When pedestrians suffer devastating injuries after being struck by a motor vehicle, establishing liability (which party is responsible for the accident) is essential. Texas law allows injury victims to seek maximum compensation from culpable parties. However, determining fault and building a powerful case against the liable individual or entity can often be a complex process.
The experienced Texas pedestrian accident lawyers at Jason English Law work tirelessly to investigate and gather the evidence needed to prove liability. Contact our office at (512) 454-7548 for a free consultation and learn more about how liability is determined in Texas pedestrian accident claims.
The Importance of Establishing Fault for Pedestrian Accidents in Texas
Pedestrian accident victims have the right to be made whole when someone else is responsible for causing their injuries. However, one of the few ways to recover compensation is through filing insurance and civil claims against the liable party.
For a pedestrian accident victims claim to be successful, liability must be proven based on a preponderance of the evidence. Only once the insurance company, judge, or jury are satisfied that the evidence shows the defendant is more likely than not responsible for causing the victims injuries can a settlement or award be issued.
How Pedestrian Accidents Occur in Texas
Texas pedestrian accidents can occur in a variety of ways. In the majority of pedestrian accidents, pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles. This leads many injury victims to the assumption that the driver who hit them is at fault for the accident.
While this may be true in many instances, it is not always the case. Negligent driving is one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Texas. Some examples of negligent driving could include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Impaired driving
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
However, negligent driving is not the only cause of pedestrian accidents. When motor vehicle parts are defective or malfunction, or the road conditions are hazardous, drivers may be incapable of preventing a collision. Some of the parties who could share culpability in pedestrian accidents caused by defective auto parts or dangerous roads include:
- Government agencies
- Government officials
- Auto parts manufacturers and distributors
- Safety inspectors
- Maintenance technicians
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Motor vehicle dealerships
- Other third parties
Jason English Law's dedicated pedestrian accident lawyers will be responsible for opening up an in-depth investigation into the cause of our clients' injuries so they can recover maximum compensation for their suffering.
Proportionate Responsibility Laws and Pedestrian Liability
Many pedestrian accident victims share liability for their injuries. Failure to follow Texas' right-of-way rules for pedestrians could have a significant impact on a victim's injury settlement. Some of the more important Texas right-of-way rules include:
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way when crossing the road
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way when a traffic light turns red and they are crossing the street
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way when there is no “walk” signal and the traffic light is green
- Pedestrians must yield to motor vehicles
- Pedestrians should only cross in a marked crosswalk
- Pedestrians are required to adhere to crosswalk signs and traffic signals
- Pedestrians are prohibited from walking on roadways if sidewalks are accessible and available
- Pedestrians are prohibited from crossing in the direction of a “don't walk” signal
Failure to adhere to these right-of-way rules could have a substantial effect on the amount of compensation the victim can be awarded. Fortunately, Texas follows a proportionate responsibility system. Here, victims can share up to 50% of the liability for causing the accident and still recover compensation for their damages. However, a pedestrian accident victim who shares fault can expect their injury settlement to be reduced by their proportionate responsibility.
For example, if a pedestrian accident victim failed to cross in a marked crosswalk when they were struck by a drunk driver, the judge may find them 10% responsible for causing their injuries. If the jury awarded them $1 million for their damages, their injury settlement would be reduced by 10%. This would leave the pedestrian accident victim with a final injury settlement of $900,000.
Evidence to Establish Culpability in Texas Pedestrian Accident Claims
Liability must be proven based on a preponderance of the evidence in civil pedestrian accident claims. Pedestrian accident lawyers must conduct thorough investigations to gather the evidence needed to support a victim's case.
Some of the more common types of evidence used to establish liability in Texas pedestrian accidents include:
- Cell phone records
- Photos of the victim's injuries
- Photos of any property damages
- Dash cam footage
- CCTV footage
- Chemical blood alcohol test results
- Law-enforcement reports
- Accident reports
- Safety inspection logs
- Accident and reconstructionist reports
- Medical records
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
How to Recover Maximum Compensation In a Pedestrian Accident Claim
Pedestrian accident victims hoping to get the most out of their case should be prepared to file claims with the insurance company and bring their case to court. In many pedestrian accident claims, the liable party is represented by some type of insurance policy whether that be auto insurance, general liability insurance, or another type of insurance protection plan. If the liable party carries insurance, filing a claim with their insurer could recover certain types and amounts of compensation.
However, since a considerable number of pedestrian accident victims are unable to have their needs met through an insurance settlement alone, filing a civil lawsuit may be the best way to recover total compensation. At trial, pedestrian accident victims can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages to recover their losses in full.
Contact a Texas Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Help Today
The Texas pedestrian accident claims process can often be complex. Those who suffered critical or debilitating injuries may be entitled to pay financial compensation. Learn more about liability in Texas pedestrian accident claims by contacting a dedicated personal injury lawyer at Jason English Law.
Our firm proudly offers no-cost, risk-free consultations to pedestrian accident victims across the state of Texas. Take advantage of this opportunity by calling our office at (512) 454-7548 or completing our quick contact form.