Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Dallas, Texas
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When we think of auto accidents, we normally think of car-on-car collisions. Pedestrian accidents, by contrast, get somewhat less attention. Nevertheless, chances are these accidents are more common than you may think. And when pedestrian accidents do happen, they are much more likely to result in death due to the simple fact that pedestrians are much more exposed to harm than drivers and passengers in vehicles. Our Dallas pedestrian accident lawyers are here to help.
At Zinda Law Group, our Dallas personal injury lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that no personal injury victim lacks excellent legal representation. If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident in Dallas, Texas, do not hesitate to speak with one of our Dallas injury attorneys today. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with an experienced Dallas pedestrian accident lawyer.
Read More: Dallas Personal Injury Lawyers
Numerous Fatal pedestrian accidents in Texas
Pedestrian accidents do not generally receive major news coverage. However, as the Texas cases below illustrate, pedestrian accidents are remarkably common.
A quick internet search for “pedestrian accidents in Texas” results in a long list of local news headlines reporting the most recent tragedies. Nearly all result in fatalities.
For example, on November 26, 2021, a 73-year-old woman was struck and killed in a Dallas hit-and-run crash. The crash happened around 2:15 p.m. when a black Chevrolet Impala was racing a yellow Chevrolet Camaro. Her pastor expressed how devastated her church family was by the suddenness of her homegoing, saying, “We are just at a loss for words.”
On January 13, 2022, a pedestrian tried to cross I-30 around 3:45 a.m., but they were struck and what resulted was a multi-vehicle crash. The pedestrian had made it across the westbound lanes but they were struck as they attempted to cross the eastbound lanes. When police arrived, the vehicle that struck the pedestrian was located about a quarter mile from where the crash occurred.
Less than a month later, on February 10, 2022, a pedestrian was hit by a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) bus and killed just before midnight in Downtown Dallas. It is unclear whether the pedestrian was simply crossing the street or walking in the roadway.
Tragically, these accidents are not few and far between. The month of March 2022 resulted in a particularly high number of pedestrian accidents in Texas.
- On March 5, another pedestrian was killed around 4 a.m. along I-35 in Denton, just north of Dallas. The victim had stopped their vehicle on the far right shoulder of the interstate near the exit of a Buc-ee’s. They exited their vehicle for an unknown reason and are believed to have walked onto the road, where they were struck by two vehicles.
- Southward, on the evening of March 16, a man was hit and killed in northwest Houston by a driver who fled the scene.
- The very next day, March 17, a 27-year-old pedestrian was crossing a street in Dallas around 1:30 a.m. when he was struck by a pickup truck. He was taken in critical condition to the hospital where he died during surgery. The driver faces a charge of intoxicated manslaughter.
- Just one day later, on March 18, a pedestrian was struck in San Antonio around 5:45 p.m. when two vehicles collided, pushing both toward the intersection corner where the pedestrian was crossing the street. The pedestrian later died from their injuries at Brooke Army Medical Center.
- Two days passed before—on March 20—a pedestrian attempted to cross a major highway in Marlin around 10 p.m. but was struck by a car so forcibly that, reportedly, “Officials are having trouble identifying the body as the damage done was extensive.”
- Again, two days passed when on March 22 Odessa police responded to a call around 7:00 a.m. in response to a hit-and-run pedestrian accident. The 28-year-old victim was standing in the left-turn lane when struck and killed.
- Less than 24 hours later, on March 23 around 4 a.m., a bicyclist was struck by a dump truck in Kingwood. The victim, a man in his 20s, did not survive.
- On March 27 around 6 a.m., a 67-year-old pedestrian was struck in Beaumont and did not survive.
The number of fatalities did not abate as the month of April unfolded. On the night of April 2, 2022 alone, three separate auto-pedestrian accidents in Austin left two pedestrians dead and another critically injured.
- The first crash, which occurred around 11 p.m., created a victim who was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after EMS arrived.
- The second occurred around 1 a.m., a mere two hours later. The pedestrian was struck and killed by an 18-wheeler on I-35.
- Finally, before the night was over, a third pedestrian was struck around 2:30 a.m. They were transported to the hospital in critical condition.
Less than a week later, Austin police responded to yet another accident.
- On April 8, a group of pedestrians was struck in a major “T-bone” collision between two vehicles. The collision occurred around 8:00 p.m. In total, nine patients were transported to the hospital, including one of the drivers.
As this string of incidents illustrates, pedestrian accidents are very common. If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, you should not hesitate to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Call our Dallas pedestrian accident attorneys for a free consultation today.
Pedestrian accident Statistics
Of course, some environments are more walkable than others. However, whether in an urban, suburban, or rural environment, pedestrian accidents are deadly and quite common.
In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 82,205 pedestrian-related auto accidents in the United States. Of these, 76,000 resulted in pedestrian injuries and 6,205 pedestrian deaths. This number represents 17% of the 36,096 total fatalities recorded on U.S. roadways in that same year. Expressed differently, one pedestrian died in a roadway accident every 85 minutes.
According to the NHTSA, Texas alone accounted for 649 (over 10%) of these pedestrian deaths. This number grew to 687 in 2020, a 10-year high. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported an even higher total of 731.
An earlier report produced by the NHTSA in 2011 regarding pedestrian fatalities revealed a number of interesting correlations:
- Pedestrian fatalities are strongly correlated with gender. Males accounted for 70% of pedestrian fatalities, while females accounted for only 30%.
- The vast majority of fatal accidents occurred in urban locations (73%) as opposed to rural locations (27%).
- Pedestrian Location. The vast majority (79%) of pedestrians killed in accidents were located outside of an intersection at the time they were struck. By contrast, 21% were located within intersections. The remaining 10% were in “other” locations.
- Weather, by contrast, did not seem to have a strong correlation. Most pedestrian fatalities (88%) occurred on “clear/cloudy” days. Another 9% occurred on rainy days, 1% on snowy days, and 1% on foggy days.
- Time of Day. Unsurprisingly, most pedestrian fatalities occur at night (70%). More specifically, 32% of fatalities occurred between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. Another 29% occurred between midnight and 7:59 a.m. This is strongly reflected in the cases listed in the previous section, as most of the cases listed occurred sometime in the evening or very early in the morning.
- Age is also strongly correlated: A full 39% of pedestrian fatalities involved people between the ages of 30 and 59. Another 20% involved those between the ages of 55 and 69.
- Alcohol Involvement. Finally, alcohol is involved in nearly half (48%) of pedestrian fatalities. Almost a third of the time (30%), only the injured pedestrian was intoxicated. By comparison, 9% of cases involved an intoxicated driver; another 8% involve scenarios where both the driver and pedestrian are intoxicated.
No matter the circumstances of your pedestrian-related accident, our Dallas pedestrian accident attorneys are ready to evaluate your case. Call Zinda Law Group for a free case evaluation today.
Read more: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), State Traffic Safety Information Report; Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State (2020, Preliminary Data).
Safety tips to avoid pedestrian accidents in Dallas
It is clear by now that Texas roadways see a startingly large number of pedestrian injuries and deaths. Many if not most of them could have been avoided. “How?” you might ask.
Following these tips recommended by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will certainly help to increase your own pedestrian safety:
What Can Pedestrians Do to Stay Safe?
- Always use sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
- Always use crosswalks. Look left, then right, then left again before crossing.
- Yield to vehicles.
- Don’t assume traffic will stop for you.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
- Walk to the right in crosswalks to allow others to pass on your left.
- Look left and right before exiting a bus.
- Be aware that parked cars or other obstacles can block your view of oncoming traffic.
- Exit your car on the curb side of the street if possible.
What If There Is No Crosswalk?
- Check for a crosswalk further up or down the street.
- Don’t jaywalk. If you’re hit while jaywalking, the driver may not be liable, and insurance may not cover your injuries.
What Can Drivers Do to Keep Pedestrians Safe?
- Always stop for pedestrians.
- Reduce your speed when approaching crosswalks.
- Stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians when turning.
- Be careful when passing buses or stopped vehicles.
- Stay alert and put your phone away, for pedestrians may enter your path suddenly.
- Obey the speed limit and drive according to road and weather conditions.
Read more: Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDOT), Pedestrian Safety.
Texas laws governing pedestrian accidents
Notwithstanding the high number of pedestrian accidents on Texas roads, a number of laws are designed to increase safety on pedestrian walkways and to punish wrongful actors when their recklessness causes pedestrian accidents. This section explores just a few of those laws in Texas. Our Dallas pedestrian accident attorneys are ready to evaluate the full scope of the laws and regulations that may affect your case.
Lisa Torry Smith Act
On September 1, 2021, the Texas legislature passed the Lisa Torry Smith Act, named after a young mother who died in 2017 when she was struck by a vehicle as she walked her son to school. The law came about after Lisa’s family lobbied the legislature to create an avenue for criminal prosecution when law-abiding pedestrians are hit by negligent drivers.
Under the law, it is an offense to operate a vehicle within a crosswalk in a “criminally negligent” manner that “causes bodily injury” to pedestrians and cyclists. The offense is a Class A Misdemeanor unless the pedestrian suffered “serious bodily harm,” in which case the offense is raised to a felony. It is a defense for the driver if the injured pedestrian was breaking any laws governing “walking, movement, or operation in a crosswalk or roadway.”
Read more: Edwards, Chelsea. “Drivers in Texas could face fine or jail penalty for failing to stop for pedestrians.” Fox 26 Houston, 5 Sept. 2021.
Other Texas Laws
The Texas Transportation Code includes a handful of pedestrian-related laws. Some govern pedestrians, some govern drivers. Failure by pedestrians to comply with these laws will serve as a defense for drivers under the Lisa Torry Smith Act. Among the various laws are the following:
1. Pedestrian Right-Of-Way – Control Signal Present
A pedestrian facing a “Walk” signal may proceed across the road. Vehicles must stop and yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian. By contrast, a pedestrian may not cross a road in violation of a “Don’t Walk” signal or a “Wait” signal.
2. Pedestrians Right-Of-Way – Control Signal Absent
Vehicles must stop and yield to pedestrians crossing roads with no traffic control signals when the pedestrian is either (1) halfway across the road or (2) “approaching so closely . . . as to be in danger.”
3. Pedestrians Must Keep Right
Pedestrians must use the right half of crosswalks where possible.
Pedestrians must yield to vehicles on highways when crossing a road at a place (1) other than a crosswalk or (2) where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing is present.
5. Use of Sidewalk
Pedestrians may not walk along or on a road if a sidewalk is accessibly provided.
6. Drivers Must Always Exercise Due Care
Notwithstanding other provisions, drivers must always:
- exercise “due care” to avoid colliding with pedestrians;
- give warning by sounding their horn “when necessary”; and
- exercise “proper precaution” when a child or an “obviously confused or incapacitated” person is on the road.
Statute of Limitations for personal injury cases in TX
The laws described above may seem obvious. Less obvious may be the governing statute of limitations. This is a very simple and very important concept governing every personal injury case. Once an accident happens, a statute of limitations sets a deadline after which injured parties can no longer bring their case seeking compensation.
The statute of limitations in Texas sets the deadline at two years after the date of your accident. If the two years run out, you can no longer file a case. Therefore, time is of the essence!
If you were injured in a Dallas car accident as a pedestrian, do not hesitate to bring your case to a Dallas pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys in Dallas are ready to evaluate and handle your case.
OUR Dallas pedestrian accident lawyers CAN HELP
Whether crossing a road or walking along a sidewalk, we are all pedestrians at some point. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are quite common in the United States.
When they happen, the consequences can be devastating. Because pedestrians are more vulnerable to impact than drivers and passengers in vehicles, they are much more likely to be injured or killed.
At Zinda Law Group, we are firmly committed to ensuring that every personal injury victim has access to the excellent legal representation they deserve. Our Dallas personal injury lawyers are ready to fight for you.
If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident in Dallas, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with one of our Dallas pedestrian accident attorneys today. Our clients pay nothing unless we win their case. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.