Office Location: 1910 Pacific Avenue, Suite 6000, Dallas, TX 75201
Getting around Dallas without a vehicle is challenging to say the least. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, the summer heat, the size of the city, the unwieldy Dallas bus system, and the packed light rail service leave many people disappointed.
If you don’t have a vehicle, you may consider walking. While walking can be great for your physical and mental health, it can also be dangerous.
The seasoned attorneys at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers know this all too well. Walking in the wrong area at the wrong time can leave you with severe or even catastrophic injuries. If this happens to you or someone you love, call our experienced Dallas pedestrian accident attorneys for help right away.
We are a national law firm with multiple offices around the country, including Dallas. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you are located, we may be able to help you, so call or contact us now. We are open, for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by clicking here to submit your case for review.
Common Factors in Dallas Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian fatalities are continuing to rise in Texas. They now account for almost one in five of all traffic deaths. In one recent year, 4,852 crashes involved pedestrians. As a result, 1,211 people suffered severe injuries, and 731 lost their lives, which represented a 9 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities over the previous year.
Common factors contributing to pedestrian traffic crashes include:
- Driver inattention
- Drivers not yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions, especially in residential, school, or recreational areas
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Other causes of pedestrian-involved accidents include:
- Motorists turning at intersections without looking both ways
- Design defects in crosswalk locations, including failure to consider upstream and downstream traffic flows
Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable in a crash, as they aren’t afforded the same protections as vehicle passengers. No airbags, roll bars, seatbelts, and crumple zones protect pedestrians. The higher the speed of the vehicle when it hits a pedestrian, the more severe the injuries.
The Most Dangerous Dallas Areas for Pedestrians
While all roads and intersections pose a dangerous risk to pedestrians, some pose a greater risk than others. It doesn’t matter where in Dallas you are—motorists and pedestrians alike need to do whatever they can to avoid accidents. However, they should be especially cognizant of these areas:
#1. The West End
The West End, or the western part of downtown Dallas, is the most dangerous area of Dallas for those on foot, according to data provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
Many of the dozens of pedestrian-involved accidents reported here happen near the Rosa Parks Plaza DART bus hub and DART’s West End train station. This is no surprise considering the number of individuals crossing Lamar Street between the transit hubs or walking to popular nearby places such as El Centro College. The good news is that most of these pedestrian accidents occur at low speeds, decreasing the chances of catastrophic or fatal injuries.
#2. West Northwest Highway
The West Northwest Highway near Community Drive in Northwest Dallas had 17 pedestrian crashes, including one fatality, in just three years. Unfortunately, this area has limited sidewalks, wide roads, and increased traffic volume—a terrible combination for those trying to navigate the city by foot.
#3. Ledbetter Drive at Bonnie View Road and Malcolm X Boulevard at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
The intersection of Ledbetter Drive and Bonnie View Road and the intersection of Malcolm X Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard has much in common. Both locations see about a dozen crashes each year, causing some serious injuries and even fatalities. Both are in southern Dallas, in areas that are low density, with restricted access to public transportation, and wide roads with higher speed limits—each of these factors contributing to an increased risk of pedestrian accidents.
#4. Ledbetter Drive at Sunnyvale Street
In South Dallas, the intersection of Ledbetter Drive and Sunnyvale Street is incredibly perilous for pedestrians. This intersection is eight lanes wide and includes turn lanes on either side of the street that make it even wider. Sadly, multiple pedestrians have suffered injuries or died here.
#5. Lovers Lane at Greenville Avenue
This intersection is dangerous for pedestrians, many of whom get here via the nearby Lovers Lane train station. It has numerous lanes of frequently turning traffic, divided by a small median providing little to no protection for those walking in the area. Considering the popularity of Central Market and the Old Town Shopping Center at the intersection, it’s no wonder that several pedestrian-involved crashes occur here every year.
#6. Coit Road at Spring Valley Road
High speeds and multiple lanes of traffic along with retail locations that attract individuals less likely to have vehicles, like a Cash America pawn shop, may contribute to the wrecks that cause injuries and even fatalities for walkers at Spring Valley and Coit Roads in Far North Dallas.
#7. Park Lane Station
DART’s Park Lane station is between the intersections of Park Lane and Greenville Avenue and Park Lane at Central Expressway. Many DART riders here need to walk over to NorthPark Center. They have to cross the Central Expressway service road while walking down Park Lane to the mall. Between 2012 and 2015, drivers hit 12 pedestrians near the station.
#8. Jefferson Boulevard at Llewellyn Avenue
Jefferson Boulevard at Llewellyn Avenue is a central hub in the Oak Cliff neighborhood. Two grocery stores—Fiesta and Jerry’s and El Ranchito—surround it. Jefferson on its own is a heavy-traffic street. Three to four pedestrians sustain injuries here every year.
#9. Buckner Boulevard at Lake June Road
Like many of the areas already mentioned, two multilane, high-traffic roads intersect at Buckner Boulevard at Lake June Road. The dangerous intersection subjects pedestrians to accidents with cars making left turns. In fact, drivers hit eight pedestrians near this intersection in just three years, fatally injuring one person and severely injuring another.
If you suffered injuries at one of these intersections by a motor vehicle, you deserve compensation for your injuries. A seasoned Dallas pedestrian accident attorney from our firm can investigate how your accident happened and hold whoever caused it liable.
Types of Injuries Pedestrians Suffer
Since they are so vulnerable to injuries in the event of an accident, pedestrians can sustain all types of injuries, many of them severe, catastrophic, or even deadly. The pedestrian accident clients we serve typically have one or more of the following injuries.
#1. The Lower Extremities
Typically, the first part of a pedestrian’s body that a vehicle will strike is the lower body. Up to 50 percent of pedestrians sustain injuries in the lower part of their bodies. Unfortunately, trauma to the ligaments and muscles, lacerations, pelvic fractures, and broken bones are common. These extremely painful injuries can leave a victim unable to work for months. They may cause permanent disabilities.
#2. The Neck, Face, and Head
The next areas of the body to sustain damage are the neck, head, and face. This happens when the head or neck hits the windshield or hood. About 38 percent of pedestrians injure their necks, heads, or faces.
Some common examples of these injuries include:
- Shoulder displacement
- Vertebrae injuries
- Neck injuries
- Jaw fractures
- Skull damage
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
#3. The Upper Extremities
The last areas of impact are the upper extremities. Around 27 percent of pedestrians will sustain an injury to their upper extremity in a crash with a motor vehicle. Various musculoskeletal injuries can occur in the arms, wrists, and hands.
#4. Abdomen and Chest
Other injuries that may occur include those to the abdominal area or chest. Any injury to this part of the body can be severe and even fatal to pedestrians. These include fractured ribs, collapsed lungs, internal organ damage, and internal bleeding. However, pedestrians are about twice as likely to injure their heads than their abdomens or chests.
#5. Mental and Emotional Injuries
Many accident victims also suffer mental and emotional injuries that take a while to recover from. Some even develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the traumatic nature of their accident and injuries.
This is by no means a conclusive list of all the injuries a victim can suffer in a pedestrian accident. No matter your injuries or their extent, please be sure to reach out to a Dallas pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. They will review your case and get to work seeking justice on your behalf.
Seek Medical Treatment After a Dallas Pedestrian Accident
In addition to seeking the professional services of an experienced attorney, all pedestrian accident victims should be seen by a licensed medical doctor soon after the accident. You don’t necessarily need to go to the emergency department if your injuries don’t warrant such a visit.
However, even if you don’t experience pain or other symptoms and seem stable, you should still see a doctor right away. You may have severe injuries that haven’t presented themselves yet. Seeing a doctor will also help your injury claim. It helps connect your injuries to the accident caused by the at-fault party.
Damages Available to Pedestrian Accident Victims
As a pedestrian accident victim, you may seek compensation for your injuries and other losses. Damages are a financial representation of what another person’s negligence costs you. However, there are more than just monetary losses. Damages can either be economic or non-economic.
Economic damages represent losses you have that have a predetermined monetary value.
- Lost wages and income
- Medical expenses
- Prescriptions and medical devices such as crutches or a wheelchair
- Property damage—for example, if you lost your wedding ring or prescription sunglasses in the accident
When you hire a skilled Dallas pedestrian accident attorney, they can help you account for all of your wages and lost income, maximizing the compensation you deserve.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are those without an inherent value. This makes them more difficult to calculate.
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of society and companionship
- Mental anguish
Since these are subjective, they can be challenging to put a price tag on. However, the more severe the injuries, the more a victim may recover for their non-economic losses.
Punitive damages refer to damages awarded to punish the at-fault party and deter intentional or reckless behavior or actions motivated by malevolence. Punitive damages do not compensate for any loss. However, these damages only apply in some instances, and only the court can grant them. Even still, they can substantially increase the amount of compensation you receive.
Dallas Pedestrian Accident FAQs
While walking in Dallas, the last thing you expect is to be in a motor vehicle accident. Yet, here you are. It’s common to have many questions and uncertainties during this challenging time. Rest assured, however, that you can turn to Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers for reliable and trustworthy answers to your questions and solutions to your legal dilemmas. Get in touch with us today to schedule your free, confidential case review, and check out our FAQ section to learn more.
Who Has the Right-of-Way at a Pedestrian Crosswalk in Dallas?
The legal privilege to proceed across a road is called the right-of-way. Texas Transportation Code Section 552.003, often referred to as Texas’ crosswalk law—states that pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks that don’t have accompanying traffic control signals. It further expresses that a motorist must yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on their vehicle’s half of the road or getting close enough from the opposite half of the road to be in harm’s way.
This law also explains that a pedestrian doesn’t have a legal right to leave the curb or another safe place and enter a crosswalk if oncoming vehicle traffic is coming quickly enough to make it impossible for a driver to stop to let them cross. Even if the pedestrian has the right-of-way, the law states they must stay at the curb until the road is clear or all oncoming motor vehicles have come to complete stops. It’s also against the law for a driver to pass another vehicle that stops to let a pedestrian cross a road.
If the crosswalk has a control signal, a pedestrian has the right to cross the road on the crosswalk when the signal gives the “Walk” sign. All drivers must legally yield the right-of-way to all crossing pedestrians with the Walk sign on.
When the signal says “Wait” or “Don’t Walk,” a pedestrian can’t legally enter the crosswalk, even if no oncoming traffic is present. Suppose an intersection has a traffic light but not a particular pedestrian control signal. The pedestrian is only permitted to cross the road with a green signal showing in their direction (not yellow or red).
As a general rule, no matter the situation, motorists should always give pedestrians the right-of-way when they can. This is the best way to keep everyone safe. For example, if a motorist had the opportunity to stop for a pedestrian but did not and struck them instead, they wouldn’t have much of a defense.
The Power Was Out, so There Were No Signals, and a Vehicle Struck Me While I Was in the Crosswalk. Who Must Pay for My Injuries?
Texas law expressly states that motorists must yield the right of way to pedestrians if traffic signals aren’t working. They must also stop or slow their vehicles for pedestrians’ safety. Talk to an experienced Dallas pedestrian accident attorney about the specifics of your case. You may be eligible for compensation for your injuries.
How Long Do You Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Case?
The Texas personal injury statute of limitations applies to all pedestrian accident cases. Generally speaking, this means you have two years from the date of your accident to pursue litigation. While this might seem like plenty of time, it can go by quickly.
Your Dallas pedestrian accident lawyer needs time to investigate and prepare your case.
Hire an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. If you miss this deadline, you no longer have the law on your side to help you pursue your injury claim.
A few exceptions apply to the statute of limitations:
- If a minor child has injuries, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin running until their 18th birthday. So, if a car struck them at the age of 11, they still have until their 20th birthday (18 years plus two years) to file an injury claim.
- If the driver or other at-fault party leaves the state before the statute of limitations expires, it is tolled or paused. So, if the driver leaves the state a month after the accident, the injured party still has 23 months after their return to file their injury claim.
- If the claim happens to be against a government agency, the injured person has six months to notify the agency of their claim.
With so many variables in the statute of limitations, you want an attorney on your side as soon as possible. You don’t want to miss out on obtaining the compensation you deserve simply because you missed a deadline or weren’t aware of what deadline applied in your case.
Who is Liable for Your Injuries?
In most pedestrian accidents, the driver who struck the pedestrian is liable for the resulting injuries and damages. However, there may be other parties responsible instead of or in addition to the driver.
For example, maybe the driver who hit you stopped at the crosswalk for you. While you were crossing, a speeding or drunk driver collided with them and pushed their vehicle into you. The government entity responsible for maintaining crosswalks, signs, and lights may have failed to maintain or replace something, making them liable for your injuries.
Sometimes the manufacturer of a driver’s vehicle may also be at fault for producing a defective part—for instance, if the driver who hit you had faulty brakes.
Although liability for your accident might seem apparent, it’s always wise to have a well-versed Dallas pedestrian accident attorney review your case. There may even be times when multiple parties are at fault for your injuries, and your attorney can use this fact to maximize your compensation.
What is Negligence?
Essentially, negligence is a failure to act in a way that another reasonable person would act in the same circumstances. Negligence can arise from an action or inaction.
Examples of negligence that can lead to a pedestrian accident include:
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while drowsy or fatigued
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to maintain one’s vehicle
- Manufacturing faulty parts or vehicles
- Failing to repair, replace, or maintain traffic lights and signs or repaint sidewalks
To prove your injury claim, your Dallas pedestrian accident attorney must establish the four elements of negligence.
- Duty of Care: The other party was obligated to act in a certain way. For example, a driver should watch for pedestrians crossing the road in a crosswalk.
- Breach of Duty: The other party failed in their obligation or breached their duty of care. For instance, a driver sped through a school zone.
- Proximate Cause (Cause in Fact): The other party’s breach of duty caused your injuries. So, if it weren’t for a drunk driver, you would cross the street safely.
- Damages: Your injuries resulted in compensable damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, scarring, and disfigurement.
A successful pedestrian accident case rooted in negligence will establish all of these points. If you or your attorney can’t establish each one of these points to the court, you won’t be successful in pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Will Your Pedestrian Accident Case Settle?
Around 90 to 95 percent of all personal injury cases, including pedestrian accident claims, end in settlements. Usually, a negotiated settlement is the ideal resolution to any pedestrian accident claim. This keeps the case from going to court, which can take much more time and incur additional expenses for both parties. Settling also gives both parties more control over the outcome of the case. It also keeps the injured party from having to testify in court, which can be nerve-wracking. Some cases even settle in the middle of a trial or shortly before the jury reaches a verdict.
We believe in doing what the client desires, as this is your case. It’s our job to promptly inform you of any settlement offers you receive and provide you with sound legal advice as to whether or not it’s a fair settlement for your specific claim.
Whether you take our advice or not is up to you. You are in the driver’s seat and can decide if you want to settle your claim or litigate it. Across our more than two decades of experience representing clients like yourself, our attorneys are skilled negotiators who will fight for your rights. But they aren’t afraid to take your claim to court if that’s what it takes to get fair compensation on your behalf.
While we can’t predict whether your claim will settle or not, we can assure you that we are here to represent your desires and inform you along the way.
Will My Previous Back Injury Keep Me From Filing a Successful Injury Claim?
No matter what previous or ongoing injuries or health issues you have, you still have a right to be fairly compensated for your injuries and damages that result from a pedestrian accident. The at-fault party’s insurance company may request and receive some of your past medical records legally. If they find previous or ongoing health conditions or injuries, they will make every attempt to use them as an excuse not to pay on your claim.
However, don’t let this keep you from seeking justice. The legal doctrine called the eggshell skull rule applies in these cases. This means that the at-fault party takes you as you are. So, for example, if you already had a back injury and the new injuries you sustained as a result of the accident made it worse, they are still liable for your related damages. They can’t use your old injuries or the physical state you were in at the time of your accident to escape their liability.
Should You Speak to the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company?
Generally, nothing positive comes from injured parties speaking to the insurance company. Of course, you need to report the accident, but your attorney can do this.
A claims adjuster from the other party’s insurance company may call you within a few days of reporting your accident. They often seem friendly and genuinely concerned for your well-being.
Unfortunately, this is just one of their tactics. They want you to trust them so you will slip up and say something to hurt your claim. It’s best not to risk it and decline to speak with them. Let them know an attorney represents you, and they will need to speak to your attorney.
Suppose you are required to speak with the insurance company or their attorneys in the future. In that case, your attorney will be present, guiding you in the process. You don’t ever have to face them alone when you have legal representation.
When Should You Call a Dallas Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
If you or someone you love was recently in a pedestrian accident and suffered injuries, protect your legal rights by calling a Dallas pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible. This keeps valuable evidence supporting your claim from being lost or destroyed and helps protect you from the insurance company that wants to pay as little as possible for your claim.
Your first step is to call our office for your free case review. Our attorneys can explain your legal options and create a legal game plan for you. We have the time and resources to begin working on your case now.
Call the Experienced Dallas Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today for Help
Don’t trust your pedestrian accident case to just anyone. At Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, we have over 20 years of experience in personal injury law, fighting for injured victims just like you. We are serious about getting you fair compensation for your injuries. We won’t stop advocating for you until we exhaust all of our options.
Our only focus is on personal injury law and helping injured victims get the necessary results. We are client-centered and do everything we can to settle your claim out of court successfully. If we can’t obtain a fair settlement offer, we aren’t afraid and won’t hesitate to litigate your claim if that’s what it takes. You get to decide whether you want to accept a settlement or take your claim to court.
The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If a Dallas pedestrian accident injured you, call our office right now for a free consultation! Because we take all of our pedestrian accident cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a dime unless we win your case.
Are you ready to find out what your case might be worth and pursue justice? We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by clicking here.
1910 Pacific Avenue,
Suite 6000, Dallas, TX 75201
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“I was very pleased with how Stewart handled my case. He acted professionally at all times and really had my best interests at heart. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome too! I would definitely recommend my friends and family to use him as their lawyer.”
Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.