In late September 2017, a pedestrian was struck as he crossed 36th Street in San Antonio, sustaining injuries that put him in critical condition. The driver did stop to provide assistance, and no charges were filed in the accident, but it is worth noting, if only because such stories are depressingly common in San Antonio. Besides the obvious precautions a pedestrian would normally take, though, it can be difficult to avoid accidents, and it can be difficult to obtain compensation if you are injured.
Statistics Show Increases
The most recent available statistical data for Texas pedestrian fatalities show increases over time, and quite significant ones – from 2014 to 2015, the number jumped approximately 14 percent, up to 558 deaths in one year. This is among the highest in the nation for that time frame, and while some of the high numbers may necessarily be explained by just how many people live in Texas, some can only be explained by less care being taken on both drivers’ and pedestrians’ part.
Data on specific metropolitan areas can show trends in terms of what type of accident is the most common for pedestrians to experience – for example, what time do most accidents occur, on what surface, what point on the road, etc.. In San Antonio, the most accidents occur generally between 8 pm and 4 am, which might be expected, but the majority also occur while crossing a street at the appropriate place (in a crosswalk or at the end of a block, rather than jaywalking through the middle), which is not necessarily expected.
If You Are Injured
If you are hit by a car while walking, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, it can be difficult to prevail on such a claim in court, if only because so often such cases come down to plaintiff’s word against defendant’s, especially in the case of a hit and run. In Texas, there are four criteria that must be proven in order to show a defendant was negligent: (1) the existence of a duty of care, which is usually stipulated in Texas (that is, it is generally agreed that a duty to exercise reasonable care exists for both the driver and the pedestrian); (2) the breach of that duty (3) by the defendant’s conduct, with no other intervening factor; which leads to (4) tangible harm suffered by the plaintiff – not necessarily physical harm, but injuries that last longer than days or weeks.
Much of this can be said to be quite subjective, which means that hard evidence is necessary to show that the duty of care was breached and that it was breached by the conduct of the defendant and not by some other event. It may also be shown by the defendant that you, the plaintiff, played some role in your own injuries, and if the court deems your role to have been more than 50 percent, you are barred from recovery. In accident cases like this, having a good grasp of what is necessary can be the difference between success and failure.
Seek Experienced Help from Our Attorneys
Pedestrians are at a significant disadvantage if struck by a car, if only because the potential for severe injury is so high. Our passionate New Braunfels pedestrian accident attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm are ready, willing and able to try and help you with your case. Call us today to set up an initial consultation.