Questions and Answers About Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in McAllen
1.What are the most common causes of McAllen pedestrian accident?
The most common driver-caused pedestrian accidents include:
Drivers run red lights or stop signs. When drivers speed through red lights instead of obeying traffic rules, they drive recklessly and create significant risks to pedestrians. The American Automobile Association (AAA) found that 28 percent of deaths at intersections with signals happened when a driver ran a red light. Data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows that among statewide crashes, disregarding stop signs or lights resulted in over 10,000 crashes.
Drivers fail to yield at crosswalks. Texas law requires all drivers to yield the right of way to pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks. Failure to yield to pedestrians can result in accidents with severe injuries and possible fatalities.
Speeding accidents through school zones, parking lots, or residential areas. Drivers should abide by the speed limit. In Texas, the law sets the maximum speed at 70 miles per hour during the daytime on highways and the minimum speed limit at 15 miles per hour on alley roads, on a beach, or a county road adjacent to a public beach. In urban districts on streets that are not alleys, the speed limit is 30 miles per hour. Failure to adhere to speed limits is a major reason accidents happen. A driver who speeds is more likely to cause severe or fatal injuries to pedestrians.
Drinking and driving. Drinking alcoholic beverages impairs drivers’ judgment and can lead to severe car accidents. Under Texas law, a legally intoxicated driver’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more. Twenty-nine people die daily because of drunk drivers, and drinking and driving results in more than 25 percent of all traffic deaths. The Texas Department of Transportation reported 160 alcohol-related crashes in McAllen in one recent year. Sometimes, drinking and driving is also associated with hit and runs. In Texas, felony charges can result if a person leaves the accident scene before performing the required actions by law.
Driving while distracted. Driving demands full attention and concentration. A slight distraction can lead to disastrous consequences. Distraction.gov characterizes distracted driving as:
“Driving while focused on anything other than driving safely;
Driving while using your hands to do anything other than driving safely; and
Driving while one’s thoughts are on anything other than driving safely.”
When phone calls, emails, texts, or other thoughts distract drivers, they become less vigilant and cannot make swift decisions. As a result, they can jeopardize the safety of pedestrians.
Reckless driving. Under Texas law, a person who drives a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property does so recklessly. Reckless driving encompasses many of the elements mentioned in the previous categories. Additionally, reckless actions such as tailgating, aggressive driving, or running red lights can lead to fatal consequences.
2. What are the consequences of McAllen pedestrian accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3 million Americans get injured in vehicle accidents every year. Pedestrian accidents lead to both physical injuries and emotional pain, described as pain and suffering.
Physical Injuries After a Pedestrian Accident
Physical injuries result in pain, medical expenses, and extensive recovery. Several factors can contribute to more severe physical injuries, including the speed of the vehicle, the angle of the impact of the vehicle upon the pedestrian, the center of gravity of the pedestrian, the part of the body that first comes into contact with the vehicle, the part of the vehicle that strikes the pedestrian first, and the design of the vehicle.
The most common injuries include head injuries and traumatic brain injuries, back and neck injuries, bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, chronic pain, disfigurement, amputation, and death.
Traumatic brain injury refers to damage or destruction of brain tissue resulting from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. This type of injury can be debilitating and life-threatening, and requires extensive and immediate medical care.
Collisions can also tear, sprain, or strain ligaments, muscles, and tendons in the neck and back.
Immediate symptoms of back and neck injuries include:
- Intense pain in the neck, back, or head
- Immobility of fingers or toes
- Tingling, burning sensations, or numbness in parts of the body
- Inability to walk or loss of balance
- Inability to control bowels or bladder
- Difficulty breathing
A pedestrian’s bones can break during a collision. Broken bones can take weeks or months to heal. The broken bone sometimes appears deformed or exposed. Broken bones cannot bear weight. Redness, swelling and tenderness, or bruising and discoloration can appear at the injured site.
The spinal cord is a vital part of our body and spinal cord injuries can permanently disable you. Partial or total paralysis can result in loss of strength, sensation, and function below the site of the injury. Spinal cord injuries can lead to bowel and bladder dysfunctions, chronic pain, low blood pressure, reduced control of body temperature, or inability to sweat below the level of injury.
Chronic pain can persist for victims of pedestrian accidents even with long-term treatment. Chronic pain can cause significant lifestyle limitations and emotional distress. Talk to an attorney now if you experience chronic pain after a pedestrian accident to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Car accidents can also leave scars and other permanent marks. Common disfigurement injuries include facial injuries from burns or deep scarring, loss of limbs or bodily functions, or deep cuts or lacerations.
Car accidents are the leading cause of trauma-related amputations. Amputations require lifelong rehabilitation. During the collision, the impact of a vehicle colliding with the victim can break a victim’s hands, feet, legs, toes, fingers, or arms. Doctors must amputate when they cannot repair damaged limbs or body parts.
Fatalities are another possible result of pedestrian accidents. A family member may bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased against the driver whose negligence or recklessness caused the death of their loved one. Losing a family member is a devastating event that can take a long time to recover from.
We understand the pain and suffering you may incur from losing a loved one. Reach out to our experienced lawyers. We can try to get you compensation for your loss resulting from a pedestrian accident.
Emotional Trauma After a Pedestrian Accident
Emotional pain is detrimental to your quality of life after a pedestrian accident. Pain and suffering includes physical pain, mental anguish, and other psychological effects caused by the accident and your injuries.
A key factor in determining pain and suffering in a lawsuit is emotional trauma. Victims of pedestrian accidents not only suffer physical pain but might also experience emotional distress that persists after a full physical recovery. At the time of the accident and in the days following it, victims might experience shock, trouble believing the accident happened, anger, nervousness, fear, guilt, and more.
Emotional distress usually does not easily go away. Instead, it can have a continuous impact on an individual. During and after physical healing, some people experience post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorders, anxiety, depression, anguish, fearfulness, trouble sleeping, and recurring nightmares about the accident.
Both the person suffering injuries and those who witness the accident can experience PTSD. Symptoms associated with PTSD after a pedestrian accident can include intrusive thoughts about the accident, nightmares about the accident, actively avoiding thoughts or situations associated with the accident, greatly reduced emotions, and feeling detached from others. Individuals might also experience irritability and sleep disturbances.
Scientific studies show that accidents can induce anxiety.
Common symptoms of anxiety after an accident include:
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty thinking/concentrating
Sometimes, victims of accidents may develop panic disorders. Symptoms of panic disorders include:
- Pounding heart or accelerated heart rate
- Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
- Trembling or shaking
- Feeling of choking
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Fear of dying
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
- Feeling out of control or like you’re going crazy
- Chills or hot flashes
A percentage of individuals will also experience depression after pedestrian accidents. Depression often requires long-term treatment.
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts or irritability and feelings of frustration
- Losing interest or pleasure in everyday activities
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Changes in eating habits
- Slowed thinking, speaking, and body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Continually fixating on past failures or blaming yourself
- Increased trouble thinking, concentrating, or remembering things
- Suicidal thoughts
If you experience any of these symptoms after a pedestrian accident, speak with a trusted family member, friend, or a medical professional immediately. Also, call an experienced lawyer to determine if you qualify for compensation.
Financial Concerns After a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents can have serious financial consequences. Typical costs include medical expenses, costs of medication, costs of future medical treatment, and rehabilitation costs.
Medical expenses can include the cost of:
- Ambulance and emergency services
- Hospitalization fees
- Doctors’ fees, including medical diagnoses, scans, and tests
- Surgical treatment costs
- Aftercare costs.
Your doctor may prescribe you medication to help ease the physical or mental pain of your injuries. Some injuries may require long-term care, prolonged hospitalization, and additional surgeries.
These costs can damage your finances, even if your PIP or health insurance covers the treatments. If you require behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and different types of assistive devices, the ongoing costs for recovery and rehabilitation can become stressful and insurmountable.
Another common financial consequence of a pedestrian accident is the inability to work, resulting in lost income. When accident victims experience severe injuries, they can’t immediately return to work to perform their job duties. This results in lost income and earning potential. For example, victims who suffer spinal cord injuries or require an amputation cannot perform certain manual functions and lose their potential to earn an income during their time out of work for recovery, and sometimes permanently.
Head injuries or brain trauma might also affect one’s intellectual abilities and cognitive functions. As a result, TBI victims can’t always perform jobs that require an extensive amount of cognitive functioning, such as desk jobs. These costs are often included in compensatory awards. Contact an experienced attorney now to help you determine how you can get compensation for lost income or the inability to work.
3. When should I contact a pedestrian accident attorney in McAllen?
As soon as possible. A pedestrian accident is a painful and shocking event with devastating emotional and financial consequences. If you’re injured in a pedestrian accident, you and your family members might endure physical and emotional pain. You shouldn’t pay for the costs resulting from someone else’s recklessness or negligence, and you don’t want to try to navigate the complex legal processes alone during recovery.
Under Texas law, you may seek compensation if another party caused your injuries. Recovery is sometimes a long and tedious process. An experienced lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve and make your recovery easier.
4. Will my insurance company cover the costs of my McAllen pedestrian accident?
A pedestrian accident is a stressful experience. After the accident, working with insurance companies and trying to get a fair settlement for your injuries is often another uphill battle. Insurance adjusters usually try to mitigate their losses and financial responsibilities by paying out as little as possible. They will attempt to reduce the value of the pedestrian accident claim by making a low settlement offer for far less than the victim deserves.
Insurance adjusters might downplay the severity of your injuries by disputing your past and future medical costs. They often convince the victims that they’re getting a fair price when they’re not to pressure plaintiffs into accepting an unsatisfactory settlement offer. Often, they scrutinize the evidence, trying to prove you’re partially at fault so they can justify the reduced insurance claim payout or nonpayment.
As pedestrian accident attorneys, we know how to negotiate and defend our clients’ rights. We are familiar with and are not afraid of tactics employed by insurance companies. Our McAllen pedestrian accident attorneys will fight for all of the compensation that you deserve.
5. Will the at-fault party agree to settle?
Sometimes, two parties involved in a pedestrian accident will try to settle privately before resorting to litigation. Even if one party is at fault for causing the injuries, that party might not present a fair offer. When the opposing party has legal counsel, their attorney might try to settle for as little as possible to help the at-fault party pay less than what’s owed to you. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer should represent you to ensure you receive the most compensation for your injuries, whether that’s from a settlement or taking a case to trial.
6. How does an experienced McAllen pedestrian accident lawyer make things easier for me?
Our experienced lawyers not only help clients obtain fair offers but in pedestrian accident cases at trial, when necessary.
We know how to assess pedestrian accident claims and we will inform you objectively whether you have a viable claim against the opposing party. If efforts to settle do not succeed, litigation is usually the next step. Litigation involves complicated legal procedures and extensive paperwork that we can handle for you. We will gather important evidence, such as police reports, accident reports, eyewitness statements, photos and videos, and expert opinions. We will review the paperwork to resolve the claim and to expedite the process of recovering damages from the opposing party.
Most importantly, our pedestrian accident attorneys work for a contingency fee, which means that you will not have to pay attorneys’ fees if we do not win your case. Therefore, you do not have to worry about incurring legal fees before receiving compensation for your injuries.
7. What kind of damages/compensation can I recover from the at-fault party?
Under Texas law, when you’re injured due to the negligence of the driver, you may recover:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional trauma
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment
- Punitive damages
- Property damage
8. How much can I recover from my McAllen pedestrian accident?
Every pedestrian accident case is different.
When determining the amount you can potentially receive in damages, consider:
- The severity of the injury
- Past and future medical treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income (if the injured party is unable to return to work for a certain period of time)
- Lost earning potential (if the injured party has sustained permanent injuries and cannot perform previous job duties)
Since Texas is a fault car insurance state, a driver at fault must pay for any damages and injuries they cause in a car accident.Under liability insurance, an at-fault driver typically retains coverage for the following minimum amounts:
- $30,000 for each injured person;
- $60,000 total for injuries per incident; and
- $25,000 for property damage.
Additionally, the injured person not at fault can sue the at-fault driver for further expenses not covered by the minimum insurance amounts.
9. Who can I recover damages from for my McAllen pedestrian accident injuries?
One or more parties may cause pedestrian accidents. In most pedestrian accidents, the drivers are at fault. However, multiple parties can share liability for your injuries.
The accident may have occurred due to a defective part used in the driver’s car. In that instance, the manufacturer or the distributor of the car parts can be liable since the defective part contributed to the accident and subsequent pedestrian injuries. For example, if the driver of a car that hits a pedestrian couldn’t stop due to defective brakes, the manufacturer or distributor of the car that installed or inspected the brakes may be partially liable for the resulting pedestrian injuries.
Also, if a dangerous road condition contributed to the accident, the government or entity in charge of road maintenance might be liable.
If a driver causes an accident during the scope of his employment, the employer can be liable for his employee’s negligence, even if not present at the scene of the accident.
10. What is the time limit for filing a McAllen pedestrian accident lawsuit?
In Texas, you have two years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury or pedestrian accident claim. If you do not file a lawsuit within the designated two years, you will lose your right to sue per the statute of limitations restrictions. Therefore, speak with a pedestrian accident attorney as soon as you can, so they have time to evaluate your claim, gather the necessary evidence, and decide if a lawsuit is the right course of action for your case.
You Are Not Alone
If someone hit you in their car in McAllen, you are in good company. Texas is the most accident-prone state in the United States and one of the top states for pedestrian deaths from car accidents. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fatal car crash statistics show that Texas had the most traffic fatalities than any U.S. state in one recent year, with 3,407 fatal crashes and 3,776 deaths.
CBS News ranked McAllen, Texas as the 16th worst traffic city in the United States. The increased traffic can lead to more accidents. While some crashes only result in property damage and minor injuries, others can be serious and even fatal. There were 2,746 crashes in McAllen in one recent year, with 64 suspected serious injuries and seven fatalities.
On November 11, 2020, a man faced charges after leaving the scene of a fatal hit and run in McAllen, which took place on Chicago Avenue and 21st Street. Southern Texas cities such as McAllen and Pharr have some of the most dangerous intersections in Texas, including Trenton and North 10th and South 15th and U.S. 83 Business in McAllen, as well as Sugar Road and Sioux Road, Sugar Road and West Polk Avenue in Pharr.
While you are not alone in getting hurt by a car while walking in McAllen, you don’t need to go through the legal process alone. You can call us for help seeking compensation.
With the help of a McAllen pedestrian accident lawyer from Patino Law Firm, you might be able to get much-needed financial compensation after suffering through a pedestrian accident caused by another party. Contact us today to further discuss your situation with us and find out how we may be able to fight for you.