Many people are left stranded, in pain, and wondering what to do when involved in a pedestrian accident. Under the Houston, Texas law, the injured person can sue someone responsible for the accident.
A driver involved in a car-pedestrian accident might face criminal charges for violating the law. This will include civil liability for the pedestrian’s damages or injuries.
When driving at a higher speed, it’s easy for a driver to hit a pedestrian. Injuries and fatalities can result. But a driver can still injure a person walking or jogging while driving at a slower speed at just 10 miles per hour.
You may be injured or lose a loved one in devastating pedestrian-vehicle collisions. Moving forward or figuring out how to cater to the damage is incredibly difficult and costly.
The good news is that McDonald Worley is here for you. A Houston pedestrian accident attorney from our experienced legal team is prepared to fight for you, and justice will prevail. Contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation and get to know us.
What to Do If a Car Hits You While Walking
Accidents involving pedestrians and cars are inevitable and quite common. Many of these cases may result in injuries or pedestrian deaths.
An injured person is likely to be in shock, frightened, or out of control. You have to compose yourself and move off of the street. Then you can take the following steps.
Take the first step and contact the local law enforcement as soon as possible. This is even if the driver speeds off and leaves the scene.
Regardless of the severity of the injury, the police will investigate the incident. The good news? The police report will help if you decide to sue for driver negligence.
Let the police know what happened from your perspective, and don’t make irrelevant statements. Such comments and admitting fault can come to haunt you when you take legal action. Tell the truth and provide factual statements.
Seek Medical Attention
Don’t assume common pedestrian injuries and shun the idea of seeing a doctor. It is wise to seek medical attention whenever involved in an auto accident.
Car accidents can lead to head injuries or trauma, internal bleeding, or other related and hidden conditions that might bring you complications in the future. If it isn’t a life-threatening injury, take your time. Wait until you have talked to the police and recorded a statement to go to the doctor’s office for medical documentation.
The information you gather after the pedestrian-car accident is crucial, and you should document everything. Take pictures or videos of the scene, including those of the car that hit you.
Get security camera footage from nearby business premises, request the driver’s contact information, and talk to potential witnesses. Note all this down as it will help fill a personal injury lawsuit.
Hire a Lawyer
In Houston, Texas, a suitable pedestrian accident lawyer will help file a claim and receive compensation. The personal injury attorney will contact the driver’s insurance company, gather evidence, investigate the claim, and file the case on time.
It’s important to note that not all pedestrian accidents are the driver’s fault that hit you. The state or city where traffic accidents occur may have failed in providing satisfactory driving or pedestrian safety measures. The lawyer you pick will evaluate your case to get the highest compensation coverage.
Can You Sue for Accidental Injury?
If you have suffered an accidental injury, don’t just assume everything will be alright. You have a legal right to sue the parties involved. Figure out whether to sue the negligent driver or the insurance company.
Your legal team will help check your compensation options for injuries and other losses. Here are a few questions to answer.
Who Was at Fault for the Pedestrian Accident?
People assume that the driver was at fault if a pedestrian was hit in most cases. It’s advisable to sue a driver if they don’t abide by the set traffic law. Here are a few things to assess and consider the direction the case will follow:
- Distracted drivers
- Impatient drivers
- Impaired drivers
- Bad weather
- Ongoing road construction
- A pedestrian wearing dark clothes at night
- Vehicles making wrong turns
- Multi-lane roads
If a pedestrian is hit by a driver violating traffic laws, liability is clear. In case the injured pedestrian was at fault in the car-pedestrian accident, the lawsuit can be simple to decide.
The jurors and insurance adjusters will not just rely on the words of the eyewitness. They can decide by:
- Getting the stories of both the driver and pedestrian
- Using applicable laws like the liable speed limits
- Going through findings in a police report from the accident
- Relying on expert testimony
If dealing with an at-fault driver, the pedestrian would recover financial compensation from the insurance carrier. The compensation will cater for the punitive damages caused, and the insurance company will not file demanding lawsuits.
If the pedestrian is to blame for the accident, no possible compensation for injuries will be proposed. The driver can sue the pedestrian for compensatory damages.
Common scenarios under which the person hit by a car may be found at least partially at fault include:
- Walking along a highway, marked crosswalk, or bridge when pedestrians’ access is not allowed.
- Entering a marked crosswalk when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Crossing in the middle of the street or jaywalking.
- Crossing a road against the traffic signal, not abiding by set commands like red street signs for “Do Not Walk”.
How Badly Is a Pedestrian Injured?
If you suffer an injury and the driver is at fault, you can pursue a personal injury claim. File a claim against the responsible driver’s auto insurance company and ask for a fair settlement that caters to your punitive damages. The lawsuit you lodge to claim compensation for your injuries will consider:
- Medical expenses
- Prescription medication
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Rehabilitation or therapy costs
Did the Driver Stop at the Scene of the Accident?
If the driver stopped at the accident scene, they complied with the set legal obligation. You were able to gather the necessary information from the driver, such as their contact details or their insurance company. You can now take the next step and decide whether to file a lawsuit.
If it was a hit-and-run driver, report the incident to the police, and an investigation will take place. Get the name of the witnesses and contact information.
Is It Worth Suing For Personal Injury After a Pedestrian Accident?
It’s wise to ask how much you will receive after filing a pedestrian accident claim. You may not have a clear answer at the opening stages of your case. But a Houston pedestrian accident attorney can help you understand the value of your claim.
Types of Damages to be settled in a personal injury case
Below are the most common damages covered in a personal injury case in Houston, Texas.
These are damages that will affect your finances or source of income. They include:
- Medical treatment
- Future medical care
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
There is no set limit on the amount one can recover from economic damages in Houston, Texas.
These are damages that don’t have a clear financial value and include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Loss of consortium
These damages are worth the pursuit if your case goes to trial. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the negligent party for particularly careless or egregious behavior.
Factors that will affect the value or worthiness of your claim include the severity of your injuries, liability, and insurance coverage. Settlements are the most common outcome in a personal injury claim in Texas.
How Much Is Pain and Suffering Worth In a Pedstrian Accident?
There is no specific value for how much pain and suffering you go through after a car accident. The case is based on the physical pain and mental distress you endure.
Getting a suitable compensation for pain and suffering personal injury can be daunting, but don’t fret. Insurance companies use the multiplier method and the daily rate “per diem” method.
To get the most out of your lawsuit, work with a Houston personal injury lawyer who will give you a better understanding of the compensatory damages. A good lawyer will work hard and calculate the total value of your claim for compensation.
What Is a Good Settlement Offer?
A good personal injury settlement offer should cover all past and future injuries and related complications. If you were hit by a car and injured, you are entitled to compensation for even non-economic losses.
To get the best settlement from an insurance adjuster after a pedestrian accident, start by hiring a skilled Houston personal injury lawyer near you. Provide all the necessary information that will make your case a success.
Don’t take the first offer that comes your way. You have to make the adjuster justify the offer. Go on to confirm and document the accepted offer in writing.