Our Houston Pedestrian Accident Lawyers are here to help
Houston is one of the busiest metropolitan centers of Texas, and thousands of people walk its streets every day. While most pedestrians are able to reach their destinations safely, some are not so fortunate and suffer severe injuries from accidents caused by drivers. When a pedestrian accident happens due to the negligence or inappropriate conduct of a driver, the driver is almost always to blame for the resulting damages. However, the actual legal process of proving fault and securing compensation for their losses can be very challenging for the injured pedestrian.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Houston, or if you are caring for a loved one who recently experienced a pedestrian accident, it is vital to know how to hold the at-fault driver accountable for their actions and secure recompense for your losses. A Houston pedestrian accident attorney is the ideal asset to have on your side in this situation, and the sooner you connect with an attorney you can trust, the more likely you are to reach a positive conclusion to your recovery efforts.
Stevenson & Murray has a team of experienced Houston personal injury attorneys who have successfully represented many past clients in a wide range of civil cases. We know the various legal challenges that may come between you and appropriate compensation, and we know how to help ensure accountability for the accident you recently experienced. Whatever your case entails, you can trust our firm to provide the compassionate and responsive legal counsel you need to navigate your civil case successfully.
Texas law requires the victim of any vehicle accident to prove fault before they can recover any compensation for their losses. Every driver has a duty of care to avoid hitting pedestrians at all times, even if pedestrians do not cross streets legally. If you intend to seek compensation for the damages you incurred from a pedestrian accident in Houston, you must prove the exact cause of the accident and identify the driver responsible.
Pedestrian accidents can happen in many ways, and most of these incidents are the result of negligence. The term “negligence” defines a failure to use reasonable care in a specific situation. A few examples of negligence that may cause pedestrian accidents in Houston include:
These are only a few examples of the types of negligence that can cause serious pedestrian accidents; it is also possible for accidents to occur from illegal and intentional misconduct. Reckless driving and driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs are the most common examples of this. If the driver who hit you did so through any illegal action, the state is likely to prosecute them in criminal court. Your Houston pedestrian accident attorney can help you understand how a criminal case from the state may impact your civil claim for damages.
When a driver hits a pedestrian due to negligence, they face liability for the victim’s damages and could owe a substantial amount of compensation to the victim. However, if they cause a pedestrian accident through illegal misconduct, they will also face criminal prosecution. Additionally, the penalties they face can be increased for causing bodily harm to the victim, and they may owe the injured pedestrian additional compensation in the form of punitive damages or restitution.
An experienced Houston pedestrian accident attorney is the ideal asset to assist you with evidence-gathering for your case. You will need to prove that the at-fault driver was negligent or intentionally harmful with their actions, and you must prove their actions directly resulted in your claimed damages. The evidence you may require can include a driver’s cell phone records, traffic camera footage, and statements from eyewitnesses who saw the accident happen in real time. In addition, if the at-fault driver fled the scene of your accident, your attorney could coordinate with the local police to identify and locate them, and they will face charges for hit-and-run in addition to their liability for your damages.
After proving fault for your accident, you must then determine the full scope of the damages the at-fault driver caused. You have the right to seek full compensation for all financial losses you incurred from the accident as well as pain and suffering compensation. The first stage of your recovery process is likely to be an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver. All drivers are required to have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements, and this initial claim can provide valuable compensation relatively quickly.
Your Houston pedestrian accident attorney can help file your auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver. They can compile your demand letter and make sure the insurance carrier delivers a fair and reasonable settlement offer under the terms of the at-fault driver’s policy. If the insurer attempts to deny your claim or offers a lowball settlement, your attorney can resolve these issues on your behalf.
After you secure as much compensation as possible through an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver, any remaining damages their insurance can’t cover can be claimed in a personal injury suit. Under Texas’ personal injury statutes, the economic damages you can claim include:
To add any economic loss to your personal injury claim, you must provide evidence showing the damage was the direct effect of the defendant’s negligence or misconduct and not some other cause. Your Houston pedestrian accident attorney may uncover avenues of compensation you would not have known to investigate if you tried to handle your case by yourself, enhancing your final case award by a substantial margin.
Ultimately, the total immediate and future economic damages you can seek from the defendant may amount to much more than you initially anticipated. When you have the right attorney representing you, you are more likely to maximize this aspect of your recovery to the fullest extent possible under the state’s personal injury laws. However, your recovery does not end with your financial losses, as state law permits you to claim pain and suffering compensation as well.
Texas’ personal injury laws allow the plaintiff in a civil suit to seek financial compensation for the intangible losses caused by the defendant’s negligence or misconduct. Specifically, you have the right to seek monetary compensation for the physical pain, psychological distress, and emotional suffering you experienced due to the defendant’s actions. The state only limits pain and suffering compensation in medical malpractice claims, so there is no limit to how much pain and suffering compensation you can include in a pedestrian accident case.
Your Houston pedestrian accident attorney can help determine a fair amount that reflects the severity of your condition. They may consult with medical experts who can provide unique insights that explain the scope of the medical effects your injuries have had and the future complications you are likely to face. The amount a plaintiff receives in pain and suffering compensation usually hinges on whether they suffered long-term or permanent harm of any kind.
If a plaintiff is expected to make a complete recovery from their injuries in the near future, they will receive much less pain and suffering compensation than a plaintiff left permanently disabled from their accident. A Houston pedestrian accident attorney is likely to aim for several times the total of their client’s economic damages in pain and suffering compensation, multiplying their economic losses by a factor that represents the severity of their condition.
Anyone who intends to file any type of personal injury claim must understand the state’s modified comparative negligence law, especially if they have any reason to worry that they are partially responsible for causing their claimed damages. Under the modified comparative negligence rule, a plaintiff may still receive compensation for their damages if they bear partial liability for causing those damages, but they will lose a percentage of their total case award to account for this shared fault.
One of the most commonly cited issues that brings the comparative fault rule into play in pedestrian accident cases is jaywalking, or crossing the street outside of the designated crosswalk. While a driver has a duty of care to avoid hitting pedestrians at all times, pedestrians also have a duty of care to abide by crossing signals and only cross streets when and where it is safe to do so. If a pedestrian walks out in front of moving traffic and an oncoming driver does not have time or space to slow down or stop to avoid hitting them, it is likely that the pedestrian will absorb a measure of comparative fault.
Under the modified comparative fault rule, a plaintiff can still recover compensation as long as they are less than 50% at fault. The judge handling the civil case will review all relevant evidence and testimony and assign fault percentages to each liable party. The fault percentage assigned to the plaintiff is subtracted as a penalty from their case award, so bearing 10% fault means losing 10% of the total compensation claimed from the defendant. However, if the plaintiff is found 50% or more at fault, they cannot recover compensation from the defendant.
Illegal misconduct on the part of the defendant can also influence the plaintiff’s recovery, potentially leading to more compensation than just civil damages. For example, if a civil court judge decides that the defendant’s actions exceeded the scope of typical negligence, they may award the plaintiff punitive damages to account for this. Alternatively, if the defendant is prosecuted for illegal misconduct, the judge who sentences them may include restitution to the victim as part of their penalty.
The auto insurance claim process is likely to be the first phase of your recovery from a pedestrian accident, and when the at-fault driver’s insurance cannot fully compensate you for your damages, you will need to proceed with a personal injury claim. Again, an experienced Houston pedestrian accident attorney can help compile your initial complaint and submit it to the court. At this point, your case can either proceed to settlement negotiations with the defendant or litigation before a judge.
Most of the personal injury cases filed each year end in settlement. This private process allows the parties involved to negotiate mutually agreeable terms and avoid the stress and expense of litigation. However, a settlement requires the defendant to accept responsibility for their actions and for both parties to be willing to compromise. If a settlement is not possible for any reason, the case will need to go to litigation, and a judge will have the final say regarding liability for the damages in question and how much of an award the plaintiff will receive.
When you choose Stevenson & Murray to represent you in a pedestrian accident case, our goal is to help you reach the optimal outcome in the most efficient possible manner. We take time to get to know each of our clients, learning as much as we can about their unique experiences and the various effects their injuries have had on their lives. Our team will carefully review the total scope of the accident you experienced and help assess the damages you can claim from the defendant.
We seek to settle clients’ cases as quickly as possible to streamline their recoveries, but if litigation is necessary for any reason, we are fully prepared to represent you in court. The attorneys at Stevenson & Murray are seasoned litigators who aggressively defend our clients’ rights in litigation, and we know how challenging any pedestrian accident claim can be to resolve. The sooner you reach out to our firm for representation, the sooner we can begin guiding you toward the outcome you deserve.
A: Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule. This means that a plaintiff may share fault with a defendant for their claimed damages under certain circumstances. A driver always has a duty of care to avoid hitting pedestrians, but pedestrians are expected to follow traffic signals and only cross streets when and where it is safe to do so. If a pedestrian jaywalks and steps in front of the path of an oncoming driver, they may face partial liability for their accident. Under the modified comparative fault rule, a plaintiff partially at fault for a personal injury can still recover damages as long as they are less than 50% at fault.
A: If you have lost a family member in a fatal pedestrian accident, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. This type of civil suit effectively replaces the personal injury claim the victim could have filed if they had survived their accident. The state enforces special rules for wrongful death claims, including who is permitted to file such a claim and the damages available. Typically, a wrongful death suit is filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate or their closest surviving family member, and the proceeds of a successful wrongful death claim go to the victim’s beneficiaries.
A: The total value of any pedestrian accident claim in Houston depends on the scope of the damages the victim suffered. State law allows the plaintiff to seek full repayment of all their economic losses, such as their property damage, medical expenses, and lost income. They also have the right to claim pain and suffering, and this aspect of their case award hinges on the scope and severity of their injuries and whether they suffered permanent harm. Your Houston pedestrian accident attorney can provide an estimate of your case’s total potential value.
A: Anyone intending to file any type of personal injury claim must meet the statute of limitations or time limit for this type of case, which is two years from the date an injury occurs. Failure to file a claim within this time limit could mean losing your ability to recover your damages. After resolving your immediate medical concerns in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, it is advisable to seek legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible to start the claim-filing process within the statute of limitations.
A: The attorneys at Stevenson & Murray aim to provide the legal counsel you need when you need it most without adding the financial concerns you already have in the aftermath of your accident. We take personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. This means you will not pay anything upfront for our legal representation, nor will you pay ongoing fees as your case unfolds. We will only take our contingency fee if and when we win recompense for your damages, and our fee will be a percentage of the total amount recovered on your behalf. If we cannot secure a cash award for your claim for any reason, you pay nothing.
The team at Stevenson & Murray has earned a strong professional reputation in Houston as a leading choice for personal injury representation. We have experience handling a wide variety of civil claims for damages, including those arising from pedestrian accidents. If you believe you have grounds for legal recourse against a driver who hit you while walking in the Houston area, we are ready to help navigate your case with confidence. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a Houston pedestrian accident attorney to learn more about the legal services our firm provides.
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