Fourteen-Year-Old Girl ‘Darts in Front of Vehicle’
On November 8 in San Antonio, a pedestrian accident occurred when a teenage girl “ran into the road” on a West Side street and was struck by a car. While no severe injuries seem to have occurred in this specific accident, pedestrian accidents can be among the most hazardous in terms of lives lost simply because one party is at a tremendous advantage in terms of protection from impact. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to seek compensation for the harm you suffered.
Pedestrian Accidents Are Common in Texas
Pedestrians have a difficult time in Texas. Recent statistics from Smart Growth America, a think tank that tracks urban development, places six Texan cities and their metropolitan areas within the 50 most dangerous in the United States (only Florida has more). Speed limits are generally high, even within metro areas, and with the way that many roads in Texas are laid out, there are fewer pedestrian crossings in many areas than there perhaps should be.
Overall, SGA’s data finds that Texas is the 9th most dangerous state in the U.S. for pedestrians, with a high rate of casualties when accidents occur, though with a comparatively low percentage of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 - this can at least in part be explained by the sheer population of Texas being very large. Still, it is worth noting that between 2014 and 2016, the danger index for pedestrians in San Antonio specifically rose approximately 7.5 percent - a significant hike when most of the metro areas on the list experienced a lowered danger index.
Duties of Care on Both Sides
While it is very common for most people to immediately blame the driver if a pedestrian is hit by a car, in reality, both drivers and those walking or biking have a duty of care that they must abide by. A driver’s duty of care is more implicit, set out in court decisions and part of common law, but a pedestrian’s duty of care is actually spelled out in the Texas Transportation Code (TTC). Among other requirements, a pedestrian must use sidewalks and crosswalks whenever they are available and take all possible care to be aware of their surroundings, especially if there is no crosswalk available and they are forced to jaywalk.
The same code section states certain rules for motorists, but they are much more vague - for example, the code states that motorists must “exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.” Due care is a somewhat abstract concept that can vary based on a host of factors; a pedestrian’s duties under the TTC, by comparison, are concrete - to use the relevant pedestrian-friendly spaces whenever they exist. If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, you must be able to narrow down the motorist’s specific duty of care they owed in your particular situation, in order to be able to prove they did not meet it.
Call Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
Pedestrian accidents can be incredibly damaging and destructive, causing pain and trauma to all parties involved. The passionate New Braunfels auto accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm are experienced in these types of cases and can try and assist you in obtaining the compensation you need to get back on your feet. Contact our office today to set up an appointment.