A gas station near the corner of Pleasanton Road and East Vestal Place was the site of a hit-and-run accident on a recent night after a man ran from an argument he had been having with four other individuals. The four all got into one car, appearing to hunt down the man and strike him near a fast-food restaurant. He was transported to Brooke Army Medical Center in “serious” condition. While these suspects appear to have had intent to commit a crime, even a suspect who has not acted with malice or recklessness may still be on the proverbial hook for your injuries. Pedestrian accidents are far too common in Texas, and even if no crime is determined to have been committed, you may be able to file a civil suit for monetary compensation.
Rights and Responsibilities
Texas registered 621 pedestrian fatalities in 2018, which was approximately a one percent increase from 2017. The statistics can also track other trends: for example, that the majority of pedestrian-involved accidents, such as the one involving the man at the fast-food restaurant, happened at night when visibility is lowest and alcohol consumption is highest. There are several reasons why these accidents and fatalities happen in Texas; distracted driving and speeding are near the top of the list, especially when combined with Texas’ higher speed limits in many counties.
If you are out walking or otherwise minding your own business, and you are struck by a vehicle, the potential liability for the driver can be quite serious. Pedestrians do have responsibilities when out using the road, such as crossing only at crosswalks and obeying traffic lights, but even if the defendant argues that you failed in upholding these responsibilities, the odds are in your favor in terms of being able to obtain monetary compensation. Florida honors a doctrine called comparative fault, meaning that even if you are ruled to be partially responsible for your own injuries, you should still be able to recover.
Civil and Criminal Penalties
Civil penalties are the most common thing that a plaintiff is seeking if they file suit against an allegedly negligent defendant. However, it is possible in some cases that a defendant in your civil case may also face criminal charges, which would then be brought by the state (rather than the injured person or their family). In cases like the Pleasanton Road accident, where malice was clearly demonstrated by the four individuals getting into their car and hunting down the other man, the defendants would face charges for hit-and-run and possibly attempted murder (depending on the specific details of the case).
Additionally, Texas has a law that requires that anyone who causes an accident involving injury or death must immediately stop their vehicle and return to the scene, administering aid as necessary. Failure to do so can result in criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident, with the severity depending on the level of injury incurred. For example, a failure to stop at the scene of a crash that involves serious injury (or is likely to have involved serious injury) is a felony of the third degree, which carries a sentence of anywhere between two and 10 years in prison, plus fines of up to $10,000. These criminal charges can occur at the same time as any civil suit you file, though the criminal case may be prosecuted first.
Call a New Braunfels Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
As of this writing, the suspects in the Pleasanton Road accident are still currently at large, but if they are caught, serious charges likely await them. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contacting an experienced attorney is a good idea, so as to ensure that you understand your options and which course of action might be best for your particular case. The dedicated New Braunfels pedestrian accident attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm are able to help answer any questions you may have about your case. Call our offices today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.