Jaywalking is the term used to describe a person illegally crossing the street on foot. If you are caught jaywalking, you could be given a citation. Texas has numerous pedestrian laws that define when a pedestrian has the right-of-way.
A pedestrian has the right of way when crossing the road in most cases. Motorists should stop for pedestrians. However, pedestrians do not always have the right of way, and even when they do, they still have a duty of care to avoid pedestrian accidents.
What Are the Right-of-Way Laws in Texas for Pedestrians?
Motor vehicles must stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk, regardless of whether the crosswalk is marked or unmarked. However, if an intersection or crosswalk is equipped with traffic lights, pedestrians must cross when they have the green light. Pedestrians must also follow pedestrian control signals when present at a crosswalk, intersection, or other places.
When a pedestrian is crossing the road anywhere other than a marked crosswalk at an intersection, the pedestrian should yield the right of way to motor vehicles. That does not relieve a driver of the duty to maintain a reasonable level of care to avoid accidents and injuries.
Pedestrians and drivers should review all Texas laws regarding rights-of-ways for vehicles and pedestrians. Under tort law, all parties have a duty of care to take reasonable measures to avoid an accident or injury.
How Can Pedestrian Rights of Way Impact a Personal Injury Case?
Texas uses a modified contributory fault law when dividing damages in a personal injury case.
Generally, if a motorist hits a pedestrian, the motorist is liable for the damages sustained by the pedestrian under negligence laws. However, if the pedestrian had the right-of-way, the driver should be liable for all damages.
Pedestrians can recover damages for their out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, medical bills, and other economic damages. In addition, they are also entitled to compensation for “pain and suffering” damages and other non-economic damages.
However, if the pedestrian was jaywalking, the driver might not be liable for all damages. Instead, the pedestrian could share blame for the cause of the pedestrian accident. The pedestrian’s damages could be reduced by their percentage of fault under the Texas proportionate responsibility statute.
Suppose the pedestrian did not have the right of way to cross the road. A jury might find that the pedestrian’s damages totaled $500,000. However, the pedestrian was 45% at fault for the cause of the accident.
In that case, the pedestrian’s compensation for the personal injury claim would be reduced by 45%, or $225,000. The fact that the pedestrian shared some of the liability for the cause of the accident would not bar the pedestrian from receiving compensation for a portion of the damages.
However, Texas law bars compensation if the person is 51% or more at fault for the cause of their injury. Therefore, if the jury had found that the pedestrian was 52% at fault for the cause of the pedestrian accident, the pedestrian would not receive any money for their damages.
Protecting Yourself From Comparative Fault Allegations in a Personal Injury Case
A few examples of how a motorist could raise allegations of comparative negligence in a pedestrian accident case include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to keep a careful watch
- Walking when intoxicated
- Distracted walking
There are many other ways to blame a victim for the cause of an accident or injury in other personal injury cases.
If you are injured because of another person’s acts or omissions, it is essential to take steps to protect yourself. You want to avoid allegations of comparative fault. Some steps you could take include:
- Report the accident immediately by calling 911 or reporting an injury to the appropriate parties
- Obtain a written accident or injury report with the details of the accident or injury
- Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries
- Try to take photographs and make a video of the accident scene immediately after your injury
- Request contact information from bystanders and eyewitnesses
- Search for video evidence of the injury or accident (i.e., traffic cameras, nearby surveillance cameras, etc.)
- Do not discuss the accident with an insurance company without a lawyer
- Avoid posting information online
- Do not discuss the accident with friends, family, or other individuals
Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer to discuss your case as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer provides legal advice. They also explain the steps you need to take to protect your right to full compensation for all damages.
Working with an injury lawyer in Houston can give you a better chance of fighting allegations of comparative negligence for a pedestrian accident or other personal injury.
Contact the Houston Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
For more information, contact the Houston pedestrian accident law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 224-4878.
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054