Seeing as we have some of the most dangerous intersections in the country, it should come as no surprise that pedestrian and bicycle accidents happen every day in Houston. They cover the gamut when it comes to injuries. Most are minor, but some leave the victim with devastating injuries or even lead to death. Several cyclists have even been involved in accidents with METRO trains.
When a vehicle hits a pedestrian or cyclist, the injuries are often severe because of the pedestrian’s total lack of protection.
What should I do if I am in a pedestrian accident?
If a motorist caused the accident, his/her insurance company should cover your damages. However, you need to know what to do in the first hours and days after a pedestrian accident to ensure the insurance company does not try to strip you of your right to file for compensation. If you suffer injuries in a pedestrian accident:
Focus on Your Health First
Your first concern after a Houston pedestrian or bicycle accident should be your own well-being. Call 911 for emergency medical treatment, especially if you have any major injuries. Be aware, though, not all serious injuries are apparent immediately. A head, neck, or internal injury may not show symptoms for several hours or days after a crash. For this reason, you need to seek treatment at the scene or visit an emergency department as soon as possible for an exam. Getting treatment soon after an accident also links your injuries to the crash, creating a record that could prove valuable later on.
Note: In addition to medical treatment, you also need to have the police file a report about the accident. This is another reason why calling 911 or having a bystander call police is important.
Be sure to continue your medical care throughout the duration of your claim.
Collect Information from the Scene, If Possible
If possible, you should collect evidence from the scene. This includes taking pictures of the scene, the damage to the vehicle, and even your injuries. Use your phone or a notepad to jot down the name of the driver and contact information for any witnesses. Write down the exact location of the accident, and anything you remember about the crash.
You can also ask someone else to take pictures and gather contact information for you if your injuries prevent you from doing it. Believe it or not, these quick pictures and notes often make a big difference during the claims process.
Contact a Houston Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Once you have begun your medical care, it is time to contact a Houston pedestrian accident attorney. We offer free, no-obligation consultations during which you can find out more about how we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.
If you choose to enlist our help, we will get to work investigating the cause of your accident immediately. We can obtain the police report and other documentation, interview witnesses, and even perform accident reconstruction. All this evidence will help to build a strong case.
After we know who is responsible for your injuries, we can file a claim based on his/her auto insurance policy. Under Texas law, all motorists must carry at least $30,000 in liability insurance for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident.
Once we make our demand, the insurance company will either deny your claim or present a settlement offer. This offer often serves as the starting point for negotiating a fair settlement for your claim.
If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, or if the cost of your medical treatment and other damages exceed the maximum limit of the driver’s policy, we may be able to obtain additional compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Work with a Lawyer to Determine What Caused the Accident
Understanding what caused your accident is the first step in holding the at-fault party liable for your injuries.
In many cases, the accident occurred because a negligent driver failed to obey Texas pedestrian laws. Some of the most common failures include:
- Failure to exercise “due care” in protecting pedestrians and cyclists
- Failure to yield right of way to pedestrians in a crosswalk
- Failure to ensure a stopped vehicle is not waiting for pedestrians to cross before passing
Breaking general traffic laws also contribute to many pedestrian accidents. Most commonly, this includes:
- Drunk driving
- Texting or talking on a phone while driving
- Running red lights, or disobeying other traffic signals
The police report is a great place to start. If the driver received any type of citation after the incident, they are likely liable — at least, in part — for your injuries. If the cause of your accident is not apparent, go ahead and give us a call. We will analyze all the available evidence to identify the liable party before we file your claim.
The Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C., Houston Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Even though Houston Police and other groups are working to stop pedestrian accidents, far too many people still suffer injuries in this type of incident every day. At the Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C., we are dedicated to helping these victims. We know how to navigate the pedestrian accident claims process and get you the compensation you deserve.
Call our Houston office at 713-863-1515 to schedule a time to meet with a Houston pedestrian accident lawyer, and let us go to work for you.