On May 8, an unidentified pedestrian was struck by a car and died at the scene on I-35’s service road, just off the US 183 flyover. While police have no information regarding the age or gender of the pedestrian, such accidents are sadly quite common on I-35, and bringing suit against anyone to recover for your injuries can be somewhat difficult. However, it is not impossible, depending on the situation.
Statistics Pinpoint Multiple Reasons
The Governors’ Highway Safety Association (GHSA)’s 2017 report on traffic safety in metropolitan areas puts Texas as the 13th most deadly state for pedestrian deaths, with 0.93 per 100,000 people. Texas, Florida, and California accounted for almost 45 percent of all pedestrian fatalities during the relevant time period, which is indicative – all three states have multiple major highways, and all experience similar traffic patterns, at least in major cities. It is not unreasonable to assume that the infrastructure of these states may contribute to pedestrians being harmed.
In terms of immediate causes of such accidents, speed and substance abuse are among the most common factors, which may be unsurprising. Texas Department of Transportation statistics show that as many as 29 percent of all crashes in rural areas and 32 percent in urban areas can be linked to alcohol or other substance use before getting behind the wheel. Crashes in which both are a factor are significantly more likely to be deadly than those where only one risk factor was present.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, and you need compensation for your medical bills, the most common way to seek it is by filing a suit in negligence law. Four criteria must be met in order to prove a defendant negligent: (1) the existence of a duty of care that must be exercised between plaintiff and defendant – this is actually established in Texas law; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) a showing that the breach occurred directly because of the defendant’s conduct – that is, that no other factor played a role in your injuries; and (4) actual, tangible injuries. Injuries need not be physical to count, so to speak, but they must be more severe than mere shock.
In pedestrian accidents, the third criteria, called causation, is often the most difficult to prove, because events often occur so quickly that neither the injured plaintiff nor the defendant can accurately state that no intervening cause had any effect on the accident. Still, it is not impossible, and it is generally worth it to try, as without a settlement or verdict in your favor, the medical bills from this type of accident can be quite steep.
Seek Experienced Legal Help
Given their lack of protection as they go about their lives, pedestrians need stringent legal protection if they are ever injured by someone else. If you have been struck by a car, or if you have lost a loved one in the same manner as the person on I-35, contacting an attorney may help you decide how best to proceed. The talented New Braunfels pedestrian accident attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm can try to answer your questions and suggest your next steps. Contact our office today to set up an appointment.