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TX injury lawyerA hit-and-run in San Marcos injured two pedestrians, landing both in the hospital where one still remains as of this writing. A middle-aged gentleman and his adult daughter were struck by a vehicle in the intersection of North Lyndon B. Johnson Drive and East Hutchison Street, which was then narrowed down to two possibilities by San Marcos police. If the vehicle is found - maroon in color, and either a GMC Yukon or a Chevrolet Tahoe - the driver will face serious penalties, in addition to a possible civil suit if the pedestrians choose to file one.

Leaving an Accident Scene Is a Crime

Many people think that if they cannot be caught after a hit-and-run, they have escaped responsibility, or at most, they might face a civil suit from any victim’s family. In reality, leaving an accident scene is a crime in Texas, and can be a second or third-degree felony if injury or death results. Even a hit-and-run which only causes property damage may be punished by anywhere between 1-5 years in the county jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

The sentences under this law can seem surprisingly harsh, but the rationale is that drivers have responsibilities in Texas, chief among which is to render aid and/or give information to law enforcement in the event of an accident. Even if the hit-and-run only damaged property, a failure to do that carries consequences. Ignorance of this responsibility is no excuse, either; Texas law criminalizes causing damage, whether or not that damage was intentional. Texas has so many drivers that the state legislature wanted to send a message that accountability matters.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerRecently, 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.

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TX injury lawyerStatistically, young drivers are among the most reckless, being involved in the most accidents of any age group. However, at Akins High School in South Austin, young people have been the victims lately. The student body has experienced multiple pedestrian accidents in recent weeks, with both occurring on the same road, in the same general area. While one pedestrian accident is a tragic accident, two or more occurring in the same place at roughly the same time may imply that a duty of care is not being met.

Texas Has Poor Record on Pedestrian Safety

Texas’ record in pedestrian safety is decidedly subpar, or at least it has been in recent years, though changes are being implemented slowly. In 2017, there were 614 pedestrian fatalities in the state, which is a drop of approximately 10 percent. However, the national total remained roughly the same, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA)’s preliminary data. Only California and Florida reported more pedestrian fatalities in 2018 than Texas, which is a trend that has existed for a number of years now.

Certain initiatives to lower pedestrian deaths and injuries have begun to be instituted, such as Austin’s Pedestrian Safety Plan. These programs try to assess walkability of roads, effectiveness of traffic patterns and other urban planning issues to determine how the cities and towns they serve can be made safer for pedestrians. However, these plans alone may not alleviate all the potential trouble spots, and sometimes it may take legal action to identify areas where pedestrian accidents are most likely to happen.

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TX injury lawyerA 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.

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TX accident lawyerOn the night of June 7, a man was struck by a driver in an extended-cab pickup truck near US 183 and Lava Hill Road, sustaining severe to life-threatening injuries in the incident. While he was taken to the hospital, the driver of the pickup fled the scene and as of this writing, has not been located. If this happens to you or to someone you love, it can be important to bring suit against the driver (if they can be located), so as to ensure that your medical bills can be covered.

Sharp Rise in Pedestrian Deaths

Texas has a problem in effectively protecting its pedestrians. Statistics tabulated by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) show a 21.5 percent rise in pedestrian deaths in auto accidents between 2015 and 2016 (the most recent available data), which is a higher rise than average in most states. Texas posted the second highest number of pedestrian fatalities in 2016, with only California experiencing more.

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The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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