Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in El Paso, Texas
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Being involved in a pedestrian accident is extremely frightening, and the consequences afterward can be both physically and emotionally overwhelming. You should never have to deal with the fallout of an accident alone. After a pedestrian accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Finding an experienced attorney to help navigate you through this process may help increase your chances of filing a successful claim.
WHAT IS A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT?
In its simplest definition, a pedestrian accident is an accident involving a pedestrian and some other type of force. This force could be a car, a bicycle, a skateboard, or any other type of vehicle. In 2017, about 137,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments across the country for non-fatal crash-related injuries according to the CDC.
Pedestrian accidents can be mild, but they can also be very severe. Unfortunately, these accidents are sometimes even fatal. This is because in most situations there is an imbalance in the strength of each force. A human being is no match for a moving car or someone zipping down the road on a bicycle. One of these objects has more strength or even a protective shield of metal around it, while pedestrians do not have that same protection. That is why it is so important to be aware of your surroundings and make sure that you are taking proper safety precautions when moving around busy city streets on foot.
PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are on the rise, especially in the state of Texas. In recent data from 2018 from the Texas Department of Transportation, 7,903 people were involved in pedestrian accidents. Of those people, 643 died as a result of the accident. While the death toll from pedestrian accidents did increase from 2017 (where 629 people died), the overall number of pedestrian accidents did decrease between 2017 and 2018. However, as a whole, the number of pedestrian accidents has risen since 2010 in Texas.
COMMON TYPES OF PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT INJURIES
The type and severity of an injury depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Pedestrians who are hit by a car traveling 15 MPH or less are not likely to sustain fatal injuries. However, the risk of more serious injury increases in situations where a driver is speeding beyond that limit.
These are the most common injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents:
COMMON PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT CLAIMS
You may be wondering about the various situations that give rise to a pedestrian accident claim. Just as there are multiple causes of pedestrian accidents, there are many different types of pedestrian accidents as well. The following is a list of some of the common claims that arise from pedestrian accidents.
Getting Hit by a Vehicle in a Crosswalk
Under Texas law, drivers are required to yield to the right of way of pedestrians who are using crosswalks. However, distracted drivers sometimes fail to check the crosswalks while other drivers purposely don’t yield to pedestrians because they think cars should have the right of way. Every pedestrian has an inherent expectation that motorists will stop for them when walking on a crosswalk, but the reality is that some drivers ignore the rules, fail to stop, and cause serious accidents and injuries.
Getting Hit by a Vehicle While Riding a Scooter, Bike, or Skateboard
Cycling, scooter, or skateboard accidents can be an extremely dangerous type of pedestrian accident. This is because rather than a car or other vehicle hitting a person, who moves at a slower speed, the vehicle is coming into contact with another moving vehicle. The collision of two high-speed forces can be catastrophic. This type of incident occurs due to increased speeds, distraction, lack of visibility, and other hazardous road conditions.
Getting Hit by a Vehicle on a Sidewalk
Drivers often make the choice to speed, unlawfully pass other drivers on the road shoulder, or just fail to pay attention to where they are going. In these cases, drivers can end up losing sight of the marked road and can hit pedestrians who are safely traveling along sidewalks. This is less common than getting hit while walking in a crosswalk, but it certainly can and has happened.
Children Getting Hit by a Vehicle
Children are especially vulnerable to the dangers of being hit by a car, a bicycle, or any type of motor vehicle. Children love to outside play near the street, but unfortunately, this makes them more susceptible to getting hit if a driver is not paying close attention or doesn’t have time to yield. It is important to keep a close eye on your children while they are playing outside and to educate them about the importance of pedestrian safety.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT
Here are a few steps you can take after being hit by a car to not only make sure you are safe, but also to make sure you put yourself in a position to recover the legal compensation you deserve:
Call the Police
You should contact law enforcement as soon as you can. The police play an important role in getting emergency dispatch to the scene to tend to injured parties. They also play a pivotal role in documenting the accident. The police should file an official report on the accident. This report can be very helpful later on when filing a personal injury claim.
Seek Medical Attention
After suffering an accident, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention. Injuries can range from mild to severe, but even mild injuries need to be evaluated by a medical professional. A medical professional can also play an important role in documenting your injuries, which can be used as evidence in your claim.
Document the Scene
Preserving necessary evidence is key to prevailing on your claim. Beyond speaking with the police and getting a medical professional to evaluate your injuries, do everything you can to document the scene of the crash. This can include simple tasks such as taking pictures or making quick notes of important memorable details.
Call an Attorney
Those filing personal injury claims can get easily taken advantage of by opposing parties and insurance companies. If a car has hit you, the best way to make sure you are being treated fairly and are being offered the compensation you deserve is to hire an experienced attorney. The El Paso pedestrian accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help.
DAMAGES IN A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT CASE
Every case and situation is unique, and any number of factors could affect the value of your claim. However, in general, there are certain types of damages that may be available to you after a pedestrian accident. If a car has hit you, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages for your claim. Economic damages compensate you for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other financially based injuries. Non-economic damages are more commonly referred to as damages for pain and suffering. Calculating pain and suffering is not an exact science, but often attorneys multiply your economic damages by a number that represents the severity of your suffering.
Some states also allow for punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the liable party for conduct that is particularly egregious in the hopes that it will deter others from acting similarly. Texas law does allow for these types of damages in certain situations.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Time is of the essence when contemplating legal claims. Every state places a time limit on your ability to seek compensation for a personal injury claim. Texas is no exception. These time limits are known as the statute of limitations, and they establish a timeframe in which you may file a claim for compensation. Under Texas law, you have two years from the date of your pedestrian accident to file a lawsuit. If you wait any longer than this then you will likely be barred from recovering any compensation altogether.
CALL THE EL PASO PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP
At Zinda Law Group, our El Paso personal injury attorneys have helped injury victims recover the compensation they deserved. We have the knowledge and resources to help you build the strongest case possible and pursue maximum recovery for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.