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Pedestiran Accident Archives - Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law

When a Pedestrian Is at Fault for a Car Accident

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When an accident involving a pedestrian and a motor vehicle occurs, many people assume that the driver of the motor vehicle will be found at fault for the crash, supposing that a pedestrian always has the right of way. However, this isn’t true; while motor vehicle drivers are certainly expected to yield to pedestrians in many cases, pedestrians too are bound to requirements and can be found at fault for a crash. If you have been in an accident, our Austin pedestrian accident attorney can offer representation and assist you in understanding your rights and the law. For now, here’s a look into situations in which a pedestrian may be found at fault for a car accident–

Pedestrian Crosses on a “Don’t Walk” Signal

When a crosswalk in Austin is marked and is controlled by a traffic control device, a pedestrian has an obligation to comply with the device’s instructions. As such, if a pedestrian enters a roadway, even if they are within a crosswalk when a traffic control device reads, “Don’t Walk” or “Wait” and an accident occurs, the pedestrian may be found liable for damages.

Pedestrian Suddenly Leaves a Curb or Other Place of Safety

As found in Texas Transportation Code Section 552.003 (b), a pedestrian is prohibited from suddenly leaving “a curb or other place of safety” and proceeding into the path of a vehicle when the vehicle is close enough that it is impossible for the driver to yield to the pedestrian. If a pedestrian does suddenly enter the roadway and puts themselves in the path of a driver and an accident occurs, the driver will likely not be held liable for damages that result.

Pedestrian Crosses at a Place Other than a Crosswalk

While a pedestrian does have the right-of-way in a crosswalk (assuming the traffic control device does not indicate that the pedestrian should not proceed), if a pedestrian is crossing at a place other than a marked or unmarked crosswalk, the pedestrian is required to yield the right-of-way to any oncoming vehicles.

Pedestrian Demonstrated Negligence

The above examples are specific instances of when a driver likely won’t be found at fault for a pedestrian crash, based on statutes found in Texas’ traffic code. However, the fault of a driver may also be reduced if evidence is produced that shows that a pedestrian’s own negligence contributed to the crash. For example, even if the pedestrian was crossing in a marked crosswalk when they had the right-of-way, evidence of intoxication or distraction (i.e. texting while walking) may be suggestive of the claim that the pedestrian contributed to their own harm by failing to exercise the proper degree of care to prevent an accident. As such, the pedestrian’s recoverable damages amount may be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.

Call Our Austin Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today

If you have been involved in an accident as a pedestrian, you have likely incurred numerous forms of damages, ranging from medical expenses to disability and more. In order to preserve your right to compensation, it’s important that you understand how to prove fault in a pedestrian accident claim. Please reach out to our Austin pedestrian accident attorneys today for a free consultation and information about your options.

How to Avoid Fatal Pedestrian Accidents

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Each year, the city of Austin sees around 15,000 automobile crashes, resulting in thousands of injuries and dozens of fatalities. But no one is more vulnerable in a car accident than pedestrians. Unlike other motorists, a pedestrian lacks any protective barrier between them and a negligent driver, so they end up suffering the brunt of any collision.

As an experienced Austin pedestrian accident attorney, I have met with clients who have suffered horrific injuries—concussions, amputations, paralysis, and spinal cord damage. Their lives have been forever changed because of the actions of a careless or reckless driver.

We have also met with too many grieving family members who lost a loved one in a crash. Please follow the tips below for more information about how to avoid a fatal accident.

Always Use Crosswalks & Sidewalks

You should never jaywalk, which dramatically increases the chances of an accident. Motorists are not expecting a person to shoot out into the middle of the road, so always walk to the nearest crosswalk when you want to cross. Remember to wait until the light tells you it is okay to go. Also, remember to use the sidewalk whenever one is available. If there is no sidewalk, stay as close to the shoulder as possible to reduce your chances of getting hit.

Yield the Right of Way, if Necessary

A pedestrian in a crosswalk has the right of way, but don’t expect motorists to respect that. Too many motorists think that pedestrians should yield to them. Out of an abundance of caution, always yield to a vehicle that is racing through the crosswalk.

Make Yourself Visible at Night

A motorist who can’t see you is much more likely to crash into you, so increase your visibility accordingly. Some measures people take include:

  • Walking with a flashlight
  • Putting reflective tape on your jacket, book bag, or hat
  • Avoiding wearing dark clothing, which will cause you to blend in with the night

Watch Out for Bicycles, Too

Trucks and cars are not the only dangers a pedestrian must watch out for. People on a fast-moving bicycle can also slam into pedestrians and cause life-threatening injuries. Unfortunately, many cyclists are even less observant of the rules of the road than drivers of passenger sedans, so keep your eyes peeled for any approaching bikes.

Avoid Distracted Walking

If you’re looking at your cell phone, you’ll never see a vehicle racing toward the intersection. Wearing headphones can also limit your ability to hear a vehicle, making you even more vulnerable. Always reduce distractions and remain alert to your surroundings. Walk on the side of the road facing traffic so you can see the vehicles as they approach.

Go Immediately to the Doctor if You are Struck

Some people actually feel fine after being hit, only to finally succumb to problems a day or two later. You might not immediately know whether or not you have suffered a serious injury, so go to the doctor or hospital to be checked out. Some brain injuries, for example, don’t manifest for a day or two.

Meet with a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one was struck by a car or bicycle, you must move quickly to preserve your right to legal compensation. Talk with an  Austin Pedestrian Accident Attorney today. Robert Littlefield Buford III has helped countless pedestrians after a serious injury, and he is available to discuss your legal options as well.

To schedule a free consultation, please call us today at 512-456-9126.

Is a Pedestrian Ever At-Fault in an Accident?

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Pedestrians can suffer serious and fatal injuries in collisions with motor vehicles, and sometimes those crashes involve negligent pedestrians. Motorists in Texas are familiar with the idea that pedestrians always have the right-of-way. While this is true in many scenarios, a pedestrian can behave in a careless or reckless manner, and that behavior can result in a collision. In such situations you might be asking yourself: is a pedestrian ever at-fault in an accident?

An Austin pedestrian accident attorney can say more, but generally speaking, in situations where a pedestrian was distracted or violated traffic laws, that pedestrian may be at fault for his or her injuries.

Scenarios in Which a Pedestrian Might Be Liable for an Accident

How can a pedestrian be responsible for an auto accident? There are numerous situations in which a pedestrian may have at least some liability—or at least be partially to blame—for a motor vehicle collision. The following are examples of scenarios in which a pedestrian could be found at fault for a crash:

  • Distracted walking while listening to music or texting on a smartphone;
  • Jaywalking, or crossing outside of a designated crossing area;
  • Crossing in a crosswalk when the traffic signal indicates not to cross (such as when a pedestrian has a “Do Not Walk” signal);
  • Intoxicated walking;
  • Walking in areas where pedestrians are prohibited, such as on highways; and
  • Trespassing, such as on train tracks or on private property.

To be clear, most pedestrian accidents do result from a motorist’s negligence. For instance, pedestrians routinely suffer debilitating injuries because an automobile driver was talking or texting while driving, or because a motorist was driving aggressively and failed to stop at a crosswalk. Yet pedestrians can be wholly or partially to blame when a collision occurs. At the same time, even when a pedestrian is at fault to a degree, that pedestrian still may be eligible to seek financial compensation from the motorist involved in the crash.

Proportionate Responsibility in Austin Pedestrian Collisions

When a pedestrian is partly to blame for an accident but not wholly to blame, Texas law on proportionate responsibility (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §§ 33.001-33.017) says that the pedestrian may remain eligible for compensation.

As long as a pedestrian is not more responsible (or more at fault) than the other parties involved in the crash, the pedestrian still can recover damages. To put that another way, if a pedestrian is 50 percent or less at fault, she can still obtain damages from the other at fault party. In such a scenario, the pedestrian’s damages award will be reduced by her percentage of fault. For example, if a plaintiff is determined to be 20 percent at fault, a damages award of $50,000 would be reduced by 20 percent, or $10,000, and she would receive $40,000 total. Once a plaintiff is 51 percent or more at fault, however, the law bars her from recovering anything.

Seek Advice from an Austin Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

While pedestrians do have the right-of-way in most places in Austin, and motorists do owe a duty of care to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists on the road, sometimes pedestrians can be at fault in an accident. However, just because a pedestrian was partially to blame does not mean that the pedestrian is ineligible for compensation. If you were injured in a collision, you should speak with an Austin pedestrian accident attorney about filing a claim for compensation. Contact Robert Littleford Buford III, Attorney at Law, at 512-710-1057.

How to Avoid Auto-Pedestrian Accidents When Running or Walking in Austin

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Austin is applauded for many different things, including its eclectic music and food scenes, its rich history, and its “weirdness.” But one thing that those in Austin don’t like to talk about is the fact that Austin is also one of the worst cities in the country in terms of the number of pedestrian deaths. In fact, in Texas, pedestrian deaths account for approximately 16 percent of all motor vehicle accident-related traffic deaths, according to Patch.com, and in Austin, there were nearly two dozens pedestrian deaths in 2017, and even more the previous year. Austin pedestrian accident attorney Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law, is here to support and guide you if you’ve been in a pedestrian accident in our city. Here are some tips to avoid an accident running or walking in Austin – if you’re hit by a car, call our law firm for your free consultation.

Turn Off the Music

It seems like everyone today is walking or running with earbuds, which play favorite music, news updates, or podcasts. But while the numerous entertainment options provided by smart devices may indeed be enjoyable, walking or running without being able to hear what’s happening around you is very dangerous. Your sense of sound is something that keeps you safe, allowing you to hear approaching vehicles, horns, and other potential dangers. The safest thing that you can do is to take your earbuds out when walking or running in the city.

Put Your Phone Away

Just as running or walking with your earbuds in can be dangerous, so is looking down at your phone, especially when crossing a street. Phones are one of the biggest distractions that drivers and pedestrians are at risk of falling victim to, and the uptick in pedestrian accidents nationwide has been contributed to, in part, using a mobile device while walking. When your eyes are on your phone, you are unable to see what’s directly beneath you (walking hazards) or what’s in front of you (like oncoming motor vehicles). If you must use your phone, do so while stationary and in a safe location.

Wear Bright Colors

If you’re someone who likes to get in an early morning or after-work walk or jog, remember that lighting is typically poor during these times, especially during the winter. In order to improve visibility and help drivers be able to see you, wear bright and light colors, such as white or fluorescent yellow. If you’re walking or running when it’s dark, wear reflective tape and consider attaching a light to your body.

Call Our Pedestrian Accident Attorney if You’re in a Crash

Walking and running in Austin are activities that are undoubtedly good for one’s health, but do pose the risk of being dangerous. Even if you’re being safe, it’s impossible to predict the actions dangerous drivers on the road. If you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident in Austin, our pedestrian accident attorney at the office of Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law, can help. Call our law firm today or send us a message to schedule your free consultation.

Avoiding Auto Accidents in Austin School Zones

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There are approximately 56.6 million kids currently enrolled in elementary and secondary schools throughout the United States, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and every day, many of these children walk through school zones. But school zones aren’t always safe. Indeed, SafeKids.org observed unsafe driver behavior in nearly one out of every three school zone drop-offs or pick-ups, and statistics tell us that there are five teen pedestrian deaths every week. Our Austin pedestrian accident attorney is passionate about reducing the number of pedestrian accidents and school zones and elsewhere. Here are some things that you can start doing today to mitigate an Austin school zone accident.

Pay Attention

One of the biggest threats to drivers and pedestrians alike is the risk of driver distraction, especially in a school zone. When drivers turn their attention away from the road for even a short amount of time, the consequences can be deadly. When you’re behind the wheel, say “no” to distractions. This means putting away a cell phone, stopping your car in a safe location if you need to attend to passengers (including children and pets), and refraining from eating and drinking.

Slow Your Speed

The faster that a vehicle is traveling at the time of impact, the more force that is involved in a collision and therefore the greater the risk of serious injury or death to the pedestrian. School zones typically require that drivers limit their speed to 20 miles per hour. If there are children crossing, even this is too fast. Slow your speed and wait until the coast is clear until proceeding.

Talk to Your Kids About Safe Behavior When Walking or Driving

Whether you have little ones who are walking in school zones on a daily basis or a teen who just got their license, it’s important to have a conversation about safe driving or walking behavior (whichever is relevant to your child). Walkers, including child pedestrians, are more distracted than ever before, especially with the ubiquity of smart devices and earbuds that encourage kids to look down at their phones and tune out. Remind your child that looking up and taking out earbuds when crossing the street is the safest thing that they can do, and discourage behaviors like running across the street.

For your teen driver, remind them of the basic safe driving techniques discussed above–the importance of driving distraction-free and slowing one’s speed–and the risk of having other teens in the car.

Call Us Following an Austin School Zone Accident

If you or your child has been injured in an Austin school zone accident, you need a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer on your side who will aggressively advocate for you. At the law office of Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law, our Austin pedestrian lawyer has the experience and passion that your case deserves. Call our lawyer today for a free consultation about your case, or tell us more by sending us a message using the intake form on our website.

Pedestrian Crossing Accidents in Austin

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Perhaps the most common type of pedestrian accident in Austin is one that occurs when a pedestrian is crossing the street. Indeed, this type of accident is much more common than one that happens when a pedestrian is walking alongside a roadway.

Pedestrian accidents are a serious problem, both in Austin and nationwide. In fact, an article published in USA Today reports that there were nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in crashes across the country in 2017, a number that has remained consistently high over the past two years. In Texas, the rate of pedestrian death was the 13th-highest in the country.

Why Are Pedestrians Being Hit in Crossing Accidents?

Figuring out the mystery behind why more pedestrian accidents are occurring is crucial to reducing the number of these accidents. According to the same report cited above, some of the driving factors behind the uptick in pedestrian deaths are:

  • Pedestrian use of mobile devices when crossing. When pedestrians use mobile devices to text, look at their screens, or even listen to music, they are distracted and have a tougher time seeing and hearing approaching motor vehicles. Using a mobile device while walking is especially risky in urban environments.
  • Driver use of mobile devices behind the wheel. Not only is it dangerous when pedestrians use their phones, but when drivers use their devices when behind the wheel, the risks of collision increase. Distracted driving has increased with the ubiquity of the mobile device.
  • Drugged driving and walking. In addition to more people using their phones when walking or driving, reports indicate that there are more drugged drivers and walkers. Drugs can undoubtedly impair judgment, thereby increasing the risk of crash.

While efforts are underway on both a national and state level (Texas Department of Transportation has launched the “Be Safe. Be Seen.” campaign, and reflective bags have been provided to school children and homeless persons, who are the two groups most at risk of pedestrian crash), individual efforts are critical. If you’re walking or driving in Austin, exercising caution–especially at crossing areas where crashes are most common–is paramount to safety.

What to Do If You’re in a Pedestrian Crossing Accident in Austin

If you are involved in a pedestrian crossing accident where you are acting as the pedestrian, it’s important to know what to do. First, you should seek medical care. If you are able to do so and injuries do not prevent it, you should collect any evidence at the scene that you can, including pictures of what happened and the names of any witnesses.

It is imperative that you follow your doctor’s instructions for treatment and that you keep a record of all of your medical bills. As soon as you are able to, you should reach out to a skilled lawyer for a consultation about your rights and options for recovering damages.

Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law Can Help

If you’ve been in a pedestrian crossing accident, our lawyer can help you. Call Austin pedestrian crossing accident lawyer Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation and legal information. Our lawyer can help you seek a fair settlement for your injuries.

Most Common Types of Auto-Pedestrian Accidents in Austin

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Austin is a great city for people who enjoy walking and biking. Unfortunately, pedestrians also need to be careful of the dangers posed by automobiles. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that there were 680 pedestrian fatalities in Texas in 2016. Many thousands more innocent pedestrians suffer severe injuries in crashes.

All Texas drivers have a legal duty to ensure the well-being of pedestrians. Too many drivers fail to take pedestrian safety into account. If you or your family member was injured as a pedestrian in Austin, it is imperative that you consult with an Austin pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible.

Four Common Pedestrian Accidents in Travis County, Texas

1. Left-Hand Turn Collisions

Drivers making unsafe left-hand turns are often the cause for many pedestrian accidents in Austin. This often occurs when drivers are attempting to beat oncoming traffic and are making quick lefts at times when there is not sufficient time to do so in a safe manner. When this happens, some drivers do not notice that a pedestrian is already in the crosswalk until it is too late. Left-hand turn pedestrian accidents can also be an issue at stop lights; there are some locations in the Austin area where the pedestrians are allowed to cross the street at the same time that vehicles are allowed to make left-hand turns.  

2. Unmarked Crosswalk Accidents

While Austin has added many marked crosswalks in recent years, there is still an enormous number of unmarked crosswalks throughout our city. Unmarked crosswalks that have regular foot traffic are high-risk areas for pedestrian accidents. When unmarked crosswalks are located at intersections, Austin drivers should yield the right of way to the pedestrians. Unfortunately, drivers do not always comply with this rule. When they fail to do so, the consequences can be catastrophic.

3. Distracted Driving Accidents

In many cases, pedestrian accidents occur because drivers take their attention off of the road. Some of the most common examples of distracted driving include texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, adjusting the radio, talking to a passenger, and daydreaming. In all cases, distracted driving puts pedestrians at serious risk.

4. Late Night Pedestrian Collisions

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 70 percent of pedestrian accidents happen in the dark. This figure is especially striking when you consider the fact that there are far more people (and cars) on the roads during the day. While drivers have a duty to take extra precautions to watch for pedestrians and cyclists at night, this does not always happen. Nighttime pedestrian crashes are a serious problem in Texas.

Get Help From an Austin, TX Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you sustained any injuries in a pedestrian collision, the negligent driver should be held legally responsible for your injuries. Robert Littlefield Buford III is an experienced Austin pedestrian accident lawyer who has helped many injured victims recover the financial compensation that they deserve. To get a free, no-obligation personal injury consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our Austin, TX law office at (512) 710-1057.

 

What You Should Know about Walking in Austin

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Austin isn’t well-known for its pedestrian and bicycle-friendly roads. The downtown district of Austin may be walkable due to its high volume of foot traffic associated with people going to and from work, but other areas of the city are notorious for being dangerous or even deadly to pedestrians. With nearly 20 to 30 pedestrian fatalities each year in Austin, and many more injured in pedestrian accidents, this presents a problem for those who are interested in methods of commute that don’t involve motor vehicles. For those interested in walking or biking in Austin, I have delineated what you need to know and what you should do to avoid a pedestrian accident. I have also specified what you should do if you or a loved one gets in an accident. As a pedestrian accident attorney in Austin, I have extensive experience in helping people and families that are suffering from injury or fatality. After reading this guide, make sure to contact me and receive a free consultation about your case.

General Statistics of Pedestrian Accidents in Austin

Historically, the month with the highest number of fatalities in Austin is generally June. There is no specific reason for this, but we can extrapolate that it is because summer is closely approaching but hasn’t reached its peak. This means more people are outside enjoying the outdoors and looking for alternative ways to commute to work or are simply walking and biking for recreation. Regardless the time of year, most Austin fatalities happen on the weekends, and more pedestrians are fatally injured than bicyclists.

Lessons Austin Pedestrians Need to Know

These simple facts teach can teach us a lot about pedestrian accidents in Austin. The first is that it is important to recognize and avoid dangerous roads in a commute, such as I-35, and to make sure you are paying attention to your surroundings in even seemingly innocuous neighborhoods. The second lesson is either to avoid walking/biking on the weekends due to the increased traffic (with nearly a million people out running errands) or make sure to avoid vehicle-dense areas while on foot. The last lesson we can learn is to be even more careful when you are on foot than when you are on a bike. Bikers, aside from being generally more noticeable than pedestrians, also wear head gear – or at least they should – that can protect them in the event of an accident. Pedestrians are much worse off in an accident because not only can they suffer major head trauma, the risk of being dragged beneath a car is much greater.

To stay safe, pedestrians should walk on sidewalks as much as possible. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should face oncoming traffic in order to see and avoid potential vehicle threats. When crossing roads, especially in congested areas, but even in residential neighborhoods, it is important to use crosswalks and to heed stop lights. Event with a “walk” light, pedestrians should look to make sure that cars which are turning see them by making eye contact and being wary of their surroundings.

What to Do If You or a Loved One Gets in an Accident

Sometimes, regardless the precautions pedestrians take, negligent drivers still cause accidents resulting in death or other major injuries (such as broken bones, fractured skulls, brain damage, etc.). The medical costs, the emotional turmoil of an accident, the funeral expenses, and much more are very stressful and can cause major concern for families and injured individuals. If you are injured as a pedestrian or if a loved one has died in a pedestrian accident, you have rights and a claim to compensation. It has been proven time and again that hiring an Austin pedestrian accident attorney will get you a better compensation to help pay for medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering, which is why it is important to call me in the event of your accident. An attorney such as myself will know the ins and outs of insurance systems and different avenues to protect your rights and secure benefits that belong to you.

Don’t Wait

The sooner you contact me, the sooner you will be able to claim your compensation, peace of mind, and knowledge that you have people who are willing to fight for you. Call me today for a free consultation if you or a loved one has gotten into an accident. Most importantly, stay safe and walk carefully!