Pedestrians are classified as vulnerable road users and can be seriously hurt when involved in an accident with a motor vehicle or bicycle.
A significant number of pedestrian accidents are caused by driver error, including:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while texting
- Drunk driving
- Dangerous left turns
- Failure to yield at crosswalks
As with any accident, a pedestrian accident case involves establishing liability for damages incurred as a result of the incident. To do so, the victim must be able to prove that the other party’s negligent behavior contributed to or directly caused the accident.
Under the Texas Transportation Code, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians at most crosswalks and when driving across sidewalks. However, both pedestrians and vehicle operators have a duty of care to abide by transportation laws and obey traffic signs and signals. For instance, pedestrians are prohibited from crossing certain highways and must yield to traffic when crossing outside of a marked crosswalk or other pedestrian area.
Proving liability in a pedestrian accident requires a thorough understanding of the traffic laws that govern pedestrian and driver duties on the road. But pedestrian accidents can also be complicated by other factors. The following are some of those factors.
- Pedestrian accidents in parking lots. Sometimes the signage or design of a parking lot is a factor in pedestrian accidents. When this occurs, the parking lot owner may bear some or all of the responsibility of the accident. Involving this third party — and proving their negligence — can add additional complexity to your case.
- Pedestrian accidents caused by neglected maintenance. If neglected or faulty streets, sidewalks, signs, or control signals played a part in your accident, it may be necessary to involve the local transportation department, street or sidewalk owner, or other parties responsible for upkeep.
- Bike-pedestrian accidents. Because cyclists and pedestrians often share crosswalks, sidewalks, and other spaces, accidents can occur between these two groups without the involvement of a motor vehicle. However, a pedestrian injured by a bicyclist must still be able to prove that the rider neglected their duty of care — in other words, their responsibility to behave as one would expect any reasonable person to.
- Bus-pedestrian accidents. Similarly, buses and pedestrians are often in close proximity with one another, particularly with passengers exiting and entering or walking to stops. When a school bus, city bus, or other public bus service is involved in an accident, it can seriously complicate your case, since you may need to work with multiple parties and follow rigorous bureaucratic procedures to obtain information proving your case.
- Future costs and losses. If you have been seriously hurt in a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident, you may have permanent injuries that will require care and medical treatment — in some cases, for the remainder of your life. Lasting injuries can also make it more difficult to earn a living. These are two types of damages you may be able to claim in a pedestrian accident case. However, estimating these costs and their impact on your financial future can be difficult, which is why many pedestrians seriously injured in accidents choose to hire a pedestrian accident lawyer to help with their case.
- Proving non-tangible losses. With a serious injury, there may be losses associated with your accident that are difficult to assign a monetary value. For instance, you may experience limited motor function that makes it difficult to engage in activities or enjoy your life. A pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to help you calculate these losses and find evidence to support your claim.
Even if you are concerned that your own conduct contributed to a pedestrian accident, you should discuss your situation with an Austin pedestrian accident attorney to determine if you have a case. At a minimum, you deserve to know your rights and options under the law.
An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can also help in the following ways:
- Calculating losses. As discussed above, calculating future costs or intangible losses associated with a severe pedestrian accident injury can be difficult. An experienced Austin pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to help you understand just how much your injury has cost you — and how it may shape your financial future.
- Obtaining proper medical care. Lawyers will also provide you with options regarding medical care for your injuries. For instance, your attorney may be able to recommend specialists they have worked with or help you identify ways to pay for the treatment you need.
- Advocating on your behalf. Insurance companies are skilled at undervaluing and denying claims, and they’ll fight hard to keep from compensating you for your injuries and losses. A skilled attorney has the dedication and know-how to argue for your rights against insurance carriers and other interests.
- Offering support. Recovering from an injury is both mentally and physically draining. Engaging an Austin pedestrian accident attorney to manage your case allows you to focus your energy on getting well instead of on deciphering the legal ins and outs of your case.
FVF’s Austin Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Can Help
While there are many qualified pedestrian accident lawyers, FVF goes above and beyond to protect the rights of its clients — and has a mission to educate accident victims of their options, regardless of their decision to hire our attorneys. Specifically, here’s what we bring to the table:
- A superior case record. Our outstanding track record has earned our Austin pedestrian accident lawyers inclusion in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®* and Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum®.** We have been consistently recognized as Texas Super Lawyers — Rising Stars.
- Extensive experience. We possess the seasoned and proven insight required to diligently handle even the most challenging cases.
- Compassionate counsel. We always have our clients’ needs in mind, and it shows in everything we do. We take an education-first approach to the law, offering accident victims information on their options through our no-cost, pressure-free case consultations.
- Outstanding reputation. We’re proud that our Austin pedestrian accident lawyers have high Avvo ratings, including a perfect 10.0 Avvo Rating. We also maintain exceptional ratings on Yelp and Google.
- Free case evaluation. We offer a free case evaluation for all accident victims to help them understand their rights and how best to move forward with their case — with no pressure to engage our services afterward.
If you have questions about your accident case or need help understanding your rights, contact us today for a free consultation. Our Austin pedestrian accident lawyers are here to help.
*Million Dollar Advocates Forum Members®: Josh Fogelman, Aaron Von Flatern, and Mark Farris
**Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum Members®: Josh Fogelman and Mark Farris