Going for a walk, while enjoyable, isn’t without its risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 7,000 people passed away in pedestrian accidents in 2020. Those who survive pedestrian accidents are often left with lifelong injuries, like paralysis or a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Residents of Forth Worth can pursue compensation if they were injured in a pedestrian accident. An insurance claim or lawsuit could reimburse you for your damages. Our Fort Worth pedestrian accident lawyers can advise you on your case. The car accident lawyers with Domingo Garcia will be by your side throughout the legal process.
Damages Your Fort Worth Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Seek
Damages are the most important part of a pedestrian accident case. They highlight the types of compensation a victim can receive after being struck by a car.
Pedestrian accidents exact a financial and emotional toll. They can hurt your wallet and cause you emotional suffering. For this reason, damages are split into two groups, economic and non-economic.
Economic damages cover:
- Present and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity if you’re now disabled
- Property damages
Non-economic damages reimburse you for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
Wrongful Death Damages
If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, we’re deeply sorry. At Domingo Garcia, we’re lawyers because we care and want to support accident victims and their families. A positive case outcome can be life-changing for those who’ve lost a loved one. We can pursue these wrongful death damages on your behalf:
- Burial expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Lowered familial earning capacity
- Loss of a close relationship
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.001, only certain parties can pursue wrongful death damages. Typically, these parties include:
- A deceased person’s parents
- A deceased person’s child
- A deceased person’s spouse
If these parties can’t pursue a case, though, an estate representative can take over. Estate representatives are family or court-appointed officials. Their job is to oversee a deceased person’s financial obligations. They can file a legal case as part of fulfilling this duty.
If you and your family are planning to pursue a wrongful death case, we can determine your eligibility. While we can’t bring your loved one back, we can help you pursue justice.
How Much Will I Receive?
Every pedestrian accident case is unique. Some involve 18-wheelers and freeways; others involve sedans and sleepy side streets. This uniqueness means that there’s no “average” value for a pedestrian accident. You can’t predict what you’ll receive without a legal evaluation.
However, pedestrian accident cases do have a few indicators, including:
- The severity of your injuries
- The type of liable party involved in your case
- Whether or not your case involves a lawsuit
- The outcome of settlement negotiations
At Domino Garcia, our job is to make sure that you’re prepared for your case. To do so, we can help you estimate the value of your case. This part of the process is essential. If you don’t know what your case could be worth, you may be more vulnerable to unfair settlement offers. If an insurer or opposing legal team lowballs you, we’ll know.
Previous Case Results
Our firm has supported clients for 35 years. We’ve represented many cases involving motor vehicles. These are some of our recent notable settlements:
- $8,750,000 for the victims of an 18-wheeler truck accident
- $3,000,000 for an accident involving a commercial vehicle
- $1,000,000 for a truck wreck involving a wrongful death
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Pedestrian Accident Case?
Liability means legal responsibility. Therefore, if a party is liable for your accident, they are responsible for compensating you. To receive compensation, you must prove that another party caused your accident. There are several possible liable parties in a pedestrian accident case.
The city of Fort Worth provides its citizens with several services, including road safety and public transportation. These services are a public good. However, if they’re implemented poorly, they can cause pedestrian accidents. Here are some examples:
- A pedestrian is struck by a poorly trained metro bus driver
- A pothole causes a car to veer off course and hit a pedestrian
- A stop light switches off a night, causing a pedestrian accident
In these examples, a municipality like Fort Worth could be held liable. Cases involving a municipality are unique. Typically, you only have 180 days to notify the city of Fort Worth about your intent to pursue compensation. If you miss this deadline, your case may get thrown out. For this reason, we advise you to get started on your case as soon as you can. You don’t want to miss your opportunity to pursue compensation.
An Individual Driver
Many pedestrian accidents are caused by individual drivers. In these cases, you can typically file a claim with their liability insurer. If they’re uninsured, you may need to file a lawsuit or turn to your own uninsured motorist coverage.
A Commercial Vehicle Company
Trucks and 18-wheelers are relatively uncommon in urban areas like Forth Worth. However, a smaller vehicle, like a moving van, may have caused your accident. In cases involving commercial vehicles, these parties could be held liable:
- A truck or commercial vehicle driver
- The employer of a truck driver
- A company responsible for loading or outfitting a vehicle
Texas adheres to a legal regulation called vicarious liability. In plain English, vicarious liability means that employers can be held liable for the actions of their employees. An employer could be held liable for these reasons:
- They didn’t properly inspect their vehicles
- They hired inexperienced drivers
- They didn’t drug test their drivers
Vicarious liability is a strict rule, though. Employers can only be held liable if their employees were operating within the “course and scope of employment.” Essentially, this means that an employee must have been using the commercial vehicle for work purposes. For example, if a moving van driver was headed to the bar in a company car before causing your accident, you probably won’t be able to sue their employer.
A Parts or Vehicle Manufacturer
Parts and car manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe for use. A failed brake line can lead to a driver losing control of their vehicle.
There are several parties involved in the manufacturing and distribution of cars. If they were responsible for your accident, they could be held liable. These parties include:
- Car dealerships
- Safety inspectors
- Car manufacturers
- Parts manufacturers
These are only a few examples of the parties that could have caused your accident. Pedestrian accidents are rarely straightforward. It might not be obvious who’s liable at first glance. However, it’s important that you determine who’s responsible for your injuries. It may be difficult to receive fair compensation if you can’t assign liability.
How do You Prove Liability in a Fort Worth Pedestrian Accident?
Establishing liability is the core of pedestrian accident cases. To do so, you must first gather evidence, which may include:
- Traffic camera footage of the accident
- Expert input
- Eyewitness statements
- Your medical records
- Images of the crash scene
- Images of your injuries
- Police reports
- Accident reports
Gathering evidence is essential to pedestrian accident cases. Your success hinges on having a compelling argument, and you cannot make a compelling argument without evidence. However, this process can take weeks or months. At Domingo Garcia, we understand that you may not have the time or energy to build your own case. That’s where we come in.
Our team can initiate your case by gathering relevant evidence. Then, we can use this evidence to prove that your accident was caused by someone else’s negligent behavior.
Negligence, in a legal context, is behavior that endangers another party. For example, running a red light is considered negligent behavior.
Establishing negligence is a four-part process. To show that someone else caused your accident, you or your lawyer must prove that:
- The liable party owed you a duty of care: In this example, imagine that you were hit by a drunk driver. All drivers on the roadway are responsible for keeping others from harm. In legal terms, this responsibility is known as a duty of care.
- The liable party didn’t uphold this duty: By getting drunk before entering their car, the driver who caused your accident failed to uphold their duty of care. Drunk driving is another form of negligent behavior.
- The liable party caused your accident: Because they were drunk, the liable driver failed to see you as you crossed an intersection at night. Their negligent actions caused your accident.
- You suffered damages: It’s not enough to show that someone else caused your accident, though. You must prove that you suffered damages, too. Our legal team can comb through your medical records to find evidence of your injuries.
What if I Was Partially Responsible for My Accident?
Pedestrian accident cases are rarely black and white. It’s entirely possible that you were partially responsible for your accident. Luckily, Texas adheres to a comparative negligence legal doctrine. This doctrine has two main tenets:
- You can pursue compensation if you were less than 50% responsible for your accident
- Your compensation will be proportionate to your amount of fault
Here’s an example of how this doctrine works. First, imagine that a pedestrian was struck by a driver who was speeding and ran a red light:
- The driver has 75% fault: The driver broke the law in two ways by speeding and running a red light. For this reason, they share the majority of the fault.
- The pedestrian has 25% fault: However, the pedestrian was also partially responsible for the accident. They were video-calling a friend before crossing the street and didn’t look for cars as they stepped into the roadway. Therefore, they partially contributed to the accident.
In this example, the pedestrian could still collect compensation. However, they could only receive 75% of their original offer. If they initially received $500,000, their final award would be $375,000.
Keep in mind that the fault is debatable. A lawyer could convince insurers or a jury that you weren’t responsible for your accident during settlement negotiations. This could improve the value of your case.
How do You Pursue Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrian accident victims usually receive compensation in one of three ways, a lawsuit, an out-of-court settlement, or an insurance claim.
Lawsuits appear everywhere in popular books, TV shows, and movies. However, they’re less common than you might think. In many personal injury cases, pedestrian accidents included, they’re typically the final option lawyers will turn to. This is because lawsuits are often time-consuming and expensive. Lawyers and insurers tend to avoid them when they can.
However, if your case necessitates a lawsuit, our lawyers are prepared to go to court. You may need to file a lawsuit for these reasons:
- Settlement negotiations fall through
- The driver that hit wasn’t carrying insurance
- Insurers refuse to offer you a settlement
Lawsuits don’t always end in civil trials, though. It’s possible to file a lawsuit and then agree on a settlement before going to court. Similarly, you can come to an out-of-court settlement without filing a lawsuit.
Out-of-court settlements are reached in many ways. Sometimes, two opposing legal teams will meet and come to a desirable agreement. Other times, they’ll turn to mediation.
Mediation is a common way of settling pedestrian accident cases without going to trial. During mediation, both parties meet with a mediator. A mediator is a neutral third party, oftentimes appointed by the court system. Their goal is to help both parties come to a fair agreement. Mediation has several benefits, including:
- It helps both parties come to an agreement without going to trial
- They’re less adversarial than trial
- It can still provide a legally enforceable outcome
Drivers, businesses, and municipalities typically carry liability insurance. This type of insurance is designed to protect an individual or group from a lawsuit. It activates when an individual or group harms another party. For example, if a driver hit you with their car, you could pursue a liability claim with their insurer.
In Texas, drivers are required by law to carry liability insurance with the following minimums:
- $30,000 in injury damages per person
- $60,000 in injury damages per accident
- $25,000 in property damages per accident
Claiming liability insurance can be a headache because you’re dealing with insurers other than your own. The insurer of the liable party may not be interested in providing you with a settlement. They could argue that your injuries weren’t severe or that you were fully responsible for your accident.
Working With a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Our team cares deeply for the communities we support throughout Texas. These are the services we can provide to our clients:
- Negotiate with insurers
- Communicate with any parties relevant to your case
- Gather evidence and build your case
- File a lawsuit if needed
- Represent you in court
- Answer your tough legal questions
- Act as your legal guide and advisor
These services are designed to make your life easier. After a pedestrian accident, you find yourself juggling medical expenses, your recovery process, and aggressive insurers. Many victims find themselves stressed and confused.
We’re here to alleviate that stress. While you recover, we’ll get to work pursuing your case. This way, you can take a hands-off approach to your settlement. We’ll keep you updated so you can direct your energy where it really matters, like supporting your family, or tending to your injuries.
The Cost of a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving motor vehicles are often expensive. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the average cost of these accidents is $29,200. This number would jump to $101,000 if a victim was disabled in the crash.
We know that you might be under considerable financial pressure. We guarantee that we won’t contribute to this stress. Here’s how we make our legal services accessible:
- We don’t charge our clients anything upfront
- We don’t get paid unless you win
- Our payment comes as a percentage of your final settlement
This type of payment plan is known as a contingency fee agreement. Our payment is contingent on our success as your lawyer. This way, working with our team is a risk-free investment. We can even evaluate your case for free during an initial consultation.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrian accidents are caused by a range of factors. For one, unsafe driving behavior can lead to a driver striking a pedestrian, including:
- Ignoring red lights
- Distracted driving
- Failing to use turn signals
- Not checking blind spots
Nearly half of all pedestrian accidents in the U.S. involve drug or alcohol use. This statistic, while unsurprising, could help you avoid a pedestrian accident. Drunk drivers are more common at night and on the weekend. Therefore, use extra caution when walking at night during the weekend, particularly around uncontrolled intersections.
Taking these additional precautions could help you avoid a pedestrian accident, too:
- Refrain from using earbuds or headphones while walking
- Don’t go for a walk if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Only cross the street at designated crosswalks
- If you go for a walk at night, wear reflective gear and carry a flashlight
- Don’t walk on the road – use a sidewalk whenever available
- If there’s no sidewalk available, walk on the side of the street facing traffic
- Be careful around roads with higher speed limits – the faster a car is moving, the more severe your injuries will be
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident in Fort Worth?
The dust has settled. You know you’re injured, and you believe that someone else is at fault. What next? These are a few steps you can take to streamline your pedestrian accident case:
- Seek medical attention: You should seek medical attention as soon as you can. There are two benefits here. First, you may be injured but don’t know it yet – many injuries take weeks or months to manifest themselves. Second, seeing a doctor can produce valuable evidence. Insurers are more inclined to believe that you’re injured if you have a doctor’s report to prove it.
- Gather information: Taking images of your injuries, the crash scene, and your damaged property could prove useful. Gather contact and insurance information for those involved in your accident, as well. Remember, our team can gather evidence on your behalf if you’re unable.
- Notify local authorities of your accident: The Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) responds to most pedestrian accidents involving serious injury. However, if they didn’t respond to your accident, file a police report. A police report could be used as evidence in your case.
- Consider hiring a lawyer: Victims of pedestrian accidents are entitled to legal representation. You may be able to hire a lawyer without paying any upfront fees.
Common Mistakes After a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents are sensitive. There are multiple ways you can jeopardize your case. We advise our clients to avoid making the following mistakes:
- Ignoring your doctor’s orders: Refusing to see a doctor or ignoring their treatment plans could jeopardize your case. This behavior may signal to the liable party’s representatives that you aren’t serious.
- Revealing too much to insurers: If an insurer contacts you, you can tell them to speak with your lawyer. You do not need to communicate with insurers if you have a lawyer. Insurers keep their eyes out for admissions of fault, so it’s best to provide them with as little information as you can. A statement as simple as “I wasn’t paying attention before the accident” could harm your case.
Pedestrian Accident Cases Are Time-Sensitive
As noted earlier, pedestrian accident cases involving municipalities in Forth Worth usually have a 180-day deadline. This isn’t the only deadline associated with pedestrian accident cases, though.
Pedestrian accident cases are filed into the category of personal injury law. Therefore, they’re subject to the Texas Civil Practice And Remedies Code § 16.001. This statute means that you typically have two years to file a lawsuit after a pedestrian accident. If you miss this statute’s deadline, you may be unable to file a lawsuit.
Not every pedestrian accident necessitates a lawsuit. However, you still shouldn’t ignore this deadline. These are some reasons it’s best to get started on your case as soon as possible:
- It ensures that the events of the accident are fresh in the witnesses’ minds.
- It gives your legal team enough time to gather evidence.
- It leaves the option of filing a lawsuit open.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
According to the California Journal of Emergency Medicine, the type of injury you’re most likely to experience after a pedestrian accident depends on your age. Children are more likely to experience head and neck trauma, whereas adults more frequently experience musculoskeletal injuries. Together, these injury categories include:
- Torn ligaments
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Spinal column injuries
Pedestrian accident victims shouldn’t be left to cover the costs of these injuries alone, particularly if someone else caused their accident. A settlement could completely reimburse you for your medical expenses and make you whole.
Work With a Fort Worth Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
An attorney from our firm can act as your legal representative. We’re here to support the residents of Fort Worth as they navigate the aftermath of their pedestrian accidents. Contact our offices today for a free no-obligation case evaluation today.