Consequences for Hitting a Pedestrian in Texas
In Texas, the consequences of hitting a pedestrian can be severe. According to Attorney Brian White of Personal Injury Lawyers in Houston, TX, the Lone Star State is not one of the safest states for pedestrians. In 2016, a total of 678 pedestrians died in Texas, an increase of 21.5% from 2015. Motorists, pedestrians, and third parties have all been at fault for these accidents in the past.
If a motorist strikes a pedestrian and causes injury or death, they may face civil and/or criminal consequences depending on liability. The driver could be held liable for damages caused by their negligence or recklessness. They may also face criminal charges if they were driving under the influence or if they acted with intent to harm another person. Depending on the severity of the accident, penalties could include fines, jail time, or both. It is important to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer if you are involved in an accident involving a pedestrian as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.Criminal Penalties
When a pedestrian is involved in an accident with a vehicle, the driver may face criminal penalties depending on the circumstances. If the driver was negligent or acted with intent to harm, they could be found guilty of criminal acts. Examples of such behavior include driving while intoxicated, engaging in a hit-and-run, or reckless driving. The courts will consider these behaviors criminal if they resulted in the injury or death of another person.
The severity of the criminal penalty depends on the degree of wrongdoing and its effects on the injured party. In some cases, community service may be sufficient punishment for minor offenses. However, more serious offenses can result in jail time or even prison sentences depending on how severe the consequences were for the victim. It is important to remember that any form of negligence behind the wheel can have serious consequences and should not be taken lightly.Civil Repercussions
When a driver is found to be at fault for an accident involving a pedestrian, there can be serious civil repercussions. The injured pedestrian or surviving family members may bring civil charges against the driver through the county courts. A civil claim serves to reimburse the injured party for his/her losses, while a criminal case aims to punish the offender for wrongdoing. As a defendant in a civil claim, a driver may have to pay substantial attorney's fees and other out-of-pocket expenses. The driver or his/her insurance company, if found at fault, will then have to compensate the plaintiff in the amount the court deems appropriate. This could include medical bills, missed work, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lifelong care if necessary. In some cases, “treble damages” may also be awarded as punishment for bad behavior that contributed to the plaintiff's harm.
The financial burden of these civil repercussions can be immense and long-lasting. It is important for drivers to remember that they are responsible for their actions on the road and should always drive with caution and respect for pedestrians’ safety. Taking steps such as following traffic laws and being aware of one’s surroundings can help prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer For Help
A personal injury lawyer 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, will fight for your rights and help you maximize the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.