Pedestrians are some of the the most vulnerable accident victims because there is so little to protect them from the harm that they can suffer when they are involved in a wreck. Pedestrians can be struck by a motor vehicle, bicycle or motorcycle when they are walking in urban areas, in crosswalks or on sidewalks. When a pedestrian is involved in an accident, they deserve compensation for their injuries from the parties that are responsible.
Pedestrians can become an injury victim in a number of different types of accidents, including:
- Accidents involving drunk or intoxicated drivers;
- Being hit by a vehicle while the pedestrian is in a crossway;
- Being hit by a vehicle while the pedestrian is crossing a street;
- Being struck by a vehicle while standing on a corner or sidewalk; and
- Accidents involving a hit and run.
Common Injuries Suffered by Pedestrians in Accidents
Pedestrians can be injured quite badly if they are involved in an accident. A moving vehicle can impart quite a bit of force on the body of a pedestrian accident victim, causing significant injuries. Some common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Injuries sustained from impact. Contusions, bruising, scrapes, scratches, cuts and broken or fractured bones are all common types of pedestrian accident injuries. In particular, pedestrian accident victims often suffer impact injuries to the lower legs as this is where most vehicles directly strike a pedestrian victim.
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Many pedestrian accident victims are thrown to the ground or onto the hood of a vehicle when they are hit by a vehicle. This can cause serious head injuries or traumatic brain injuries.
- Back injuries. Many pedestrian accident victims suffer back injuries as a result of being hit by a driver or bicyclist. Back injuries can include pulled muscles, pinched vertebra and spinal cord injuries.
Negligence-Based Pedestrian Accident Claims
Drivers generally owe a duty to others, including pedestrians, to operate their vehicles in a safe and reasonable way. Failure to act in a way that is consistent with this duty can cause an accident where pedestrians get hurt. When a pedestrian is injured as the result of the negligence of another, the pedestrian victim can seek compensation from those who are responsible for their injuries.
A breach of duty of care can include things like:
- A motorist driving too fast;
- Driving while distracted;
- Driving while intoxicated;
- Ignoring posted traffic signs and lights;
- Operating a vehicle in a way that is unsafe in light of the weather conditions;
- Operating a vehicle in a way that is not safe in view of the traffic conditions in that particular area; and
- Not giving pedestrians the right-of-way at intersections and crosswalks.
Automobiles Have A Duty To Pass Pedestrians Safely
Houston law requires that automobiles, light trucks and passenger cars who are attempting to pass pedestrians must do so at a safe distance of 3 feet or more. Larger trucks are required to safely pass pedestrians at a distance of no less than 6 feet. Vehicles also have a duty to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are in, at or approaching an intersection.