If you were recently injured in a pedestrian accident, you deserve financial compensation. But don’t trust just any pedestrian accident law firm with your case. Trust an expert pedestrian accident lawyer at Steinger, Greene & Feiner in Dallas. Our attorneys will achieve the results you want.
What You Should Know About Pedestrian Accidents in Dallas
Statistics and Trends
Pedestrian accidents are on the rise in Texas. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) received reports of roughly 5,366 pedestrian accidents in 2021, with 1,381 pedestrians sustaining serious injuries and 824 being killed. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has seen an upward trend in pedestrian deaths since 2018, reaching a 40-year high in 2021.
Pedestrian accidents have many known causes. These are some of the most common:
- Negligent driving
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Driving too close to the shoulder
- Making dangerous turns
- Aggressive driving
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Drunk driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs
A few less likely but still possible causes include:
- Malfunctioning traffic signals
- Poorly designed intersections
- Mechanical failures
- Poorly designed or lack of infrastructure
While some pedestrian accidents have a sole cause, others occur due to a combination of factors.
The Impact on Victims
Pedestrians are completely susceptible to their surroundings. They don’t have a vehicle or even a bicycle to break their fall or act as a barrier between themselves and their surroundings. As a result, their injuries are often more severe than injuries sustained by motorists and cyclists. The subsequent physical and financial strains take a significant toll on victims. Injuries and expenses can impact them for weeks, months, or even years.
Legal Rights and Protections for Pedestrians
Pedestrian Rights in Texas
Pedestrians have the right to travel safely along sidewalks, crosswalks, and other designated pathways. They always have the right of way when abiding by applicable laws and regulations.
Understanding Negligence and Liability
Texas practices modified comparative negligence. This principle allows the plaintiff in a personal injury case to seek damages from the defendant even if they’re partially to blame for the accident. Under modified comparative negligence law, the plaintiff can be up to 49% at fault and still seek financial compensation—also known as compensatory damages. If the plaintiff is 50% or more at fault for the accident, they cannot seek damages from the defendant.
Additionally, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant acted negligently, which led to the accident that caused their injuries. These four elements must exist to establish negligence:
- Duty of Care: The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
- Breach: The defendant breached their duty of care.
- Causation: This breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Damages: The plaintiff suffers some form of identifiable harm—whether physical, psychological, or financial—as a result of their injuries.
A motorist, cyclist, pedestrian, or third party—or a combination of these parties—can be liable for a pedestrian accident. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for pedestrians to be wrongly blamed for causing accidents they’re the victims of.
Texas Pedestrian Accident Laws
Pedestrians must adhere to green, yellow, and red traffic lights unless a separate pedestrian control signal says otherwise. A pedestrian can cross a road with or without a crosswalk if they’re facing a green signal. The only exception is if the only green signal is a turn arrow. Pedestrians cannot cross if the signal is yellow or green.
A pedestrian can cross a road when a “walk” signal is present, but they can only travel in the direction of the signal. All motorists and cyclists must yield the right of way to the pedestrian. Pedestrians should not cross when a “wait” or “don’t walk” signal is active.
If a pedestrian walks along a crosswalk on a road with no present or operational traffic signal and is on the side of the road where vehicles are traveling, the motorists must yield the right of way.
A pedestrian cannot enter a crosswalk when oncoming traffic isn’t able to safely yield the right of way.
If a driver stops to yield to a pedestrian on a crosswalk, the vehicle behind cannot pass the stopped vehicle.
If possible, pedestrians should walk along the right-most side of the crosswalk.
A pedestrian must yield the right of way to a vehicle on the highway when no marked or unmarked crosswalk is present at an intersection or when no pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing is present.
A pedestrian should only enter a marked crosswalk if two intersections with traffic controls are next to each other. Additionally, a pedestrian should not cross a crosswalk diagonally unless specified by a traffic control device.
A pedestrian cannot walk on or along a road if a sidewalk is available and easily accessible. If a sidewalk is not present, the pedestrian should walk on the left side of the roadway facing oncoming traffic.
Vehicles entering a main road from an alley, parking lot or garage, or private road must yield the right of way to pedestrians on the sidewalk.
Motorists should practice extreme caution when traveling near pedestrians to avoid colliding with them. Drivers should sound their car horns if they come close to a pedestrian.
The Role of a Dallas Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Assist Victims
A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer can help you:
- Secure compensation for medical care, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses
- Investigate the accident
- Interview witnesses and contact specialists
- Cover relevant insurance policies
- File an accident claim
- Locate medical providers within your budget and schedule appointments
- Complete and file all paperwork on time
- Negotiate a settlement with insurance companies
- Represent your case in court if necessary
Investigating and Building a Case
The core element to building a successful pedestrian accident case is evidence. If you have sufficient evidence, your case will be more credible to those determining liability and awarding compensation. After launching a thorough investigation into the accident, your attorney will gather the following evidence.
- Medical records
- Photos and videos of the scene
- Surveillance video
- Eyewitness statements
- Testimony from medical experts and forensic investigators
- An official police or accident report
Why Legal Expertise Is Important When Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are notorious for employing bad-faith tactics—like lowballing offers and denying valid claims—when it comes to negotiating settlements. Having a legal expert on your side during this process ensures you understand the terms and conditions of your insurance policy and know how to fight back against bad-faith tactics to maximize your compensation.
Types of Compensation in Pedestrian Accident Cases
Types of Damages Available to Victims
Pedestrian accident victims can claim two kinds of damages: economic and non-economic. Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between the two.
Economic damages are objective, financial losses. They can include the following:
- Medical bills
- Personal property damage
- Rehabilitative care
- Lost wages
Non-economic damages are subjective losses that can’t be calculated in monetary terms. Here are some common examples
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent impairment or disability
How a Lawyer Can Help Maximize Your Compensation
Trained lawyers know the legal landscape of pedestrian accident cases and how to navigate it successfully. The more knowledgeable and experienced your attorney is, the better your chances are of securing maximum compensation.
That’s because their expertise enables them to gather evidence to support your claims, negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies, and present a compelling case in court—if necessary. They also know how to calculate your losses precisely so the compensation you receive covers your accident-related expenses in full.
Steps to Take Following a Pedestrian Accident in Dallas
These are the first five steps you should take after getting in a pedestrian accident.
1. Seek emergency medical attention
Since pedestrians often sustain more severe injuries than motorists and even cyclists, you’re more likely to need emergency medical care. Call 911, and wait for first responders to arrive at the scene.
2. Move to safety
If you’re able to do so, move somewhere safe. Getting out of harm’s way will protect you from further injuries.
3. Call the police
You should report an accident of any kind to the local police. Officers will arrive at the scene to ensure everyone’s safety, gather witness statements, and fill out a police report detailing what happened. Be sure to ask for a copy of this report for future reference.
4. Take photos and videos of the accident
Remember, evidence is the foundation of any pedestrian accident case. Get plenty of photos and videos of the accident to support your claims during negotiations or litigation.
5. Notify your insurance provider
Last but not least, let your insurance company know about the accident. This information enables them to initiate the claims process so you can get compensated.
The Importance of Medical Attention and Documentation
Pedestrians are completely vulnerable to their surroundings. When they collide with a vehicle, a bicycle, or a piece of equipment, they can sustain severe and even life-threatening injuries depending on the level of impact. Seeking medical attention is crucial if you want these injuries to heal properly.
You also need to document your injuries and any treatment provided. Your lawyer and insurance company will use this information to calculate your damages so you receive fair compensation, leaving you with no out-of-pocket expenses.
Choosing the Right Dallas Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Factors to Consider
Consider these four factors when choosing a pedestrian accident lawyer to represent your case in Dallas.
- Experience: An experienced lawyer is more likely to build a strong case and secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
- Areas of Expertise: Your lawyer should specialize in pedestrian accident cases, not just personal injury cases generally.
- Success Rate: Past success is a key indicator of future success. If a lawyer has a good track record handling previous pedestrian accident cases, you can rest easy knowing they’ll bring the same level of expertise to yours.
- Client Reviews: While you shouldn’t put all your eggs in this particular basket, reading reviews about potential attorneys is a good way to find one who’s right for you.
FAQs on Pedestrian Accidents
1. What should I do when injured in an accident?
First, check for injuries. Call 911 if you need immediate medical attention, then move to a safe location. Now you should notify the police, gather evidence, and notify your insurance company.
2. Why do I need a personal injury lawyer?
Hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer is the best way to ensure a successful claim. Your personal injury lawyer will help you navigate state and local laws and regulations, successfully negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your case before a judge and jury if necessary. Your lawyer will do whatever it takes to maximize your compensation, leaving you with no out-of-pocket expenses.
3. What factors affect my claim?
The two main factors that will affect your claim are liability and evidence. If you’re partially at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by our percentage of fault. If you don’t have sufficient evidence to back up your claims, your case won’t be successful.
4. How long do I have to file a claim?
The statute of limitations in Texas for personal injury claims is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim seeking compensation.
5. What damages can I recover?
You can recover economic and non-economic damages. Whatever expenses you incurred as a direct result of your accident warrant financial compensation.
Take the Next Step Toward Justice with a Dallas Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
It’s difficult to recover from a pedestrian accident—physically, psychologically, and financially. But you’re not alone. Steinger, Greene & Feiner is here to help every step of the way. From the initial consultation to litigation, our team of expert pedestrian accident lawyers will provide the support you need. Contact us today to get started with a free case evaluation.