Pedestrians face many risks when walking on Houston roads. Unfortunately, these risks come not just from drivers but also from bicyclists and even other walkers sharing the sidewalk.
Pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings and need to take steps to ensure they stay safe. Pedestrians also need to understand their legal rights, because they may still be able to take action for injuries from a collision even if they are partly to blame. Pedestrian accident lawyers in Houston can help victims who are injured in pedestrian collisions.
Sidewalk Rage Puts Pedestrians in Danger
Recently, the Globe and Mail discussed the problem of sidewalk rage. Sidewalks do not have lanes like roads do, and walkers are not issued tickets for irritating or even unsafe behavior. With warmer weather approaching, sidewalks can become crowded and walkers may become irritated with others, or even angry.
People walking on sidewalks may block pedestrian flow by walking next to each other, three-or-four abreast. Pedestrians may also have large baby carriages that they are unable to safely control, and skateboarders or roller bladers may whiz by on sidewalks and endanger others.
Many walkers also tend to be distracted as they travel. People eat, sip drinks, text, receive emails, read the news, and talk on the phone. As they do this, they don't pay attention to what is going on around them. This can cause them to bump into objects, into other people, and even to step into the road.
With this unsafe behavior, those who are walking may not just face frustration but may also face serious hazards. A pedestrian could be hurt if a bicyclist, skateboarder or motorcyclist runs into him or her. A pedestrian who becomes angry about the slow pace of traffic, only to step out onto the road and be hit by a car. In other cases, sidewalk cafes or other retail obstructions may force pedestrians into the street, resulting in a serious or fatal collision.
When a pedestrian does get hurt, it is essential to determine who is to blame. A bicycle rider who crashes into a pedestrian could be responsible for compensating the walker for injuries, just as a dangerous driver could. Drivers who strike pedestrians in motor vehicle collisions could also be responsible for compensating the victim for damages, even if the pedestrian was partly to blame for the accident.
Texas is considered a modified comparative fault state, which means that a pedestrian is able to pursue a legal claim and recover damages against someone who is 51 percent or more responsible for injuries. If a pedestrian was distracted and stepped out onto the road, or stepped onto the road out of frustration with slow-moving sidewalk traffic, a driver could still be sued if the driver made a careless mistake and didn't see the pedestrian. The key question will be how much fault the driver has versus the pedestrian.
The pedestrian's recovery will be reduced by whatever percentage of fault for the collision is attributed to him.
Accident lawyers in Houston can help after your injury. Call today at (800) 632-9404 to schedule your free consultation with Hagood & Neumann.