Recently, a young pedestrian was struck by a car near St. Mary’s University, on Culebra Road. He was hit by a sedan going by while walking in the street, sustaining injuries severe enough to require transport to University Hospital for treatment. The driver of the car did stop and render aid, meaning that no criminal charges will be filed against them. However, should the pedestrian feel that the driver acted recklessly, they still might be able to bring a civil suit against the driver in order to be compensated for their medical bills.
Texas Pedestrian Accidents Are Common
Because of its sheer size and spread-out cities, Texas tends to not be very friendly for pedestrians, especially in urban areas. A 2017 report by Smart Growth America, an urban planning think tank, listed Texas as the ninth most dangerous state for pedestrians, with a Pedestrian Danger Index of 101.1. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) statistics show approximately 615 pedestrian fatalities, which is a decrease from the previous year, but still a higher number than most other states.
There are many different potential causes for pedestrian accidents, but many stem back to driver inattention. Distracted driving can lead to a failure to notice a pedestrian wearing dark clothing or walking in the road, as the young man on Culebra Road was doing. It is also not uncommon for substance abuse or overindulgence to play a role. While pedestrians can and do make mistakes as well, they usually have the right of way, which puts the fault on a hurried or aggressive driver if they jump the proverbial gun and cause injury.
The medical bills that can stem from a pedestrian-automobile accident can be quite serious. Pedestrian injuries and fatalities hang on several variable factors, including the speed of the car, the environment (for example, whether urban or rural), and the height and build of the pedestrian, but regardless, injuries can be severe. Some of the most common include broken bones (especially in the lower extremities), and injuries to the vertebrae or spinal cord, especially if the crash occurs at high speed. Traumatic brain injuries may also occur, given that very often a car does not need to be going fast to cause serious injury to an unprotected person.
In order to bring a case for negligence against a driver, you must be able to show that they breached the duty of care that motorists owe to pedestrians and that the breach of the duty of care was a direct result of their conduct, with no other superseding cause. You must also be able to show that the breach of duty caused you actual harm. While the driver on Culebra Road did stop to render aid, it is also worth noting that in Texas, leaving the scene of an accident is a misdemeanor if property damage occurs, and it is a felony if injury or death has occurred.
Can a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help You?
While the pedestrian on Culebra Road was lucky, there is no guarantee that you or your loved ones will be as lucky if you are involved in an accident as a pedestrian. If you have been hurt, the best thing to do is consult an experienced attorney who will fight for you and your rights. The New Braunfels pedestrian accident attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm are ready and willing to try and assist you with your case. Call us today at 888-392-0039 to schedule a free consultation.