Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in Amarillo, Texas
Personal injury law is predicated on the legal obligation people have to others: everyone is owed a duty of care. This is important because it encourages people to obey laws and remain vigilant about the safety of others.
This is particularly important when there is a mismatch. For example, a pedestrian is physically outmatched by a person operating a motor vehicle. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, their injuries are likely to be far worse than those of the driver. In some cases, those injuries can be fatal.
However, this mismatch will not stop the driver’s insurance company from doing everything it can to avoid paying fair compensation to the pedestrian victim or their family. Our attorneys at Tormey & McConnell have advocated for injury victims for more than 70 years. We’re fearless in the face of a challenge and unfazed by insurers’ best efforts to undervalue and deny claims.
If you have been injured or someone you love has been incapacitated or killed in a pedestrian accident in Amarillo, Texas, we’re here to help. We extend our services to clients in the nearby communities of Pampa, Borger, Hereford, Dumas, Childress, and Canyon, Texas.
Can a Pedestrian Be Liable in an Accident?
Preserving a duty of care is everyone’s responsibility. Anyone who fails to uphold is negligent and, therefore, liable for the harm and damages done to others as a result.
Texas statutes include a pedestrian right-of-way law, designed to protect them as they share roadways with motorists. The law basically holds that the motorist must yield the right of way to pedestrians in a marked or unmarked crosswalk where there are no traffic lights.
However, pedestrians do not always have the right of way, and they also have responsibilities under the law. These include crossing a roadway inside the crosswalk, not in the middle of the street, and obeying all traffic lights and signals just as motorists are required to do.
Pedestrians are not allowed to jaywalk unless an intersection is designed for crossing two adjacent crosswalks. They may not suddenly leave the curb and enter the roadway and must use sidewalks where they are provided. If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians must walk on the far left side of the roadway, facing oncoming traffic. If a pedestrian fails to adhere to any of these laws, they may be at least partially liable for the accident.
In addition to obeying all traffic signs and signals, the rules of the road, and yielding to pedestrians in uncontrolled crosswalks, motorists have a duty to proceed with care and avoid colliding with a pedestrian, even if that pedestrian has entered the roadway without warning or attempt to cross on a red light.
If a pedestrian or driver fails to uphold any of these responsibilities, and that negligence leads to an accident, they may be deemed liable. Fault in a pedestrian accident may also be attributed to hazards, such as construction, traffic control failures, and even weather conditions.
Why Does Fault Matter?
When it comes to auto accidents, Texas is a fault state so, by law, the at-fault party is responsible for the financial compensation of their victims. Motorists are required by law to carry at least minimum limits of liability coverage. If a negligent motorist injures or kills a pedestrian, the victims can file a claim against their liability coverage or their assets to recover compensation.
Texas law also recognizes that fault may lie with more than one party. Under the state’s modified comparative negligence rule, any victim less than 51% at fault for an accident may file a claim against the party of greater fault. Just be aware that any fault assigned to the pedestrian will be reflected in the settlement sum.
For example, if the motorist is 70% at fault and the pedestrian is 30% at fault and the pedestrian’s damages are $100,000, the pedestrian’s recovery would be reduced by their fault. In this case, by $30,000.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim?
Personal injury claims must be settled with the insurance company, or a lawsuit filed in civil court within two years of the date of the accident in Texas. Wrongful death actions have the same statute of limitations. However, the two years begins as of the date of death from the injuries, which may be later than the date of the accident.
With all things considered, two years is a brief time to build and file a convincing claim. You should contact a personal injury attorney right away so they can begin the work you claim will need.
What Compensation Can I Recover as an Injured Pedestrian?
The cost of medical treatment incurred since the accident plus future medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and a spouse’s loss of consortium are all recoverable damages in a personal injury claim.
In a wrongful death claim, the family can recover damages to the estate, such as medical and burial expenses, and damages they have suffered, such as loss of future income, services, guidance, and companionship.
What Do I Do Next?
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, make sure you receive all the medical treatment you need to recover from your injuries to the extent that you can. The cost of your medical treatment will be the most significant part of your claim.
If you have a loved one who survived but has been incapacitated, you will need to ask the court to appoint someone as their conservator. The conservator can then pursue a personal injury claim on their behalf.
If you are the surviving spouse, child, or parent of someone killed in a pedestrian accident, you can pursue a wrongful death claim.
No matter which of these situations applies to you, it’s in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney right away. Your lawyer will know how to investigate the accident, gather evidence and documentation, and pursue your maximum compensation. If litigation becomes necessary, they will also stand up for you in court. After a pedestrian accident in Amarillo, Texas, reach out to us at Tormey & McConnell. We won’t back down until you secure the recovery you deserve.
Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in Amarillo, Texas
Injuries and death throw the lives of victims and their families into chaos, and the process of pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death claim can seem overwhelming. Helping you through it is why we exist. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident or a loved one has died, call Tormey & McConnell in Amarillo, Texas now. There is no time to lose.