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

Hit and Run Pedestrian Accident

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It is against the law in Texas to leave the scene of an accident. Nevertheless, people do this almost every day, leaving behind badly injured victims.

Pedestrians are uniquely vulnerable in a hit and run accident. They can suffer much more serious injuries than those riding in cars and require longer recovery times. If you have been struck in a hit and run, reach out to an Austin pedestrian accident attorney today. We will be happy to discuss your options.

Texas Laws on Hit and Run Accidents

Texas Transportation Code §550.021 is the section that deals with accidents that cause bodily injury or death. According to the law, the driver of a motor vehicle involved in an accident must:

  • Immediately stop or immediately return to the scene of the accident
  • Remain at the scene and provide important information, such as their registration number, name, insurance, and driver’s license if requested
  • Provide reasonable assistance to the injured, including taking someone to the hospital or calling for an ambulance

Unfortunately, many motorists do not follow these requirements but instead leave injured pedestrians to fight for themselves. It is against the law, but unless the driver gets caught, they will not suffer any punishment.

Next Steps After an Accident

After the accident, you should try to contact the police as soon as possible. Share any information you have about the driver who struck you:

  • Color and make/model of the vehicle
  • Any distinguishing marks about the vehicle, such as a bumper sticker
  • What direction the vehicle was traveling in
  • Any description of the driver, if you saw anything
  • As much of the license plate as you saw

Witnesses might also have important information that they can share with the police. If the accident happened near a business, then surveillance video could have captured the vehicle, also. An attorney can help canvass the area and find as much useful information as possible.

Of course, getting medical help is the most vital step, so ask someone to contact an ambulance if you can’t get to the hospital on your own. Receiving prompt treatment is important for your recovery.

Compensation for a Hit and Run Crash

Generally, a person who has been struck can bring a lawsuit against the negligent driver. However, there is a hurdle in a hit-and-run crash—you often can’t identify the driver. This means there is no one you can sue. If the police find him or her, then you can sue or bring a claim against the driver’s insurer. Unfortunately, many drivers flee the scene because they do not have insurance.

Unfortunately, you might never find out the driver’s identity. If you have health insurance, then you can use that to help defray the costs of medical care. You might also have short-term disability insurance through your work, which can help cover lost wages.

If you purchased personal injury protection benefits or uninsured motorist coverage, then they could provide compensation even though you were a pedestrian. Check your policy.

Meet with an attorney to review your options. Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law, has represented many pedestrians injured in car crashes. Give our firm a call. We offer a free consultation.

How Much Should You Ask For Pain And Suffering In A Pedestrian Accident

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How much should you ask for pain and suffering in a pedestrian accident?

The number of pedestrians killed by cars is at an all-time high. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,375 pedestrians died in 2013, with 66,000 pedestrians injured in traffic accidents. In the case of an accident involving an individual and a vehicle, injuries are inevitable. Pedestrians are vulnerable, which means they often experience traumatizing injuries. This means that a victim undergoes a lot of pain and has to foot many medical bills in the process. Here’s what you should do if you’re involved in a pedestrian crossing accident in Austin:

Immediately after the accident

If you are a victim of a pedestrian crossing accident, you are required to first:

  • Call the police
  • Take photographs of the scene – may include the injuries and the car that hit you
  • Get witness names if possible
  • Call your insurance company
  • Find a lawyer if you do not have one.

If you are in pain, you should seek medical attention right away. Shock or excitement can coat symptoms of severe injuries like internal bleeding or brain trauma. Delaying medical treatment can undermine your claim. Insurance companies often jump at the chance to deny victims compensation and may attempt to argue that your injuries are from somewhere else.

Who is liable in a pedestrian accident?

Pedestrian crossing injuries in Austin are usually severe and can be expensive to deal with financially. As a pedestrian, you deserve fair compensation from the driver for your medical bills and pain and suffering. However, before the driver’s insurance company pays, you have to prove that the driver was at fault and caused your injuries. Therefore, it’s imperative that you find an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate for you in your time of need.

Determining Compensation

When determining how much compensation you’re going to receive, the severity of the accident plays a considerable role. Some of the other factors taken into consideration include:

  • The severity of the injuries
  • The impact the accident has had and will have on your quality of life
  • Your health status before the accident
  • Your age
  • Any expenses or losses incurred

These factors show why compensation amounts can differ drastically. In the end, it’s all about ensuring that you get a good payout for the hardship you have gone through.

What damages can I claim for in a Pedestrian Crossing Accident?

There are two different sections considered when calculating the number of damages awarded, and these are:

Special damages ⁠- which cover any financial aspect of that the claim may warrant. Special damages ensure that the victim is compensated for any expenses incurred because of the accident, such as:

  • Travel expenses
  • Prescription costs
  • Medical care rehabilitation
  • Loss of earning
  • Home adaptation

General damages ⁠- These include the injury and its severity. General damages also cover the amount of pain and suffering. However, a medical examiner’s report will help you calculate the final compensation amount.

Make your claim today

Determining liability often comes down to arguments over the right of way, lines of sight and the dynamics of the collision. As a victim, you are required to have appropriate representation to ensure that you are paid the full amount that the offending party owes you.

If you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident, the attorneys at Robert Littlefield Bufford III, Attorney at Law are always glad to help. Our years of experience as Austin Pedestrian Accident Lawyers can help with your situation. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation. We promise to get you the compensation you deserve.

What Insurance Covers Bike or Pedestrian Accident?

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Not all of us drive cars to get around Austin. Many people also walk or use a bicycle for transportation. When an accident happens, these pedestrians or cyclists are looking for compensation for their sudden expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages.

Things are clear cut when two vehicles collide—the driver who is at fault will pay compensation to the injured victims. But things are cloudier when it comes to bicycle or pedestrian accidents because there might not be any applicable insurance policies to tap. As an experienced Austin pedestrian accident attorney, let me walk you through some scenarios.

You are Hit by a Vehicle while Walking or Cycling

If you are a pedestrian or cyclist who gets hit by a vehicle, then you can make a claim with the driver’s insurance company. The driver is probably at fault for the collision, so his or her insurer should pay out compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

But what happens if the driver flees the scene? This is not unusual in Texas (unfortunately). In a hit and run situation, you will probably need to fall back on:

  • Your own health insurance, which might pay for medical treatment. However, some policies explicitly exclude payment for injuries sustained in a car accident.
  • Medical payments coverage, if you have it, which can pay for medical treatment.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP is no-fault insurance which your insurer must offer, but you might have rejected it in writing.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage (UM), if you carry it. Check your policy. Sometimes, UM insurance will cover a hit and run.

 

If your bicycle was damaged, you should check to see if your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance will cover the costs of repairs or replacement. This depends on the policy language, and not all people will be covered.

You were Hit by a Bicycle

A bicyclist might have slammed into you, causing damage. If the cyclist is at fault, then he or she should pay compensation. Unfortunately, however, I’ve never seen someone with bicycle insurance, though it probably exists. So what do you do?

If you were driving at the time, you could use your collision coverage to pay for repairs to the car. If you suffered a bodily injury, look at your other insurance policies, like PIP or medical payments.

If you were a pedestrian injured by a cyclist, then you probably have no insurance available to you for this type of accident apart from your health insurance, which might pay for medical care.

A Pedestrian Caused an Accident

Sometimes, pedestrians are to blame for collisions. For example, a pedestrian could jaywalk in front of traffic, causing people to swerve out of the way and crash into each other. A pedestrian could also step in front of a cyclist on a bike path, causing a crash. In these situations, a pedestrian can be partially or even fully at fault for injuries.

I’ve also never seen someone carry pedestrian insurance, so it should not be a surprise that those injured by a pedestrian’s carelessness could have a hard time receiving compensation. However, motorists should look at PIP or other insurance policies for possible coverage.

Speak to an Austin Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Accidents cause serious financial distress, but help is available. Robert Littlefield Buford III, attorney at law, has been representing injured pedestrians and bicyclists for years. If you have a question about how to pay for the costs of an accident, please give our office a call.

Understanding Liability for an Auto Accident While a Pedestrian Was J-Walking

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Texas law assigns liability for an accident to whichever party is at fault. However, Texas law also recognizes that sometimes pedestrians, as well as motorists, can be at fault, which means that both share responsibility for the crash. This is called “comparative negligence,” and it often applies when a pedestrian is jaywalking.

To determine liability, we need to assess each party’s actions leading up to the crash. If you need help with this task, please contact an Austin pedestrian accident attorney right away for a free consultation.

Was the Pedestrian at Fault?

Fault is also called negligence, which is the legal term for failing to use sufficient care. If you were negligent, and you injured someone, then you need to pay them compensation.

Here, a pedestrian who is illegally crossing the street has certainly been negligent. Whenever someone breaks the law, chances are very high that they were not careful. This means the pedestrian is at fault for the collision and would need to pay compensation to the motorist who was also involved.

But was the Motorist also Negligent?

As mentioned above, Texas law recognizes that both parties can be negligent. Just because the pedestrian was negligent does not mean that the motorist is automatically let off the hook.

Instead, we need to analyze why the motorist hit the pedestrian. For example:

  • Was the motorist reading a text message or email when he should have had his eyes on the road?
  • Was the motorist speeding at the time of the crash?
  • Did the motorist see the pedestrian but refuse to swerve or brake?
  • Was the motorist operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the collision?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then the motorist might also be at fault for the crash. In other words, both the motorist and the pedestrian share liability.

However, in some cases, the motorist might not be at fault. For example, the pedestrian might have stepped right out in front of the vehicle, robbing the driver of any time to swerve or hit the brakes.

Comparing Fault

Texas law will allow an injured victim to receive compensation, but they cannot have been more negligent than other parties. In other words, a victim can be 50% responsible for a crash but not more. If they were 51% or more responsible, then Texas law bars their recovery of compensation.

Calculating Compensation

Under Texas’ comparative fault rules, the amount a negligent victim can receive in compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault.

Let’s say a motorist reading a text message hits a pedestrian who is jaywalking. The pedestrian suffers $20,000 in damages, but the jury believes she is 50% at fault for her injuries. In this case, she can only receive half of her damages, or $10,000. If she were only 30% responsible, then she could receive $14,000. And if she were 60% responsible, she could not receive anything.

Contact an Austin Car Accident Lawyer

Jaywalking pedestrians are not relieved of legal liability for an accident, but Texas law allows them to receive compensation. If you have a question about a car crash, contact an experienced Austin pedestrian accident lawyer today.

Robert Littlefield Buford III, attorney at law, has helped countless injured pedestrians and motorists. You can schedule a time to meet with him by calling 512-456-9126 or sending an online message.

Steps to Take After Getting into a Pedestrian Accident in Austin

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Pedestrian accidents are very common, and in Austin, the risks are even higher. Austin is known as one of the most walkable cities in Texas, but the potential for injury is substantially increased because of the city’s population. With greater amounts of people both in cars and on the streets, pedestrian accidents happen more frequently and cause more injury than is necessary. Accidents do not occur only during the night, either. With increased foot traffic and walking commuters across the city, many pedestrian accidents also occur in the middle of the day, often with children falling victim to unknowing motorists. If such an accident happened to you or a loved one, be sure to call Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law to represent you as your trustworthy pedestrial accident attorney in Austin and follow these steps to help you know what you should do after an accident.

Immediately After the Accident

If you or someone you know is involved in a pedestrian accident, the first thing you will want to do is ensure that you get the injured person to safety and call 911. Don’t worry about medical bills or the cost of an ambulance. Your family member’s health and safety is first priority.

As help is on its way, be sure, if you can, to master the vehicle’s number plate, and, if possible, get photographic evidence. This all serves as vital evidence when you pursue compensation for your injury and damages. In most cases, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, the driver of the vehicle is to blame. Drivers must obey traffic signals and rules, including speed limits and laws surrounding designated crosswalks. If a pedestrian is hit while a driver is violating a traffic law, the liability is clear.

Treatment

After capturing some photos to help the pedestrian with the evidence, he should get medical treatment immediately. If a car has hit him or her, with or without physical injuries, the pedestrian might have suffered trauma. Another reason to get treatment is that if a pedestrian wants his or her insurance company to compensate him, then they will ask about medical payments that can only be validated by a professional. Not all healthcare professionals are considered equal when it comes to insurance, either. You are more likely to be compensated for medical bills, for example, if you have medical examinations from a physician to check your health in comparison, to say, a chiropractor.

Driver Responsibility

After an accident, there are two possible outcomes for the car involved. Either the driver stops and attends to you, or the driver speeds off to avoid liability. If the driver stops at the scene and the both of you are involved in a relevant conversation, including an exchange of contact and insurance information, you will more likely be able to pursue compensation through the driver’s insurance office.

On the other hand, if the accident was a hit and run that is the driver did not stop, then the first thing the pedestrian should do is to report the accident to the police. This will lead to the start of an investigation. The pedestrian and the law enforcement agents will try and gather witnesses who were at the scene of the accident, and if the hit and run driver is caught, he/she will not only face economic damages but potential criminal charges for fleeing the scene of an accident.

Get Help Today

We would never wish any kind of accident or injury on you, but if you are injured or a loved one has died as a pedestrian at the hands of a negligent driver, you need the best representation Austin can offer. Call our office today to speak with an experienced Austin pedestrian accident attorney and start your process of healing and compensation.