Each year, careless drivers strike innocent pedestrians, leaving them with head trauma, broken bones, and sometimes fatal injuries. When one or more parties fail to adhere to the rules of the road, the consequences can forever change victims’ lives. If you’re injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be left with a host of stressors like ongoing medical expenses, physical pain, and diminished quality of life. If you are the primary earner in your household, your injuries may prevent you from working indefinitely.
A skilled injury attorney will listen to the facts of your case, investigate your claims, and build a strong case on your behalf. When someone else’s carelessness leaves you hurting, you deserve the representation of a skilled Austin injury lawyer who cares. Discuss your situation with a member of the Gibson Hill Personal Injury team today by calling (512) 931-3290.
The Pedestrian Accident Lawyers of Gibson Hill Personal Injury Are Ready to Fight for You
Why You Need An Attorney
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), across the United States, the state of Texas had the third-highest number of pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2018. The rules of the road are intended to prevent accidents and injuries for drivers and pedestrians alike
After a pedestrian accident, you may be confused and have questions about your options moving forward. For example: Did either the pedestrian or the driver violate any laws? Did someone jaywalk? Did the driver fail to yield the right-of-way? A lawyer can answer your questions, examine the specifics of the case, determine who is liable,
You can expect your personal injury lawyer to be thorough and communicative as they pursue the compensation that you need after an accident. To speak to a personal injury attorney about your case today, contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury and let our team of compassionate lawyers answer your questions and advise you about your legal options.
Why Choose Gibson Hill Personal Injury to Handle Your Case?
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, our goal is to help our clients recover the compensation they deserve, following the trauma of a pedestrian accident. Our team is committed to making the legal process accessible for injury victims. We are committed to managing the ins and outs of your claim so that you can focus on getting back to your normal life as soon as possible.
The founder of Gibson Hill Personal Injury is Ty Gibson, a personal injury lawyer who grew up in North East Texas. Gibson studied law in Houston and, as soon as he graduated began fighting for the rights of Austin injury victims. Gibson has helped hundreds of clients with personal injury cases, and his team at Gibson Hill Personal Injury is committed to handling all cases with the personal attention that each client deserves.
Pedestrian Accident Claims in Austin
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we strive to listen to you and weigh the details of your claim against vital pedestrian traffic laws. You may have heard it said that a pedestrian always has the right-of-way – a common misconception. While pedestrians have the right of way sometimes, drivers in Texas have the right-of-way when the pedestrian is crossing somewhere other than at an intersection or a marked crosswalk. According to Texas Transportation Codes (TTC), the driver also has the right-of-way anywhere an overhead pedestrian tunnel or footpath is exclusively available for pedestrian use.
Pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks and when there is no traffic control for crossing, or if the driver and pedestrian arrive in an alley, building entrance, driveway, or private road simultaneously. Drivers in Texas are obligated to use common sense in yielding to pedestrians and exercise due care. According to TTC, drivers must exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian on a roadway and sound their horn to give sufficient warning if necessary. Drivers should also exercise special care when populations such as children, the elderly, and wheelchair users cross the road.
The following include common causes of pedestrian accidents:
- Distracted driving – Distractions, specifically phones, are one of the most prevalent causes of pedestrian accidents. Drivers who use their phones are less likely to notice pedestrians. Pedestrians who are distracted by texting are much more likely to walk into the road when they do not have the right-of-way. Texting pedestrians are less inclined to wait for the right signal or even pay attention at all. Similarly, texting drivers do not notice pedestrians that are entering the road. Texting while driving has been illegal in Texas since 2017.
- Reckless Driving – During the accident, a distracted driver may demonstrate a total lack of regard for the people around them. In cases where drivers are egregiously reckless, a judge or court may order them to pay exemplary damages as a form of punishment.
- Left-hand turns – Studies suggest that drivers turning left are more likely to injure pedestrians than drivers turning right. Drivers turning right are more focused on getting through the intersection than watching for crossing pedestrians, which creates a dangerous situation for both pedestrians and drivers.
- Failure to use crosswalks appropriately – Crosswalks exist to give pedestrians a safe way to cross congested streets. Many crosswalks are marked and have signals to indicate to pedestrians when they can safely cross the road. These signals serve to promote traffic flow. If pedestrians choose to jaywalk, Texas law states that they are breaking the law. Even if a pedestrian does not jaywalk, but fails to pay attention to crosswalk signals, they are putting themselves and others at risk.
- Intoxication – Unfortunately, one of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents is driving while intoxicated. Alcohol-impaired drivers are far less likely to notice a pedestrian who is crossing the street. Impaired pedestrians may not only suffer in accidents but occasionally be the cause of them. If an impaired pedestrian walks into an undesignated place or traffic because they do not notice drivers or traffic signals, they will likely be at fault in the eyes of the law.
Either the pedestrian or the driver may have failed to take proper care in their actions or follow the applicable traffic laws. If a driver is negligently operating a vehicle, they could be held responsible for property damage and personal injury expenses resulting from their carelessness.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are among the most severe and traumatic types of accidents. Pedestrians don’t have seatbelts or airbags, and they typically don’t wear helmets. Pedestrians only have the clothes on their back for protection. That doesn’t do much good when thousands of pounds of glass, steel, and rubber are barreling at you. Pedestrians are often left with catastrophic and life-altering injuries that can impact their ability to work, provide for a family, and even enjoy life. Some of the most frequently seen injuries associated with pedestrian accidents tend to include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck and spinal injuries
- Facial injuries
- Dental injuries
- Limb amputations
- Fractured bones
- Crushing injuries
- Organ damage
- Road rash
- Wrongful death
Recovering from these types of injuries is a long and arduous process. A victim could be left with the physical, emotional, and financial scars from this type of accident for the rest of their life. That is why seeking compensation with the help of an attorney is so important. The medical costs associated with these types of injuries can be enormous, not just today but into the future, as well. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can assess the fair value of your claim and then help you go after the money that you deserve. This way, you can focus on what matters most right now: your recovery and taking care of yourself.
Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents
The value of a pedestrian accident claim can vary depending on the nature of the accident and the extent of a victim’s injuries. In many situations, a victim is able to recover both economic and non-economic compensation following an accident. Economic damages cover a victim’s measurable losses, such as lost income and medical expenses. Non-economic damages are more subjective in nature and can cover things like emotional distress, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
Assigning specific value to a claim is only the first step in the process of recovering compensation. How much of that compensation a victim may be allowed to collect can largely depend on Texas’s “modified comparative fault” regulation. This rule allows courts to assign liability for the accident and then distribute compensation based on each party’s amount of responsibility for causing the accident. This means that the victim’s compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault they bear for causing the accident.
The rule works like this. Suppose the value of a pedestrian’s claim is $100,000 in this scenario. The driver was distracted by their phone and ran into the pedestrian. The driver is assigned 90 percent of the blame for causing the accident. However, the pedestrian wasn’t crossing in a designated crosswalk at the time, and the courts find the individual is 10 percent responsible for the accident. The victim would then be allowed to recover $90,000 of the total $100,000. If an individual is found to be more than 50 percent at fault for causing the accident in which they were injured, they are not allowed to recover any financial compensation at all.
While the modified comparative fault rule binds the courts, it also plays a major role in the compensation determinations made by insurance adjusters, as well. This is generally because insurance adjusters heavily base their final decisions on what the likely court outcome would be.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, getting an attorney on your side early in the process is a wise decision. An attorney will be able to review your situation, put a dollar value on your claim, and help you try to recover fair compensation for your injuries by using evidence to build a strong case for you.
Gibson Hill Serves Pedestrian Accident Victims in the Austin Area
Texas Statute of Limitations
Victims often rely on an insurance company to make a fair and accurate assessment of their accident and then offer them fair compensation. That scenario is unlikely to occur. When an insurance company stops negotiating in good faith, or you feel they are not accurately assigning liability to each party, it may be time to think about going to court. In some situations, a lawsuit may ultimately be the best way to recover the amount of compensation you deserve.
Texas has a strict timeline that dictates how long victims have to bring a claim to court. Victims have two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit. While this may seem like plenty of time, those two years can pass very quickly. In some situations, it may not become apparent that an insurance company is not negotiating in good faith until late into the process. By that time, a victim may have exceeded the statute of limitations, which limits their legal recourse.
Bringing on an attorney early in the process means you, the victim, have options for recovering compensation. An attorney can help you with your insurance claim and negotiate on your behalf for the compensation you deserve. If the company is unwilling to negotiate or is not negotiating in good faith, an attorney can begin the process of filing a lawsuit. An experienced attorney brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to your claim and case that benefit you in the long run.
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we understand that hiring an attorney may feel like an overwhelming prospect, especially if you are suffering from serious injuries. However, getting a lawyer on your side may give you the best chance possible at recovering the compensation that you deserve. It is also a valuable way to take the weight and pressure of this difficult time off your shoulders. At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we can lay out all your legal options and help you decide what the best approach is for your situation. We even offer a free, no-obligation consultation to answer your questions and get you started.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you’re coping with injuries, we know you have questions. Read over our frequently asked questions and call a member of our team at (512) 931-3290 to discuss your case in more detail.
What is Reasonable Care?
It is the responsibility of pedestrians to demonstrate reasonable care for their safety. If a pedestrian fails to exercise reasonable care and bears partial responsibility for their injuries, their compensation could be reduced under Texas’s comparative negligence rules. Failing to walk on marked cross-paths or choosing to walk through traffic, thereby disrupting the flow, are some of the factors that contribute to pedestrian negligence. Other factors include darting in front of a vehicle.
Drivers are expected to demonstrate reasonable care, as well. Disregarding traffic or weather conditions, disobeying traffic signals, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are some of the factors that cause auto accidents. Distracted driving, failure to signal when driving, and speeding are other factors that contribute to driver negligence.
What are the rules for pedestrians and drivers?
For pedestrians, the law requires that they cross the road at designated sections only. Pedestrians are responsible for walking facing traffic if no designated pedestrian footpath exists and yielding to drivers when necessary.
Drivers are responsible for making safe choices as well and are expected to look out for pedestrians and drive defensively. Even with these laws in place, drivers and pedestrians text and talk on their cell phones while driving or walking, making them distracted enough to cause an accident. Exercising care and right-of-way are aspects of the law that are taken into account when building a case after a pedestrian accident has occurred.
How does a court determine liability?
Courts consider many factors when figuring out who is responsible for an accident. Traffic law violations, distractions, and any dangerous behaviors can all contribute to a serious accident. Liability for a pedestrian accident is determined based on the duty of care owed by the parties involved. At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we can help you determine who is liable and decide if you have a case based on negligence, law violation, distraction, or recklessness.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
The Austin personal injury lawyers at Gibson Hill Personal Injury work hard to help clients just like you receive the compensation they need after a pedestrian accident. We want to minimize your stress and anxiety, and we will fight for what you need so you can focus on recovering. Call our office at (512) 931-3290 and discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys today.