Proving Fault in a Pedestrian Accident in Wichita Falls, Texas, and Oklahoma
Many people engage in walking as a form of exercise and a means of transportation. Walking is a great way to get around, it is a preferred method of exercise, and many people enjoy it. But in some parts of Wichita Falls and certainly in the busy cities of Texas and Oklahoma, the roads are filled with fast-moving traffic and rushed drivers. These circumstances can make it difficult for walkers and can make for a dangerous environment. Walking around this fast-moving traffic leaves pedestrians vulnerable as they are more likely to be hit directly or indirectly in a crash, and because they are unprotected by the safety features that passengers of vehicles enjoy, it leaves them more susceptible to serious, life-changing injuries.
Because of this vulnerability we just discussed, pedestrians are faced with a disadvantage when involved in an accident. The negligent driver may claim you jumped in front of their vehicle or some other version of the story which implicates you as the cause of the accident and because of the extent of your injuries, you may not be able to defend yourself and give your version of events.
For these reasons, it is extremely important that you are familiar with how pedestrian accidents happen and how to determine and prove who is at fault. It also highlights why it may be right for you to hire our experienced Wichita Falls pedestrian accident lawyer who will protect your legal rights while helping you secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries after a pedestrian accident.
How Pedestrian Accidents and Injuries Happen in Wichita Falls, Texas, and Oklahoma
The causes of pedestrian accidents are several, but there are certain risk factors that both drivers and pedestrians do to lead to these accidents.
Risk factors by drivers:
- Reckless and erratic driving such as speeding or swerving
- Distracted driving such as texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Drunk or impaired driving
- Inattention and disregard for road signs and traffic lights
- Failure to yield for crosswalks and intersections
- Disregard and inappropriate driving for weather conditions such as rain or snow
Risk factors by pedestrians:
- Being distracted and not paying attention
- Wearing headphones and not being able to hear hybrid cars with quieter motors
- Wearing dark clothing with no reflective gear at night
- Being intoxicated or under the influence
- Disregarding traffic lights and road signs
- Trying to rush across a street with traffic
- Not utilizing crosswalks
- Walking in restricted areas such as on-and-off ramps and freeways
Unfortunately, sometimes children are victims of pedestrian accidents as they do not understand inherent danger of moving vehicles and the laws surrounding road signs, crosswalks, intersections, and traffic lights that are in place to ensure driver and pedestrian safety. Likewise, the elderly is also at an increased risk for these types of accidents as they cannot move as easily and are not able to cross the street in a prompt manner like most adults can.
Who Is at Fault in a Wichita Falls Pedestrian Accident?
People often assume that when it comes to pedestrian accidents, the driver of the vehicle is always at fault. But that is not always the case. When a pedestrian is exhibiting any of the risk factors listed above, they can find themselves in a dangerous situation with an increased risk of being in a pedestrian accident.
Because Texas and Oklahoma both use some form of comparative fault laws, pedestrians can, in fact, be deemed at-fault for their pedestrian accident and in this case, they would be responsible for their injuries. In pursuing a injury claim or a lawsuit, a percentage of fault will be assigned to you and your compensation will be diminished in proportion to your percentage of fault.
For example, if you were extremely intoxicated and stumbled in front of a car, you could be determined 100% responsible for the accident and you will not be able to collect anything for your injuries.
How to Prove Fault After a Wichita Falls Pedestrian Accident
Insurance companies have methods and tactics they deploy to identify and utilize a way to avoid paying your claim, or at the very least, to minimize it as much as possible. Proving the other person was at fault for your claim may be difficult to do without sufficient and documented evidence. Was the driver distracted and on their phone? Was the driver speeding or driving recklessly? Did the driver run a stoplight or fail to yield the right of way? Was the driver arrested for a DUI? Did the police investigate and complete an accident report? Were there any witnesses?
Conducting a full and thorough investigation as soon as possible is your best chance at proving fault, but that is probably not a task you will want to take on while you recover from your injuries. In these cases, you have to know what to look for, what to collect, what questions to ask, and whom to ask them to, and the everyday citizen doesn’t have this training or knowledge to begin to properly investigate their accident in a way that will really be effective. Our pedestrian accident attorney will conduct an extensive investigation of your accident, gather all necessary information, seek out and document evidence, and take all other necessary steps to build out a strong case for your claim or lawsuit. Additionally, our attorney will ease the burden of dealing with the insurance companies and their adjusters, making sure your legal rights are protected and ensuring that you receive a settlement that is fair and adequate.
Promoters of Pedestrian Safety
Unfortunately, accidents are increasing and because of this, a number of organizations have been established to advocate for pedestrian safety and reduce the number of pedestrians involved in accidents.
Some of these organizations are:
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) – An organization with the mission to improve communities by providing an environment in which walking, and bicycling can be a viable and safe means of transportation and exercise.
- Project for Public Spaces – An organization focused on creating better street and community designs to make the roads safer for all who use them.
- Vision Zero – An organization dedicated to eliminating all traffic injuries and fatalities nationwide.
These organizations offer a variety of helpful resources.
Additionally, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers a number of resources regarding pedestrian safety.
Call Our Wichita Falls Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Often times, an accident alters your life forever, leaving you with disabilities or limitations you didn’t have before, unable to work and provide for yourself and your family. It is a drastic change, and it is a hard thing to adjust to. After the initial trauma of the accident, you have to deal with doctor’s appointments, lost wages from time off work, and possibly your new circumstances and limitations and while trying to pursue your injury claim. You shouldn’t have to go about handling all this alone.
Our Wichita Falls pedestrian accident lawyer has helped accident victims all across Texas and Oklahoma. Our legal team will work with you to get you the compensation you rightly deserve so you can recover as much as possible and move on with your life. Call us today at 940-569-4000 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.