Walking has a host of benefits, from getting in some gentle exercise to reducing your carbon footprint. Unfortunately, it’s not without one major drawback, and that’s the potential for serious injury and even death.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, pedestrian fatalities are on the rise. Today, they account for 1 out of 5 traffic-related deaths across the state. Last year was especially devastating, with 841 pedestrian fatalities. Another 1,470 people on foot were seriously injured in motor-vehicle collisions in 2021.
Experts have determined that the most common causes of pedestrian accidents are entirely preventable. Examples include speeding, driver inattention, failure to yield to those on foot, and failure to yield to motor vehicles.
You may have noticed that 3 out of 4 of the causes mentioned are attributed to those behind the wheel. That means even if you exercise extreme caution when walking alongside moving traffic, you cannot rely on passing motorists to do the same. Fortunately, if you do end up getting hurt through no fault of your own, the law will be on your side.
Under Texas tort law, pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles when following the rules of the road are usually entitled to compensation. By filing a personal injury claim, they may seek funds for all the losses that result from the accident. Examples include economic damages like medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life.
Moreover, when a pedestrian dies from injuries sustained in an accident, their surviving loved ones can usually proceed with a wrongful death claim. As long as the deceased was not to blame for the crash, their family should be able to pursue compensation. In Texas, recoverable damages for successful wrongful death actions include medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income and benefits, loss of comfort and companionship, and mental and emotional pain and suffering.
Whether you’ll be proceeding with a personal injury claim or a wrongful death action, it’s wise to act fast. Every state has strict filing deadlines for these cases, and Texas is no different.
In the Lone Star State, the typical statute of limitations for personal injury suits is two years. The same deadline applies to wrongful death actions.
While most tort claims are settled, a small percentage prove impossible to resolve out of court. If this ends up being the case for you and you attempt to file your suit after the appropriate deadline has passed, the judge will likely dismiss it, leaving you with no legal recourse whatsoever.
It’s important to note that there are a few exceptions to these statutes. As such, it’s advisable to call a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Speak with a Houston Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you were seriously hurt in a pedestrian accident through no fault of your own and you don’t know where to turn, you can count on Chelsie King Garza, P.C. Attorney Garza is a seasoned litigator who has successfully guided cases through both state and federal courts. Call 713-893-8808 or submit her Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with this pedestrian accident lawyer in Houston.