas is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. There are some simple reasons why. Because of our weather, more people are out walking all 12 months of the year, which means there is more opportunity for people to get hurt.
But the layout of our largest cities is also a contributing factor. State statistics illustrate how dangerous it is for pedestrians:
- In 2021, pedestrian fatalities jumped to 824, which was a 15.24% increase from the year before.
- The same year, there were 1,713 suspected serious pedestrian injuries and another 1,937 minor injuries in Texas.
- There were 5,366 total pedestrian accidents in Texas in 2021.
- These accidents cost the state millions of dollars each year in lost worker productivity and medical care.
How to Minimize the Risks of Pedestrian Accidents
All pedestrians and motorists should follow the rules of the road to prevent accidents. Having said that, pedestrians can take steps by themselves to reduce the risk of a crash, such as:
- Only cross at the intersection and use the crosswalk if one is available.
- Always follow traffic control devices. If the light tells you not to cross, don’t fling yourself into the intersection.
- Never jaywalk, since motorists are not expecting you to appear in the middle of the road.
- Always look both ways before stepping off the curb, even if you have a light. You never know if a motorist will stop or if they’ll blow through a red light.
- Do not dawdle in the intersection but cross as quickly as you can. If the light changes, then you can expect drivers to try and squeeze past you. It’s best to get to the other side as soon as you can.
- Stay alert in parking lots and when crossing driveways. Anticipate someone backing out without any warning.
- Don’t scroll through text messages or engage in anything distracting. Avoid wearing earbuds and playing music, since that will limit your ability to hear approaching traffic.
- Wear bright clothing or put reflective tape on your backpack or jacket. This will make you stand out, particularly at night or in inclement weather.
Proportionate Responsibility & Pedestrian Accidents
Some pedestrians contribute to their accidents because they break the law, are distracted, or are careless. The case of a jaywalking pedestrian is a classic example. Under Texas law, you can seek compensation in some cases even if you were negligent yourself. This is the law of comparative fault, or what Texas calls “proportionate responsibility.”
Simply put, you can seek compensation provided your share of responsibility is not over 50%. Even then, however, the judge will reduce your compensation by your share of fault. So if you were 50% to blame, you will receive half of what you otherwise would.
Our pedestrian accident lawyer in Houston understands the importance of this law. Many defendants try to pin blame for the accident on the victim. We can pull together all evidence to show this isn’t the case. We can also minimize your fault so that the defendant can’t shirk their responsibilities under the law.
Contact Our Houston Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Stano Law Firm remains committed to the health and safety of our community members. Pedestrians should not live in fear of horrifying injuries because careless drivers refuse to drive safely. We know that you have large expenses following a crash, and we can fight to get a favorable settlement with a motorist who has jeopardized your health.
If you need legal assistance, please reach out to us today. We provide a free consultation which you can schedule in person or over the phone. This gives us a chance to discuss your accident, the severity of your injuries, and other facts. Based on what we learn, we can recommend going ahead and filing an insurance claim. Contact us today.