Did you know that the densely populated Houston, TX, area is one of the top ten cities for pedestrian accidents? Houston accounted for 4,200 pedestrian deaths between 2003 and 2012, ranking seventh in pedestrian accidents in 2014 (according to a study by the National Complete Streets Coalition at Smart Growth America).
It’s not just Houston, either. Texas is ranked as the tenth most dangerous state for walking pedestrians. With the risks that these statistics demonstrate, it’s important to be prepared if you become a victim of a pedestrian accident.
With the rise of smartphones and other mobile devices, drivers are more distracted than ever before. When a driver texts and scrolls through apps while behind the wheel, they increase the risk of an accident. In fact, pedestrian accidents have increased by 50 percent in the past five years as a result of distracted driving. As Houston personal injury attorneys, this isn’t a statistic we take lightly.
Although 41 states have officially banned texting and driving, Texas included, experienced drivers are not completely banned from using handheld devices while behind the wheel. Drivers under the age of 18 have the most limitations in regards to the use of cell phones when driving and are banned completely from the use of mobile devices while behind the wheel. Many cities in Texas have local ordinances against texting and driving, however Houston is not one of them. This can create an unfortunate opportunity for distracted driving to occur and result in a crash.
A car hit you while you were walking–why?
Like all accidents, crashes involving walkers happen quickly. Below are a few of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents:
- Driver confusion
- Aggressive Driving
- Distracted driving (eating, applying makeup, talking on the phone)
Especially in Houston and other densely populated areas, aggressive driving is more likely to turn into road rage, endangering nearby pedestrians as potential victims. Pedestrian accidents can be especially damaging, leaving long term or even permanent disability.
Knowing this, it is important to get experienced legal representation. A skilled car accident attorney can help you fight for the compensation you need to pay medical bills and other costs resulting from the accident.
Texas is making strides towards improving pedestrian conditions.
Recently, Texas lawmakers have taken steps to improve conditions for pedestrians, but large metropolitan cities like Houston still have a long way to go to achieve optimal pedestrian safety. Though deaths by traffic accidents have steadily decreased, pedestrian fatalities have increased by nearly 15 percent.
Houston’s infamous reputation for pedestrian accidents reinforces the need for adequate and effective legal representation. You can depend on attorney Hilda Sibrian to consider your unique pedestrian personal injury case to get the settlement you deserve.
Common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Back & neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Facial contusions and trauma
- Lacerated internal organs
- Bruises and lacerations
- Amputation or dismemberment
Pedestrian accidents are more likely to result in serious injury, as the pedestrian is not protected in any way against the impact of a vehicle. In fact, pedestrians are one and a half more times likely to be killed in an accident than passengers in a car. Though the majority of pedestrian accidents are due to negligence of the driver, it is possible for the pedestrian to be at fault. It’s important to know the laws in the area where you commonly walk, jog, or ride your bicycle. Accidents can result from people ignoring crosswalk signs, walking in the middle of busy intersections, and walking while talking or texting on their phone.
Regardless of the cause, injuries caused by a pedestrian accident should prompt you to call for legal help.
A large majority of pedestrian accidents remain unreported and result in suffering with no financial help for the victims’ injuries or damages. Reporting an accident to the police and inquiring for legal help can be the difference in receiving the compensation you deserve.
The highest risk population for becoming a victim in a pedestrian accident are those 65 years or older, accounting for 21 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. Other more at-risk populations for pedestrian accidents are young children, especially during their commute to and from school, often loading and unloading on school buses. Based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, out of all 4,743 pedestrian accident deaths in 2012, victims in the 14 years or younger ager range accounted for 5 percent of them. Drug or alcohol impaired drivers or pedestrians are also at a higher risk for accidents. Based on data from 2012, 48 percent of all pedestrian fatalities are a result of an accident involving drugs or alcohol.
To lower your risk from becoming a victim of a pedestrian accident, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests to always wear reflective clothing at night, use designated crosswalks when walking across the street, and walk against the flow of traffic for better awareness when not walking on the sidewalk. Following pedestrian laws and knowing your rights as a pedestrian can help prevent a potential accident and give you the preparedness you need to deal with the consequence of pedestrian accident in the event that it does occur. Pedestrians have a hand in their own safety by choosing to be conscious and aware of their surroundings.
Before talking with the insurance company of the driver at fault, make sure to seek legal representation. Accepting a settlement without first consulting legal help can result in a subpar settlement that will leave you struggling long after the accident. Often times, the insurance company is more interested in saving money rather than giving fair compensation for damages caused by an accident at the hands of one of the insurance holders.
To get the best representation from someone who will work hard to get you the settlement you deserve, contact The Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C. today. Compensation far outreaches costs to recover your injury. Settlements can be sought to include compensation associated with medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. Before you accept a settlement from the insurance company make sure you talk to Hilda to make sure you’re getting the compensation you deserve. Hilda is a dedicated personal injury attorney available 24/7 and doesn’t get paid until she recovers a settlement for you.