I’m taking depositions Monday in Dallas – a company truck hit a man next to his disabled car on the shoulder, nearly killing him, so this topic is on my mind. Having handled injury cases like this over the past 33 years, I know they can be difficult. It’s safe to say that while an individual could try to handle the myriad legal, insurance, and medical aspects
himself, the services of an experienced personal injury attorney are required to achieve a fair result.
For starters, liability can be a difficult issue. Texas tort law requires a comparison of the negligence of the driver and the pedestrian, assigning percentages of blame to each. The Texas Transportation Code, Section 552.005, states that a pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle on the highway if he is crossing a roadway at a place other than in a marked crosswalk. On the other hand, vehicle operators are required to drive defensively, with Section 552.008 specifically requiring driver to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian. I’ve found that most pedestrian crashes are caused by speeding, cell phone use, disregard or bias against people on foot, visibility problems, alcohol use, and other factors that must be immediately investigated and documented. (This frightens me as I run on our streets.)
Pedestrians can obviously sustain serious injuries when struck by a fast moving motor vehicle. Medical bills, like on the case I mentioned above, are often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Payment of those bills, including the resolution of hospital and insurance subrogation liens, can be problematic.
Whether in urban areas in North Texas like Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington, or the Mid Cities, or in Austin, Houston, or San Antonio, or in our many rural areas, individuals are sadly hit by cars daily. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 5,000 people are killed and more than 60,000 are seriously hurt in the U.S. each year. I was just reading a local trial lawyer’s summary of a case he recently tried in front of the wonderful Judge Melody Wilkinson (against a UPS truck which resulted in an excellent $5.1 million verdict for a brain injured woman) and he noted that a juror on his panel was struck by a car walking to the courthouse in downtown Fort Worth and was severely injured.
If you are reading this post because you or a loved was injured or killed in this type of collision, you may be seeking legal advice from a skilled Texas pedestrian accident lawyer. Please contact our office. We’ll help get you the money you deserve.