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Houston
South Texas
Bellaire Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

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At the Gutierrez Law Firm, we can help any injury victim in Bellaire. One of the most common types of accidents happens to pedestrians, many of whom are just trying to get around the city on foot. As you might expect, these accidents can leave you or a loved one with severe, debilitating injuries. If you want to learn more about your legal options, contact us for a free consultation.

Should You Hire a Lawyer?

When you’re just trying to cross the street or walk to the store or restaurant, you probably don’t expect to be in an accident. However, pedestrian accidents are among the most severe for victims, because there’s virtually no protection for you against a moving vehicle.

If that’s not difficult enough, you still have to go through the legal process if you want to pursue an injury claim. While this allows you to recover certain damages, this is also a challenging process with its own complexities. There’s not a law in Texas that says you need a lawyer, but in these situations, you typically need all the help you can get. Here’s how our firm can help you:

  • Legal guidance – In our initial meeting (which is free), we’ll check out your situation and talk about what you can do. If we think your case is good and you want to move forward, we’ll start looking into the accident and figuring out who’s responsible.
  • Gathering evidence – Insurance companies try to pay as little as possible, but we know how to build a strong case. We carefully look at all the ways you’ve been hurt and collect strong evidence to support your case. This helps make sure you get the proper settlement you should.
  • Protecting your claim – Insurance companies have lawyers to protect them. With us on your side, you’ll have strong help protecting your rights. We’ll stand up for what’s fair and deal with any tricky moves from the insurance company, so you can get a fair deal.
  • Simplifying the process – It’s hard to overstate just how hard the legal process is when you’re also dealing with injuries. By working with us, we can handle all the responsibilities, paperwork, and legal proceedings for you, so you can focus on getting better.

Every pedestrian accident is unique, so the steps you should take can vary depending on what happened. Speaking with our experienced team can provide you with the tailored advice you need for your specific situation.

Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?

One of the more frustrating parts of a pedestrian accident is that they’re largely preventable. Unlike regular car accidents, a pedestrian accident almost exclusively happens when a driver isn’t:

  • Paying attention to the road
  • Driving at the right speed
  • Giving you and other pedestrians time to cross the street or crosswalk
  • Watching for you or other pedestrians in low visibility conditions
  • Driving while not impaired by drugs or alcohol

What to do

Obviously, many of these actions are the underlying cause of a typical pedestrian accident. And while you can’t account for what other drivers do while they’re behind the wheel of their car, there are certain steps you should take if you are involved in one of these accidents:

  • Prioritize your health – Seek immediate medical assistance, even if your injuries seem minor, as some may not be immediately apparent. You should do this both at the scene of the accident with emergency services, then follow up with your primary doctor or at an urgent care or ER.
  • Report the accident – Contact local law enforcement so they can respond and clear the scene. They should also put together a report of the accident that will contain crucial information for your claim.
  • Gather information – Exchange contact and insurance details with the involved driver or others, and make sure they receive your information as well.
  • Talk with any witnesses – Collect contact information from witnesses, as their accounts could be essential.
  • Document the scene – Use your phone or camera to take photos and videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, injuries, property damage, and road conditions.
  • Notify your insurance company – Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible, regardless of fault.
  • Preserve evidence – Keep records of medical treatment, bills, and other expenses related to the accident for your case. Also, don’t repair anything.
  • Follow medical advice – make sure to stick to your treatment plan that’s put in place by your doctor. This will show that you’re taking proactive steps to get better.
  • Avoid admitting fault – Don’t discuss fault with anyone except our lawyers or the authorities. While you don’t have to talk to insurance adjusters, if you do speak with them, just stick to the basics of what happened.
  • Track damages – Maintain records of how the accident has impacted your life, such as missed work, emotional stress, or changes in your routine.

Again, most pedestrian accidents are avoidable, if not outright preventable. But again, the nature of these accidents means that you’re left with serious injuries. And when you have serious injuries, you’re going to have to figure out who is responsible.

Injuries and Liability in Pedestrian Accidents

A major factor in any pedestrian accident that happens in Bellaire is how injured you are. This is going to go a long way in determining how much your potential claim is worth. And this, in turn, can vary from accident to accident. Typically though, a pedestrian accident is going to result in the following range of injuries:

  • Head injuries, like concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal injuries, leading to paralysis
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Internal injuries
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Burns
  • Emotional trauma, especially depression, anxiety or PTSD.
  • Severe injuries that turn fatal

Liability

It might not seem like it, but one of the challenges in a pedestrian accident is figuring out liability. To file an injury claim successfully, you must show fault to receive the available damages for your injuries. This involves proving negligence on the part of the driver or other party, which includes demonstrating the following:

  • Duty of care – The driver should have taken reasonable steps to avoid causing harm.
  • Breach of duty – The driver failed to uphold this duty by acting negligently.
  • Causation – The accident occurred as a direct result of the driver’s breach of duty.
  • Damages – Your injuries resulted from the driver’s actions.

If these conditions are met, it shows fault lies with the other party, usually the driver who hit you. However, other parties might also be responsible. For example, if a broken street sign or sidewalk played a role, the city could share blame. Likewise, if the driver’s brakes failed because of a defect, the brake manufacturer could be at fault.

As a pedestrian, you could also be at fault in rare cases, such as crossing where you shouldn’t, ignoring signals, suddenly entering the street, or crossing while under the influence. Regardless, you can still file an injury claim.

Damages in a Claim

Your injury claim is going to take one of two paths, an insurance claim against the at-fault party or a personal injury lawsuit. Like any claim, a successful outcome is going to depend on how well you present your case. At the same time, it’s also going to depend on the extent of your injuries. With all that in mind, here’s a look at some of the available damages in a pedestrian accident claim:

  • Medical expenses
  • Ongoing care needs, like devices or physical therapy
  • Lost income or future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship or quality of life
  • Permanent injury damages
  • Wrongful death expenses, if the injuries are fatal
  • Punitive damages, in some cases

Not all damages apply to every case, so consulting with our experienced personal injury lawyers will clarify your situation and potential routes to these damages. In Texas, there’s a two-year statute of limitations from the accident date to file a claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to report the accident to the police?

Yes. If there are injuries or damage exceeding $1,000, it’s state law to report the accident to police. However, it’s always in your best interest to report any accident you’re in to police.

How long do I have to file a claim for a pedestrian accident in Bellaire?

You have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim. This is the statute of limitations for any personal injury claim in Bellaire or anywhere else in Texas.

If I’m hit by a car while not using a crosswalk, can I still file a claim?

Yes. As a pedestrian, you generally have the right of way when using a crosswalk. Even though this doesn’t apply if you’re not using a crosswalk, if the driver of the car that hit you was speeding or was otherwise negligent, you can still file an injury claim.

Free Consultations For Bellaire Pedestrian Accident Victims

Being in any accident in Bellaire is challenging, but even more so if you’re a pedestrian. Facing the injuries and damage of these accidents alone is simply too much for most people. At the Gutierrez Law Firm, our Bellaire pedestrian accident lawyers will be there to help you. We’ll explain your options and give you the support you need. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.