Jason Stephens | May 17, 2022 | Pedestrian Accidents
When a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian in Fort Worth, the motor vehicle driver is generally at fault. Therefore, the driver can be held liable for the pedestrian’s medical bills and other damages. However, comparative fault allegations could complicate a personal injury claim for a pedestrian accident.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Fort Worth
Fort Worth’s streets are busy with motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians trying to get to their destinations. Car accidents are common in Fort Worth, including accidents involving pedestrians. Texas had the third-highest pedestrian fatality rate in the United States in 2019.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Facility to yield the right of way
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Drowsy driving
However, pedestrians can also share some of the liability for the cause of a pedestrian accident. Common ways that a pedestrian could cause an accident with a motor vehicle include:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Ignoring a traffic signal or pedestrian signal
- Distracted walking
- Walking while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Violating Texas pedestrian laws
If a pedestrian contributes to the cause of an accident, Texas proportionate responsibility laws could impact how much money the pedestrian receives for damages.
What Damages Can a Pedestrian Receive After Being Hit by a Car in Fort Worth?
Being hit by a car can cause catastrophic injuries for a pedestrian. The pedestrian has no protection from the impact of the vehicle. Therefore, a pedestrian can sustain multiple injuries, including:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries and back injuries
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Crushing injuries
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Nerve damage and soft tissue injuries
Pedestrians may sustain life-threatening injuries. They may also sustain permanent impairments, including paralysis, brain damage, amputations, and loss of bodily functions.
The damages a pedestrian can receive depend on the facts of the case. However, pedestrians are generally entitled to compensation for their economic damages, such as:
- Medical expenses, including nursing care, physical therapy, and other forms of therapy
- Loss of income, wages, and benefits, including future decreases in earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Long-term care
- Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
- Medications, medical supplies, and medical devices
Additionally, a pedestrian can receive compensation for their non-economic damages or “pain and suffering.” Those damages include:
- Disability and impairments
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical discomfort and pain
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
The pedestrian has the burden of proving the driver caused the accident. If so, they should be able to receive compensation for all damages. However, if the pedestrian was partially to blame for causing the accident, they may receive far less than the value of their injury claim.
What Happens When a Pedestrian Is Partly to Blame for an Accident in Fort Worth?
Texas contributory fault laws state that an injury victim’s damages can be reduced by their percentage of fault for causing their injuries.
Suppose a jury awards a pedestrian $450,000 for damages caused when a driver hit the pedestrian. However, the pedestrian was jaywalking. Therefore, the jury finds the pedestrian is 35% at fault for the cause of their injuries.
The pedestrian’s compensation would be reduced by 35%, or $157,500. The pedestrian is not barred from receiving money for their injury claim, but they receive less than their damages are worth.
If the jury finds that the pedestrian is 51% or more at fault for the cause of the accident, the pedestrian receives no money for their claim. Texas comparative negligence law bars victims from recovering damages if they are 51% or more at fault for the cause of their injuries.
What Should You Do to Protect Yourself After Being Hit by a Car in Fort Worth?
Ways that you can protect your right to fair compensation for damages caused by a pedestrian accident include:
- Call 911 to report the crash and request medical assistance and police support
- If possible, gather the names and contact information of bystanders and eyewitnesses who saw the accident or heard statements from the driver immediately after the accident
- Take photographs or make a video of the accident scene (you may also ask a bystander to use your cell phone to make a video for you)
- Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries and continue to follow your doctor’s treatment plan
- Document your damages and injuries with medical records, copies of bills and receipts, and photographs of injuries
- Do not discuss the accident or your injuries with the insurance adjuster without a lawyer
Working with a pedestrian accident lawyer can help improve your chances of receiving a fair settlement agreement. Your lawyer takes additional steps to prove the driver caused your accident, such as searching for videos of the accident and interviewing eyewitnesses.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX – Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth car accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Open 24 hrs.