Across many communities in America, people are embracing a more pedestrian-friendly lifestyle. Around Fort Worth, people walk to work, exercise, and stroll around boutiques and restaurants. When pedestrians and drivers fail to use reasonable care around our roadways, accidents happen. In Texas, 678 pedestrians died in motor vehicle accidents in 2016 – a 21.5% increase over theprevious year. Our Fort Worth pedestrian accident lawyers victims take legal action after a severe injury.
Texas Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian accidents are unfortunately quite common in the state of Texas. In fact, the Governors Highway Safety Association ranks Texas as the state with the third highest amount of pedestrian deaths per year. In fact, Texas reported over 100 pedestrian deaths in 2017. Texas saw 2.44 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 population in 2017.
The Texas Department of Transportation also reports sobering facts with regards to pedestrian accidents in 2017.
- Texas pedestrian fatalities totaled 614 in 2017, a 9.7% decrease from 2016.
- Texas saw a person die as a result of a motor vehicle crash at least once per day in 2017.
- 604 pedestrians were involved in fatal crashes in Texas during 2017.
- 1,107 pedestrians were involved in suspected serious crashes in 2017.
- 1,144 pedestrians suffered suspected serious injuries in 2017.
- 2,198 pedestrians were involved in non-incapacitating crashes in 2017.
- 2,312 pedestrians suffered non-incapacitating injuries in 2017.
- 1,634 pedestrians were involved in possible injury crashes in 2017.
- 1,760 pedestrians suffered possible injuries in 2017 crashes.
- 221 pedestrians were involved in non-injury crashes.
- 225 pedestrians did not suffer injuries in crashes in 2017.
- In total, 5,767 Texas pedestrians were involved in motor vehicle crashes in 2017.
Common Causes of Texas Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians walking down the street are in a very hazardous situation in Texas. Most pedestrian accidents occur at night and happen because drivers do not take special care to avoid harming pedestrians while driving. Usually, it is due to drivers who do not offer the appropriate duty of care to pedestrian traffic.
Certain factors lead to pedestrian accidents at higher rates than other causes.
- Drivers can fail to maintain control over their vehicle while driving, leading to collisions with pedestrians.
- Drivers can engage in dangerous and negligent activities while driving, such as driving while intoxicated or driving while distracted.
- Drivers can experience difficulties on the road due to poor conditions, such as bad weather, damaged roadways, crowds, or traffic. These conditions can lead to poor driving and collisions with pedestrians.
- Drivers can fail to stop at a stop sign, hitting pedestrians who are crossing the street.
- Drivers can yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, but fail to stop in time, leading to collisions.
Fault in Pedestrian Accidents
Both inattentive drivers and pedestrians can cause serious pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians who suddenly leave a curb without giving drivers an opportunity to react may face responsibility for an accident. Drivers who fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks, parking lots, and unmarked crossings (streets that intersect crosswalks) often face liability for resulting accidents.
Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule in most negligence-based cases. The courts will evaluate each party’s contribution to the incident to assign a percentage of fault. If any one party is more than 50% responsible, it loses the ability to recover damages. In accident cases involving pedestrians, pedestrian traffic laws, general traffic laws, and each individual’s standard of care will all factor into liability determinations.
When our law firm takes on a pedestrian accident case, we conduct a thorough independent investigation to assess accident evidence and recreate the accident. Our specialized Ft. Worth accident lawyers the facts of the case to hold defendants accountable and to protect our clients’ rights to full compensation.
Right of Way Laws in Texas
In the state of Texas, pedestrians need to obey certain traffic rules to walk safely on Texas roads. They must obey posted traffic control devices, unless a police officer is present and stating otherwise. These devices include pavement striping, traffic signals, and posted signs. Pedestrians must use a sidewalk wherever possible. If a sidewalk is not present, pedestrians must walk on the left side of the road.
Pedestrians need to follow additional rules to stay safe while walking in Texas.
- When crossing the street, pedestrians cannot leave the sidewalk until a signal allows them to. Pedestrians should not enter the street when the light flashes WAIT or STOP. If a pedestrian is already in the crosswalk when the light turns, he or she must quickly travel to the other side or wait on the safety island.
- Pedestrians must walk on the right half of crosswalks.
- Pedestrians must not yield to vehicles who have the right of way while crossing the street.
- Pedestrians must follow all traffic orders.
Motor vehicles must also yield to pedestrians in the following situations.
- When crosswalks indicate that a pedestrian can cross a street.
- When pedestrians are crossing the area in front of a building, alleyway, or driveway.
- When blind, incapacitated, or obviously confused pedestrians are in the road.
- Whenever pedestrians are on sidewalks or footpaths.
- In parking lots and designated crosswalks in parking lots.
If you followed the right of way rules while walking and still get into an accident with a motor vehicle, you could be due compensation based on the at-fault driver’s negligence. If you are unsure who had the right of way in your case, contact The Law Offices of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. to schedule your free case consultation.
Serious Pedestrian Accidents in Fort Worth
Pedestrians do not enjoy the same protections as passenger vehicle drivers. They will face the full force of an impact with their bodies. As a result, pedestrian incidents tend to result in serious and life-threatening injuries including brain and spinal cord injuries, burn injuries, impalements, compound fractures, and more.
Brain and spinal cord injuries, in particular, can change the course of a person’s life. He or she could lose mobility, speech capabilities, personality traits, cognitive ability, and more. Every central nervous system injury is different and many require lifelong therapy or support. Other types of tissue trauma can lead to disfigurement and chronic pain. A person may recover from these injuries but experience the psychological and physical scars for a lifetime.
Options for Recovery in Pedestrian Accidents
In clear-cut pedestrian accident claims, an at-fault driver’s insurance will cover economic and noneconomic damages associated with the accident. Other cases are not so straightforward. In cases involving uninsured or underinsured motorists, pedestrians often need additional compensation to cover their losses. Pedestrian cases may also involve malfunctioning vehicles, professional drivers, acts of gross negligence, or 18-wheelers. Each factor in a case changes the possible avenues for recovery. Even seemingly clear-cut liability claims can take time and legal support to successfully resolve.
Instead of settling for less than you deserve, talk to one of our dedicated pedestrian accident attorneys about your situation. We will scrutinize the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options. Our team handles all kinds of pedestrian accident cases in the Fort Worth area.
Your Fort Worth Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you need representation after a pedestrian accident, choose a firm known for excellence in the local community. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert has a reputation for success in personal injury law. Our founding attorney, Aaron A. Herbert, is a board certified personal injury trial lawyer who will not accept anything less than the best possible outcome for firm clients. When you come to us, we will help you find qualified medical support and represent you in all case matters from medical bill collection to your time out of work. We will serve as your compassionate and tireless legal representatives.
Contact our pedestrian accident lawyers in Fort Worth today at (817) 500-4878 for a free case evaluation.