The Color Of Pedestrian Accidents In Texas
Over the years, pedestrian accidents have steadily risen in Texas. These incidents now account for 20 percent of the roadway fatalities in the Lone Star State. The victims who survive often sustain permanent injuries, such as head injuries. The average injury-related medical bill in a catastrophic (life-threatening) injury case is over $100,000. In addition to physical wounds, these victims also must deal with significant emotional distress. Most pedestrian accidents happen outside marked crosswalks and in non-intersections. However, a significant number happen in crosswalks.
Regardless of the wreck’s location, as well as the color of the traffic light, a Missouri City pedestrian accident attorney can obtain the financial compensation these victims need and deserve. This compensation normally includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are available as well, in some extreme cases.
Pedestrians have the right of way if they are in a crosswalk and have a green light. Most green light pedestrian accidents happen when the victim begins crossing the street and the tortfeasor (negligent driver) approaches the intersection and prepares to turn right.
Most people only look to the left in these situations. Additionally, if traffic is light, they often make a California turn. They barely slow down before they merge into traffic. Therefore, the motorist may not see a pedestrian on the right. Additionally, upon impact, the motorists is probably going more than 20mph.
That’s usually not fast enough to cause a fatal accident, unless the victim has a pre-existing condition. However, it usually is fast enough to cause extremely serious injuries.
Many pedestrians start across the street on green but cannot get to the other side before the light changes. Typically, major streets have multiple lanes and short red lights, to keep traffic flowing as quickly as possible. This problem is especially acute if the victim has any mobility impairments whatsoever.
Motorists have a duty of care to avoid accidents when possible. If the light changes, they cannot barrel forward, disregarding the safety of pedestrians directly in front of them.
On a related note, more and more cities in the Houston area have built virtual crosswalks, usually at non intersections. Pedestrians press buttons which activate flashing yellow lights that command motorists to stop.
Many drivers ignore this rule and keep moving forward. Others cannot see the flashing lights, particularly if the lights are on sidewalk poles as opposed to mounted overhead.
In either case, if a motorist collides with a pedestrian in this situation, the negligence per se rule may apply. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) could be responsible for damages as a matter of law if they violate safety laws and those violations substantially cause injury. The negligence per se rule could also apply if the victim was crossing the street on green.
Even if the victim was jaywalking across the street, a Missouri City personal injury attorney may be able to obtain compensation in court. Texas’ comparative fault rule usually applies in these situations. Texas is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent threshold. If the tortfeasor was at least 51 percent responsible for the wreck, regardless of the traffic light’s color, the victim is entitled to a proportionate share of damages.
Connect With a Thorough Harris County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Missouri City, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.