A car hits you as you cross through an intersection. Can you get a settlement for your injuries?
Fault Gets Complicated in Pedestrian Accidents
If you’re on your cell phone and you walk right through an intersection when the crossing sign says not to, and without looking, you clearly have some degree of fault if a car hits you.
But then they also have some responsibility. Let’s say they were talking on their cell phone too.
You now have a complicated mess of partial fault to sort out.
Pedestrians and Drivers Both Have a Duty of Care
A “duty of care” is a reasonable standard of behavior you must follow while driving or walking as a pedestrian to avoid causing harm to others.
For drivers, the most common breaches of this “duty of care” are:
- Distracted driving: eating, texting, talking on the cell phone, putting on makeup etc…
- Not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Failing to obey traffic signs and lights
- Failing to use a turn signal when turning or changing lanes
- Driving too fast for weather or traffic conditions
- Drivers also have a duty of care to exercise a higher level of caution when they observe, or should know, children play in the area.
Pedestrians also have a “duty of care.” And here are the most common ways they breach that duty of care:
- Ignoring a walk/stop walking signal in an intersection
- Disrupting the flow of traffic
- Jaywalking in areas not clearly marked as crosswalks
- Darting in front of a vehicle
Walk Defensively, Just Like You Drive Your Car
If you have to text or e-mail, stop and sit on a bench. Or stand out of the way of foot traffic. Don’t listen to music or watch videos while you walk. That eats up your data anyway.
Statistics say you probably won’t get hurt if you do. But, you raise your chances of getting hurt, and you could be the one person that experiences catastrophic injuries.
And think of it this way: if you get hit by a car, it’s a guarantee the car always gets the better end of the deal. You might get some money out of it. But the pain, suffering, and inconvenience simply isn’t worth it.
So be safe out there. And if you do get in an accident, talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer in Dallas to see if you can recover compensation for your injuries.
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Shane V. Mullen is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas for the general practice of law, and the Managing Partner at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX. His firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law and has been in business for 40 years. Before becoming a lawyer, Shane worked for his father as an accident injury claims investigator.