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What information should I collect if I was a pedestrian hit by a car?
You may have been hit by a car while walking in your Richardson neighborhood. You know the driver was at fault in running a stop sign, but you’re not certain you want to sue him. Even if you haven’t made a decision, there are steps you should take as soon as possible to avoid accidently giving up your legal rights or weakening your case.
Information You Should Collect at the Scene of an Accident
While you’re recovering from your injury, you should begin collecting the information and documents you will need if you decide to file a lawsuit. You will want to have the following information and documents at your initial appointment with an attorney:
- Contact information for the driver. This includes his name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address. You also want to get the name, address, and telephone number of his insurance company, insurance policy number, and the dates of coverage.
- Contact information for the police officer and the accident report. Get the police officer’s name, badge number, and contact information. Find out how to obtain a copy of the police report and order it.
- Vehicle information. This includes the make, model, year, vehicle identification number, and license plate number.
- Pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. If possible, take pictures at the time of the accident. Also document your injuries and your ongoing medical recovery by taking frequent pictures.
- Contact information for witnesses. You should locate any witnesses to the accident and obtain their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses. It is a good idea to do this soon after the crash. Otherwise you may not be able to find them if they move, and they may forget important details of your crash, not realizing they could be a witness in your case.
- Your own notes. Keep a written record of what happened at the wreck while it is fresh in your mind.
- Documentation of damages. Save all records of your medical treatment and expenses, wages you lost while you were recovering, and any other out-of-pocket expenses.
Even if you’re unsure about pursuing a claim, it’s important to speak to an attorney right away so you understand your rights and the mistakes that could hurt your case. You’ll need to really consider your medical expenses, lost wages, repair costs and the life-altering changes to your life—all caused by someone’s mistake—in making your decision.
If you were a victim of a pedestrian accident, we’re here to help. Start an online chat or fill out the online form for a free consultation to learn about your legal options and help you decide whether to pursue them.
What areas in Texas are the most dangerous for pedestrians?
There are several areas in Texas that are considered dangerous for people who like to walk, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Pedestrian crashes and fatalities are increasing across the U.S., and Texas is among the top ten most dangerous states for pedestrians.
In Texas, pedestrians do not automatically have the right of way, and this has led to a rise in auto-pedestrian crashes. Pedestrians can be at a disadvantage with regard to liability because they’re often seriously injured in a crash and at the hospital and are unable to explain their version of what happened to the police.
Know the Most Dangerous Areas in Texas for Pedestrians
According to the recent report Dangerous by Design, three Texas urban areas made the top 20 in their list of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians. Because an auto-pedestrian crash can be catastrophic, it’s important that you know what these cities are. In order of their national ranking, they are:
- Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown. This metro area is ranked the seventh most dangerous for pedestrians in the U.S. and fifth for pedestrian deaths. Because over 70% of fatal pedestrian crashes happen in urban areas, it makes sense that the densely populated, lively, and fast-paced city of Houston would be a dangerous place for pedestrians.
- Dallas-Fort Worth. Ranked the 12th most dangerous city for pedestrians, the rate of pedestrian fatalities is rising in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. Contributing factors include the lack of well-lighted crosswalks and street corners.
- San Antonio. This Texas city is ranked the 18th most deadly place for pedestrians. The study found that between 2003 and 2012, there were 373 pedestrian deaths in San Antonio.
Even if you take great care while walking and crossing the street, you can’t predict how drivers will react or behave behind the wheel. And it’s difficult for a pedestrian to avoid an approaching vehicle traveling at a high speed. If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto-pedestrian accident, call The Hart Law Firm today to discuss your case. Auto-pedestrian accident cases need the expertise of experienced attorneys who can get you compensation for your loss. We believe we can help.
Is my child old enough to walk to school alone?
Your daughter started middle school this year and her school is considered close enough to your home that the district does not provide transportation. You aren’t able to drop her off before you go to work, so she will have to walk the mile and a half to school alone this year. As a responsible parent, the idea of your youngster walking the streets alone early in the morning to get to school has you worried.
The thought of her having to cross roads alone has you concerned she could get hit by a car on her way to school. Unfortunately, this is a very real possibility, particularly if she is too young to walk on her own.
Is Your Child Old Enough to Handle This Responsibility?
You know your daughter is smart and responsible, but is she old enough to handle the important task of getting to school safely? Take these steps before making a decision:
- Consider her age. Although every child is different, children are typically unable to walk across the street by themselves before the age of 10. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children vary in their readiness to handle traffic situations. It is up to the parent to assess the child’s level of responsibility in making the right choices.
- Talk to her. Children learn by example and when you take the time to show her the proper techniques when crossing the street and implement those actions yourself, you teach her what she needs to know. Be clear with her about what can happen should she make a mistake. Practice the walk with her and pay close attention to what she does and how she handles this enormous responsibility. Taking these steps can help you make the right choice.
We Can Help
Even if your child does everything she is supposed to, she can still become the victim of a pedestrian accident. If this happens, we understand you want to hold the person responsible for her injuries accountable and we can help.
Contact the Hart Law Firm today to speak with an attorney about what we can do for you and your family.
Do pedestrians have actual traffic laws?
Every child is supposed to be taught to always look both ways before crossing a street. However, besides that rule that your mother drilled into your brain, you were never actually taught the proper laws to follow when walking near traffic. In order to receive a license, you must take and pass driver’s education, but there’s no course to get your walking license, so how are you supposed to know what you can, and can’t do as a pedestrian?
You always hear people say that pedestrians have the right-of-way, but if you walk in front of a line of cars who have the green light, are you liable for a crash, or are they always supposed to stop for you no matter what? What are the pedestrian laws when it comes to traffic?
Pedestrian Laws You Need to Know and Obey
The Texas Municipal Court estimates that 11 percent of all Texas traffic crashes are pedestrian related, accounting for nearly 350 deaths per year. Of these crashes, an alarming 80 percent are caused by the direct actions of the pedestrians—not the drivers of the vehicles which hit them. This is why it is extremely important to not only know pedestrian safety laws, but to also follow them diligently, in order to protect yourself.
These laws include:
- Obey pedestrian control signs. Pay attention to “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signs and lights, never walk against a light, and continue to cross as quickly as possible if the sign changes when you are already crossing the street.
- Know where to walk. Always walk on the sidewalk. If there isn’t a sidewalk, make sure you walk on the left side of the road, or facing oncoming traffic so you can always tell when a car is approaching—never put your back toward oncoming vehicles.
- Know where to cross. Always cross a roadway at a designated crosswalk or intersection. If there isn’t a crosswalk, you must yield to oncoming traffic, and only proceed crossing when the road is clear.
- Use common sense. Although drivers should use reasonable caution to avoid hitting you, don’t ever walk out in front of a moving vehicle—even if you have the right-of-way.
It is true that vehicles have far more traffic laws and rules to help them avoid pedestrian crashes than you as a pedestrian have. However, even though drivers should always take precautions and evasive action to avoid hitting you while you walk, you actually have more power and control to help prevent your own crash. Cars have varying stopping speeds, blind spots, and maneuvering capabilities. You on the other hand, have the advantage of being able to stop walking in a second, have a clear view of potential dangers, and can quickly move out of the way of impending harm. Remember, even if you believe you have the right-of-way, your being right isn’t going to stop a two-ton car from smashing into you. Stay cautious and keep your head up to help avoid becoming a statistic.
Walking Tall After an Accident
If you’ve recently been injured in a side-impact collision and need help with your injury claim, contact us today. Our knowledge and eagerness to fight for you will help prove why having an experienced lawyer is the first step to getting the settlement you deserve. Don’t let someone else’s negligence affect your stride. Contact us now, and allow us to help you walk tall.
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Is there ever a time I don't have the right-of-way as a pedestrian in a crosswalk?
Some pedestrians believe that from the moment the step foot into a crosswalk, they are fully protected by the law. They think that as soon as they jump onto those big white lines, any and every motor vehicle must come to a screeching halt to accommodate their need to cross the road. This is not completely true, however, and pedestrians need to be aware of when they do and do not have the right-of-way in a crosswalk.
- A driver must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk if there is no traffic signal in place or operation, and the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway in which the vehicle is traveling or approaching from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
- A pedestrian may not suddenly leave the curb or other place of safety and proceed into a crosswalk in the path of the vehicle so close that it is impossible for the vehicle operator to yield.
- The operator of a vehicle approaching from the rear of a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross a roadway may not pass the stopped vehicle.
- Pedestrians should stay to the right half of the crosswalk, if possible.
The most important thing to remember when you are a pedestrian attempting to cross the street in a crosswalk is that a car may break the law and not allow you to walk in front of it—but do not get angry and just start walking into traffic. They do need to stop for you, but in the end, it is you versus a large, moving vehicle. The vehicle will always win and you do not want to put yourself into a potentially dangerous situation that could leave you seriously injured.
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What kinds of actions are considered “negligent” in car-pedestrian accidents?
Because Texas is a “comparative negligence” state, questions relating to exactly why an accident happened and exactly what was done before, during, and after the wreck are extremely important. Unfortunately, the legal concept of “negligence” may not be completely in-line with what seems like obvious fault, and victims are often tasked with proving that the at-fault driver should be held responsible.
While legal “negligence” is an abstract idea that is sometimes difficult to understand, it really boils down to questions of what was done—or not done—that contributed to the crash and your injuries. Because of this, the exact behaviors that constitute negligence may vary from case to case.
Common Examples of Negligence Under Texas Law:
- Speeding or running a red light
- Driving inappropriately for current weather or road conditions
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving
- “Road rage” and aggressive driving behaviors
However, while it is often the driver who is held negligent, there are situations in which the pedestrian may carry the weight of responsibility in an accident. For example, if a pedestrian was intoxicated, jaywalking, or distracted while walking, he or she may be held partially or fully negligent in the accident.
If you are having trouble holding a driver responsible for hitting you while you were on foot, an experienced attorney can thoroughly review your case, identify any problems, and help you strengthen your claim to injury compensation. For more information, speak with our team today, or connect with our team on your favorite social media platform to get regular updates about victims’ rights in Texas.