The North Pine Street Bridge across I-35 was the scene of a pedestrian accident on March 13, 2018, leaving one man dead and one driver possibly facing criminal charges. The man was struck around 5am, dying on the scene. The driver skidded into a ditch along the road after hitting the man, and while as of this writing no criminal charges have been filed, San Antonio police have not yet ruled out the possibility.
More Common Than Believed
I-35 is among the busiest and fastest-traveled highways in the state of Texas, and pedestrians are often struck when attempting to cross it at points other than bridges or crosswalks. A report from Smart Growth America ranks San Antonio as one of the top 20 most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians, with only Houston ranking higher in Texas. One might assume that more pedestrian accidents would occur on country roads, with poorer visibility, but a higher proportion of fatal accidents occur on city streets.
There are multiple different reasons for so many accidents. A lack of marked crosswalks is common, which leads to pedestrians trying to cross busy streets and freeways when there is no guarantee they will be able to do so safely. Visibility is definitely an issue as well, with approximately 70 percent of pedestrian accidents occurring at night. Another frequent factor is alcohol – a significant amount of pedestrian accidents involve intoxication in both parties.
If You Are Injured
If you are injured in an accident as a pedestrian, you are generally not without recourse. Most cases of this nature are brought under a theory of negligence law, which in Texas means there are four criteria that must be shown in court. You must be able to show that (1) a duty of care exists between plaintiff and defendant; (2) that duty was breached; (3) you suffered tangible damages; and (4) that damage was incurred solely due to the defendant’s conduct, and not because of any other superseding cause.
A general, common-law duty of care exists between motorists and pedestrians, with both required to actively avoid any conduct that would deliberately cause harm. However, be advised that Texas law, unlike many other states’ regulations on the topic, explicitly holds that a pedestrian must yield the right of way to a motorist if they try to cross a road, not at a crosswalk, or if they are otherwise in the road legally. In other words, a pedestrian has some affirmative duties that they must not breach, or they may open themselves up to accusations of negligence themselves.
Consult Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
The San Antonio police will decide whether the driver in the North Pine Street accident will face criminal charges, but if you are injured, whether or not to bring civil charges is up to you. Contacting our skilled New Braunfels pedestrian accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm can help you decide how best to proceed if you have been hurt.