Questions and Answers About Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in McAllen
Our pedestrian accident lawyers answer some frequent questions we get about pedestrian accidents in McAllen and wider Texas.
1.What are the most common causes of McAllen pedestrian car accidents?
The most common driver-caused pedestrian accidents include:
- Drivers running 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 found that 28% of deaths at intersections with signals happened when a driver ran a red light. Data from the Texas Department of Transportation show that disregarding stop signs or lights resulted in over 10 thousand crashes among statewide crashes.
- Drivers failing 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, 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% or more. Twenty-nine people die daily because of drunk drivers, and drinking and driving results in more than 25% 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. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 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.
🞤 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 car accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3 million Americans are 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 Car 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 on 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
- The design of the vehicle.
The most common injuries include head 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, and they 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 body temperature control, 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 a pedestrian accident 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. With a pedestrian accident lawyer, 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.
At Patino Law Firm, we understand the pain and suffering of losing a loved one. We have compassionate pedestrian accident attorneys who can help you get justice and financial compensation for what happened.
Emotional Trauma after a Pedestrian Car Accident
Emotional pain is detrimental to your quality of life after a pedestrian car accident. Pain and suffering include physical pain, mental anguish, and other psychological effects caused by the accident and your injuries.
Emotional trauma is a key factor in determining pain and suffering in a lawsuit brought by you and your pedestrian accident attorney. 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 doesn’t go away easily. 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 it, 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.
Victims of accidents can sometimes develop panic disorders, the symptoms of which are:
- 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 people will also experience depression after pedestrian car accidents. Depression often requires long-term treatment, and these are some common symptoms:
- 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 medical professional immediately. Also, contact an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to find out if you qualify for compensation.
Financial Concerns after a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian car accidents can have serious financial consequences. Typical costs include medical expenses (including medication), costs of future medical treatment, and rehabilitation costs. Medical expenses can include the cost of:
- Ambulance and emergency services
- Hospitalization fees
- 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 of which 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, resulting 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 can also affect intellectual abilities and cognitive functions. As a result, victims can’t always carry out work that requires an extensive amount of cognitive functioning, such as desk jobs. Lost earnings are often included in compensatory awards. Contact an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer 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?
You should contact a pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. 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. So an experienced pedestrian accident 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?
After a pedestrian car accident, working with insurance companies and trying to get a fair settlement for your injuries is often an 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 that’s 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 victims that they’re getting a fair payout — when they’re not — and they 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 expert pedestrian accident attorneys, we know how to negotiate and defend our clients’ rights. We are familiar with and are not afraid of the 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?
Both parties involved in a pedestrian car accident will sometimes 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 pedestrian accident 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 pedestrian accident lawyers not only help clients obtain fair offers but also represent them 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 relevant evidence, such as police and accident reports, eyewitness statements, photos and videos, and expert opinions. We will review the paperwork to resolve the claim and expedite the process of recovering damages from the opposing party.
Most importantly, our pedestrian accident attorneys work for a contingency fee, which means you will not have to pay attorneys’ fees if we do not win your case. So you don’t 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, if you’re injured due to the negligence of a driver, you may recover damages for:
- 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)
- 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
- $25,000 for property damage.
Additionally, an injured person who is 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. But 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 car parts distributor 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 a pedestrian car accident during the scope of their 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 car 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. 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
Texas is the most accident-prone state in the United States and one of the top states for pedestrian deaths from car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 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, and 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, and Sugar Road and Sioux Road, Sugar Road and West Polk Avenue in Pharr.
While you’re 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, to get justice and compensation.
With the assistance of a McAllen pedestrian accident lawyer from Patino Law Firm, you might be able to get financial compensation after suffering a pedestrian car accident caused by another party. Contact us now to discuss your situation with us and find out how we can fight for you.