Missouri City Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
We were taught as soon as we could walk that crossing the street can be a dangerous exercise that must be approached with caution. This fact hasn’t changed, and with so many distracting apps and social media demanding our attention even when we are on the road, being a pedestrian is more hazardous than ever. Sadly, the number of pedestrian accidents is growing across the country, and Texas ranks as one of the five most dangerous states in the country for pedestrians, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. In 2021, the Texas Department of Transportation reported 5,366 pedestrian crashes, resulting in 914 fatalities and thousands of serious injuries.
The costs of an injury to a pedestrian can be long-lasting and significant. If you or your family member has been hurt in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver in Missouri City, the personal injury attorney at the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm can help you get the medical care and financial support you need to get back to health and recover as much of your quality of life as possible. Justice demands that the responsible party compensate you for the harm done, and the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm can help you get there. Contact our Missouri City pedestrian accident lawyer today.
Texas Pedestrian Laws for Drivers
Pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks. Drivers are required by law to stop and yield to a pedestrian if the traffic signal is in the pedestrian’s favor or if there is no signal or the signal isn’t working. Drivers must yield if the pedestrian is on the same half of the roadway as the vehicle or if the pedestrian is on the opposite side of the road but is approaching so close to the driver’s side that it would be dangerous for the vehicle to move through the crosswalk.
Texas traffic law also makes it clear that when a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross, it is illegal for another driver approaching from the rear to pass the stopped vehicle.
Drivers must also stop and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians approaching from a sidewalk whenever the driver is entering or exiting an alley, driveway, or parking lot.
Finally, Texas law imposes a general duty on drivers to exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians on the road.
Texas Pedestrian Traffic Laws for Pedestrians
Pedestrians for their part are prohibited from suddenly darting out into traffic, including onto a crosswalk if they would be putting themselves in the path of a vehicle so close that it would be impossible for the driver to stop and yield for the pedestrian. Pedestrians are required to obey traffic signal lights, including regular traffic lights or special pedestrian control signals if present. Pedestrians are prohibited from entering the roadway when the light is yellow or red. Pedestrians should keep to the right half of the crosswalk as much as possible.
Outside of a crosswalk, pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to cars on the road.
Pedestrians must use sidewalks wherever they are provided and cannot use the road instead. In the absence of a sidewalk, pedestrians can use the roadway. They should walk along the left side of the road or left shoulder, facing oncoming traffic.
Texas law also authorizes local municipalities to pass an ordinance requiring pedestrians to strictly comply with traffic signals and prohibit them from crossing a roadway in a business district except in a crosswalk.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Missouri City
Why do pedestrian accidents happen? Here are some of the main reasons:
- Drunk driving – Drunk drivers are less likely to notice a pedestrian on the road or react appropriately in time to avoid an accident. Most drunk driving happens at night when pedestrians are harder to spot, and drunk drivers are more likely to speed and ignore traffic signals, leading to deadly intersection crashes.
- Distracted driving – When drivers are paying more attention to their phones, their passengers, or their meals than they are to the road, they are less likely to be aware of a pedestrian in the roadway and respond properly to keep from hitting the pedestrian. Distracted drivers have their eyes and their attention off the road, whether they are texting while driving or engaging in other distracting behaviors.
- Negligent turns – Whether turning left or right at an intersection or leaving a driveway, alleyway, or parking lot, drivers have a duty to check for pedestrians before making their turn or entering the road. Too often drivers are only focused on checking for other vehicle traffic and quickly make their decisions without checking for pedestrians as well.
- Traffic signal violations – Drivers racing to get through a yellow light, make a turn before the light turns red, or who gun their car off the line the minute the light turns green can negligently or recklessly hit a pedestrian who hasn’t yet made it safely across the street.
- Road defects – Crosswalks for pedestrians should be well-marked and well-lit. Many (or most) Missouri City city intersections should be signal-protected for pedestrians with time to cross safely. When roads and intersections are negligently designed or inadequately equipped with proper signage and signals, the city might be liable, at least in part, for some pedestrian accidents.
In any of these instances, insurance companies are still quick to blame the pedestrian for being at least partially responsible for a pedestrian accident. So long as the victim is 50% or less responsible for causing the crash, they can still recover the proportion of their damages attributable to the negligent driver. It’s critical to get representation from an experienced personal injury attorney who can prove the negligent driver’s fault and keep the victim from being unfairly blamed for the accident, which could drastically reduce their compensation or keep them from any recovery at all.
Contact Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm Today
The attorney and legal team at Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm work with diligence and compassion to help accident victims and their families recover the maximum compensation after a serious or fatal injury caused by another’s negligence. We are here for you in your time of need and dedicated to achieving a successful result on your behalf. Call our experienced Missouri City pedestrian accident lawyer today.