Pedestrian Accidents in Texas
Pedestrians are often required to share the roadway with motor vehicles, for example, when crossing the street. Unlike automobile and truck drivers, however, pedestrians have little or no protection in the event of a collision. For this reason, auto-pedestrian accidents often result in very serious injuries and even death.
I recently represented a woman who was struck by a speeding pickup truck as she crossed the street on her way home from the grocery store. According to witnesses, she was thrown over 200 feet. Amazingly, she survived the accident, though she was critically injured.
In auto-pedestrian accidents, the specific location of the accident can often be critical in determining fault. For example, the Texas Transportation Code requires pedestrians to cross the street in a marked crosswalk when the pedestrian is "between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation." Failure to comply with this requirement can sometimes result in at least some fault in an accident being attributed to the pedestrian. In other cases, however, this provision is simply not applicable - for example, if traffic signals are not in operation at the adjacent intersections where the accident occurred. This was the situation in my client’s case. Although she was not crossing the street at a marked crosswalk, only one of the adjacent intersections was equipped with a traffic signal. Even though the crosswalk requirement did not apply, the other driver’s insurance company still tried to argue that the accident was at least partly my client’s fault.
Additionally, the crosswalk requirement can sometimes be overcome by using other provisions of the Transportation Code. For example, the driver of a motor vehicle is required to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian on a roadway. This is the argument I made to the insurance company on behalf of my client. In her case, she was carrying ten white plastic bags containing groceries as she crossed the street. She was also at the very edge of the street when the accident occurred. I used these two facts to convince the insurance company that the driver of the pickup truck did not use due care to avoid hitting her, not only because the grocery bags made her very visible to oncoming traffic, but also because the driver of the pickup truck would have only had to move a couple of feet to the left in order to avoid hitting her, something that he easily could have done if he had been paying attention. The insurance company ultimately accepted responsibility for the accident.
Pedestrians have the same rights as anyone else hurt in an accident - they are entitled to recover for their damages from the person who caused the accident, or from that person’s insurance company. Because the determination of liability can become very complicated in these types of accidents, it is important to contact an attorney if you have been injured in such an accident. Whether you're in Dallas, Ft. Worth, Plano, Allen, McKinney, or anywhere else in Texas and need a personal injury attorney, we're here to help.
Call or Email Stephen Johnson for a free initial consultation about your pedestrian injury case.