Katy is a historic railroad town, but like in most areas of the country, people these days prefer to travel by car. Many Katy residents commute to other regions in the Greater Houston area or vice versa.
Unfortunately, all these vehicles on our roads mean car accidents are increasingly common.
When most people think of a car accident, they imagine two or more motor vehicles smashing into each other, causing injuries to drivers and passengers. An often-overlooked victim in car accidents is the pedestrian. While pedestrians usually have the right of way, this does not protect them from negligent drivers. In fact, in many ways, pedestrians are the most vulnerable people involved in any accident because they don’t have the protection of a vehicle or other equipment.
If you or a loved one was an innocent pedestrian injured by the negligent actions of a Katy driver, you deserve compensation. The law firm of Stewart J. Guss has over 20 years of experience practicing personal injury law in the Katy area and advocating zealously for our clients. We can help you recover from your injuries and your financial hardship.
We bring our passion for justice and our client-first mentality to every case that we take on. We are a national law firm based in Houston with multiple offices around the country, and we also work with affiliate law firms across the country 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. Contact our Katy Pedestrian Accident Lawyers today by calling (800) 898-4877 to schedule an immediate, free consultation. We know your case is important to you, and we won’t make you wait!
The Painful Truth About Pedestrian Accidents
In a matchup between a car and a pedestrian, there’s a clear winner… and it’s not the pedestrian. Cars have a protective rigid exterior, airbags, and seatbelts. Meanwhile, pedestrians are only protected by the clothes on their backs, and they don’t even have the benefit of the protective gear worn by bikers.
Put simply, pedestrians are vulnerable victims with a high risk of serious injuries or death after a collision with a motor vehicle.
After an accident, a pedestrian is likely to suffer from one or more of the following injuries:
- Head and brain injuries: Pedestrians have no head protection, and there’s a high likelihood of their head striking the ground or the vehicle. A victim could suffer from lacerations or potential fracture of the skull bones. Additionally, collisions involving pedestrians are a common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). A TBI can leave the victim in a coma or vegetative state, or suffering from brain death.
- Spinal injuries: The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that allows the brain to communicate with the body. Damage to the spinal cord causes different symptoms in every victim, which include changes in strength, sensation, and bodily function, as well as muscle weakness, numbness, and paralysis.
- Neck and back injuries: A pedestrian’s neck and back are vulnerable to injury in an accident. These injuries often require lifelong physical therapy and pain management.
- Internal damage: A blow to the body can cause internal damage to organs including the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Internal damage and internal bleeding are difficult to diagnose. You may not even notice them at first, but these injuries can lead to dangerous consequences.
- Dental and facial injuries: When they are struck by a car or slammed to the ground, pedestrians may find themselves suffering from facial injuries or dental injuries like cracked or chipped teeth. These issues may require costly and painful reconstructive surgery.
- Broken bones: A pedestrian might throw their arms out to brace for a fall, or the car might strike them in the leg. No matter the circumstance, broken bones are a common result of pedestrian accidents. If the break is severe enough, it may require surgery or physical therapy.
- Cuts, bruises, and sprains: While these injuries are less serious, they can still limit a victim’s ability to live a normal life during recovery.
No matter what you think your injuries are, be sure to seek immediate medical care after a pedestrian accident.
Who Is Responsible for My Injuries After a Pedestrian Accident?
If a party acted intentionally or negligently, and those actions caused the accident and your injuries, that party is responsible for the cost of your recovery. It’s only logical. But sometimes, insurance companies need some persuasion to do what’s right. Our attorneys work with clients to understand the specific circumstances of their accidents to identify all responsible parties.
Consider the actions of the following parties for potential liability:
- Negligent driver: Anytime a driver operates a vehicle or otherwise acts outside a reasonable standard of care, the driver is negligent. One clear parameter for determining negligence is whether the driver violated any traffic laws or ordinances, such as speeding, driving under the influence, or distracted driving. Data shows that 26% of pedestrian fatalities in Texas during the last decade involved a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit, and that percentage has seen continued growth year after year. Distracted driving is another common cause of pedestrian accidents. Data indicates a high probability that driver negligence was involved in your pedestrian accident.
- Driver’s employer: If a negligent driver was performing job duties as an employee at the time of the accident, their employer is responsible for their negligence. In these cases, it’s often better to pursue the employer because they could have a more exhaustive insurance policy. Still, the employer may attempt to argue that the employee is an independent contractor in an attempt to avoid liability. Enlist the help of a pedestrian accident attorney for best results.
- Local government: Pedestrians are at the mercy of other drivers and the existing infrastructure of streets, sidewalks, crosswalks, and traffic signals. The local government is obligated to maintain local roads and traffic signs and lights. If the accident is due to the failure of the local government to maintain this infrastructure, the governmental entity may be responsible for your injuries. Pursuing a local government for negligence is a complicated and often frustrating process. The government is protected from certain claims, and if recovery is available, it might require dealing with bureaucracy. When you’re seeking recovery from the government, a lawyer will be an important advocate.
- Vehicle manufacturer: A vehicle manufacturer has an obligation to test the vehicle and produce a safe product free from defects. If any vehicle involved in the accident malfunctioned, and the malfunction contributed to the accident, the manufacturer is responsible for your injuries.
Our Katy pedestrian accident lawyers work to identify every party responsible for your injuries. We work with our clients to analyze the evidence and facts. Along the way, we build a strong case against the responsible parties and maximize your opportunity for a full recovery.
What Injuries Can I Recover Compensation For?
You are entitled to recover for all the negative impacts the accident has caused! We know an unexpected accident causes a chain reaction that disrupts many areas of your life. The possible damages extend far beyond your doctor’s bills.
Some of the most commonly recovered damages after a pedestrian accident include:
- Medical expenses: The defendant is responsible for all of the medical expenses resulting from the accident. These expenses may include doctor’s bills, the cost of prescription medication, an ambulance ride, or assistive devices, like a wheelchair. You should also include an estimate of the cost of future medical care, including physical therapy or in-home care, in your claim.
- Loss of income: If your injuries require you to miss work or work a reduced schedule, you deserve compensation for the associated loss of income. Many injuries permanently limit a victim’s ability to work or to advance in their professions. Include an estimate of your future lost earning potential in your damages demand.
- Property damage: If your property was damaged or destroyed in the accident, you are entitled to repair or replacement. Many pedestrians are carrying expensive electronics or other property that is damaged in the accident, and the defendant is responsible for compensating you for this loss.
- Emotional distress: Emotional stress is common after any traumatic incident. Many pedestrian accident victims suffer from anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While these damages are harder to quantify, they can still impact your quality of life, and you are still entitled to recovery.
- Loss of enjoyment: Injuries can change many things about victims’ lives, including their ability to participate in activities that once brought them joy. If you can no longer participate in your favorite activities, like playing an instrument or a sport, you should include a loss of enjoyment claim in your damages demand.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages exist to punish defendants rather than compensate plaintiffs for their injuries. In Texas, punitive damages are only available if a defendant acted with fraud or malice. Punitive damages are capped at two times the award for economic damages, plus an amount equal to what the jury awards for non-economic damages up to $750,000.
Be sure to include all of your damages in your accident claim. Some cases will require the input of experts, including a medical expert to determine future medical costs and an economic expert to estimate your future earning potential. When you partner with us, our attorneys can connect you with some of the most reliable experts in the area.
It is incredibly important to prepare a comprehensive damages demand. This figure will be important as you consider any settlement offer or pursue a jury trial. While you might be enticed to accept an early settlement offer as a quick resolution and be relieved there’s some money in your pocket, the offer is likely far below the amount to which you are truly entitled. Your troubles could multiply in the coming months or years. Having a full damages assessment prepared will help you objectively analyze any settlement offer and avoid making a mistake.
Taking all of the steps necessary to prepare for a lawsuit, including preparing a damages demand, can take quite some time. For this reason, be sure that you do not delay in contacting an attorney! You generally only have two years from the date of the accident to bring a claim against the defendant. Any claim filed after this date will be barred by the courts.
Are Pedestrian Accidents Common?
Yes! Pedestrian accidents are much more common than you might expect. A pedestrian crash is any crash that involves an individual who was not occupying a motor vehicle, bicycle, or other mobile forms of transportation.
In the most recent year for which statistics are available, Texas experienced 5,952 total pedestrian crashes, resulting in 656 fatalities and more than 1,200 serious injuries. These pedestrian accidents also caused nearly 2,000 non-incapacitating injuries and an additional 1,954 possible injuries.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, Texas is particularly dangerous for pedestrians. A study found that Texas is one of five states that accounts for almost half of all pedestrian deaths in the country. Texas is ranked third for most fatalities, just behind California and Florida.
Additionally, Texas is in the top one-third of states for the number of pedestrian accident fatalities per 100,000 population.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are not decreasing but are instead becoming more common. Studies show that from 2008 to 2017, pedestrian deaths increased by over 35%. The increase is not tied to any change in driving or walking frequency. Instead, the increase in accidents is tied to the design of streets, tailored for fast-moving vehicles and not for foot traffic, and a purchasing trend for large SUVs and trucks, which are more likely to kill a pedestrian in a crash.
In response to these numbers, Texas increased its focus on pedestrian safety by launching an annual pedestrian safety forum. Texas also has a strategic highway safety plan that includes a focus on pedestrian safety.
The plan includes these strategies to reduce pedestrian collisions:
- Improving pedestrian visibility at crossing locations
- Improving pedestrian networks
- Developing strategic pedestrian safety plans tailored to local conditions
- Improving pedestrian-involved crash reporting
- Reducing pedestrian crashes on urban arterials and local roadways
- Improving driver and pedestrian safety awareness and behavior
- Establishing vehicle operating speeds to decrease crash severity
Sixty-six active programs and projects will try to address pedestrian safety. While this focus on pedestrian safety aims to reduce pedestrian accidents in the future, it also makes it clear that there are significant risks to pedestrians in and around Katy today.
Stewart J. Guss Is Here to Help
The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. Stewart J. Guss has formed a team of highly experienced personal injury lawyers motivated by helping clients secure justice and compensation for their injuries. Our lawyers act as pillars of support for our clients, helping them overcome the stressful aftermath of a car accident and return to their daily lives.
Our team prides itself on always being available for clients. We know that each client and each case is unique, and we work with our clients to understand the facts of their cases and their goals for recovery. We set reasonable expectations — while always striving to exceed them. Our nationally recognized firm has deep roots in Texas, and we are honored to serve clients in and around Katy.
If you were injured in a Katy pedestrian accident, call our office right now for a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. 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. We are ready and waiting to provide an immediate free consultation!
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