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Who Is Liable for Pedestrian Accidents?

Posted in Pedestrian Accidents on April 18, 2022

Pedestrian accidents are one of the most disastrous types of collisions. When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the victim can suffer life-changing injuries. If you get hurt or a loved one is killed in a pedestrian accident in Texas, determining liability can help you move forward. Holding one or more parties liable, or financially and legally responsible, for your accident can result in the monetary compensation that you need for your losses. Find out who may be liable for your pedestrian accident.

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right-of-Way in Texas?

No. It is a common misconception that pedestrians always have the right-of-way. Pedestrian right-of-way is not permanent or assumed. Instead, there are particular roadway rules that drivers and pedestrians must follow. These rules give pedestrians the right-of-way when a control signal is present and displays the “Walk” sign, as well as at intersections and crosswalks.

However, a pedestrian cannot leave a place of safety and step into the road when an oncoming vehicle is too close to stop. A pedestrian also does not have the right-of-way when jaywalking in Texas – or crossing the road at a place other than a crosswalk between two adjacent intersections. Learning pedestrian rights-of-way in your city can help you better understand who is liable for your accident.

When Is a Driver Liable for a Pedestrian Accident?

Motor vehicle drivers are often behind pedestrian collisions in Texas. Drivers can be guilty of careless and reckless acts such as driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, speeding, red-light running and falling asleep behind the wheel. These wrongful acts increase the risk of vehicle-pedestrian collisions. If a driver is found to be at fault for hitting a pedestrian, the driver’s car insurance company must pay for related losses through Texas’s fault law.

Texas is not a no-fault accident state. In a no-fault state, injured pedestrians seek reimbursement from their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, regardless of fault. In Texas, however, the party most at fault for the pedestrian accident is who pays. All drivers in Texas must carry liability insurance to pay for harm done to others. You must prove that the driver is at fault to qualify for this coverage.

Can Someone Other Than a Driver Be Liable for a Pedestrian Accident?

While driver error is the number one cause of pedestrian accidents in Texas, it is not the only possibility. When determining liability for this type of wreck, it is important for the victim to explore all potential sources of insurance coverage. This will allow the pedestrian to maximize his or her financial recovery. Parties outside of the driver who could be liable include:

  • An employer or company if the driver was working at the time of the accident
  • A vehicle or part manufacturer if a defective part contributed to the crash
  • The government in charge of roadway maintenance for a dangerous defect
  • A repair shop or dealership if the driver’s car experienced a breakdown

A thorough investigation of the pedestrian accident by a personal injury lawyer can expose signs of third-party fault or negligence. Once the defendant(s) have been determined, your attorney can help you file a claim with the correct insurance provider for fair financial compensation. Then, your lawyer can help you prove liability, such as with a police report, eyewitness statements and expert testimony.

When Is a Pedestrian Liable?

Finally, it is important to acknowledge that pedestrians can be found liable for their own injuries after an accident in certain circumstances. If you were breaking a traffic law or walking in the middle of the road while intoxicated, for example, an insurance company may place some or all of the blame for the accident on you. This could reduce or even eliminate your payout. In this scenario, it is essential to contact a pedestrian accident attorney to help you defend your rights.