New Braunfels Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Regardless of who is at fault, when a car or truck hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian almost always suffers a disproportionate amount of damage. Even low-velocity accidents result in tremendous force, which can lead to broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and more. Additionally, while any person can be a pedestrian, drivers must pass tests and be licensed to operate a motor vehicle. It is no wonder that most states put a more significant duty on drivers than pedestrians.

Many people erroneously believe pedestrians always have the right of way. While pedestrians often have the right of way, in some situations, they need to yield to vehicles. However, even when pedestrians are in the wrong, a driver may still have a duty of care toward them. When you have been injured by a car or truck, a New Braunfels pedestrian accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and responsibilities after the accident. Reach out to our personal injury attorneys to discuss your case.

Right of Way Regulations

Pedestrians have an absolute right of way in crosswalks. These areas include marked crosswalks, unmarked crosswalks — those at intersections, and when pedestrian signals control an area. However, pedestrians also must obey any pedestrian control signals. They have the right of way when the signal says walk and when they have already entered the crosswalk on a walk signal. Still, vehicles have the right of way when the don’t walk signal is present and steady. A pedestrian who enters the crosswalk at that time may be held responsible for any resulting accidents.

If pedestrians are crossing the road at a place without a marked crosswalk or intersection, they should yield to drivers under Texas Transportation Code § 552.005. Drivers should yield to pedestrians at intersections without traffic signals. Additionally, when sidewalks are available, Texas Transportation Code § 552.006 requires pedestrians to use them rather than walking on the road. When sidewalks are not available, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. They should use the shoulder when available or the far left of the traffic lane if not.

Finally, state law prohibits pedestrians from soliciting in roadways. These rules prohibit panhandling, hitchhiking, and even seeking charitable donations. However, charities can apply for permission to solicit funds on roadways. Moreover, simply because a pedestrian is soliciting in a roadway does not mean they are automatically at fault in an accident. A lawyer in New Braunfels can help people understand who had the right of way in a particular pedestrian accident.

Driver Duty of Care

While the right of way is essential in determining fault, it may not absolve drivers of all responsibility in an accident with a pedestrian. Texas Transportation Code § 552.008 requires drivers to exercise due care to avoid hitting a pedestrian. In practice, this rule means that if a driver could have avoided hitting a pedestrian but chose not to, they would share responsibility even if they had the right of way.

Drivers are not required to put themselves or others in danger to avoid hitting pedestrians who are illegally not yielding to traffic. However, they may need to take other steps, such as honking their horns. Additionally, if the pedestrian is a vulnerable person, like a child, blind person, older adult, or someone who appears incapacitated, the driver’s responsibility grows.

Regardless of the right of way, drivers retain a responsibility to pedestrians. Combined with Texas’s modified comparative fault system, a pedestrian may be able to recover from injuries from a driver, even if the pedestrian shared responsibility for the accident. A New Braunfels lawyer can help explain the role of modified comparative negligence in a pedestrian injury lawsuit.

Speak to a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in New Braunfels

While pedestrians do not always have the right-of-way, drivers do always have the duty to watch out for pedestrians in the roadway. If a driver can safely avoid colliding with a pedestrian, they should do so, regardless of whether the pedestrian is legally or illegally in the roadway. This duty means pedestrians can often recover compensation for their injuries, even if they share responsibility for an accident. To learn more, schedule a consultation with a New Braunfels pedestrian accident lawyer.

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