Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
DO YOU NEED A
PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT LAWYER?
Mike Allbee is a pedestrian accident lawyer with offices in Arlington, Dallas and Fort Worth. He represents pedestrians who have been injured by drivers of motor vehicles in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area and across the state. The Allbee Law Firm has been recognized as a Top Ten personal injury law firm by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys.
FAULT IN PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
Texas Transportation Code section 552.008 requires every driver “who is operating a motor vehicle to exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians on a roadway.” Proper precautions must be taken when a child or an obviously confused or incapacitated person is on a road. Section 552.009 of the Texas Transportation Code prohibits pedestrians from crossing a roadway in a business district or a designated highway except for in a crosswalk. Some common pedestrian accident scenarios when drivers must yield involve:
- When the pedestrian is in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection
- When the driver is in the process of making a turn at any intersection
- When making a right turn on red
- After making a complete stop at a stop sign or flashing red traffic signal
- After a pedestrian lawfully enters a crosswalk and the traffic signal changes
- When the pedestrian has a green light with a walk signal
SPEED CAN BE DEADLY
In 2012, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released its findings involving the impact of speed of a vehicle and the risk of severe injury or death in a pedestrian accident. The average risk of death of a pedestrian reached:
- 10 percent at 23 mph
- 25 percent at 32 mph
- 50 percent at 42 mph
- 75 percent at 50 mph
- 90 percent at 59 mph
The risks were higher for older pedestrians as opposed to younger pedestrians. They were also higher for pedestrians who were hit by light trucks rather than by cars.
PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT RISK FACTORS
Two important risk factors are when and where a pedestrian accident might occur. As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, most fatalities occur at night between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and midnight. About 67 percent of those occur in urban areas with about 75 percent of those fatal accidents occurring away from intersections. In nearly 20 percent of those accidents, drivers had consumed alcohol. Although rural areas have drastically lower pedestrian accident rates, injuries are more severe, and fatalities are more frequent, primarily due to higher rural vehicle speeds.
THE PHYSICS OF PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT INJURIES
According to the California Journal of Emergency Medicine, the overwhelming percentage of motor vehicle accidents with pedestrians involve the front of the vehicle impacting with the pedestrian’s center of gravity. In nearly all frontal impacts with adults, the victim’s center of gravity is above the top of the bumper, and he or she is struck in the area of the lower leg. The legs are propelled in the direction of travel of the vehicle, and the head and upper body collide with the hood, windshield or both. Three impacts occur. The first impact is to the lower leg. The second involves the victim’s thigh and the front edge of the hood. That impact rotates the pedestrian’s upper body which results in a third impact involving his or her head and shoulders and the hood, windshield or both. With a low speed impact, the pedestrian might remain on the hood. At higher speeds, the victim can be propelled over the vehicle for a fourth impact with the pavement.
PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT INJURIES
Some of the more common injuries that result from vehicle and ground impacts involving adults include but aren’t limited to:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Traumatic spinal cord injuries
- Pelvic fractures
- Leg fractures
- Cartilage and ligament tears of the knee
- Soft tissue injuries
If a child victim is involved, resulting common injuries might also include chest and abdominal injuries due to a higher center of gravity for these victims.
COMPENSATION FOR PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT INJURIES
When a pedestrian accident occurs as a result of the carelessness and negligence of a motor vehicle driver, compensation can be sought through the courts for damages like:
- Past medical bills in connection with the accident and medical bills reasonably expected to be incurred in the future
- Earnings lost as a result of the accident and earnings reasonably expected to be lost in the future
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- The loss of a normal life
- Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a wrongful death
MINIMUM AUTO INSURANCE AMOUNTS IN TEXAS
According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than one out of every eight drivers in Texas has no auto insurance at all. Other drivers with histories of repeated traffic violations are at high risk for causing accidents. High policy limits aren’t affordable for them, and they only drive on minimum liability insurance. In Texas, those minimum policy limits are only $30,000 per person and $60,000 total if more than one person is injured in an accident. That $30,000 is not enough to pay for an innocent pedestrian who is seriously injured through the fault of a careless and negligent motorist.
UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED MOTORIST INSURANCE COVERAGE
Texas doesn’t require drivers to be covered by uninsured motorist insurance (UM) and underinsured motorist insurance (UIM). The Insurance Information Institute reports that about one out of every eight Texas drivers is uninsured though. “Big Mike” Allbee strongly recommends that you purchase as much UM and UIM coverage as you can afford. UM covers you if the person who caused your pedestrian accident had no liability insurance at all. UIM might cover you if for example, you have $90,000 of damages, and the at fault driver only had $30,000 of minimum coverage. With most UM and UIM coverage, you’re not the only person who is insured. Others who might be covered include residents of your household who are blood relatives. They may be covered in pedestrian accidents or bicycle accidents if they’re injured by the fault of an uninsured, underinsured or even a hit-and-run driver.
YOU'RE GOING TO NEED HELP
What comes to issue in UM and UIM claims is that your claim for compensation will be made against your own insurer. It “steps into the shoes” of the driver who was at fault. You’ll quickly learn that you’re not in good hands or with a very good neighbor at all. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a loyal customer for 15 or 20 years. Your own insurance company won’t want to pay you a penny of the compensation that you deserve. You’ll be in serious need of help.
Whatever you do, never give a statement of any kind to an opposing insurance company, especially in the case of a pedestrian accident. It will only try to shift fault for the accident over onto you, and it will try to use your own words against you in the future. Contact us at the Allbee Law Firm first for a free consultation and case assessment. If you or a member of your family was injured in a pedestrian accident anywhere in Texas, remember that the law doesn’t require you to give any kind of a statement to an opposing insurance company. Contact pedestrian accident lawyer Mike Albee for quality and effective representation instead.