If you or a loved one is the victim of a pedestrian accident, you may be wondering if you are owed compensation for damages related to the accident. First, you need to determine liability, or responsibility, for the accident.
Texas right-of-way laws decree that drivers must do the following:
- Yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk
- Refrain from passing a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk
- Refrain from passing a school bus with the stop sign extended and lights flashing
Conversely, Texas legally requires pedestrians to:
- Follow all traffic signals
- Cross in crosswalks if they are present at nearby traffic signals
- Yield to cars if they must cross outside of a crosswalk
- Refrain from running into the street
Regardless of right-of-way, Texas law requires drivers to be alert and respond to potential hazards. A pedestrian darting into traffic is regarded as a hazard.
To determine compensation for a pedestrian accident, you need to determine fault, or failure to act reasonably in the situation. This entails proving negligence. Negligence refers to someone not upholding the same level of care as a typical person in that instance.
Texas is a “modified comparative fault” state. This means that the plaintiff can seek damages proportional to their level of fault. For example, if the pedestrian is found to be 25% at fault for the accident, they can only receive 75% of the damages awarded.
In Texas, recovering damages is prohibited once the pedestrian is determined to be responsible for 51% or more of the fault for the accident.
If liability and fault are determined, you may seek compensation for the following:
- Past or future medical expenses related to the accident
- Past or future lost wages or earning capacity related to the accident
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Bodily impairment
If the accident resulted from a faulty traffic signal or an unsafe street, such as an excessive speed limit in a school zone or a poorly marked crosswalk, you could sue the municipality for damages in addition to seeking compensation from the driver.
Statute of Limitations
The state of Texas requires all claims for damages to be filed within two years of the date of the incident for adults.
Steps to Take Next
If you are in a pedestrian accident and are hit by a car in West Texas communities like Midland, Big Spring, Andrews, or Pecos, do the following:
- Call 911 (or have someone do it for you).
- Once your safety is assured, do the following at the scene (if you are unable to do so, have someone else do it for you):
- Record the make, model, year, and license plate of the vehicle involved in the accident.
- Record the driver’s name and contact information.
- Take photographs of the scene, your injuries, and the vehicles.
- Record witness names and contact information.
- Seek immediate medical attention. If you wait, defense attorneys can argue that your injuries were not severe or related to the accident, which can limit the damages you may be eligible to receive.
- Document your medical expenses and your post-accident lifestyle to prove how your life has changed due to the accident.
- Contact us at the Law Office of Steve Brannan in Odessa, Texas, to help you file a personal injury claim.
If you are representing a loved one who was incapacitated or lost their life in a pedestrian accident in West Texas, contact our office about filing a wrongful death lawsuit.