Each year, thousands of pedestrians are seriously injured by careless drivers. Tragically, a pedestrian is killed in a roadway accident every two hours in the United States. Pedestrian accidents can leave innocent victims with injuries that require lifelong treatment. The costs of doctors visits, surgeries, physical therapy, and prescription medications add up quickly and can exceed the annual income of most Houston families. Pedestrian accident victims often feel as though they have nowhere to turn.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the Houston pedestrian accident lawyers at Sutliff & Stout can help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys represent Texans in civil lawsuits against negligent drivers, and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
For a no-cost consultation with a Houston pedestrian accident lawyer, contact us today.
Unfortunately, pedestrians are at a disadvantage when it comes to personal safety on the streets of Houston. Motorists frequently fail to see pedestrians on or alongside busy roads, and it only takes a second for a serious accident to occur. Sadly, most pedestrian accidents are preventable. Statistics show that almost half of all pedestrian accidents involve a drunk or otherwise intoxicated driver. Nearly 20 percent of pedestrians injured in drunk driving accidents are under the age of 12.
Pedestrian accidents are most likely to occur when:
- Carless drivers ignore the presence of pedestrians in pedestrian-friendly areas such as parking lots or school zones;
- Pedestrians cross the street without the aid of a signal or crosswalk;
- Motorists fail to turn on their headlights at night; and
- Drivers fail to yield the right-of-way at intersections.
It is important to remember that pedestrians must obey traffic lights and crossing signals. But once a pedestrian lawfully enters a crosswalk, all drivers must yield.
The 5 Steps to Take If You’re Struck by a Motorist
#1 – Get to Safety
Secondary accidents can cause just as much damage as the initial collision. It is important to remove yourself from the road and get to a safe position where you cannot be hit by another car or cause another accident. If possible, move objects or debris from the road to ensure there is no additional risk to yourself or others.
#2 – Assess Your Injury
In the shock of an accident you may not initially appreciate the extent of your injuries. If you do not experience any pain, you might assume that you do not need medical attention. In most cases, however, it is prudent to seek out medical care even if only as a precaution. Seeing a doctor as soon as possible after an accident can ensure you receive treatment and prevent complications from developing. Many internal injuries can only be accurately identified by trained professionals–including traumatic brain injuries and concussions. In serious accidents where there is a risk of spinal cord injury, do not try to move. Doing so may aggravate the damage.
#3 – Contact Authorities
If immediate medical attention is needed, dial 911 to call an ambulance. It is also critical to alert the police so that a proper report can be created to document the incident. You may want to contact relevant insurance companies. The nature of the insurance laws in your state will determine from whom you will be able to collect compensation in a claim or civil lawsuit. Involving your insurance company allows you to present your side of the story via your own claims processing procedures.
#4 – Collect Information
You should exchange basic information with the motorist and other relevant parties. Do your best to document what happened. Photographs, witness contact information, and statements made by the motorist can be very useful if there is a dispute over who was at fault for the accident. Avoid making any statements about fault or what you believe happened. Over time your recollection of the incident may fade. It is prudent to write down all of your thoughts about the accident. Those thoughts should include as much detail as possible including information like the weather, location of the car, status of traffic lights, and similar matters.
#5 – Consider Your Legal Options
Depending on the specifics of the incident, both civil and criminal cases may be initiated. Consider contacting an attorney to protect your rights.
Understanding Personal Injury Law
If you are unfamiliar with the legal system, the prospect of filing a personal injury lawsuit after a pedestrian accident may feel overwhelming. Our compassionate lawyers and staff are available to answer your questions, and will keep you informed of the progress in your case.
A personal injury lawsuit is a civil legal action filed after an accident or other catastrophic event. An injured person can sue to recover money damages for his or her injuries and other losses. The types of damages available to a personal injury plaintiff include, but are not limited to:
- The cost of past and future medical care;
- Compensation for pain and suffering;
- Lost wages due to missed work after the accident;
- Compensation for family members of the accident victim; and
- The cost of repairing or replacing damaged property.
A pedestrian accident lawyer can help you understand how much money you can recover by filing a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit can help pedestrian accident victims gain financial security as well as a sense of closure in knowing that the person responsible for their injuries will be held accountable by a court of law.
It is important to understand that you must file a personal injury lawsuit within a certain amount of time after your pedestrian accident. A procedural rule known as a statute of limitations can prevent your case from being heard regardless of how strong your claims are. Most personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of the accident.
Sutliff & Stout Represent Houston Pedestrian Accident Victims
If you or a loved one was involved in a pedestrian accident in Houston or the surrounding areas, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Sutliff & Stout can help. For a complimentary consultation about your case, contact us today. We are dedicated to providing our clients with zealous representation that yields results.
Image via Flickr, courtesy of Rae Allen