Walkers and cyclists are often injured in crashes.
In response to a rising trend of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities, Texas is making a major increase in funding for transportation alternatives, reducing car accidents, and safer roads. More than $345 million will be spent statewide on 83 projects like new sidewalks, bikeways, and other types of infrastructure. In Southern Texas, Rio Bravo is spending $1.18 million on sidewalks.
Safety upgrades can't come to Texas soon enough. In 2022, there were 830 pedestrian fatalities and 92 bicyclists killed. And over the last five years, the fatal accident rate for both has risen by 30 percent, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
Can a pedestrian be at fault in an accident?
When a pedestrian or cyclist is hit by a car, most people think that the driver is at fault. But that's not always the case - and it's definitely not how the insurance company sees it. With no one fighting on their side, an injured pedestrian or cyclist must be pressured to accept a lowball settlement or - worse yet - have the driver go after them for compensation.
Many injury victims turn to experienced Texas pedestrian accident lawyers and bicycle accident attorneys for guidance to ensure they don't settle for less than they need and deserve. There's no such thing as a simple car accident with injuries.
Cyclists and pedestrians unfairly blamed
In the aftermath of a pedestrian or bicycle accident, seeking legal counsel is not only advisable but crucial. Here are just a few ways that a lawyer can help after a pedestrian accident or bicycle crash:
- Protection against lowball settlements. Insurance companies may try to settle quickly after a crash. They want victims to close the case before the injured person has a chance to consult a lawyer or understand the full extent of their injuries. An attorney can evaluate the true worth of a legal case, ensuring the victim doesn't accept a too-small settlement. They understand how to calculate the prior, current, and future medical expenses often associated with recovering from specific traumatic injuries. If the victim deserves compensation for non-economic damages like loss of enjoyment, reduced earning potential, and loss of companionship, a knowledgeable attorney will also know how to fight for that.
- Advocacy against unfair blame. In Texas, comparative fault is applied to all accidents, including those involving a pedestrian or cyclist. Essentially, fault is divided among all parties in the crash. The compensation a victim can recover is then reduced by their percentage of fault for the accident. For instance, if a person is 20 percent at fault and has $100,000 in damages, their compensation is reduced by 20 percent (which, in this case, is $20,000) to $80,000. The insurance companies know that the more they can blame a victim, the less they have to pay. That's why an injured pedestrian or cyclist needs an experienced attorney on their side who understands the nuances of law, policies, and negotiation and will fight aggressively for maximum compensation.
- Preventing/handling post-accident challenges. Some insurance companies are relentless in their attempts to blame pedestrians and cyclists for a driver's carelessness. In the aftermath of a pedestrian accident or cyclist crash, victims may face unwarranted compensation claims from the at-fault driver. An attorney serves as an effective shield against an insurance company's attempts to shift blame by skillfully presenting evidence, challenging unjust assertions, and advocating for fair compensation in light of shared responsibility.
If you were hit by a car, contact our law firm
According to state officials, spending more than $350 million on community projects that improve roadways for pedestrians and cyclists is a "historic" step for Texas. This amount is over six times what was spent on such projects last year - $55 million in 2021. However, even with all these enhancements, accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists will, unfortunately, still likely occur. When they do, injured victims can turn to us for help.
If you've been injured or a loved one was killed in a Texas bicycle or pedestrian accident, you don't have to navigate the aftermath alone. Contact John R. Solis, Attorney at Law, for a free case evaluation. Based in Laredo, attorney Solis has over 20 years of experience practicing personal injury law. He has investigated and represented many victims of Texas pedestrian and bicycle accidents. A member of our team is available to hear from you 24/7. Contact us any time.