Roads are built for vehicles, but pedestrians need to cross them to get from one side of the road to the other. Crosswalks and traffic signals exist for this, among other purposes: to make roads safe to use by motor vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. However, the high number of traffic crashes resulting in pedestrian deaths or severe injuries show that motor vehicle drivers do not always pay attention to other road users. And for this reason, a Houston pedestrian accident lawyer at Calhoun Meredith will always be available to offer victims legal advice and professional representation in filing an insurance claim.
We know that all motor vehicle crashes have serious consequences, but auto-pedestrian accidents are particularly severe. A person crossing the street has no protection against a speeding vehicle. And, as we will show in this article, pedestrians are particularly at risk in Houston, a city that continues to experience a sharp increase in the number of fatal pedestrian accidents.
The data available on automobile accidents involving pedestrians are more than worrying. According to the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University in Houston, in the last ten years, there has been a 125% increase in pedestrian fatalities in Houston. This number is way above the national average of 50% - which is not good news.
Here is some data collected by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research:
On the other hand, the Texas Department of Transportation has issued its annual crash facts report for 2021, which indicates that 824 pedestrians died in traffic accidents across the state, a 15.24% increase from the previous year.
Traffic deaths and severe injuries are caused mainly by driver negligence. While pedestrians sometimes share the fault, the reality is that distracted drivers and drunk drivers are the leading causes of these traffic fatalities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 46% of all auto accidents involving pedestrians, drunk driving was the cause of the crash. Speeding, texting and driving, and other forms of driver inattention also contribute to the high fatality rate among pedestrians in our state and across the US.
Pedestrians continue to be the most vulnerable road users, and in many cases, they are unjustly blamed for their accidents. This is why accident victims should seek out legal advice from an experienced Houston pedestrian accident attorney to set the record straight by assigning negligence to the at-fault driver in order to recover economic and non-economic damages allowed by law.
Most pedestrians need emergency medical attention at the accident scene and then specialized treatments in a hospital. Over the weeks and months, their medical expenses pile up while their wages stop coming in. How can accident victims file personal injury claims successfully and win the maximum compensation they deserve?
Here are the most important things to do after a pedestrian accident:
Personal injury lawyers may be able to help you even in situations involving a hit-and-run accident. The lawyer will study the accident report and seek supplementary evidence, including CCTV camera footage and photos or videos taken by eyewitnesses, to find the driver responsible for your accident and determine their proportion of fault.
When necessary, a Houston pedestrian accident lawyer will resort to expert witnesses, including medical professionals and accident reconstruction specialists. Their goal is to build an ironclad case when they start negotiating with the at-fault driver's insurance company.
An experienced Houston pedestrian accident attorney will also:
Auto accident situations are rarely clear and simple. In some cases, the accident victim shares the blame with the driver for not paying attention to traffic laws. However, although Texas is an at-fault state for personal injury matters, it applies the comparative negligence principle.
This means that, as long as you are not more than 50% at fault for your accident, you are eligible to file a personal injury claim and receive compensatory damages. However, the actual amount you will collect will be your total damages minus the amount representing your percentage of fault. For example, if your economic and non-economic damages are evaluated at $10,000 and you were 10% at fault for the accident, you will receive $9,000.
Yet, insurance adjusters who investigate auto-pedestrian collisions try to persuade the victim that they were more than 50% at fault, and try to convince them they cannot file a claim. This is why it is important to let an experienced Houston pedestrian accident lawyer negotiate with the adjuster on your behalf.
The lawyers at Calhoun Meredith have extensive experience in personal injury claims, and our goal is always to win the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your damages.
We know that you are in pain and worried about the future, and we strive to lift your financial burden by making sure that the responsible party pays for your economic losses, pain and suffering. We offer a free legal consultation, so reach out to us and discuss your case with a skilled attorney as soon as possible: 855-664-0273!