Houston is the most populated city in Texas and the fourth biggest city in the country. Every day, thousands of people traverse the roads and sidewalks in Houston. Unfortunately, not all of these pedestrians make it home safely. Careless and reckless drivers put pedestrian lives at risk. The Doan Law Firm is passionate about helping injured victims recover from serious accidents. Our Houston pedestrian accident attorney specializes in catastrophic and life-changing injuries. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, request a free consultation with one of our lawyers for assistance.
Pedestrian accidents often cause serious injuries, from internal wounds to broken bones and spinal cord damage. Seek medical assistance immediately after being struck by a motor vehicle, even if you do not believe you were seriously hurt.
Receiving assistance from a Houston pedestrian accident attorney can help you secure the best possible outcome in your legal case. Your lawyer will work diligently to collect evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, and bring in expert witnesses that can strengthen your claim.
Your time to file a claim may be limited by the Texas statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. In most cases, you have two years from the date of your injury or accident to file a claim.
Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer After a Pedestrian Accident?
Our law firm’s founder and lead attorney, Jimmy Doan, has a national reputation for achieving outstanding case results. He knows how to go up against insurance companies and win. This is important when a victim has suffered a life-altering injury, such as the injuries common in pedestrian accidents. While insurance companies are known for downplaying injuries and devaluing claims, an insurer will not take advantage of you if you have an aggressive legal advocate. Hiring a lawyer can also give you greater mental peace to focus on healing from your injuries.
What Are a Pedestrian’s Rights in Houston?
Drivers in Texas have a responsibility to pay attention, obey traffic laws and respect pedestrians’ rights to the road. State law gives pedestrians the right-of-way in marked and unmarked crosswalks and intersections. This means that drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing the road in these locations.
In addition, according to Texas Transportation Code Section 552.008, drivers always have a duty to exercise due caution to avoid collisions with pedestrians, especially when the individual is a child or an “obviously confused or incapacitated person” in the road. If a motor vehicle driver violates any of these rules, he or she could be found at fault for a related pedestrian accident in Houston.
Texas Pedestrian Accident Statistics
The Texas Department of Transportation does a good job of giving out information about crash-related statistics each year. However, they do not break down pedestrian accident statistics at the city or county level, at least not in a published format. At the state level, we can see that there were 4,856 total pedestrian crashes during the latest reporting year of data we have on file. Out of these incidents, there were 715 total fatalities. Many individuals also sustained injuries. There were 1,155 suspected serious injuries, 1,612 suspected minor injuries, and 1,389 possible injuries.
Unfortunately, pedestrians often sustain significant injuries when they are impacted by motor vehicles. The impact with the vehicle can lead to significant trauma, but so can a secondary impact with the ground or another object as a result of the incident.
What Are Some Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
When a pedestrian gets hit by a car, the injuries can be catastrophic. This means that they will affect the victim for the foreseeable future, such as a long-term disability. Children and the elderly are especially susceptible to life-threatening and fatal injuries in pedestrian accidents in Houston. Pedestrian-vehicle collisions can inflict many different types of physical injuries, including:
Muscle and ligament damage
Lacerations and contusions
Neck injuries and whiplash
Abdominal injuries and internal bleeding
Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
Traumatic brain injuries
These injuries can cost thousands of dollars in medical care, as well as put the victim through significant emotional and psychological trauma. If someone passes away after being struck by a car in Houston, surviving loved ones can be left with immense pain, grief and mental anguish. Filing a pedestrian accident claim can bring an at-fault driver to justice.
Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Houston
Pedestrian accidents occur in a wide variety of ways and in around the Houston area. The more crowded the area, such as urban areas, the more likely pedestrian incidents are to occur. Some of the leading culprits of pedestrian crashes that we help clients with include the following:
Speeding or operating too fast for conditions
Failing to yield the right of way at a crosswalk
In general, pedestrians have the right of way when they are on sidewalks, crossing in an approved crosswalk, and in parking lots. Even if a pedestrian is not crossing in an approved or marked crosswalk, drivers are still required to slow down and yield to a crossing pedestrian.
There are situations where a pedestrian could share fault for the incident, but the overall responsibility for pedestrian safety falls to drivers. They are in the larger vehicles that can lead to significant injuries if something goes wrong.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
After sustaining an injury in a pedestrian accident caused by the negligence of someone else, there are various steps that you can take to help ensure that you recover full compensation for your losses.
Contact the authorities. It is crucial to call 911 to report a pedestrian accident that results in injuries. The police need to come to investigate the incident and complete their accident report. This incident report is going to be crucial for any insurance claim or jury trial.
Seek medical attention. Pedestrian accident victims need to seek medical care as soon as possible, even if they do not feel immediate pain after the incident occurs. Seeking medical treatment helps ensure a pedestrian crash victim’s well-being, and it also establishes a strong link between the initial incident and any injuries that occur.
Gather evidence. Pedestrian crash victims or individuals with them may be able to gather various types of evidence around the incident scene. This could include using a phone to take pictures of everything, including damage, injuries, other vehicles involved, lighting and traffic conditions, and more. Additionally, if you see any eyewitnesses around a pedestrian crash scene, get the names and contact information of those individuals written down as soon as possible.
Call an attorney. A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer in Houston will be able to step in quickly and help handle every aspect of these situations. This will include preserving evidence, handling conversations with insurance carriers and other parties, and beginning the process of recovering compensation.
Report the incident to your insurance. You should let your auto insurance carrier know, particularly if you are struck by another vehicle. Your insurance carrier will be the first line of contact with the other driver’s insurance carrier, though you should let your attorney handle further communication with any insurance carrier involved.
Continue medical treatment. Pedestrian crash victims should continue to seek medical care until their treatment has concluded. This means that any further medical treatment is unlikely to change the person’s condition. Discontinuing care early is a mistake, and it will be impossible to go back and recover additional compensation if you voluntarily choose to discontinue medical care before you are fully healed.
How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit in Texas?
Every state places limitations on how long individuals have filed lawsuits after someone else causes their injury. In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. If a pedestrian accident victim in Texas fails to file a lawsuit within this two-year time frame, they will not be able to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
It is also critical to understand that insurance carriers have their own deadlines in place that you need to be aware of. Please speak to your attorney when working to recover compensation either through an insurance settlement or a personal injury lawsuit.
What Types of Compensation Can a Houston Pedestrian Accident Victim Recover?
Houston pedestrian accident victims may be able to recover a wide variety of compensation types if their incident was caused by the negligence of another individual or entity. Our team works diligently to recover both economic and non-economic losses for every client that we help.
Economic damage is referred to the expenses that we can calculate by gathering receipts and bills after the incident occurs. This includes medical bills, pay stubs, letters from employers showing lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, property damage, and more.
Non-economic losses are a bit harder to calculate because they revolve around the expenses that are more immeasurable that a pedestrian accident victim is likely to experience. This includes finding compensation for their physical pain and suffering, emotional and psychological trauma, and loss of quality of life.
There is no set amount of compensation available for Houston pedestrian accident victims. Rather, there are various factors that can influence compensation amounts, such as the severity of the injuries, how long it takes a pedestrian crash victim to recover, whether or not there was any shared fault, how long a person is away from work, and more.
Will Your Houston Pedestrian Accident Claim Go to Court?
Understanding whether or not your pedestrian accident claim in Houston will go to court can be challenging. The vast majority of vehicle accident and pedestrian accident claims are settled through agreements with insurance carriers. However, that does not necessarily mean this is your best option.
Insurance carriers are looking to maximize their profit, which means minimizing how much compensation they payout for claims. It is inevitable that the insurance carrier will offer a meager settlement at first, but your attorney can help negotiate with the insurance carrier to receive your rightful compensation. If the insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement, or if they deny your claim altogether, it may be necessary to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
The act of filing a lawsuit still does not mean you will have to go to court. Filing the Houston personal injury lawsuit starts the discovery process, which is when both sides will exchange information with one another, and there will likely be depositions taken from witnesses involved. It is not uncommon for cases to settle as the discovery process moves forward, though this can take some time. Only if a settlement cannot be reached during this time frame will your case have to go to a jury trial, which means you will have to go to court.
How Will You Pay Medical Bills While You Wait for a Settlement?
We understand the challenges pedestrian accident victims face when it comes to paying their bills after these incidents occur. As we mentioned above, the time frame for a pedestrian accident claim can vary widely depending on circumstances related to each particular situation. However, medical bills start piling on very quickly. Individuals cannot put off seeking medical treatment, and they certainly cannot put off treatment until a settlement or jury verdict comes in. After a pedestrian accident, individuals need emergency medical care and any required ongoing treatment for their health and well-being.
There may be a few different routes toward recovering some compensation for medical bills while waiting for a settlement or jury verdict.
Private health insurance. If you have your own health insurance coverage, including private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, you may need to turn to these insurance options to help pay for your immediate medical expenses. If your claim against another party is successful, you may have to pay the insurance carrier back out of the final settlement or jury verdict.
Personal injury protection insurance. If you have opted to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance through your personal auto insurance, this may also be an option for receiving benefits in the interim. Your PIP coverage should pay for some expenses, up to the limits of your policy, after a pedestrian accident incident.
Asking the doctor to continue care. In some cases, it may be appropriate for you and your attorney to ask a medical provider to continue providing treatment until your settlement or jury verdict is achieved. The healthcare professional may place a lien on your final settlement or jury verdict, which means they will automatically be able to recover reimbursement as soon as the payment comes in.
Contact Us Today | Free Pedestrian Accident Case Reviews in Houston, TX
You don’t have to recover from a harmful pedestrian accident in Houston alone. Our local pedestrian and car accident lawyers in Houston are here to help you understand and protect your rights in the fight for justice and fair financial compensation. We will make sure that you and your family have everything you need to move forward after a traumatic accident. Request a free consultation with one of our pedestrian accident lawyers today by calling (800) 349-0000 or contacting us online for a prompt callback.