If you or a loved one was in a pedestrian accident, you may be facing costly and invasive medical treatment, a long recovery, and an array of injury-related financial losses. If your accident was not your fault, paying for your medical care and other damages should not come out of your pocket.
A Texas pedestrian accident lawyer with Domingo Garcia can help you fight for compensation from the negligent driver or other party who caused your injuries. We will work tirelessly to secure awards for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more with an insurance claim or possible lawsuit. Let our firm investigate your accident, build your case, and advocate for you while you focus on healing or caring for your injured loved one.
Texas Ranks Among the Top 20 in the Nation for Pedestrian Accidents
Based on accident data from 2016 to 2020, Texas is the 12th most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians, according to Smart Growth America.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that more than 5,000 pedestrian accidents occurred in Texas in 2021, resulting in nearly 1,500 serious injuries. During that year, there were 841 pedestrian accident deaths, representing 20 percent of Texas’s total motor vehicle accident fatalities.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, our Texas attorneys can stand up for your rights. Our firm has more than 35 years of legal experience we can put behind your case. Let us use our knowledge of state and federal laws to guide you through the insurance claims process or assist you with a lawsuit.
For a free legal consultation with a pedestrian accidents lawyer serving Texas, call (214) 941-8300
Pedestrian Accident Injuries Can Be Severe and Catastrophic
Pedestrians are vulnerable during accidents because they do not have airbags, seatbelts, or other protections a vehicle cab offers. Furthermore, a person on foot is no match for the impact of a moving car, truck, bus, or motorcycle, which can cause severe, catastrophic, and fatal injuries due to their size and speed.
According to The California Journal of Emergency Medicine, common pedestrian accident injuries among adults and children include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the leading causes of disability and death in adults. Vehicle accidents are a leading cause of closed TBIs, which occur due to a physical blow that violently jolts the brain, leading to bruising and tearing of brain tissue and blood vessels.
- Neck injuries. According to MedlinePlus, accidents can cause severe neck injuries, such as whiplash, fractured vertebrae, and even paralysis.
- Spinal injuries. When a vehicle hits a person, the blow can fracture, dislocate, compress, or crush the vertebrae in your spine. According to Mayo Clinic, spinal injuries can result in loss of mobility or complete paralysis below the injury site. Other spinal injury complications include pain, loss of bowel and bladder control, and changes in sexual function/loss of fertility.
- Chest and abdominal injuries. According to the Archives of Trauma Research, road accidents are the primary cause of chest and abdominal trauma, and pedestrians are the second-most at-risk group for injury. Chest and abdominal injuries include internal bleeding, collapsed lung or lung contusions, broken ribs, and organ damage.
- Musculoskeletal injuries. The impact of a vehicle can cause severe musculoskeletal injuries, including broken bones, muscle and joint damage, disc herniations and sprains, strains, cuts, and contusions.
Additionally, pedestrian accident victims may experience:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of limb
- Hearing or vision loss
- Loss of cognitive functioning
- Memory loss
- Post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues
- Coma or vegetative state
Texas Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Near Me (214) 941-8300
Primary Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identifies three contributing factors to motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles: motorist behaviors, non-motorist behaviors, and infrastructure issues.
According to the NHTSA, some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Failure to obey traffic laws. When drivers ignore traffic lights and road signs, make improper turns and lane changes, fail to yield the right of way, or break other traffic laws, it increases the chance of an accident and constitutes negligence. Likewise, pedestrians and bicyclists have rights and duties when sharing the road with motor vehicles, such as obeying traffic signals when crossing at marked intersections or using sidewalks where available.
- Roadway issues. When roads and intersections are poorly designed, drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists may not know what to do, and their confusion can lead to accidents. Furthermore, the absence of crosswalks and sidewalks, lack of bicycle lanes, and poorly marked intersections result in the inadequate separation between vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists, increasing the chance of a collision.
- Speeding. Speeding above the posted speed limit or driving too fast for current road and weather conditions increases the likelihood of a pedestrian accident. Speeding also increases the chances the pedestrian will suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.
- Alcohol and drug use/distractions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all fatal pedestrian accidents in 2019 involved an intoxicated driver or pedestrian. Pedestrian accidents are also more likely when drivers and pedestrians are distracted. Distractions include eating, grooming, fiddling with audio or navigation devices, or texting and driving (which is illegal in Texas, according to Texas Transportation Code § 545.4251).
Other Contributing Factors
According to the NHTSA and CDC:
- Around 70 percent of fatal motor vehicle accident victims are men, and crash injury rates are higher among men than women.
- Pedestrian fatalities occur more often in urban areas, away from intersections (or at locations not designed for crossing), and at night.
- Adults aged 65 and older accounted for 20 percent of pedestrian accident deaths in 2020.
- One in five children under age 15 killed in a motor vehicle accident in 2020 was a pedestrian.
Texas Pedestrian Safety Laws
Pedestrians have certain rights and responsibilities when walking on Texas roadways. Additionally, drivers have a legal obligation to exercise due care around pedestrians. According to Texas Transportation Code Chapter 552:
- Vehicles and pedestrians at intersections with a traffic signal must obey the traffic signal’s directions
- Vehicles must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks where traffic signals are not present (or to pedestrians already in the roadway)
- Drivers may not pass another vehicle already stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to pass
- Vehicles have the right-of-way at unmarked crosswalks and intersections and at locations where overhead pedestrian crossings exist
- Where there are usable sidewalks, pedestrians may not walk in the roadway
- Pedestrians should not cross an intersection diagonally (jaywalk) unless directed to do so by a traffic control signal
- Vehicles emerging from an ally, driveway, building, or private roadway shall stop and yield to pedestrians approaching on a sidewalk crossing the area
- Drivers must exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian, including sounding their horn when necessary
- Drivers must exercise special care when they observe a child, incapacitated person, or obviously confused individual on the roadway
The Lisa Torry Smith Act
Penalties for drivers who injure pedestrians increased in Texas in 2021 with the adoption of Senate Bill 1055, known as the Lisa Torry Smith Act. According to the law, causing bodily injury to a pedestrian legally in a crosswalk is now a Class A misdemeanor, and causing serious bodily injury is a felony, punishable with state jail time.
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Our Texas Injury Lawyers Can Fight for Fair Compensation for Your Pedestrian Accident Injuries
If a motor vehicle driver, a bicyclist, or another pedestrian broke the law or behaved negligently, they may be financially responsible for your injuries and related losses. Our Texas pedestrian accident attorneys can help you identify and pursue all your current and future damages.
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 41, personal injury damages may include:
- Medical expenses. We can recoup your current, out-of-pocket medical expenses, including ambulance fees, doctor and hospital bills, and the cost of medical procedures, prescription drugs, medical equipment and devices, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. We can also seek compensation for your future medical needs, including ongoing and follow-up care, in-home health services, long-term nursing services, and lifecare costs.
- Pain and suffering. Severe and catastrophic injuries can suddenly and significantly change your life. The physical complications of your injury may prevent you from working, completing your education, achieving goals, and participating in hobbies and activities you once enjoyed. Injuries can also cause mental and emotional side effects. You deserve compensation for how your injuries reduce your overall quality of life. Our attorneys can pursue monetary awards for chronic pain, loss of mobility or paralysis, loss of cognitive abilities, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), scarring, disfigurement, emotional suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Lost wages. Our lawyers can recover your lost wages, benefits, and earnings. We can also seek compensation for the loss of your earning capacity if you must leave the workforce, reduce your workload, or change careers.
- Various expenses. A serious injury can affect your life in many ways and may lead to expenses you do not immediately consider. For example, you may need to pay for household services you cannot perform because of your injuries, such as lawn care, cleaning, and childcare. In addition, if you suffered a permanent or disabling injury, you may need to modify your home or vehicle to include lifts, ramps, and railings, or make other changes to make your space more handicap accessible.
- Wrongful death compensation. If your loved one suffered a fatal pedestrian accident injury, you may be entitled to damages stemming from their death, including medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, lost income, and lost future inheritance. Surviving family members may also receive awards for their mental pain and suffering and the loss of their loved one’s care, companionship, services, support, and guidance. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004, a deceased’s surviving spouse, children, or parents can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If no qualifying family members pursue legal action, the deceased’s personal representative (executor) can file the claim unless the family members specifically request they not pursue a case.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages punish the wrongful party for their behavior and deter them from acting in the same manner in the future. You may recover punitive damages for a pedestrian accident if the party who caused your injuries acted with malice or gross negligence.
Does Insurance Pay for Pedestrian Accidents?
Yes, most automobile insurance policies cover pedestrian accidents, meaning you may be able to recover compensation through an insurance claim against the driver who hit you. According to the Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel, drivers must have a minimum of $30,000 in bodily injury (BI) coverage per person, $60,000 in BI per accident, and $25,000 in property damage (PD) coverage.
In addition, drivers can choose to carry other policies, including personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, medical payments (med pay), or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
If the at-fault driver does not have sufficient insurance to pay for your losses, we can help you with a claim with your own insurance provider under any applicable under-insured (UIM) policies you hold.
When Should You Pursue a Lawsuit?
We will do everything necessary to secure the awards you need, even taking your case to court. A lawsuit may be your best option for financial recovery if the insurance company’s settlement offer is significantly lower than your losses. You may also need to pursue a lawsuit if the insurance company is acting in bad faith. Additionally, you may sue for damages if the liable party does not have insurance.
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003, you have two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The clock starts at the time of the accident that resulted in your injury or your loved one’s death.
If the statute of limitations expires, the court will likely dismiss your case, barring you from financial recovery. An expired statute will also affect your insurance claims and could lead to a denied settlement or reduced payment.
Proving Liability for Your Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Building a personal injury case involves proving another party acted negligently and that their negligence resulted in your injuries and damages. We will construct your case using the four elements required to prove negligence:
- Legal duty. As mentioned, vehicle drivers have a legal duty to exercise due care to avoid hitting pedestrians.
- Breach of duty. We will demonstrate that the driver breached the duty of care when they disobeyed the law or drove recklessly. Examples of negligent and reckless driving include speeding, drinking and driving, and failing to stop at a stop sign or red light.
- Causation. We will show that the driver’s breach of duty caused your pedestrian accident. For example, the driver hit you because they ran a red light at a marked intersection where the traffic signal gave you the right of way.
- Damages. Our attorneys will prove that your pedestrian accident led to monetary losses and pain and suffering.
Establishing negligence requires evidence. Our Texas pedestrian accident lawyers can:
- Obtain medical records, police reports, and other documents
- Locate and interview eyewitnesses
- Photograph your injuries and the scene of your accident
- Find cell phone footage or surveillance footage of your accident, if available
- Obtain and review medical bills, receipts, and other proof of your financial damages
- Consult with you and your doctor (with permission) about your injuries to calculate fair compensation for pain and suffering and estimates regarding future medical treatment
- Hire crash reconstruction specialists, vocational experts, economists, and other case experts who can testify on your behalf
Other Potentially At-Fault Parties
Not every pedestrian accident is the fault of a motor vehicle driver. Pedestrians can suffer injuries in slip and fall accidents and construction bystander accidents. Additionally, pedestrian accidents can result from roadway conditions, vehicle or auto parts defects, or the actions of a negligent bicyclist or another pedestrian.
Our firm can help you pursue a case against a government entity, manufacturer, or another liable party if your pedestrian accident involved:
- Dangerous or reckless acts by a road or highway construction company
- Lack of road, shoulder, or sidewalk maintenance
- Badly designed roadways and intersections
- Defective traffic signals
- Obscured road signs
- Faulty brakes
- Engine trouble
- Defective tires
- Pedestrian negligence
- Bicyclist negligence
- Debris, falling objects, or other construction hazards
Avoid These Client Mistakes
You can help us strengthen your case by following this list of client do’s and don’ts:
- See a doctor immediately if you did not receive treatment at the time of your pedestrian accident
- Follow all your doctor’s orders
- Save your medical bills, medical records, prescription bottles, wheelchairs, crutches, and other medical equipment and devices
- Keep receipts of your accident-related expenses
- Keep our lawyers up to date on any new medical treatment you receive or any other new information you think may have a bearing on your case
- Keep a daily record chronicling your physical pain, emotional and mental state, and ways you notice your injury interfering with your daily life
- Update our firm if you change your address, phone number, or job so we know where to reach you
- Do Not
- Post about your pedestrian accident or injuries on social media
- Discuss your case with anyone other than our personal injury attorneys and your doctor
- Provide the insurance company with information about your accident or injuries or allow them to record you (instead, refer them to our lawyers)
- Skip medical appointments or ignore any new pain or injuries
- Engage in activities that could worsen your injuries
Domingo Garcia Can Be Your Voice
Attorney Domingo Garcia had one of his first legal victories in 1995 when he secured a $1.1 million jury award for a car accident victim. Since then, he has built his practice to include a team of award-winning attorneys focused on fighting for personal injury clients in Texas.
Our case record includes several multi-million-dollar settlements and jury awards, including $2.75 million for the family of a roadside worker who died after being hit by a commercial motor vehicle and a $5,000,000 jury award when a pedestrian at a parade was hit by a negligent driver.
Our goal is to help you get the awards you need to get back on your feet as quickly and efficiently as possible. This means working hard to resolve your claim or lawsuit so that you can turn your time and energy toward your recovery and your family. Our team will:
- File your insurance claims or lawsuits and manage case deadlines
- Gather evidence, establish negligence, and assess your damages
- Handle case-related phone calls, emails, and meetings
- Advocate for you and the best possible case outcome during insurance negotiations or pretrial settlement negotiations
- Represent you at trial if necessary
- Answer your questions, return your calls, and provide you with regular updates
We Take Cases on Contingency
Your case is important to us, and so are you. We offer free consultations and medical treatment until we resolve your claim. We also represent clients on contingency so that legal fees are never an obstacle to seeking justice. We can take your case at no upfront cost to you. Our fees come from a percentage of your settlement or verdict, and we do not get paid unless we win.
Just hear what a previous client has to say about our firm:
“I want to say thank you to attorney Miguel Cazarez and everyone at the Law Offices of Domingo Garcia for winning my case. My attorney was very experienced and professional. I recommend this law firm, everyone is very intelligent in how they handle themselves and helped us get the best results for our situation.” – Victor Escobar
Contact Domingo Garcia for Assistance with Your Texas Pedestrian Accident
Domingo Garcia is here to help you pursue justice after a pedestrian accident. We have offices in Dallas, Houston, Tyler, Odessa, and Fort Worth, but we can arrange to meet with you over the phone or wherever is most convenient for you, including the hospital.
Contact us today to get started on your case. A member of our team is available 24/7 to provide you with a free case evaluation and connect you with our Texas pedestrian accident lawyers.