Legal Options In Pedestrian Accidents In Fort Bend County
In 2021, the number of fatal pedestrian accidents in Texas increased 15 percent. Even if these victims survive, they usually sustain permanent injuries. That’s especially true if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was traveling more than about 35mph at the moment of impact. Some people think they have limited legal options in these situations, especially if they were outside a crosswalk. But as outlined below, that’s not true.
Almost regardless of the circumstances, a Missouri City pedestrian accident lawyer can obtain compensation for injuries in court. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in some extreme cases.
Negligence Per Se
If the victim was in a permanent or virtual crosswalk with the light at the time of the crash, the victim clearly had the right of way. Emergency responders could easily cite tortfeasors in these situations. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, usually according to department policy.
Some departments encourage officers to cite at-fault drivers. These citations make law enforcement investigations easier and cleaner. Other departments let officers decide for themselves. In these cases, many officers don’t issue traffic citations following car wrecks. As far as they are concerned, the wreck is a civil matter, and they don’t want to get involved in civil matters.
If the responder does issue a citation, the negligence per se shortcut could apply in civil court. Tortfeasors who violate safety laws, like the right-of-way law, and cause injuries could be responsible for these injuries as a matter of law.
A Missouri City personal injury lawyer doesn’t need additional evidence to prove liability. But an attorney does need evidence to obtain maximum compensation. Usually, there’s a connection between the amount of proof in a case and the amount of damages jurors award.
Incidentally, a virtual crosswalk is a temporary, pedestrian activated crosswalk. Flashing yellow lights command approaching motorists to stop. Unfortunately, although a virtual crosswalk is identical to a permanent crosswalk for legal purposes, many drivers ignore this responsibility.
Evidence is critical to both liability and damages in an ordinary negligence claim. In such a claim, a victim/plaintiff must first establish negligence, which is basically a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.
Most Texas drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must avoid accidents, including striking pedestrians, whenever possible. This responsibility usually applies even if the victim suddenly steps out into traffic. A jaywalking pedestrian is an everyday hazard, like a stalled or stopped-short car. Motorists must anticipate these hazards and be prepared to avoid them.
Evidence of both liability and damages usually focuses on the tortfeasor’s speed at the moment of impact, as well as prior to impact. If the tortfeasor didn’t brake prior to the wreck, that’s clear evidence of negligence. Furthermore, there’s a very close relationship between vehicle speed and the extent of injury, especially in a pedestrian accident claim. These victims have no protection from oncoming cars.
Count on a Diligent Fort Bend County County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. 31Lawyers can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.