Pedestrian accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence in Texas and throughout the rest of the United States. While many people opt to navigate the Texas roadways by foot, it doesn’t come without danger. According to the Highway Safety Association, there were 263 pedestrian deaths in Texas between January 2017 and June 2017. With a rate of .93 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, that makes Texas the 13th-highest ranked state in the country. Furthermore, Texas along with California, Florida, New York, and Arizona accounted for 43 percent of all pedestrian deaths in the first six months of 2017.
Because of the high number of pedestrian deaths in Texas, it is important to understand the state’s laws regarding liability. While total car accident deaths are decreasing, pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles are on the rise. Whenever a car strikes a pedestrian, there is a good chance the person will be left with severe injuries – or worse. At Rad Law Firm, we have represented countless pedestrians who have been injured in these types of accidents. One of the first questions we are asked concerns liability. While many people believe that “pedestrians always have the right-of-way”, this isn’t the case in Texas.
Knowing Your Rights as a Pedestrian
Pedestrians have the right-of-way in certain situations, but not always. This is why it is imperative you retain the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer if you are involved in an accident of any kind as a pedestrian. There are certain cases in which a pedestrian may be at-fault for road accidents in Texas, namely when they do not follow the laws.
Determining Liability in Texas
In Texas, pedestrians do not have legal access to all roadways (Texas Transportation Code, Title 7 552). In many parts of the state, pedestrians are not allowed to walk across highways, bridges, or busy roads in high-traffic areas. On roads where pedestrians do have access, they must abide by the rules, traffic signals, and signs that instruct them on how and when to cross a street. Furthermore, under the code linked above, pedestrians must always use a sidewalk when provided or available.
The major takeaway from this should be that where the accident took place will have a major impact on who is held liable for the accident. Just because you are a pedestrian does not automatically mean you have the right-of-way, nor does it mean you cannot be held accountable for your actions or an accident. The following are additional guidelines for pedestrians set in place by the Texas Transportation Code:
- Use the sidewalks when present
- Only cross at traffic lights when given the appropriate signal
- Stay on the right side of a given crosswalk
- Follow the law
If you have been involved in an accident as a pedestrian in Texas, please contact Rad Law Firm today. We will help you determine who was at fault and will advise you on how to proceed. In some cases, both parties may be at fault, which can make for an even more complicated case. Please give Rad Law Firm a call today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.