Do I Have Right of Way if I was Struck in Crosswalk?
In Texas, if you are a pedestrian in a crosswalk, you generally have the right of way. If you were struck by a vehicle while walking in a crosswalk, it is essential you contact an attorney immediately.
How Does Texas Law Treat Crosswalks?
The unfortunate fact is that many motorists do not understand the laws regulating pedestrian crossings and assume that, because they are in a vehicle, their rights supersede those of an individual who is on foot. This is not true. In fact, federal and state laws make it clear that pedestrians have just as many rights on the roadway as vehicles do.
U.S. law dictates if you are crossing at a marked crosswalk in accordance with traffic signals or other indicators, you have the right to be protected in that crosswalk. Additionally, Texas law requires that vehicles yield right-of-way to pedestrians crosswalks, marked or unmarked, provided that the vehicle is in the same half of the roadway as the pedestrian or the pedestrian is approaching your half of the roadway from the opposite side of the road.
Unmarked crosswalks are a particular part of confusion, due to the like of painted lines or indicators, and pedestrians who do cross at unmarked crosswalks are often thought of as jay-walking. To be clear, almost every intersection is considered a crosswalk even when no lines or indicators exist, and the same rules regulating marked crosswalks apply.
How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,884 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2014. This averages to about one pedestrian death every two hours. An additional 65,000 pedestrians were injured in auto accidents in 2014, roughly one injure every 8 minutes.
NHTSA also found that:
- Eighteen percent of pedestrian fatalities involved a hit-and-run driver.
- Pedestrians were killed more often in the dark (72 percent) than in daylight (24 percent).
- Nineteen percent of children 14 and younger who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.
- California lead the nation in pedestrian fatalities (697), followed by Florida (588) and Texas (476).
What Are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable to the actions of reckless and negligent drivers. Common causes of pedestrian-related crashes include:
- Distracted drivers – here were 520 nonoccupants (pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.) killed in distraction-affected crashes in 2014.
- Poor visibility – In 2014, 72 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents occurred in the dark
- Drunk driving – An estimated 14 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes involved a drunk driver in 2014.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way – Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked or unmarked crosswalks in most situations.
- Poor roadway design – Streets without sidewalks or crosswalks and other dangerous road conditions can increase the risk for a pedestrian accident.’
What Kinds of Injuries Are Associated with Pedestrian Accidents?
Being struck by a vehicle can result in serious physical trauma resulting in a multitude of injuries. Even at low speeds, a collision or run-over incident can result in life-threatening damage to a pedestrian. Among the most common injuries associated with pedestrian accidents are:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head/brain injuries
What Should I Do if I Was Struck by a Vehicle While in a Crosswalk?
If you or a loved one were hurt after being struck by an automobile, you may be entitled to compensation. Our team of experienced pedestrian injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim. We will help you recover the maximum amount of compensation and bring the negligent driver to justice. In addition, you won’t pay a thing unless we win your case. Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys has a track record of achieving record-breaking verdicts, settlements, and judgments for clients. Extensive legal and financial resources allow our attorneys to put you in the best position possible to recover the damages you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review.