A 40-year-old woman was pronounced dead on arrival at University Hospital in San Antonio after being hit by a car on the night of July 12. While the driver who struck her did stop and render aid, the woman was unable to be revived. San Antonio police stated that no charges would be filed against the driver, but pedestrian accidents sometimes do wind up with charges being filed, especially if drivers leave the scene of the accident.
Texas Can Be Dangerous for Pedestrians
Because of issues such as Texas’ speed limits, pedestrians are more prone to be victims of accidents in Texas metro areas than in many other cities in the United States. Preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) for 2017 show that approximately 43 percent of all pedestrian deaths came from five states, of which Texas is one. Texas averaged 2.44 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, which is in the top 10 in the country.
On a more local level, Harris, Dallas and Bexar counties were three of the top 10 counties in the nation for total pedestrian deaths. There are multiple possible reasons for the high numbers in such urban counties – for instance, metro areas tend to have more people per capita, and given that Texas speed limits are among the higher echelon, it can be harder to avoid people when traveling quickly. Road rage can also be a factor in urban areas, with traffic jams and impatience leading to more reckless driving.
If You Are Injured
If you as a pedestrian are injured by a reckless driver, you may be able to bring suit against them to recoup some of your costs. In most situations, you would bring suit under a theory of ordinary negligence law, under which three criteria must be established. You must be able to show that (1) defendant breached the duty of care owed by a motorist to a pedestrian; (2) that this happened due to their conduct (with no other intervening cause); and (3) that you, the plaintiff, suffered harm as a result of their actions.
Be advised that in some cases, you may not have to prove all the criteria; the first may possibly be stipulated if you can show that the defendant committed what Texas law calls negligence per se. Generally, if a person in Texas breaks a criminal law designed to protect a specific class of people, and one of that class is injured due to their conduct, that act can be used to show that there was a breach of the duty. In other words, you would not have to prove a breach. Given that leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in Texas, if you are injured and the defendant does not stop to render aid, it may aid you in proving they were negligent.
Call Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
It remains to be seen whether the deceased woman’s family will try to pursue any charges in their loved one’s death, but if you are in an accident and things turn out differently, you may need to evaluate the possibility of pursuing charges in your own case. If you do, the skilled New Braunfels pedestrian accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm will work hard to ensure that you are able to obtain the compensation you need and deserve. Contact our offices today to set up an appointment.