Can Pedestrians Be at Fault for Road Accidents in Texas?
Pedestrians are often blamed for being careless and negligent when they cause traffic accidents. However, like car drivers and other road users, pedestrians must act responsibly and follow the road rules. This includes following speed limits, staying alert while walking along roads, and avoiding distractions such as talking on cell phones or texting.
If you've been injured in a pedestrian accident in Texas, you need an experienced attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, on your side.Proving Negligence Can Show Who Is Responsible for the Accident
Negligence cases are often difficult to prove because it requires showing that someone else was negligent. This is especially true when there are multiple people present during an accident. In some cases, the negligence of another person might even cause an accident to occur. For example, a driver could hit a pedestrian while texting behind the wheel.
In such cases, proving negligence and causation can show who is responsible for the accident. A plaintiff needs to show that the defendant breached his duty of care. They also need to show that the breach of duty was the actual cause of the injury. Finally, plaintiffs need to show how much money they deserve for their injuries.Texas Pedestrian Laws That Could Be Relevant to Your Case
Pedestrians are required to obey traffic laws in Texas. In fact, state law mandates that pedestrians must walk on sidewalks and cannot cross over roadways unless directed by traffic lights and signs. However, even though pedestrians are legally obligated to follow traffic rules, there are many instances where they break those laws. For example, drivers often fail to yield to pedestrians crossing the roadway. When someone is hit while walking across a highway, it could be considered negligence on the part of the driver.
Pedestrians who are injured due to another person's negligence may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. This type of claim requires proving that you suffered damages because of someone else's actions. To do so, you must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. A pedestrian owes motorists a duty of care and, therefore, is responsible for obeying traffic laws and staying out of harm's way.A Shared Fault Pedestrian Accident Case
In a shared fault case, where both drivers and pedestrians are responsible for causing the car crash, each side may be entitled to recover some compensation. This is because, under Texas law, it is possible to hold both parties liable for the same harm. For example, if one party is driving too fast and causes a car accident while another person runs into the street without looking, both parties may be held jointly and severally liable.
The court system assigns percentages of fault to each party involved in the incident. If both parties are equally negligent, then both receive a percentage of fault equal to their respective shares of negligence. However, if one party is more negligent than the other, then he or she receives a lower percentage of fault.
For instance, let's say that a motorist hits a pedestrian at 30 miles per hour. The pedestrian is walking across the road, and the motorist does not see him or her. In this situation, the pedestrian is deemed to be 20 percent at fault since he or she did not exercise reasonable care. On the other hand, the motorist is 10 percent at fault, since his or her speed caused the accident.Form of Financial Recovery You Can Pursue Following a Texas Accident
The law requires us to tell you about important limitations on the recovery of certain types of damages in personal injury cases. These include damages awarded because of medical expenses, future earnings lost due to injuries, and pain and suffering. We cannot guarantee that the amount of money you recover for these items will equal what you might collect if there had been no accident. In addition, some of these damages are subject to limits under the state constitution. For example, the limit on noneconomic damages includes compensation for pain and suffering. If you suffer serious bodily injury, you could receive large awards for pain and suffering even though the total amount of your recovery is limited.
In addition, your ability to recover from mental anguish depends upon whether you suffered physical harm. A person who suffers emotional distress alone without accompanying physical impact does not usually have a claim for mental anguish damages unless it arises out of a willful act by another party.Potential Economic Damages for Texas Pedestrian Accident Victims
If someone else caused your car accident, you might be able to collect economic damage awards from that person. But what about if it was your fault? Is there anything you can do to make up for the financial losses you suffered because of your injury?
When you're injured in a pedestrian accident, you'll likely face medical bills. If you've been hurt while walking across a street, for example, you might be eligible for compensation for lost income, medical care costs, and even psychological counseling.
You might also qualify for economic damages if you experienced a permanent physical impairment due to another driver's negligence. For instance, if you had surgery to repair a broken leg, you'd be entitled to compensation for the cost of treatment, including rehabilitation therapy, along with lost wages and other out-of-pocket expenses.
In addition, if you suffer mental anguish over your injuries, you might be able for emotional distress damages. Mental anguish includes feelings such as anxiety, depression, humiliation, shame, embarrassment, anger, fear, worry, and despair.
We only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit.
Texas law generally gives only two (2) years for claimants to file a personal injury or wrongful death suit. In some cases, even though it takes longer than two years to file a claim, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the claimant knows or reasonably should know of his or her cause of action. However, if you fail to file within two years, the clock stops ticking, and you are out of luck.
In addition, in Texas, there is no grace period for filing claims. You must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the incident. If you do not meet the deadline, you cannot recover damages.
If you are injured because of another person's negligence, you probably already know what happened. But did you realize that you had a legal remedy against the negligent party? Did you know that you have up to two years to sue the responsible party?
Our attorneys can explain how to protect yourself and your family. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.