Humble Pedestrian Accident Attorney
For the most part, engineers designed Houston’s roads and streets to move vehicle traffic as quickly as possible. That means features like wide lanes, narrow sidewalks, straight pathways, high speed limits, and short red lights. That environment is decidedly pedestrian unfriendly. Especially if the pedestrian has any mobility impairment whatsoever, it’s very difficult to safely cross the street in Humble. As a result, pedestrian accidents are common, and they frequently cause catastrophic injuries.
The Humble pedestrian accident attorneys at the West Law Office do not allow tortfeasors (negligent drivers) to use things like roadway design as an excuse for reckless driving. Instead, we hold these individuals responsible for the crashes they cause. This responsibility usually involves paying damages. These damages normally include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
Overall, speed is one of the leading causes of car crashes. Excessive velocity is even more of a problem in pedestrian accidents.
At impact speeds under 20mph, the pedestrian serious injury rate is about 10 percent. That proportion skyrockets to 90 percent at impact speeds of 40mph or greater. Most pedestrian accidents occur outside marked crosswalks on major streets. Therefore, the tortfeasor is usually travelling at or near full speed at the time of the wreck.
Speed also increases the risk of a pedestrian collision. At low speeds, drivers can usually avoid pedestrians who step into traffic. At higher speeds, such emergency maneuvers are usually impossible.
Alcohol consumption and distracted driving also cause a number of pedestrian accidents. Distraction reduces reaction time by several seconds, and alcohol’s euphoric effects often cause tortfeasors to make questionable decisions.
Crosswalk accidents usually involve the negligence per se rule. Pedestrians who are inside the crosswalk and crossing with the light have the right of way. Yet many tortfeasors fail to yield the right of way. In many cases, they do not even see the pedestrian. That’s especially true if the tortfeasor is turning right on red. Many of these drivers only look to the left. So, they do not see pedestrians in the crosswalk to their right.
Non-crosswalk accidents usually involve the ordinary negligence doctrine. Noncommercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must drive defensively and avoid accidents when possible. Additionally, they must equally respect everyone on the road. That includes vehicle operators, motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Drivers are legally responsible for the aforementioned damages if they fail to live up to their legal responsibilities.
This failure does not mean the driver is a bad person. It simply means the driver made a mistake. And, we must all accept responsibility for the mistakes we make.
Distracted walking, an offshoot of the distracted driving phenomenon, and sudden emergency are the most common insurance company defenses in pedestrian injury claims.
Generally, distracted walking involves device usage. Some pedestrians simply fail to look both ways before they cross the street. The insurance company has the burden of proof, and the burden of persuasion, in distracted walking cases.
The sudden emergency doctrine excuses negligent conduct if the tortfeasor reasonably reacted to a sudden emergency. Many insurance company lawyers try to expand the definition of “sudden emergency” to include things like a jaywalking pedestrian. But sudden emergencies are usually limited to hood fly-ups and other completely unexpected situations.
Contact a Savvy Texas Accident Attorney
Pedestrian accidents often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Humble, contact The West Law Office, PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence claims.