After a pedestrian accident, you may find yourself wondering, “Am I partly to blame for this?”

It’s a valid concern, and in this post, we’ll discuss the complexities of shared liability in pedestrian accidents. We’ll also shed light on your rights as a pedestrian and how to navigate the legal landscape.

Even if you are partly to blame for your pedestrian accident, you still have legal rights and may have opportunities for compensation for your injuries and losses. Seek support after a pedestrian accident. Connect with pedestrian accident attorneys for the assistance to begin your recovery. Contact us today.

Your Rights as a Pedestrian

As a pedestrian, you have rights, including:

  • Right of Way in Crosswalks: When you’re in a marked crosswalk, drivers must yield the right of way to you. This fundamental protection ensures your safety at designated crossing points.
  • Right to Safety in Designated Areas: In areas with pedestrian signals or designated crossing points, drivers must respect your right to safety. This extends to respecting traffic signals and stopping appropriately.
  • Responsibility of Drivers: Drivers must exercise reasonable care, especially around pedestrians. This includes maintaining a safe speed, avoiding distractions, and yielding to pedestrians when required.

Understanding Shared Liability

First things first – pedestrian accidents are rarely black and white. Multiple factors may contribute to an accident. In legal terms, this is known as shared liability or comparative negligence. What this means is that even if you bear some responsibility for the accident, you may still recover compensation for your injuries.

Let’s break it down a bit. Say you were crossing the street outside of a designated crosswalk, and a driver failed to stop in time, resulting in a collision. In this scenario, both parties may share responsibility. The law recognizes that accidents can happen in various ways, and it’s not always a clear-cut case of one person bearing all of the fault.

Navigating Shared Liability

When shared liability comes into play, the legal system typically uses a principle called comparative negligence. This means that each party involved in the accident takes a percentage of fault. Your compensation then decreases based on your level of responsibility.

Other ways shared liability may affect damages include:

  • Legal Thresholds: Some jurisdictions have legal thresholds that may affect the ability to recover damages. In contributory negligence states, for instance, if you are even slightly at fault, you cannot recover any damages. Texas is not a contributory negligence state. Texas follows the legal principle of proportionate responsibility, which is a form of comparative negligence.
  • Negotiations with Insurers: Negotiating with insurance companies becomes more complex in shared liability cases. Adjusters may use negligence to argue for a lower settlement amount. Legal representation can ensure fair negotiations.
  • Court Determinations: In cases that go to court, the judge or jury will determine the percentage of fault for each party. This determination directly affects the final damages. A skilled attorney can present evidence and arguments to minimize your assigned liability.
  • Types of Damages Affected: Shared liability may affect different types of damages, such as economic and non-economic damages. For example, pain and suffering damages may decrease due to partial fault.
  • Statutory Rules: Some jurisdictions have specific rules regarding shared liability and damages. The applicable laws in your jurisdiction determine the impact on compensation.

While shared liability may affect the overall compensation, it doesn’t necessarily bar recovery. Even if you are partially at fault, you may still receive compensation for the damages attributed to the other party’s negligence.

Potential Damages Available after a Pedestrian Crash

After a pedestrian accident, various damages may compensate the injured party for their losses. The specific damages depend on the circumstances of the accident and the applicable laws in the jurisdiction.

Symbolic image: Stethoscope knotted around a fistful of money, illustrating financial aspects in healthcare or medical cost challenges.

Here are common types of damages:

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred due to the accident, including hospital bills, surgery costs, medication, rehabilitation, and future medical needs.
  • Lost Wages: Reimbursement for income lost during the recovery period, including wages, bonuses, and other employment benefits.
  • Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages to compensate for physical pain, emotional distress, and the overall suffering resulting from the accident.
  • Property Damage: Compensation for the repair or replacement of personal property damaged in the accident, such as clothing, electronic devices, or other belongings.
  • Wrongful Death Damages: In the tragic event of a pedestrian fatality, surviving family members may be entitled to damages for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.
  • Loss of Consortium: Damages awarded to compensate for the loss of companionship, support, and intimacy suffered by a spouse or family member due to the injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Permanent Disability: Compensation for long-term or permanent injuries that result in a reduced quality of life, disability, or the need for ongoing care.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm, punitive damages may punish the at-fault party and deter similar conduct.

Consult an experienced Texas pedestrian accident attorney to assess the specific circumstances of your accident and determine the types of damages applicable to your case. Your lawyer can build a strong case and pursue the compensation you rightfully deserve.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me After a Pedestrian Accident?

To navigate the complex legal aftermath of a pedestrian accident, an experienced lawyer can:

  • Evaluate Liability: A legal professional will assess the circumstances of the accident and determine the extent of shared liability. This involves a thorough investigation into the actions of both parties.
  • Negotiate with Insurers: Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging. A lawyer can handle negotiations on your behalf, protecting your rights and recovering fair compensation.
  • Advocate for Your Rights: Your lawyer will serve as your advocate, representing your interests and fighting for the compensation you deserve. They understand the nuances of shared liability cases and can build a strong case in your favor.

Partial blame for a pedestrian accident doesn’t mean you should shoulder the burden alone. If you find yourself in this challenging situation, you have the right to legal representation and the opportunity to pursue just compensation for your injuries.

What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident

A pedestrian accident can be a disorienting and overwhelming experience, leaving you with questions about what steps to take next.

Let’s walk through the essential actions that can make a significant difference in the days and weeks following a pedestrian accident.

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. Even if your injuries seem minor, seek medical attention promptly. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and a medical professional can document your condition, which is crucial for any legal claims.
  • Document the Scene: If possible, take photos of the accident scene, including any relevant road signs, traffic signals, or weather conditions. These visuals can serve as valuable evidence later.
  • Gather Witness Information: If there are witnesses, collect their contact information. Their statements can establish the sequence of events and determine liability.
  • Avoid Admitting Fault: Refrain from making statements that the insurer could misinterpret as admitting fault, even if you feel partly responsible. Stick to the facts when discussing the accident with the police, insurance, or other parties involved.

Call Lorenz & Lorenz Accident & Injury Lawyers PLLC

Facing a pedestrian accident is daunting, especially when questions about partial fault arise.

Lesley Lorenz, Personal Injury Attorney

Lesley Lorenz, Pedestrian Accident Attorney

At Lorenz & Lorenz Accident & Injury Lawyers PLLC, our experienced personal injury lawyers want you to know that even if you played a part in the accident, your legal rights to compensation are still valid. Pedestrians, even when partially at fault, have legal rights to compensation for their injuries. Don’t let uncertainty prevent you from seeking the help you need.

Contact Lorenz & Lorenz Accident & Injury Lawyers PLLC today for a confidential consultation. We’re here to guide you through the legal process, provide clarity on your rights, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Your rights matter, and so does your well-being. Call our Austin law office at (512) 477-7333 for your free consultation, or fill out our online contact form.