El Paso Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
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A pedestrian’s life should never be put in jeopardy simply because they are traveling by foot. Following an increase in pedestrian accident fatalities, the Texas Department of Transportation has recently launched a safety campaign to remind everyone that people on the road need to look out for others, especially those on foot. After all, pedestrians are far more vulnerable than motorists. Indeed, when a pedestrian is struck by a car, they usually suffer life-altering damage and injuries. Our El Paso pedestrian accident lawyers are here to help.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident in El Paso, Zinda Law Group can help you fight for compensation. In this area of law, lawyers need to quickly assess the facts of the case and apply relevant laws. El Paso pedestrian accident lawyers from Zinda Law Group can do so.
We can also answer questions regarding your accident. Please call (800) 863-5312 to speak with a member of our legal team today.
What is a Pedestrian accident?
A pedestrian accident is when a motor vehicle collides with a person traveling on foot. The simplest example of a pedestrian accident involves any accident when someone on foot is struck by another force. Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of traffic, which is why motorists must yield to people crossing the street.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a pedestrian was injured on average every seven minutes and killed every 85 minutes in traffic accidents in 2019. Many factors play into a pedestrian accident occurring, but one factor which stands out is the time of day in which the accidents occur. According to the data, far more pedestrian-related accidents occurred in the dark (76%) than in daylight (21%), dusk (2%), or dawn (2%).
Furthermore, the majority of pedestrian accidents occurred outside of intersections. These statistics indicate that the time of day in which you travel is a choice that may decrease the chance of being involved in an accident. They also suggest it is far wiser to use an intersection than to try to cross in the middle of a street. It is encouraged that all pedestrians travel during daylight hours and use intersection crosswalks when available.
Many pedestrians involved in these types of cases were likely using their best judgment when choosing when to travel and when to cross the street. But even taking these precautions is sometimes not enough to protect you from a negligent driver. The result of being hit by one can be catastrophic injury and long recovery periods.
At Zinda Law Group, an El Paso pedestrian accident attorney is ready to investigate the facts of your case. We have the skill and resources to build the best case possible for your pursuit of damages.
Common Causes of pedestrian accidents In TX
When a pedestrian is struck in traffic, it can be hard to determine the reason. Some of the questions that need answering include:
- What kind of car hit you?
- Who was driving the vehicle?
- Were there witnesses at the scene?
- What were the weather conditions like at the time of the accident?
Answers to these questions and many others help determine causation, one of four elements of negligence that will need proving in your case. The other three are: duty, breach, and injury. We’ll cover these in more detail later in this article.
Ultimately, a wide array of factors must be considered. You can trust that an El Paso pedestrian accident attorney is familiar with the circumstances in which these accidents typically occur. An attorney with experience in this area will consider all the possible reasons for why your accident happened when evaluating your claim.
In the meantime, some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in El Paso, TX, are listed below:
Distracted driving is generally when the driver is not paying close attention to the road. This type of behavior includes cellphone use. Texting, emailing, and even simply talking on the phone can take up a driver’s attention for just long enough for an accident to occur.
A driver should never take their focus off the road even for a second. By doing so, they are putting everyone on the road in a dangerous position. Tending to children while driving, adjusting the stereo, and changing the settings on the A/C are all types of behavior that distract the driver from the road.
Drunk driving and driving under the influence are types of behavior that are criminalized by state statutes. If a driver strikes a pedestrian while they are under the influence, the consequences are serious—as they should be. Impaired drivers are less likely to see a pedestrian in the roadway, and there is, therefore, a greater chance of a pedestrian accident occurring.
Drinking and driving is never a good idea. Drinking alcohol makes one drowsy, and it slows reaction times.
If someone gets behind the wheel of a car after drinking, they are a danger to everyone on the road, especially pedestrians. Pedestrians who are walking at night should be especially aware of drunk drivers.
Being in traffic for a long time can lead to driver stress and annoyance. Impatient driving includes any situation where the driver allows their frustration to influence their driving and begins driving aggressively, or even dangerously. The driver does not necessarily commit an offense when acting like this, but driving aggressively leads to other people on the road being endangered.
A person who is driving aggressively will engage in behaviors such as:
- cutting off other vehicles, and
- traveling excessively beyond the speed limit.
An aggressive, impatient driver is also more likely to force moves in traffic. If you were trying to cross the street while a driver near you was driving aggressively, the steps you took to cross the street safely were negated by someone’s dangerous driving.
Inclement weather refers to bad weather conditions such as rain and sleet. These types of conditions make roads slick, slippery, and hazardous. A slippery road requires a driver to adjust their stopping times. If the driver fails to account for the weather, they may find themselves sliding into a group of crossing pedestrians.
Inclement weather can cause all types of dangerous driving situations. It is plain hard to keep control of a car when there is poor visibility, wet payment, rain, snow, and potentially motor oil on the road. Trying to keep the vehicle straight may be a daunting task anyway, but when the driver then must swerve and avoid pedestrians…well, the odds of successful evasion are quite low.
Road construction is a poor road condition that causes drivers to change their route or path to their destination. But what people fail to realize is that road construction makes pedestrians cross the road in areas that they normally wouldn’t. When pedestrians are forced to walk outside of their typically designated paths, it puts them in harm’s way.
Consequently, drivers must be on high alert when driving near construction zones. Oftentimes speed limits are reduced where construction is happening; these speed-reduced areas are intended to promote safety. If preceding your accident you were forced to leave a pedestrian walkway due to construction, you may have a claim against the entity that was doing the construction.
What is Negligence when it comes to Pedestrian-car accidents in El Paso?
Negligence is the standard that will most likely be applied to your pedestrian accident case. Negligence occurs when someone was aware of or should have been aware of an unjustifiable risk, but they failed to act in a way that recognizes the risk. In the context of a pedestrian accident, some examples include ignoring traffic signals, texting while driving, and speeding. Essentially, when drivers act negligently, they are said to have lacked ordinary due care.
The 4 Elements of Negligence
To establish a theory of negligence and to hold the defendant liable, the plaintiff must establish the following four elements by a preponderance of the evidence:
- The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff to conform to a specific standard of care.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The breach was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm.
- The victim suffered damages because of the accident.
The defendant owing a duty of care refers to the relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff. At the time of the crash, the defendant will most likely be the person who was driving the car, and the plaintiff will likely be the pedestrian walking on the street. There is a relationship between pedestrians and automobile drivers that calls upon automobiles drivers to be cautious when driving near pedestrians.
Other Duties (Besides the One Between a Car Driver and Pedestrians)
In other circumstances, the duty owed that was breached is not necessarily the one between the driver and the pedestrian. The relationship evoking the duty could be the relationship between the pedestrian and the government, or an entity tasked with maintaining pedestrian pathways. If, for example, the accident stems from a pedestrian being forced to exit the crosswalk due to construction, the duty may have existed between the road maintenance entity and the pedestrian, not the pedestrian and the driver.
Duty that Was Breached
Once your El Paso pedestrian accident attorney establishes that there was a duty owed by the defendant to the plaintiff, you can proceed in establishing that the defendant breached that duty. The breach part of the analysis hinges on the facts and circumstances of the case. It is also where the trier of fact (judge or jury) will have the most say in the case.
Causation of Injury
After proving breach, the next part of the analysis is to show that the breach was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm. Causation is typically difficult to establish, requiring the skills of a trained personal injury attorney in El Paso. The El Paso inury attorneys on our Zinda Law Group team are familiar with this standard and can help you apply the facts of the case when it comes time to present your claims to a judge and jury.
Finally, the calculation of damages is not promised to be straightforward. The calculation of damages for medical bills is somewhat easier since the hospital and medical service providers will have everything itemized. However, the calculation of damages for your pain and suffering is always an area where reasonable minds can differ. if the conduct which caused the incident is particularly egregious, then putative damages may be awarded.
What to Do after a pedestrian accident in El Paso, TX
If you were a pedestrian in a traffic accident, some things need to be done immediately. A few others can be done over the course of the next few days or week.
1. Get Medical Attention
First, getting medical care will help prevent injuries from getting worse; therefore, seeking medical care should be your first action. The shock of the accident may prevent you from realizing that you are injured. To prevent unsought injuries, it’s important to get a medical examination.
2. Document Everything You Can
Second, part of the process of a medical examination is also the documentation of injuries. Having an accurate account of the injuries that you sustained will help you later on when proving your claim. Photos of your injuries and journaling about your recovery process will help build a stronger case, as well.
By the way, make sure to accurately describe your injuries to the medical care provider. Not only will you be better served by the care provider, but you will also have a record of your injury.
3. Inform the Police
The next thing that you should do is contact the El Paso police. The accident could be the result of a criminal law infraction—the driver may have fled in a hit and run! Always contact the local police for help when this type of accident occurs.
El Paso police will investigate the incident and make factual reports of the accident that can later be used as evidence. You can ask for a copy of this information by completing the online Crash Report Request Form.
4. Call an El Paso Pedestrian Accident Attorney
After talking to your medical care provider and the police, you shouldn’t make extra statements. These statements can be used as part of an admission of fault. You may feel pressure to assign blame at the scene of the accident. Perhaps the other party made assertions that put you in an uncomfortable position. You are probably not aware of all of the factors that may have caused the incident, and neither are the other parties.
Avoid admitting fault. In fact, when speaking to anyone about the accident:
- Allow your personal injury attorney to speak to all parties on your behalf.
- Do not embellish facts or other information.
- Do not state any personal opinions.
Many factors could have led to the accident. For example, the motorist may have been using his phone, speeding, or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The at-fault party and their insurance company will use any statements you make to help them deny your claim. Work with an El Paso car accident attorney to gather eyewitness testimony, determine the at-fault party, and talk to the insurance company.
Get help from our El Paso pedestrian accident lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced team of attorneys is here to help you if you were involved in a pedestrian accident in El Paso TX. Indeed, an El Paso personal injury lawyer near you is ready to focus on protecting your rights and preparing your case after a pedestrian accident. A lawyer can help you and your family pursue maximum compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and much more.
Pedestrian accident injuries can be life-threatening or have a lengthy recovery period. An El Paso injury attorney with Zinda Law Group can work to seek awards for your losses and hold negligent parties accountable. Zinda Law Group understands that such a process can be daunting and expensive. That is why we offer each and every client a 100% free consultation. You will pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your injury case. That is our No Win No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.