Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

Hit by a car while walking? This is what you should know

It supposed to be a fun night downtown. You parked your car in a public parking lot and were on your way to meet your friends when things started to go wrong. You walked to the intersection and pushed the button for the crosswalk. The "Walk" signal lit up and you stepped into the street. The next thing you knew, you were being loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital.

As you were crossing the street, a car did not stop in time at the light and hit you. Now, you have a concussion, a few cracked ribs and a broken arm. Your injuries could have been much worse, but those you did suffer are going to result in high medical bills and lost wages. Fortunately, you may be able to recover these expenses. An experienced personal injury attorney in Houston can advise you on how to file a claim against the driver that hit you.

Read further for an overview of pedestrian-vehicle accidents.

Establishing negligence

Since you were obeying traffic laws by crossing the street at the crosswalk, you may be able to sue the driver for negligence. This means that the driver failed to use the same judgment expected of a reasonable person. This lapse caused your injuries.

There are certain factors that you must prove in order to bring forth a successful claim against the driver and his or her insurance company. First, the driver must have owed a legal duty to you and failed to uphold that duty. In addition, the driver must have caused the accident that resulted in harm or injury. The driver's failure to stop before entering the crosswalk certainly resulted in your injuries.

It is possible that other parties are also at fault for the accident. The usual parties at fault in a pedestrian-vehicle accident include the driver, the party responsible for maintaining the area and the pedestrian.

Duty of care

In general, accident cases depend on the duty of care owed by each party involved. Both you and all drivers must obey traffic laws. You must also use reasonable care. Often, it is clear which party is at fault. The court looks at numerous facts in order to determine which party was at fault for the accident.

Driving in the state of Texas is a privilege, and the state expects all drivers to operate their vehicles using a reasonable standard of care. The court may consider it negligence if drivers do not follow traffic laws or fail in their duties to operate their vehicles in a reasonable manner. Examples of negligence include distracted driving, speeding and failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks.

On the other hand, as a pedestrian, you also must exercise due care for your own safety. If you did not exhibit an appropriate level of care to avoid danger, the court may rule that you contributed to your own accident. For example, if you entered the crosswalk before the "Walk" sign signaled you to go, the judge may decide that you are partially at fault for the accident.

Being hit by a vehicle can have devastating consequences. If you have been injured in a pedestrian-vehicle accident, it is important that you understand your rights and options. Contact a Houston personal injury attorney for guidance on filing your claim.

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