Although Houston, TX, is built around the major highways leading into and curving around the city, many residents and visitors enjoy walking, skateboarding, and running on its streets. The downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods can be welcoming to those who exercise in the fresh air for their health. However, when a situation turns dangerous, the victims need legal assistance to seek justice.
At the de la Garza Law Group, we know that every case is personal. If you or a loved one have been hurt by someone else’s negligence while you were walking, you need the help of a skilled Houston pedestrian accident lawyer from our firm. We work hard to prepare your case and fight for the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations and services in Spanish.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 6,000 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents each year. This is a rate of approximately one person every 88 minutes. Almost 137,000 pedestrians suffered non-fatal injuries related to car accidents. Vehicles are the most dangerous risk people face when walking, especially in crosswalks or on roads without sidewalks.
Poor driver choices often contribute to these accidents. Up to 47% of fatal pedestrian accidents were traced back to alcohol use by the drivers involved. Other causes include reckless driving, failure to obey traffic laws, and being distracted by cell phones or GPS units.
Along with the many pedestrians injured by cars, thousands of people are hurt every year by hazardous conditions along walkways, in parking lots, and in parks. They can be hurt by other pedestrians, such as reckless skaters or skateboarders. Bicyclists who are inconsiderate on exercise paths can injure walkers, children, or the elderly.
Risks You Face as a Pedestrian
Many drivers feel they have the right-of-way at all times, failing to remember they must yield to pedestrians in nearly all cases. As the Houston population continues to grow, more developers are building mixed-use communities. This puts drivers and pedestrians in closer contact, leading to more chances for accidents.
Careful planning is needed to ensure that pedestrians are as safe as possible in these areas. When crosswalks or promenades are not designed correctly, drivers who fail to stop where and when they should be unable to see pedestrians entering a crossing. Drivers often focus on other vehicles and overlook walkers, bicyclists, and others who present a smaller visual object than a car or truck.
While some pedestrians may disobey the traffic signals indicating whether they can safely cross a road, this never negates the liability of a driver who hurts them. In addition to holding a reckless driver accountable, victims may have the option to seek damages from other parties, such as city planners who design unsafe intersections.
Common Injuries Suffered in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents involving any moving vehicle will usually cause severe injuries. You can still suffer broken bones and cuts if you are knocked over by someone running, skating, skateboarding, or bicycling. Walking into a crosswalk is dangerous when drivers ignore traffic signals or cannot see you entering the road.
You may experience many kinds of trauma from being hit by a car or truck, getting knocked to the ground, or even being pushed into another vehicle. Some common injuries pedestrians suffer include:
- Fractured skull
- Broken jaw
- Closed head injuries or traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Crushed hands, feet, arms, or legs
- Internal bleeding
- Damaged internal organs
- Cuts, lacerations, and abrasions
Children are frequently injured in pedestrian accidents, leaving their families in grief and facing a drastically altered future. If a child is catastrophically injured or permanently disabled, the family will need compensation for extensive and potentially lifelong care. Parents may need to quit their jobs to look after their children, risking financial ruin if the liable party is not held responsible for their actions.
Houston Streets Can Be Dangerous for Pedestrians
Tourists and locals alike fill the sidewalks for shopping and business in the downtown area of Houston. Outlying communities have their share of pedestrians, especially in shopping malls. The combination of unprotected people in close proximity to vehicles with busy or distracted drivers is a recipe for pedestrian accidents.
In addition to risky crosswalks on city streets, parking lots can be dangerous when drivers are looking for a spot or backing out of a parking space. They often are distracted and ignore pedestrians, bumping a person inadvertently. At night, any road or parking area can be a prime location for a slip-and-fall accident due to ice, wet leaves, potholes, or debris. Poor lighting only makes a bad situation worse.
Walkers can also be at risk for dog bites or other animal attacks, giving them the option to file a claim against the owner’s insurance. If they are the victim of a crime in a shopping area, they could have grounds to pursue the business owner for a premises liability claim. If you suffer injury in a publicly maintained park, you could seek compensation from the government agency that is responsible for that area. Broken sidewalks, tree roots, or dangerous wildlife could be hazards to pedestrians.
Determining Who Is at Fault After a Houston Pedestrian Accident
One of the most crucial tasks for your Houston pedestrian accident attorney is determining who is liable for causing your injuries and property damage. Understanding every aspect of your situation lets us know how to achieve the best outcome for you. We listen closely to you and conduct a thorough investigation for all relevant evidence.
Our team will collect information such as photos and videos, police accident reports, witness statements, and testimony from experts. We can request cell phone records, security and traffic camera footage, and driving records to establish a timeline of the events. This also helps our team of pedestrian accident lawyers build a solid case showing negligence.
Texas law uses a modified comparative negligence rule, meaning that if you are found up to 50% responsible for the accident, your compensation award will be reduced by the same percentage. At the de la Garza Law Firm, our Houston pedestrian accident attorneys will create a strategy to minimize the fault placed on your actions and demonstrate negligence on the part of those who hurt you.
Take Action to Protect Your Pedestrian Accident Claim
Your first step after being hurt in a pedestrian accident is to tend to your injuries and recover. While you are doing this, it can be tempting to ask for advice from friends and family. You may even look for guidance from social media contacts. However, your best advice is to rely on a qualified Houston pedestrian accident attorney to investigate the circumstances and help you plan what to do.
Some key recommendations for protecting your claim include:
- Do not admit fault or accuse anyone of blame right after the accident.
- Accept medical evaluation and treatment at the scene by first responders.
- Visit your own physician soon after the accident.
- Keep a pain journal to record your recovery.
- Avoid posting on social media.
- Refrain from discussing the accident with anyone besides your lawyer.
- Collect all your receipts and medical records to share with your attorney.
- Follow your doctor’s orders and keep all appointments.
- Allow your attorney to speak with insurance companies and opposing counsel.
We know that it can be hard to let yourself turn things over to someone else if you are usually the person to handle everything on your own or for your family. By letting the pedestrian accident attorneys at de la Garza Law Firm handle the legal concerns, you can focus exclusively on getting better. Together, we can protect your ability to seek compensation.
Compensation Claims From Insurance Policies
Texas law is an at-fault state and requires all drivers to carry liability insurance to pay for injuries and damages they cause in an accident. If you are injured, your pedestrian accident lawyer can file a claim against the driver’s policy on your behalf. This is advisable since insurance adjusters will try to trick you into admitting fault.
Insurance companies will try to use the modified comparative negligence rule to reduce or minimize what they may owe you. Paying your claim means they make less money, so they will use anything you say in a recorded statement to argue you are not as hurt as you claim. Your de la Garza pedestrian accident attorney will put a stop to this by negotiating for you.
Because pedestrian injuries are often extremely severe, standard auto policies may not provide enough coverage for all your expenses. They often pay only economic expenses but offer nothing for your pain and suffering. Your lawyer can file claims when multiple parties are at fault, but you may still need to pursue legal action.
Insurance Companies Are Not Your Friends
When insurance companies conduct their investigations, they will speak with your friends, family, and employer to ask about how you are recovering. They are looking for information that could undermine your claim about your injuries to use against you. If you have posted on social media sites discussing or showing photos of anything that might be used negatively or indicate you are at fault, these representatives will be quick to bring it up to deny your claim.
In some cases, adjusters have been known to hire private investigators to follow you, looking for proof that you are searching for excessive restitution. If they can produce photos or videos of you engaging in activities your doctor told you not to do, they can seriously damage your claim.
The best course of action is to allow your pedestrian accident attorney to handle all conversations with any insurance representatives. You can reduce your chances of giving them anything they can use to reduce the compensation you deserve and need.
Seeking Compensation Through a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Our team of Houston pedestrian accident lawyers is highly experienced in negotiating with insurance providers. We will push back when they make lowball offers for your losses. We will work to get the settlement you deserve, but if they do not meet our demands, we are prepared to take your case to court.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit must be done in a timely manner. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 16.003 sets the statute of limitations at two years after the date of the accident. You must file your claim for a trial before the end of the window or risk losing your chance to seek compensation.
It is crucial to work with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who can develop a strong case for you and present evidence showing the four elements of negligence:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- The defendant failed to uphold this duty.
- You were injured and suffered damages as a direct result of their failure.
- You have expenses related to your injury and damages.
The burden of proof for negligence is on your pedestrian accident attorneys. At de la Garza, we create a picture in the minds of the judge and jury of how you have been victimized by someone who committed careless actions that hurt you. We help them understand how much you have suffered and how your life has been changed.
Damages You Can Claim in a Houston Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrians often experience life-threatening injuries in an accident, even if a car is not involved. Medical bills add up quickly, and victims may face months of treatment and recovery. They could also suffer property damage and emotional distress.
Every penny of discomfort and damage must be repaid by those responsible. Your pedestrian accident attorney will help you create an estimate of your losses so you can request a fair and appropriate amount. All your past, present, and future bills must be included to prevent a financial crisis if your condition worsens.
Whether filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit, you will seek compensatory damages that are either economic or non-economic. Economic losses are those expenses with a fixed monetary value. Non-economic damages are more subjective and address how your life has changed, including your emotional strain. Some examples of these include:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital bills for the ER, ICU, and surgery
- Physical therapy costs
- Home services you cannot perform while recovering, such as cooking or cleaning
- Travel expenses for treatment
- Lost income and benefits
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disability or amputation
In the event that a victim passes away from their injuries, their survivors can file a wrongful death lawsuit within three months. After that date, the personal representative for the deceased can file a lawsuit to recover all the medical expenses, as well as burial costs and grief on the part of the family.
Why Should I Choose a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Near Me?
At de la Garza Law Firm, we are committed to fully understanding your story and your needs in your pedestrian accident case. We understand that you are in pain and at a loss for what to do next. You need an experienced local team to tackle the legal complexities so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries and rebuilding your life.
Many of our clients come to us as friends and family of previous clients. This is a point of pride for us because we see it as a sign of trust in our ability to compassionately represent those in need. We believe that when your accident is clearly the result of someone’s careless actions, you should not shoulder the burden alone.
We are deeply knowledgeable about all local, county, and state laws for accidents such as these. We stand ready to defend our fellow citizens in their time of need. We fight fiercely to litigate and protect your interests throughout your case. You deserve justice and restitution for your damages and we do not rest until we obtain the most advantageous outcome possible.
Contact the de la Garza Law Firm Houston Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
When you are seriously hurt due to the carelessness of other pedestrians, drivers, or some other entity, you do not need the added stress of trying to seek compensation. You deserve to rest and recover, while legal professionals you can trust handle the paperwork and negotiations on your behalf.
At de la Garza Law Firm, we create a unique plan for every client based on listening to their story compassionately and investigating their case completely. We know what to expect from insurance adjusters and opposing counsel. We will litigate aggressively for your best interests.
We are proud to offer full services in English and Spanish, beginning with a free initial consultation. Our Houston pedestrian accident lawyers operate on a contingency fee structure, meaning you owe us nothing until and unless we win your case.
Let us help you in your fight for justice. Use our online form to schedule your free case evaluation with no risk and no obligation today.
HERE FOR CLIENTS
“They really do care about you and take your case seriously.”
Thank you! You guys are #1 to me.
Mr. Mario de la Garza and his team are one of a kind and hands down the best law firm in Houston. They really do care about you and take your case seriously. He takes your calls and actually takes the time to talk to you and explain how everything is going to work and he leaves no questions unanswered. I also want to say his team is the best! Lidia thank you so much for always replying to all my emails, calls and messages. All though I know I was a pain at times, she was always so responsive, patient and would always return my calls when she said she would. – Christina L.
I was fortunate to have him on my team and recommend him highly.
Mario de la Garza is a good lawyer. He secured insurance reimbursement for a personal injury that has taken 2.5 years settle. He was compassionate and patient and provided good counsel when solutions appeared non- existent. He was tenacious with medical providers, coordinated payments on a timely basis and worked well with insurance companies. I was fortunate to have him on my team and recommend him highly. - HP
My experience with The de la Garza Law Group was phenomenal.
Me being a 21 year old juggling my time as a full time employee and a full time college student dealing with a car accident sounded terrifying, but with the help of Mr. Mario de la Garza all my worries went away. He made the process so easy and met every one of my expectations and more. I would highly recommend The de la Garza Law group to anybody especially young adults who are terrified of having to deal with a car accident for the first time. Trust and believe The de la Garza Law Group will not disappoint. - Stefanie G.
Mario fought for every single penny in my case.
I was in a 18 wheeler car accident late August 2019. And as soon I got out the hospital, I looked up a good Injury attorney law firm to help me with this case. And the De la Garza law firm was the first one to pop up. They took care of me throughout the nine months. They have a great staff. With great people. I give them 5/5 stars. Mario fought for every single penny in my case. You got to respect a lawyer that’s willing to go beyond for you. I highly recommend De la Garza’s law firm. Thank you guys. - JW
I would definitely use Mario again.
The one thing that made me at ease with him was that when I would text him, I would get a response every time within 10 minutes or less. There was always an answer from him every time I had a question. He was always on time or a few minutes early when we had to meet up for things pertaining to my case. He would even work & reach out to me about my case on Saturdays & Sundays (7 days a week). I would definitely use Mario again if needed and would highly recommend him to someone else needing an attorney. - Robert C.
We are extremely grateful to The de la Garza Law Group
Our case pertained to an auto-pedestrian collision involving a commercial vehicle that resulted in catastrophic injuries to my brother. Unfortunately, and ultimately these injuries resulted in his wrongful death due to this hit and run in the Houston area. On behalf of my family, we are extremely grateful to The de la Garza Law Group for all their legal assistance. Mario de la Garza personally assisted in all legal matters pertaining to/and getting settlements for all medical bills and restitution for the family until the matter was concluded. We highly recommend this firm.
– Mariann B.
His team is very professional and I would highly recommend to anyone.
My experience with Mr. De la Garza was very pleasing during a difficult time. My case was a workplace injury causing serious injuries that unfortunately lead to a wrongful death. He was very patient with all of us due to several families being involved in this case and worked well with us all. I am glad he didn’t turn down our case (like others did). I was very pleased with how everything was handled in this case and the outcome as well. His team is very professional, and I would highly recommend to anyone. Thank you, Mr. de la Garza and team. – Lisa L.
I fully recommend The de la Garza Law Group for any legal representation.
Attorney Mario de la Garza, who is fluent in English and Spanish, is very professional and passionate about his work. My daughter and I are very satisfied with the outcome. At The de la Garza Group you will find a friendly and communicative staff, which along with the attorney, will handle your legal case with a very positive and professional demeanor. - Desiree D.
Thank you for your help.
My experience with De la Garza law group was a very long pleasant experience it was a little difficult to keep up with it since this was my 1st experience with an attorney, but he did really great to keep in touch even though I have a very busy schedule with work and hard to reach and was very informative before, and during the whole process. Thank you, Mr. de la Garza for your help. – Denise G.
It’s like a breath of fresh air having someone like Mario fight for you.
I have been a client of Mr. De la Garza two times now where he shows professionalism and honesty and a definite care for the people he represents. I got in a car accident in February and it caused such a hardship coming close to an end. It’s like a breath of fresh air having someone like Mario not only represent you but fight for you. I hope not to have any more accidents but if I did I will look forward to working with him again! – Ashley V.