Corpus Christi Pedestrian Injury Accident Law Firm
In a collision involving a pedestrian and a motor vehicle, the pedestrian never wins. According to the Caller-Times, pedestrian fatalities accounted for half of all traffic accident deaths in Corpus Christi in 2018. Dangers to pedestrians are by no means limited to the Coastal Bend. The Department of Transportation reported an astonishing 621 pedestrians fatalities throughout Texas in 2018. the Governors’ Highway Safety Association suggests that Texas is one of five states that, when combined, account for nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities nationwide every year.
Those statistics are unsettling. Corpus Christi residents and visitors should not have to fear for their lives every time they cross a street or walk along a road shoulder. When these tragedies strike, typically, it is a driver’s carelessness, recklessness, or inattention that leads to a pedestrian fatality or serious injury. Careless drivers must be held accountable under the law. Likely, an at-fault driver will face criminal charges. Importantly, the driver will also be civilly responsible. Under civil law, pedestrian accident victims can seek compensation from those who did them and their loved ones harm.
The Patel Firm is dedicated to representing victims of Corpus Christi-area pedestrian accidents, as well as the families of those pedestrians tragically killed in and along our local roads. Contact us today, and read on, to find out how we can help you and your family after a pedestrian accident.
Our Representation of Injured Pedestrians and Their Families
Located in Corpus Christi, The Patel Firm represents pedestrian accident victims across Texas, who have been injured because of the wrongful actions of others. We whole-heartedly believe citizens facing an unexpected and devastating tragedy deserve the strongest legal support available.
Attorney Minesh J. Patel founded our firm with a commitment to helping victims of catastrophic injuries and tragedies recover every dollar of compensation they deserve from those who did them harm. Over the years, he and his team have fought for the rights of pedestrians injured in collisions with cars and trucks in intersections and along roadways, and for the families of those tragically killed in these accidents. We have a strong reputation for recovering substantial damages from the parties who caused our clients’ suffering. Although we cannot guarantee your case will end in a significant financial recovery, we can promise our team will fight to protect your interests and to hold those who harmed you accountable.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The guidelines for staying safe when walking on or near a road are rather simple, widely-known, and mostly-followed. Pedestrians should always cross at designated crosswalks when available and only when the signal says it is safe. Of course, before crossing any road (including one with a crosswalk), pedestrians should look both ways. Although it may seem intuitive, pedestrians should always utilize sidewalks. When a road lacks a sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side, facing into oncoming traffic, to increase t the chances of seeing and avoiding an approaching danger.
Even when pedestrians follow all of these rules, however, cars and trucks still frequently collide with them, often causing catastrophic injuries and fatalities (especially when it comes to the state of Texas). Why do motor vehicles strike pedestrians? Here are some common contributing causes of these avoidable tragedies:
- Failure to yield right-of-way. By law, motorists must yield to pedestrians in the roadway, whether a pedestrian is in a crosswalk or “jaywalking” in the middle of the road. If you are behind the wheel of a car, and you see a pedestrian in your path, the pedestrian always has the right of way. Although to some, this seems like common sense; unfortunately, drivers frequently fail to give pedestrians the courtesy. Rather, drivers charge through intersections or expect pedestrians to “get out of their way.” Tragically, that kind of careless thinking and behavior can result in serious injury or death.
- Aggressive driving. Speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors go hand-in-hand with failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians. Anyone who has ever walked along the side of the road has, at one point or another, had the frightening experience of a car speeding past. In that moment, it is apparent how little time a driver would have to stop or change course, and how instantly devastating your injuries would be if the car collided with you. Drivers must maintain a safe speed and distance when approaching and passing pedestrians. It is when drivers ignore these obligations that pedestrians get hurt.
- Inattention. One frightening thing about pedestrian accidents is that, even at low speeds, getting struck by a car will likely lead to catastrophic injuries. Because pedestrians are physically vulnerable, even a car moving slowly through an intersection can cause massive trauma to a pedestrian in its path. Driver inattention accounts for many low-speed, high-harm accidents. These days, when drivers approach an intersection their first instinct, often, is to reach for their phones to check texts or social media. Looking down at a before your car has come to a complete stop is incredibly dangerous to pedestrians, no matter how slowly the car is moving.
- Poor visibility. Anything that impairs a driver’s vision behind the wheel poses a high danger to pedestrians. Drivers need to prepare for varying weather conditions making it difficult to see pedestrians in the road. All drivers should have sunglasses handy for times when glare is high and maintain windshield wipers and defoggers to ensure visibility in wet conditions. Departments of Transportation and private landowners also have obligations to ensure sightlines stay clear of visual obstructions preventing drivers from seeing pedestrians in a crosswalk or on the shoulder. Just one blind curve or overhanging tree branch at an intersection can contribute to causing a deadly collision with a pedestrian.
Common Pedestrian Injuries
As mentioned, when a car strikes a pedestrian, the physically vulnerable pedestrian bears the brunt of the harm. The unfortunate reality is that many pedestrian accidents end in tragic deaths, or inflict lasting harm on the pedestrian and his or her family. Although victims of pedestrian accidents can suffer a wide range of injuries with varying degrees of severity, here are a few of the most common catastrophic injuries pedestrians can suffer:
- Traumatic brain injury. Pedestrians face a serious risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in an accident with a car. TBIs occur when a jolt, blow, or penetrating injury causes direct and indirect damage to the brain. Injuries of this nature are complex and frightening. They can cause long-term impairment of a pedestrian accident victim’s ability to walk, talk, reason, or control his or her emotions. Some brain injury accidents resolve in time with intensive therapy and medical intervention, but others leave victims with permanent loss.
- Spinal cord injury/paralysis. The violent impact with a motor vehicle can cause immediate damage to a pedestrian’s spinal cord, the bundle of nerves that send messages from the brain to the body. A spinal cord injury often results in permanent paralysis of some portion of the victim’s body. In these cases, victims and their families must shoulder the enormous emotional and financial cost of adapting to a life transformed by paralysis.
- Severe orthopedic injuries. It is common for pedestrians who have been struck by motor vehicles to sustain complex bone fractures, severe soft-tissue tears, and other orthopedic injuries. While typically not life-threatening, these injuries can require months or even years of rehabilitation, and often leave accident victims permanently disabled.
- Crushed limbs and traumatic amputations. In particularly traumatic pedestrian accidents, a vehicle may run over a pedestrian’s limb, crushing it or separating it from the victim’s body. A victim who survives these horrific, life-threatening accidents with only the loss of a limb, will still face a lifetime of disability, and, more often than not, chronic pain.
Of course, these are just a few types of injuries a collision with a motor vehicle can cause a pedestrian. No matter how a pedestrian accident injured you or a loved one, the team at The Patel Firm wants to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
What to Do After a Corpus Christi Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accident victims and their families endure excruciating physical and emotional pain, and suffer large and unexpected financial burdens. While it is impossible to plan for such a devastating life event, if you are confronted with a tragedy, it is important to follow a few steps to protect your wellbeing and legal rights.
Get Medical Care
Most pedestrian accident victims will likely be transported from the scene of the accident to the nearest trauma center by ambulance. If you sustain injuries in a pedestrian accident that you can “walk away” from, do not make the mistake of skipping an immediate trip to the doctor. Some serious and life-threatening injuries do not show immediate symptoms. Visit a doctor right away to rule out any injuries that may not be readily apparent. Not only does seeing a doctor protect your wellbeing, it also generates records of your post-accident medical care that may be critical in a future legal action.
Pedestrian accident victims may not have an immediate opportunity to preserve evidence, but it is important for their loved ones to do so as soon as possible. Take photographs of the accident scene. Find out as much as possible about the driver of the motor vehicle involved. Obtain a copy of the police report. Look for any nearby security cameras that might have recorded the accident and ask the owner not to delete the footage. And, of course, keep all paperwork generated by medical care received after the accident, and any additional bills and invoices for expenses incurred because of the accident. This evidence may prove very useful down the road in proving a case for damages.
Be Careful When Talking to Insurance Companies
Insurance companies play a role in nearly all pedestrian accident matters. For example, the victim’s health insurer will likely pay for some of the costs of care. As a result, it will be difficult to entirely avoid contact with insurance companies after a pedestrian accident. If you have to speak with a representative from your or your loved one’s insurance carrier after a pedestrian accident, keep the discussion focused on the basic facts. Do not say anything that someone could interpret as an admission that the accident was your or your loved one’s fault.
If someone calls from an insurance company that covers someone else involved in the accident, be very careful about talking to them. A phone call from an insurance company other than your own means one thing: they are looking for a way to minimize the insurance company’s financial exposure to the accident. It is best not to engage with them in any kind of conversation about the accident. Do not say “yes” to any “quick” settlement he or she offers you or your loved one. These are tactics designed to trick you into giving up your rights to compensation. Politely decline to speak with the caller and direct them to communicate with your lawyer.
Meet With an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
In the immediate aftermath of a devastating pedestrian accident, you and your loved ones are not alone. Having experienced legal counsel by your side will ensure you make informed, careful decisions to protect your rights to compensation. As soon as you are able, schedule a meeting with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney. We will discuss the facts and circumstances of the accident, the resulting injuries, and what you need to do to protect your rights and hold the person at fault for the accident accountable. The sooner you meet with an attorney, the sooner he and his team can get to work on your behalf.
Your Corpus Christi Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Attorney Minesh J. Patel and his team at The Patel Firm want to help you recover every dollar of compensation you deserve for the injuries and losses you sustained in a Corpus Christi-area pedestrian accident. Call us today at (361) 400-2036 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
FAQ’s about Pedestrian Accidents and Related Injuries
Q: I was hit by a car while I was walking. What should I do?
A: The first thing to do is seek medical attention immediately to get checked out and make sure you have no sustained any life threatening injuries. After that, call a Corpus Christi injury lawyer at The Patel Firm PLLC to discuss your options.
Q: How can I avoid being hit by a car as a pedestrian?
A: Make sure to be as visible as possible by wearing bright, reflective clothing, so motorists can clearly detect your presence. If you are a pedestrian at night, carry a flashlight with you, so you are clearly visible to motorists passing by.
Q: Will car insurance cover my bills if I was hit when walking?
A: Yes! Don’t be fooled. If you were hit by a car while walking, hit while jogging, or any other pedestrian activity, you can make a bodily injury claim. If the adverse party does not have insurance, your car insurance could be applicable if you carry 1st party coverage, even though you weren’t in your car at the time of the injury.