Our Houston Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Will Get You The Compensation You Deserve
When walking or biking on a sidewalk or road, no one expects to be hit by a car. When you’re struck by the negligent driver of a motor vehicle, your life could completely change.
At the offices of Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, we know that being involved in a pedestrian crash can uproot your life. If you’ve been hit and aren’t sure where to turn or what your rights are, our experienced legal professionals can help.
Please reach out to us today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Pedestrian Accidents a Serious Problem in Houston
Pedestrians accidents should never happen but, unfortunately, they happen at an alarmingly frequent rate, and are even becoming more prevalent in certain parts of the country.
According to data provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT), more people were killed in pedestrian accidents in a single year in our state than in motorcycle crashes – more than 600 pedestrians in a single year. Data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that overall, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a crash.
And of course, because of the nature of pedestrian crashes, where 4,000 or more pounds of steel collide with a person’s body sans protections, pedestrians who are involved in crashes are much more likely to suffer severe injuries than are occupants of motor vehicles. If injuries are not fatal, they very well may be permanently disabling.
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Who Can I Hold Responsible for My Injuries?
After a pedestrian accident occurs, it’s important to review all of the facts of the case to determine who may be at fault for the crash. Liability in Texas is based on fault – parties who cause accidents are responsible for paying for them. Our Texas pedestrian accident attorney can investigate your crash to get to the bottom of how it happened and who you can hold responsible.
Parties who may be to blame for your injuries include:
- The driver of the vehicle that hit you. Driver negligence is a top cause of pedestrian crashes in our state. Examples of driver negligence that lead to crashes include failing to yield, speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, failing to look, and driving aggressively.
- The party responsible for road or traffic light maintenance. Sometimes, pedestrian accidents occur because of defective road conditions, confusing signage, or broken traffic lights. For example, if the light signaled to both a pedestrian and a driver that they had the right-of-way, it’s easy to see how an accident could occur. Or, if a road is poorly maintained, a pedestrian could trip and fall in the roadway, an accident that could be exacerbated by then being hit by a motor vehicle.
In some cases, another third party may be to blame, such as the manufacturer of defective brakes that caused the crash. Again, our pedestrian accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case to determine who’s to blame and against whom a claim should be filed.
"Anthony is an amazing personal injury lawyer."
"Anthony is an amazing personal injury lawyer. He takes the time to make sure each and every one of his clients needs are taken care of. I HIGHLY recommend Anthony at the Milano Legal Group if you are in need of someone to fight for you and get the best possible outcome for your personal injury case."
How Much Compensation Can I Recover?
The amount of compensation that’s available in a pedestrian injury claim varies on a case-by-case basis depending on numerous factors.
That being said, the types of damages that you have the right to seek in your claim include:
- Economic losses. Economic losses are those losses that have an actual financial value, such as medical expenses and lost wages. You can seek compensation for all economic losses related to an accident, including both present and future damages.
- Noneconomic losses. Noneconomic losses, on the other hand, do not have an actual financial value. Instead, these damages are intangible. The value of a person’s pain, suffering, and emotional distress are examples of types of noneconomic damages.
Your recovery award in a pedestrian accident claim will be based, in large part, on the value of the damages types above. Those who have suffered more significant damages will typically be able to recover larger settlement awards. However, this is not the only thing that affects a settlement. Two important additional factors to consider are:
- Degree of fault. Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule, which holds that a plaintiff can still recover damages from another party so long as the plaintiff is not more than 50 percent to blame for the accident. If a plaintiff is partially to blame, they can still seek damages, but their recoverable damages award will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.
- Insurance coverage available. Another consideration in a pedestrian accident claim is that of the amount of insurance available. Even if a pedestrian wasn’t at all to blame for their accident, and even if they have suffered significant damages, if there isn’t insurance coverage in place (i.e. the at-fault driver is uninsured and the pedestrian doesn’t carry their own insurance), then recovering a fair compensation award will be difficult, if not impossible.
Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Houston
Driver negligence is the number one cause of pedestrian accidents in Houston. Pedestrians are frequently in danger due to driver inattention and other traffic law violations. Below are the most common forms of negligence that occur:
- Distractions or recklessness. Use of cell phones and other electronic devices, driving while fatigued, speeding, running red lights, etc. is very dangerous. Especially if a pedestrian who has the right of way steps out onto the road, and a driver isn’t looking up at the time.
- Failure to yield the right of way: The right of way changes based on the traffic scenario, making it important for pedestrians and drivers alike to pay constant attention. Pedestrians are three times more likely to be hit by cars turning left than when cars are turning right. The reason being that both parties are often looking elsewhere when an accident occurs. Drivers are negotiating the intersection, while pedestrians are looking straight ahead.
- Poorly designed intersection: Signaled crosswalks can significantly reduce the risk of a serious pedestrian accident. However, many roadways in Texas lack crosswalks and are not designed to accommodate pedestrians. When an accident occurs due to a poorly designed intersection or a faulty traffic signal, the city may be liable for damages.
What To Do After a Pedestrian Accident in Houston
After a pedestrian accident, first contact local law enforcement. They will make an accident report, with the evidence documented, and an assessment of fault. It will also contain the names and contact information for everyone involved, including witnesses, in case you are unable to obtain it yourself. Secondly, take photos of your injuries and of the scene itself.
It is also very important to get medical attention as soon as you can. Even if your injuries seem minor, you could have an internal injury that only a medical exam can discover. In addition to making sure you are on the road to healing, seeing a doctor will also document your injuries. This is vital evidence when it comes to filing a claim. Lastly, consult with and hire a pedestrian accident attorney to assist you with speaking to the insurance companies and obtaining the compensation you need.
Preventing Pedestrian-Vehicle Collisions
The best way to prevent pedestrian related accidents is people working together to ensure that roads are safe for everyone. That means drivers must remain vigilant and limit distractions such as phone use while driving, even if that means turning it off. Likewise, it is crucial that pedestrians stick to designated crossing areas. Other things to keep in mind are:
You can prevent a pedestrian accident when you’re a driver by:
- Slowing down in pedestrian areas.
- Looking for eye contact.
- Not assuming when the car ahead of you stops.
- Observing school crossing signs and school bus rules.
- Only driving while sober, and not when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Taking the weather into account.
- Being patient with seniors and other people with challenges.
With a few extra steps, accidents can be avoided if you:
- Don’t expect drivers to see you.
- Stay far away from the curb when you need to stop for cars.
- Look around stopped vehicles before crossing.
- Use crosswalks and stay observant.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Law Firm Help Me?
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be at a loss of what to do when it comes to the aftermath of your crash – should you pay your bills? Do you need to file a claim? Will a lawsuit be necessary? These are all pressing questions, and ones that can be difficult to answer without a skilled legal professional on your side.
When you work with our Texas pedestrian injury lawyer, our lawyer will help you to understand everything there is to know about the claims process, how to file a lawsuit, and what your rights are. Our law firm will also manage the investigation of your case, bring a claim on your behalf, and negotiate your settlement.
"Truly cares for each one of his clients."
"Anthony Milano is very knowledgeable in personal injury law and will help anyone that asks. He is professional and truly cares for each one of his clients."
Call Our Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured, we’re here to help. Start the claims process by contacting our law firm today and requesting a free case consultation. We can travel to your location and schedule your consultation at a time that’s convenient for you.
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Houston Pedestrian Accident FAQs
What should I do after a pedestrian accident?
Following a pedestrian accident in Houston, Texas, it is important for you to take steps that protect both your health and your legal rights. Here are several steps you should take after you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident:
Call the police: The first thing you should do after a pedestrian accident is call the police. Not only will they ensure that you receive appropriate medical care, but the responding officer will prepare a report that will be useful in your personal injury lawsuit.
Seek immediate medical assistance: Pedestrian accident victims often receive medical assistance at the scene of the accident. However, some types of injuries don’t present immediate symptoms. Therefore, even if you receive a cursory examination immediately following your accident, you should schedule a follow-up appointment with a health care provider as soon as possible.
Avoid discussing fault at the scene of the accident or with the driver’s insurance company: Although it may be tempting to discuss who was at fault for your pedestrian accident, you should refrain from doing so. Specifically, you should avoid discussing the accident both at the scene of the accident and later with the driver’s insurance company. The reason for this is that anything you say can later be used against you when you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Document your injuries: If your injuries are visible, you should take pictures of them. In addition, if possible, you should take pictures of the scene of the accident. Pictures and videos of your injuries and the accident scene can serve as valuable evidence in your personal injury lawsuit.
Contact an attorney: Finally, following a pedestrian accident, you should contact a Houston attorney for assistance as soon as possible. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party and aggressively pursue financial compensation on your behalf.
Can a pedestrian be at fault in an accident?
Under Texas’s modified comparative negligence system, a person may sue for damages even if he or she is partially at fault for an accident. However, if a party is found to be more than 50% to blame for an accident, then he or she cannot recover any damages. As applied to pedestrian accidents, if the driver is clearly at fault for an accident, then the injured pedestrian will usually be able to recover compensation from the driver for the harm caused. However, if the pedestrian bears all the blame for the accident, then he or she will not be able to recover compensation for his or her injuries, and the driver may actually be able to sue the pedestrian. Examples of situations in which a pedestrian may be partially or fully at fault for an accident include:
- The pedestrian was jaywalking.
- The pedestrian crossed the road against the traffic signal.
- The pedestrian crossed a highway or street while intoxicated.
- The pedestrian walked along a highway, bridge, or causeway where pedestrian access is prohibited.
Do I really need to see a doctor after a pedestrian accident?
Seeing a doctor after a pedestrian accident is important for several reasons. The primary reason that you should see a doctor after an accident is to assess your health. Although serious injuries require immediate medical attention, the severity of some types of injuries is not always obvious. For example, internal bleeding and some head injuries don’t always produce immediate symptoms. Therefore, even if you don’t have any obvious injuries, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
In addition to health concerns, seeing a medical professional after an accident produces important medical records and demonstrates that you sought medical attention due to your accident, both of which can be helpful in your personal injury lawsuit.
What can a pedestrian accident lawyer do for me?
Even if you aren’t yet sure whether you want to file a personal injury lawsuit, you owe it to yourself to explore your legal options. At Milano Legal Group, our pedestrian accident attorneys are here to discuss your case with you and help you decide whether legal action is the best choice in your situation. If you do decide to pursue financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, our talented team of legal professionals will handle your entire legal case from start to finish. Examples of what a pedestrian accident lawyer can do for you include:
- Investigating your pedestrian accident
- Gathering evidence
- Locating and identifying the party or parties responsible for your accident
- Hiring accident reconstruction teams and other experts
- Evaluating the scope of your injuries
- Dealing with hospital billing departments
- Analyzing your police report and other evidence
- Interviewing witnesses
- Negotiating with insurance companies
How much does it cost to hire a Houston pedestrian accident lawyer?
Most Houston personal injury attorneys will handle your lawsuit on a contingency fee basis. Under a contingency fee agreement, you don’t have to pay anything on the front end for legal representation. Instead, all legal fees will be taken directly from your verdict award or settlement. The average legal contingency fee is 33 percent. However, if your case isn’t successful (i.e., if you don’t recover any compensation for your accident), you won’t owe your attorney anything. Therefore, when you hire a personal injury attorney to handle your pedestrian accident case, you take on no financial risk.
What types of damages can I recover in a pedestrian accident case?
Damages refer to the money that the court awards to injury victims whose legal claims are successful. There are two primary categories of damages: compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages compensate injury victims for loss or injury, while punitive damages are awarded to punish certain types of egregious conduct. If your case is successful, you may be entitled to financial compensation for several types of damages, including:
- Medical bills for the treatment of your injury, such as medication, surgery, assistive devices, and rehabilitation
- Past, present, and future lost wages and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, such as scarring and disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and mental distress
- Punitive damages if the court determines that the other party’s actions were particularly egregious
What should I look for in a pedestrian accident attorney?
Following a pedestrian accident in Texas, not just any attorney will do. Rather, there are specific traits shared by effective attorneys that you should look for when deciding who will represent you in your personal injury lawsuit. Some of the traits possessed by effective personal injury lawyers include:
- Years of experience handling pedestrian accident lawsuits
- A long list of successful pedestrian accident cases
- A long list of satisfied clients
- Litigation experience
- Availability to answer questions about your case and the personal injury process
- Ample resources and a solid support staff
- Someone with whom you have good rapport
How long do I have to file a claim for a pedestrian accident injury in Houston?
The date by which you must file a personal injury lawsuit after an accident is commonly referred to as the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a pedestrian accident lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. So, after a pedestrian accident in Texas, you have two years to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. If you miss the filing deadline, you will be barred from obtaining financial compensation for your injury. Therefore, if you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you should contact an experienced Houston pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible.