On the early Sunday morning of March 18th, a 25-year-old man attempted to cross a road in the Dallas suburb of Carrolton when he was struck by a vehicle. Rather than stopping to render aid, however, the driver fled the scene.
The pedestrian was left on the road with extensive injuries and was transported in critical condition to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Plano. While the victim has been placed in medically induced coma, he is expected to survive.
Police are seeking the public’s help to help identify the driver.
Unfortunately, this happens too often on Texas roads, and the Rio Grande Valley has its own share of problems when it comes to pedestrian accidents. As one of the fastest growing regions in the state, more and more people are on the road, both in cars and on foot.
Your experienced McAllen lawyers at the J. Gonzalez Firm are dedicated to keeping the streets safe for drivers and pedestrians alike. With the Governors Highway Safety Association reporting that 2016 saw an 9% increase in pedestrian fatalities across the nation compared to 2015, the importance of safety has become even more relevant. Being informed is one of the first steps that you can take to protect yourself. Below you will find information regarding pedestrian accidents in Texas, the most common reasons why they happen, and what legal actions you can take if you’ve been hurt.Nearly 6,000 #pedestrians were killed in the US in 2017 #KeepTexasRoadsSafe #JGonzalez Click To Tweet
The Need to Improve Texas Road Safety
Unfortunately, Texas is often ranked within the top states that have the most car accidents. It’s estimated that 3,500 individuals are killed on Texas roads every year. Statistically, this breaks down to one car accident every minute in Texas. However, the frightening reality is that one person is injured in a car accident in Texas every two minutes and eight seconds, and one person is killed every two hours and 29 minutes.
When it comes to auto-pedestrian fatalities, there were at least 678 deaths on Texas roads in 2016. This was more than a 12% increase from 2015, which saw an estimated 550 deaths.
These numbers are absolutely abysmal, and it is the duty of all Texans to improve the safety of our roads for our loved ones and community alike.#Pedestrian traffic fatalities are 3X more likely to occur in urban areas vs rural areas #KnowtheFacts #MakeTexasSafer Click To Tweet
Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are at extremely high risks of being struck by the front of the vehicle. This often makes the injuries much more severe as the victim can roll under the car, magnifying the damages.
Pedestrian traffic accidents can happen under various circumstances – and at times – are caused by lack of attention or inappropriate actions by the pedestrians themselves. Generally speaking, however, accidents are often caused by negligence. The negligent behavior of the driver (or pedestrian) can easily lead to a serious injury or fatality. Some of the main causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Alcohol: One of the leading causes of car accidents in general, driving while under the influence of alcohol (or drugs) can quickly lead to a pedestrian auto accident. It’s also worth noting that many alcohol-related accidents involve pedestrians who are intoxicated. It is the responsibility of all parties involved in an auto-pedestrian accident to remain sober when driving behind the wheel or walking busy streets.
- Failure to stop at crosswalks: Many drivers simply fail to follow traffic laws. This can mean failing to stop at a stop sign or traffic light that also has a crosswalk. When this happens, pedestrians can easily fall victim to a negligent driver.
- Road rage and uncontrolled speed: Another leading cause of car accidents in general, aggressive driving coupled with excessive speed has been shown to be a huge factor in fatal accidents. A 2009 study by the American Automobile Association tracked data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and found that aggressive driving played a role in 56% of fatal accidents from 2003-2007. Road rage often leads to reckless driving behavior and failure to obey traffic signs and laws which can leave pedestrians without a chance in sight.
- Distracted driving: Happening much more frequently because of today’s “cellphone culture,” distracted driving is another form of negligent driving that can quickly lead to a tragedy. Of course, while texting and unnecessary cell phone use do contribute to auto-pedestrian accidents, other behaviors such as changing the radio station, eating, searching for items on the floor, or adjusting one’s appearance in the mirror can all lead a fatality.
What happens if I’ve been in a auto-pedestrian accident?
If you or a loved one was a victim of an auto-pedestrian accident (you were the pedestrian), there are remedies and legal actions that you can take to recover damages. Our McAllen personal injury lawyer at the J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys can help you bring the negligent driver to justice.
We’ll fight for everything you deserve to get your life – and that of your family’s – back on track. Damages we may be able to recover include:
- Emergency medical bills
- Ongoing care expenses
- Lost wages and earnings
- Diminished future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Our experienced McAllen lawyers can also help in any negotiation with any insurance company to ensure that you are being properly treated and able to obtain the compensation that is rightfully yours.
If your loved one suffered a fatality because of a negligent driver in auto-pedestrian accident, you may be able file a wrongful death suit and recover:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of parental services
- Loss of spousal services
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages