Whether you’re enjoying a day outside or need to run errands, walking can be more convenient and easier than trying to navigate the traffic and congestion downtown. As a pedestrian, you’re well aware of how reckless some drivers can be—but what happens if those negligent actions result in you getting hit by a car? If you find yourself the victim of a crash, you need legal representation from our Midland pedestrian accident lawyers.
Unfortunately, collisions with pedestrians happen all over Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 5,684 crashes involving pedestrians in 2018. Of that total, 5,103 resulted in varying degrees of injuries and nearly 700 people were killed.
The majority of pedestrian accidents are the result of distracted or reckless driving. When the driver causes the crash, the pedestrian has the right to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for their losses. Proving fault can be challenging. It’s likely the driver will try to blame the person they hit for the accident. Working with experienced attorneys from Buckingham Barrera Law Firm is the best way to maximize the likelihood of receiving full and fair compensation.
A Pedestrian’s Rights in Texas
As a pedestrian, it’s important to know your legal rights and obligations when it comes to sharing the road with vehicles and cyclists. The right-of-way laws for pedestrians are established at the state level. Under Texas law, vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, marked or unmarked, when in the same half of the roadway as the pedestrian. Pedestrians also have the right-of-way in the following situations:
- The light facing the pedestrian is green
- The light control signal says “walk”
- The pedestrian is halfway through a crosswalk without a signal
- The pedestrian is walking along the side of a road that doesn’t have a sidewalk
- The pedestrian is crossing an alley, driveway, or building entrance
According to §552.005 (b) of the Texas Transportation Code, pedestrians can cross at an intersection when both adjacent intersections are equipped with control signals. However, they can also cross the street at any point between intersections if at least one of the two adjacent intersections is not controlled by a signal. In Texas this is not considered jaywalking.
What to Do If You’re Hit by a Car
There are drivers who choose to ignore the laws discussed above. Being struck by a car is a traumatizing event. It can seem impossible to decide what to do after the crash, but there are steps you can take to improve your chances of making a full recovery—physically, emotionally, and financially.
Immediately following an accident, do what you can to breathe and control your emotions. Evaluate yourself for injuries and call 911 right away. You may feel physically fine, but adrenaline can significantly reduce the pain level you experience. The sooner you give a statement to police and are treated by medical professionals, the better.
The driver should stay at the scene of the accident. Collect contact information from them, as you’ll need that information to file a claim. If the driver takes off and commits a hit-and-run, aim to take a photo or mental note of their vehicle and license plate. Even a partial plate can help police identify the driver.
Once you’ve given your official statement to the police and you’ve been evaluated and treated for injuries, you can get in touch with a lawyer so you can start your insurance claim and move toward receiving the compensation you need to recover.
Pedestrian Accidents and Catastrophic Injuries
While it’s not uncommon to get injured as a passenger or driver in a car accident, it’s less likely than a pedestrian getting hurt because of the protection offered by the vehicle. Pedestrians don’t have built-in airbags or seatbelts to protect them. Because of this, the injuries a pedestrian sustains after being hit by a car have the potential to be catastrophic. This means that the injuries affect their ability to be gainfully employed.
Common catastrophic injuries include spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, multiple bone fractures, amputations, and internal organ damage. With any of those injuries, there’s the possibility of surgery. Physical therapy is likely to follow. If someone loses a limb, they’ll need to relearn how to complete everyday tasks and learn how to use a prosthetic device, if they choose to get one.
If you’ve sustained any degree of injury after a pedestrian accident, you’ll need access to compensation to take care of your medical bills and expenses. Filing a personal injury claim that proves the driver was negligent can get you there.
Proving Driver Negligence in Midland
Proving the other driver caused your accident starts with determining why the crash happened. A number of pedestrian accidents are related to drivers disobeying traffic signals, disregarding traffic or weather conditions, driving while distracted, or operating their vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We can figure out what happened with a thorough investigation and help from an accident reconstructionist.
After negligence has been established, we can look into how you were affected. This includes the money you’ve lost and the pain you’ve suffered. We’ll be sure to take all your losses into consideration, so the settlement offer you receive helps you get your life back in order.
Contact a Buckingham Barrera Attorney
As you can see, there are many elements to a personal injury case. Proving driver liability not only revolves around the concept of negligence but how that negligence impacted you. We’re prepared to build a strong case on your behalf.
To learn more about the benefits of working with a Midland pedestrian accident lawyer or to get started with your claim today, contact our law firm. We have extensive experience representing accident victims and we’ll fight for you.