Texas Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
One of the results highlighted on the Tate Accident Law home page is a car versus pedestrian case that resolved for over $12,000,000.00. That case was a horrible car wreck where a driver hit a wonderful man who was walking with his wife. The driver drifted off the road and into a grassy area where the couple was walking, hit the husband, and then fled from the scene. The injuries were horrible, but typical of the injuries that occur when a driver negligently hits a pedestrian. Our pedestrian accident attorneys have represented many pedestrians who were all hit under different circumstances: a school cross walk guard, a lady walking on a sidewalk, a young man walking with traffic on the shoulder of a road, and many others. All suffered catastrophic injuries when they were hit.
Pedestrian injuries tend to be more severe because pedestrians do not have the protection provided by an automobile. Our Texas pedestrian accident attorneys find that the driver who hits a pedestrian is often intoxicated, and they frequently flee the scene. If you have been hit as a pedestrian, it is important to seek out the help of experienced attorneys that know how to rigorously evaluate and aggressively pursue injury claims. Severe damages justify significant compensation for your losses. If you have been hit, please call Tate Accident Law for a free consultation at (972)433-6113.
How are most pedestrians hit?
Most pedestrians are injured when a driver is not paying adequate attention, usually on a city street or a highway. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol was involved in half of these pedestrian accidents. Many times, the pedestrian is hit at night. In our law practice, our attorneys have handled cases where the driver hit a pedestrian under the following circumstances:
- Drivers turning right and looking over their left shoulder at traffic, failing to recognize the pedestrian in the crosswalk to the right.
- Drivers drifting onto the shoulder and hitting a pedestrian who was walking home.
- Drivers who were under the influence and either hit a pedestrian, drove into a house, or drove through business store fronts and hotels.
- Divers who were not paying attention did not see a pedestrian in front of them.
- Drivers who hit pedestrians assisting others at the scene of another wreck.
When does a pedestrian have the right of way? (Texas Transporation Code Chapter 552)
Under Texas law a pedestrian has the right way under several different circumstances. For instance, a pedestrian has the right to cross the street at a corner when they are facing a “walk” sign or a green light (not an arrow). This is true even if crosswalk lines are not painted on the roadway. Furthermore, pedestrians can walk on the shoulder of a road (Texas law encourages walking while facing traffic). Any time a car is entering or exiting from an alley, private roadway, or private driveway, they must yield to any pedestrians. On the other hand, pedestrians in Texas must yield to traffic when they are crossing a road at a point other than a crosswalk or corner. Texas law also states, however, that drivers must always use due care in the operation of their vehicles to avoid colliding with pedestrians.
Are pedestrians injured more severely than other types of collisions?
Pedestrians suffer severe injuries at a much higher rate than injuries resulting from a car wreck involving another vehicle. The CDC studies pedestrian injuries, and they find that pedestrian collisions account for only 3% of all people injured in traffic crashes, but pedestrian collisions account for 17% of all traffic fatalities. These statistics indicate that while pedestrian collisions are rarer than car collisions, the resulting injuries are consistently more severe. Common sense tells us the severity of the injuries are caused by the disparity between the forces generated by passenger auto relative to the smaller mass of a person.
Our Texas pedestrian accident lawyers find these statistics to be true in our personal injury practice. We have assisted families of deceased individuals who were hit by cars while walking along the roadside or crossing the street on many occasions. Our pedestrian accident lawyers also find that pedestrian collisions that do not result in death often cause severe, debilitating injury. If you have been hit, please call our office for a free consultation. You will speak with an experienced pedestrian collision injury attorney.
Areas We Serve
We have offices in Sherman, Texas and McKinney, Texas. We serve the entire states of Texas and Oklahoma.
On this Page
When a pedestrian is hit by a drunk driver, what type of attorney should I hire?
DWI accounts for a significant percentage of wrecks every year in the United States, and wrecks involving pedestrians are no exception. Intoxication is a factor in one half of the wrecks involving pedestrians. If you or a loved one has been hit by a drunk driver, you should consult with a personal injury attorney who is experienced with both pedestrian auto collisions and suing drunk drivers. Driving under the influence is an aggravating factor in any collision including those involving a pedestrian.
Drunk drivers are not just negligent; under Texas law they are grossly negligent. When a person drives under the influence, they are engaging in behavior they know is recklessly endangering others on the roadway. Texas law imposes additional penalties for drunk drivers including punitive damages. This means that the drunk driver must pay for all the damage they caused and pay an additional amount of money to deter them from driving under the influence again. If the driver is grossly negligent, then punitive damages are paid directly to the injured individual under Texas law. Driving under the influence can also gives rise to a Dram Shop cause of action against any bar, club or restaurant that is proven to have over-served alcohol to the drunk driver prior to a collision where damages were a result.
The lawyers at Tate Accident Law have handled many personal injury and wrongful death cases against drunk drivers, including cases where the pedestrian was hit and injured by a drunk driver and Dram Shop lawsuits against the bars that overserved the driver.
How do you find a hit and run driver?
Whether a driver who flees is found depends upon a quick and thorough investigation. Either the police or a lawyer who handles car wrecks as a regular part of their practice can conduct the investigation in a hit an run pedestrian accident lawsuit. Often an eyewitness will see the hit and run happen and get the driver’s license plate. Either the police or our pedestrian accident lawyers can run the plate and identify the registered owner and the last known address of the owner. The investigator can then go to the owner’s home and inspect the vehicle involved in the hit and interview the car’s owner.
Vehicles are damaged when they hit pedestrians. Our pedestrian collision attorneys have used that damage to identify drivers who hit and ran. Our law firm handled a case where a pedestrian was hit by a drunk driver who refused to talk when we took his deposition, but instead asserted the Fifth Amendment. He was, however, tied to the scene of the collision by pieces of a fractured headlight and turn signal which were left at the scene when he hit the pedestrian. The pieces collected at the scene matched the broken headlight and turn signal on his car like a puzzle – an exact fit. That evidence was collected by inspecting the scene of the wreck.
Physical evidence is important for several reasons and that is why our pedestrian crash lawyers inspect the scene of the collision as quickly as possible. Any parts of the hit and run car left at the scene need to be collected. If eyewitnesses provide a plate number, we can use that to find the owner and the owner’s residence. Immediate inspection of the vehicle and an interview of the owner is critical. 50% of pedestrian collisions involve alcohol or drugs. Our pedestrian wreck lawyers have handled several cases where the owner of the hit and run vehicle was found at their home shortly after the wreck and was intoxicated. Intoxication is an aggravating factor in a car wreck and proving intoxication directly impacts the damages you will recover in a personal injury pedestrian accident case.
There are additional pieces of evidence which we can gather in a hit and run pedestrian case. One is to look for cameras on adjacent businesses and Ring doorbell cameras in residential areas. Downloading Electronic Control Modules (ECM) is also an option. ECM’s record data if a triggering event occurs. The triggering event can be a pedestrian collision or a sudden brake or wheel turn depending on the ECM. Some recent models of ECMs record short snippets of video footage and location data. This type of data can help prove the case against a hit and run driver.
Finally, our lawyers can sue the hit and run driver, place them under oath, and depose them. The driver must answer our questions or assert a privilege like the Fifth Amendment. Asserting the Fifth Amendment, however, is admissible evidence in our case against the hit and run driver. When a jury hears a witness assert the Fifth Amendment, they will think the witness is guilty. If the witness does not assert the Fifth Amendment, then we will record their statement under oath and compare it to the other evidence in the case. Any discrepancies between their sworn testimony and the evidence will tend to show they were not truthful under oath. Our pedestrian collision lawyers can use that evidence to prove the identity of the hit and run driver.
How often does a driver who hits a pedestrian run from the scene?
Many times, the driver flees the scene of the collision after hitting a pedestrian. Hit and run is much more prevalent when a driver hits a pedestrian than when they collide with another car. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety states that hit and run occurs in about 5.5% of fatality car wrecks but hit and run occurs in 20.5% of collisions when a pedestrian is hit and killed. Drivers who hit pedestrians are much more likely to run.
Our attorneys believe that many times the driver is running because they were drinking or using drugs before the collision. In our practice we have represented multiple clients who were killed while lawfully walking near a roadway and the driver fled. In most of these wrongful death pedestrian cases the driver of the car was intoxicated. Proving intoxication will depend upon the police investigation and how much time passes before the hit and run driver is identified. Our Texas pedestrian accident lawyers have, on several occasions, shown that a driver who killed a pedestrian and ran was under the influence at the time of the collision.
Hitting a pedestrian and running is a serious crime, even if there is no evidence of intoxication. The penalties for failing to stop and render aid after causing a wreck range from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the damage caused. Usually, the injuries sustained by a pedestrian are serious or fatal, which means the criminal charges will be more severe.
What happens when a driver runs after hitting a pedestrian and cannot be found?
If a driver hits and runs and cannot be located there are several potential resources to consider. The first is uninsured motorist coverage. In Texas, uninsured motorist coverage applies to hit and run scenarios, including pedestrians who are hit by an unknown driver who flees the scene. Uninsured motorist claims can be involved, and triggering coverage depends on circumstances, so it is best to consult with an accident attorney about the circumstances of your collision before making a claim or giving a recorded statement.
The Texas Crime Victim’s Compensation fund may be another resource to explore if a hit and run driver cannot be located and you have been injured or a family member has been killed. Hit and run is a crime, and the Texas Crime Victim’s Compensation Program provides financial assistance to victims of crimes to cover costs of medical care, funerals, and other related expenses. The program is administered by the Texas Attorney General. Additional information can be found at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/crime-victims/crime-victims-compensation-program.
A driver hit me on purpose. What are the legal consequences when a driver intentionally hits a pedestrian?
When a driver intentionally hits a pedestrian, the driver has committed a crime defined as an assault under Texas law. If you believe a driver intentionally hit you or a family member causing injury or death, then you need to understand the difference between the crime of assault and the civil cause of action for gross negligence and negligence. The difference has important legal ramifications for your ability to recover for your injuries from any applicable auto insurance policies.
Auto insurance policies insure drivers for their negligent acts, not intentional crimes. No insurance company pays for injuries that were caused on purpose because insurance insures people against accidents, not intentional assault. Even though this is true, Tate Accident Law has represented many clients who believed they were intentionally hit, and we have recovered substantial insurance proceeds to pay the client for their damages, even while the driver was being criminally prosecuted for aggravated assault with a vehicle.
To accomplish the twin goals of having the driver criminally prosecuted and securing a recovery of money for personal injuries from the auto insurance carriers requires careful consideration of the circumstance of the wreck and thorough preparation for any statements provided to the police or insurance companies. Please call Tate Accident Law for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your personal injury case at (972)433-6113.