Recently, a man was hit by a pickup truck and killed as he and a friend walked along northbound I-35. According to the friend, they were walking south on the northbound lanes when a pickup truck struck the man walking on the outside, and sped off after the fact. While pedestrians walking along busy I-35 is less common than one might anticipate, this does not mean that both drivers and pedestrians do not need to be well aware of their rights and responsibilities while on the road.
Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
Pedestrian accidents are a perennial issue in Texas, with its miles of rural roads and higher-than-average speed limits. The most recent available data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimates approximately 5,700 crashes involving pedestrians in 2018, with roughly 615 fatalities. This is one of the higher state totals in the country for the last few years, despite several Texas municipalities enacting ordinances trying to regulate speed limits and other plans to fight against reckless driving in the works.
Infrastructure in Texas is also an issue for pedestrians. The think tank SmartGrowth America ranks metropolitan areas by their degree of danger for pedestrians (from drivers and also the lack of infrastructure like sidewalks, curb cuts, and traffic lights), and in 2019, six Texas cities/metro areas ranked in the top 50, with the McAllen/Edinburg/Mission area being deemed the most dangerous (#16), with San Antonio/New Braunfels (#21) and Houston/The Woodlands/Sugarland (#23) not far behind.
If You Are Injured
If you have been injured while walking around your hometown, you deserve the chance to hold someone accountable for their negligence. Most pedestrian accidents are brought under a theory of negligence; if someone acts negligently, it means that they failed to exercise the care they owed to the person or people at issue, rather than maliciously and deliberately acting in a way that is unacceptable. If someone is found to have been negligent, they can be held liable monetarily for the damages that you and your loved ones may have sustained.
There are three (technically four) criteria that you must establish in court in order to hold someone liable for your injuries. You must establish that the defendant or defendants had a duty to exercise reasonable care toward you and anyone else who might be a member of your class (for example, a motorist in Texas must exercise reasonable care toward any other motorist). You must then show that the duty of care was breached and that there was no other intervening cause that played any role in the harm you suffered (and that you actually suffered tangible harm, not just cuts and bruises or temporary shock).
Call A New Braunfels Pedestrian Accident Attorney
While there does not appear to be any plan by the family of the deceased man to file suit against anyone, this does not mean that all types of pedestrian accidents will end up like this. Contacting the skilled New Braunfels pedestrian accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm can help set your mind at ease. If you need help with a pedestrian accident case, please do not hesitate to call our offices at 888-392-0039 to set up a free consultation.