Due to COVID-19, virtual meetings and consultations are available if preferred.
The Bettersworth Law Firm

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS! CALL NOW!

Call Us830-606-0404   888-392-0039

New Braunfels San Antonio Sequin Austin
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in pedestrian accident

b2ap3_thumbnail_wheelchair-crash.jpgWhile attempting to cross a street in his wheelchair, a San Antonio man was recently struck by a car and seriously injured. Liability, in this case, is unclear as of yet, but in many car accidents throughout Texas and the United States, wheelchair occupants are injured due to the negligence of drivers. Like bicyclists and pedestrians on foot, wheelchair occupants may be entitled to compensation for damages in these cases.

Prevalence of Wheelchair User Injuries in Car Accidents

Data regarding wheelchair occupants in car accidents is relatively sparse compared to other categories of car crash victims, but a 2015 study sheds some light on the issue. By reviewing police reports and news stories, researchers estimated that over 500 wheelchair occupants were killed in car crashes from 2006 to 2012, indicating a significantly higher fatality rate than the general population.

The study also found that men between the ages of 50 and 64 were the most susceptible to fatal car accident injuries. Intersections and places without traffic control were common locations, and low visibility of the wheelchair user was also a frequent contributing factor.

...

TX accident lawyerA recent night proved tragic for a woman trying to cross San Pedro Avenue, just north of downtown San Antonio. She was struck while trying to cross the street, having just gotten off work and headed home. The driver did stop and attempt to render aid, but the woman still required transportation to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. Pedestrian accidents are all too common in San Antonio, and while the driver appears to have acted appropriately in this case, too many pedestrian accidents wind up causing injuries or even costing lives. If you have been injured by an allegedly negligent driver, you need an experienced attorney to help navigate the legal process with you.

High Rates in Texas

Texas traditionally has high rates of pedestrian accidents - partly because of its sheer size, but also because many Texas metropolitan areas are not well set up for pedestrian traffic. The think tank Smart Growth America, in its yearly Dangerous By Design report, names dangerous metropolitan areas, where infrastructure issues make it harder to walk or otherwise navigate a city without a vehicle. Most of the state’s major cities and metro areas - McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, El Paso, and Austin - are listed in the top 50 most dangerous in the United States for 2019.

What this actually means is that these are the metropolitan areas that are most clearly designed for vehicles, rather than pedestrians. Lights may not last long enough for some pedestrians to make it across the road. Necessary crosswalks or curb cuts may be missing or damaged. The possibility of danger is higher in these metro areas than it should be because the city in question has not changed (and nor have its drivers).

...

TX injury lawyerA true tragedy happened on February 20, when a 10-year old riding her bicycle fell into traffic, losing her life after being struck by a passing SUV. The accident happened in West Bexar County, in the Valley Ranch area, and while law enforcement does not anticipate filing any charges in the matter, it can be hugely traumatic for both the driver and the family of the deceased person when accidents like this occur. No criminal charges also does not mean that the family of the girl cannot file a civil lawsuit. If this happens to your family, you need to make sure you remain clear-headed as you determine how best to handle this.

Negligence Must Be Present

Despite how devastating they can be, not every accidental death is grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you must be able to show that their passing was the result of another person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default” - that is, you must establish that there was negligence or recklessness in their actions. If they could not have acted in any other way, or could not have acted any faster to stop the accident, there is no cause of action under Texas law.

In the Valley Ranch accident, for example, law enforcement saw no recklessness or negligence in the driver’s behavior because everything happened so quickly. The driver likely had no time to take evasive action or stop their vehicle - and if it is generally agreed that no reasonable person would have been able to stop or evade the girl on the ground, then it is not possible to call the driver negligent. The accident was horrible, but not necessarily avoidable.

...

TX injury lawyerA hit-and-run in Bexar County 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 Bexar County 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.

...

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.

...

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

Texas Trial Lawyesr Association State Bar of Texas San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association
Back to Top