According to Transportation for America, a non-profit group that measures street safety in the U.S., Houston is the 9th most dangerous city for walking in the country. This is largely due to the flaws with the city’s urban design and the need for more sidewalks and crosswalks. Regardless of the reason, pedestrians in Houston are at an extremely high risk of being in an accident involving a car, truck or commercial vehicle. When this happens, serious or fatal injuries could result.
Pedestrians are hurt in collisions with motor vehicles at a frightening rate. According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), total traffic deaths increased only 6 percent from 2010 to 2015, but pedestrian fatalities rose 25 percent during this same period and accounted for the most significant proportion of traffic fatalities in the past 25 years.
Did you suffer serious injuries, or was your loved one killed in a pedestrian accident in the Houston area? Do not speak to anybody about your accident until you have legal representation. Contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian today. We will fight for the compensation that you deserve. Our attorneys can review your case today in a free consultation.
The first thing that you should do when you are involved in a pedestrian accident in Houston is to make sure that you receive medical care. You should do this even if you do not think that you were hurt as some injuries can involve delayed symptoms. Insurance companies are notoriously skeptical of injury claims if there has been any delay in treatment.
You should also immediately contact the local law enforcement agency in the location that your accident occurred in. File a police report, which could prove helpful to your injury claim later on.
You also want to try to collect whatever evidence you can from your crash scene. If you cannot do this because of your need for medical attention, try to have a friend, family member or neighbor do this for you.
For instance, you can use the camera on your cell phone to take pictures of everything involved in your crash from various angles and distances. If any people happened to see your accident, you should get the names and contact information for those witnesses.
The insurance company for the driver involved in your crash will probably attempt to contact you after your accident. While the representatives for these insurers may express a willingness to make sure you are taken care of, you should be extremely skeptical of their motives and refuse to provide any recorded statements. This is because any statement you make could have a damaging effect on your injury claim. Additionally, you should not accept an insurer’s settlement offer until you review it with a lawyer first.
The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian can deal with the insurance company on your behalf. Our firm can immediately step in and pursue a pedestrian accident settlement that covers all of your past, present and future expenses and other damages.
Some pedestrian accidents are the result of failures on the part of property owners or municipalities. A property owner’s failure to maintain a safe walkway, for instance, can lead to a pedestrian being injured. Specific government entities have a responsibility to keep public streets and walkways safe for pedestrians, and if they fail to maintain them, serious accidents could occur.
However, most pedestrian accidents in Houston are the result of negligent drivers. Common causes of pedestrian crashes include, but are not limited to:
Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance are committing a criminal offense. Even when a driver who is charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) avoids a conviction, that person can still be held civilly liable for the damages caused in an accident stemming from their impaired driving.
Some drivers fail to respect a pedestrian’s right of way. The failure to yield at stop signs or at crosswalks can lead to collisions with pedestrians.
A driver may strike a pedestrian if a driver fails to stay in his or her lane. When drivers encroach on sidewalks and walkways, they put anyone walking nearby at risk.
Rain, sleet, snow, or other adverse weather conditions can adversely impact a driver’s ability to control a vehicle around pedestrians. Drivers are responsible for reducing their speed and taking other measures to operate safely in these conditions.
A right-turn accident typically involves a driver turning into a pedestrian when the pedestrian is traveling in the same direction. Often, the cause of the collision is a driver’s failure to gauge the pedestrian’s distance.
All drivers need to be fully aware of all that is happening in front of and around their vehicles at all times, but many motorists allow their attention to be diverted by other activities. Talking, text messaging, or merely browsing the web on a cell phone is one of the most common kinds of distractions, but other possible distraction can include smoking, applying makeup, or talking to other passengers.
Some causes are not always immediately apparent, which is why it is important to contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian as soon as possible after a pedestrian accident. We will get to work right away on investigating what happened and identifying who should be held responsible for it.
Pedestrian accidents often cause significant harm. Some of the biggest expenses that victims incur are medical bills for immediate and future care. Examples of injuries which pedestrians often suffer include:
The driver is usually liable whenever a motor vehicle causes a pedestrian’s injuries. However, insurance companies frequently argue that pedestrians played some contributory negligence role in their accidents. This is because, under Texas law, an individual cannot recover damages when their percentage of responsibility is more than 50 percent.
In all other cases, a person can pursue damages under the modified comparative fault system. In this system, a court must reduce the amount of damages awarded to a plaintiff by a percentage equal to the plaintiff’s percentage of responsibility. For example, if a person is awarded $100,000 in a pedestrian accident lawsuit but is 10 percent at fault for it, then person’s award will be reduced by $10,000. The person can ultimately receive only $90,000.
Our legal team knows how insurance companies operate. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident that a negligent car driver caused, we will aggressively protect your rights. We will not let an insurance company unjustly shift the blame to you.
Unfortunately, many pedestrian accidents ultimately cause fatal injuries. In such cases, the family members of the deceased can file wrongful death claims against the negligent parties. Spouses, children and siblings could be eligible to recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses, final medical care expenses, loss of support and other damages.
A person has two years from the date of a pedestrian accident under Texas law to file a personal injury lawsuit. Wrongful death cases are subject to a two-year limit as well. The time is measured from the date of the death.
Two years may sound like a long time to some people. However, it is actually a very limited period when you consider the work that could be involved in preparing a pedestrian accident claim. For this reason, you should act as soon as possible and get help from an experienced attorney. At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, we will get to work on your case right away and preserve and gather evidence that could play a crucial role in your case.