There are a number of things you should do if you get hit in a crosswalk. First, call 911 if you are able, and ensure you receive proper medical attention. You may also want to take pictures of the accident scene and gather contact information for the vehicle driver and any witnesses. Next, you may want to reach out to a personal injury lawyer to find out your legal options for potentially receiving compensation for your physical, mental, and emotional injuries.
The law is clear, but unfortunately the facts are difficult to prove when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle in a crosswalk, especially when it comes to disagreements of the situation, such as what color the light was. It often becomes one person’s word against another if each opposing party is saying they had a green light (or walk signal) when they entered the intersection. In such instances, it may come down to who had “control” of the intersection, or was mostly in the intersection first, to determine legal liability. This means taking photos as soon as possible and getting as much information as possible, like names of people at the scene who may have witnessed the event. If you are injured, it will be a more difficult road, but hopefully you can get help early on.
Attend to Your Health
It can be a vital question to ask, “What happens if I get hit in a crosswalk?” The answer is first to attend to your own health as much as possible, and then ensuring that your medical care is well-financed by the party who hit you. Legal damages may cover such expenses as:
- Medical bills (past and expected future expenses)
- Missed bonuses, wages, or earnings
- Diminished earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Knowing that a professional legal team is focusing on getting you compensation for your injuries while you heal can be a boon to your health.
Ultimately, it can be difficult to initially tell what the chances are that your case will be successful early on if you were hit in a crosswalk. You could have medical bills piling up at the inconvenient time that you are also unable to make the same amount of income due to a new disability. Whether or not this disability is temporary, we can help you get the legal help that you need to appropriately match your suffering and medical costs.
The scenarios after getting hit in a crosswalk often boil down to a lawsuit, decided by a jury of your peers, as well as the shadow this process casts over the insurance claims process. Insurance adjusters are well aware of what jury verdicts for similar cases in your area have been in the past, and they may try to get you to agree to a low settlement offer. However, you should avoid speaking to any insurance agents on your own—direct them to your lawyer instead.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-777-7777
The Dangers of Texas Sidewalks
Texas laws on pedestrian rights (found in Section 552 of the Texas Transportation Code) are clear and concise, detailing when a pedestrian can and cannot walk through an intersection. But pedestrians are still hit in Texas at an alarming frequency. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2018 alone, there were 626 pedestrians who were killed by vehicles in the streets of the Lone Star State. This alarming figure is equivalent to between one and two per day.
As pedestrians are so unprotected, there are many ways a car can end a pedestrian’s life. Texas roads are not typically constructed with any kind of a barrier between the cars and where people are supposed to walk. There are frequent areas where people either have to backtrack significant mileage to get to a crosswalk, or cross over illegally to the other side. When people may make this risky choice that can save time, it may mean running across the street by a sharp or blind corner. There are myriad reasons a person might be killed on the road in Texas, and contributing factors can include:
- Distracted driving
- Slippery roads
- Excess speed
- Drowsy driving
- Intoxicated or drunken driving
- Dark conditions with no street lights
- Poor visibility due to inclement weather
- Simple driver error
- Punitive damages in cases of intentionality or intoxication
These are some of the situations in which a pedestrian is at elevated risk of being hit by a car.
At night, the hazards for pedestrians are exponentially greater. If you find yourself having to walk in low-light conditions, such as at dawn or dusk, it is extremely advisable that you use reflectors, bright clothing, or lights. Texas highways were designed with cars in mind, less-so for pedestrians.
Background on How Liability Works in Texas
Texas is a shared liability state, meaning that you can still collect compensation for an injury even if you are partially at fault. According to Texas Statue § 33.001, as long as you are under 50% at-fault for your injuries, there are plausible financial and legal strategies to seek payment.
For example, if you were jaywalking at the time of the accident, but you had command of the roadway and should have been seen by a reasonable driver, it may be determined that you bear a portion of the fault. As long as you are deemed less than 50% at fault, you can still receive compensation, but it will be reduced by the same percentage for which you are found at fault.
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Contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins Today
Ultimately, you do not have long to act if you get hit in a crosswalk. Loncar Lyon Jenkins represents people who were walking and got hit by a car, and we do not charge our clients until after we win compensation. Call us today for your free consultation at 800-777-7777.