Llano Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Accidents involving pedestrians in Llano, Texas, are unfortunate. Imagine you were hit by a distracted driver outside the Dabbs Hotel while crossing E. Burnet St on your way to grab lunch, or perhaps you were struck by a driver speeding out of the Self Serve car wash on Bessemer Ave who wasn’t paying attention. As a Llano pedestrian accident lawyer, W. Shane Jennings knows these accidents happen, and he is here to help.
Unfortunately, there are many ways that a pedestrian can be hurt. Because they’re not protected by a vehicle around them (as drivers and passengers could be), there is a high potential for serious injuries or worse. Both pedestrians and motorists are responsible for looking out for each other, but pedestrians will have the right of way in many conditions. It’s also important to remember that a child’s behavior can often be less predictable than that of an adult, so in this case, a motorist carries a larger responsibility.
You may wonder what to do next if you’ve been injured as a pedestrian. You may have suffered serious injuries that require hospitalization or surgery, followed by physical therapy, medication, and perhaps months of care. Sadly, some pedestrians are left with a permanent disability following such an accident, and the repercussions can be enormous.
When you are in this position, it’s good to know that help is available. You can turn to W. Shane Jennings, your pedestrian accident attorney in Llano, to help support your claim and move forward. Shane and his staff will be delighted to chat with you, but first, here are some more detailed answers to the questions you will inevitably have.
What to Do If You Are a Pedestrian in a Llano, TX, Accident
When you’re a pedestrian in a Llano, TX accident, you may immediately go into a state of shock. This is typical, and in this state, you may be confused about what to do next.
First things first, call for emergency assistance from the Llano Police Department and the other first responders to deal with your injuries. You should always get checked out by medical personnel in this situation, even though you may not be immediately aware of injuries. Adrenaline may be pumping, which can often mask pain, and in some cases, you may have neck or back trauma that may not be immediately obvious.
The police officer will also document the situation. They may ask you questions and talk with the other party to see what happened and to establish who may be at fault. You’ll need to get a copy of the official report once they have compiled it, and you should take the details (name and number) of the officer involved for your records. If you can, use your mobile phone to take your own photos of the accident scene, including the vehicle. This information may be handy as you begin to build a case.
Remember, without records that may show what happened and that you suffered physical trauma from the accident, it may be difficult to obtain as much compensation for your pain and suffering as possible. Of course, concentrating in a dramatic situation like this can be difficult, but try your best.
Is There a Time Limit to Filing a Texas Pedestrian Accident Claim?
Yes, you need to remember that Texas has a Statute of Limitations for any pedestrian accident claims. Generally, you have up to 2 years to file a personal injury lawsuit in Llano, Texas, that seeks compensation for your damages. But there are exceptions, and it’s important to know what these are.
The statute of limitations will begin on the accident date and not the date you file a claim, or an insurance company may deny it. So, you have exactly two years from the date of your accident, although if that date falls on a holiday or weekend, you’ve got until the following business day to file a lawsuit.
However, if the accident results in a wrongful death, the deadline for filing the lawsuit begins on the day that the person died. Sometimes, this may not be the same date as the crash itself.
Occasionally, the deadline can be paused or “tolled.” This can happen if a minor is under 18 years old, without the legal capacity to file a lawsuit or on their own behalf. In this case, the statute of limitations will be paused until their 18th birthday. They will then have two years from that day to file a lawsuit.
Also, if the person who caused the pedestrian accident dies before you file a lawsuit, the statute of limitations would be paused for one year. This is to allow their estate to be processed and a personal representative appointed.
You can read more about the limitations of personal actions within the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code under subsection 16.003.
When Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way?
Pedestrians generally have the right of way if they follow the standard rules of the road. For example, where there is a sidewalk, they should remain on it and only use crosswalks if available. If traffic lights control the crosswalk, they should cross only when they have a green walking signal. In all cases, they should avoid interrupting the typical flow of traffic or jaywalking.
In turn, drivers must pay close attention to the road, obey the speed limit, and yield to pedestrians. But sadly, they do not always exercise reasonable care. Where they do not, and this results in injuries to another person, the negligent driver can be held legally responsible for damages.
How Are These Pedestrian Accidents in Llano Happening?
For pedestrians, it’s important to be as safe as possible when out and about, so it pays to understand how some of these accidents actually happen.
Those who operate vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are a menace, especially for pedestrians. They could easily drive through a crosswalk against the lights when impaired, and the risks increase exponentially at night.
Sadly, some drivers tend to be reckless and ignore the traffic laws. The odds of them being involved in an accident increase, as the driver may not be as concerned about pedestrians as they should be.
When it’s slippery due to heavy rain or cold conditions, it takes a lot longer for a vehicle to come to a halt. If the vehicle is unable to stop in time, it may easily stray onto a sidewalk and hit an unsuspecting pedestrian. Sometimes, vehicles can hydroplane through deep water.
Road construction projects can alter the layout of a familiar area and may make it a risky environment for pedestrians. Sometimes, these pedestrians are in an area where a driver may not expect to see them, which increases the risk.
Even though there may be a crosswalk displaying a green signal in this area, drivers may not be as attentive. When they make a left turn, a pedestrian could be in their blind spot.
When drivers text on their phones, this can be almost as bad as impairment due to drugs or alcohol. They may fail to focus and hit a pedestrian. Still, pedestrians need to focus as well so they do not become distracted by their own digital devices while crossing.
While pedestrians may have the right of way at a crosswalk, some drivers are so impatient to get on the way that they may move ahead before their time. Many pedestrian accidents are caused by motorists attempting to drive around pedestrians instead.
Holding Negligent Individuals Responsible in Pedestrian Accident Cases
A party may be negligent if they cause an accident that injures a pedestrian. However, there are many different ways to hold these parties to account.
For example, a government agency could be responsible if they fail to maintain a road and a defect in the surface leads to an accident. Much will depend on whether the agency was aware of the damage and had sufficient time to carry out repairs before the accident.
The employer or the driver could be held to account as well. This is why some of the ride-hailing agencies like Uber and Lyft carry liability insurance, which is separate from the personal insurance that the driver carries.
In many cases, the driver is negligent and fails to act reasonably under the circumstances. This is why it is important to call a police officer to the scene of a pedestrian accident so they can determine what happened and if the driver was to blame.
Generally, the law says that if a driver is involved in an accident that causes damage to another party (property, vehicle, or pedestrian), they may need to pay for this damage. In Texas, drivers must carry a minimum of $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident. If you’re injured in an accident in the situation, you’ll be able to claim against the driver’s insurance policy.
What If the Driver Who Hit Me Didn’t Stop?
Occasionally, a driver will flee the scene of an accident. They may do so for several reasons, but this is a serious criminal offense in Llano, Texas as per Texas Sec. 550.021, where the actions caused death, injury, or property damage. This could be a misdemeanor or a felony in Llano, depending on the degree of the injury.
If the driver doesn’t stop after they’ve hit you, it can be challenging to identify the perpetrator. See if you can find any witnesses nearby and ask them to record any information they may have. You (or the witnesses) may be able to remember the make or color of the car or whether it had any identifying features (like bumper stickers). If you can get at least part of the license plate number, that should help.
Otherwise, some nearby stores may have video surveillance cameras, which can sometimes capture valuable information.
Provide as much information as you can to the police officers when they attend. They may be able to carry out their own investigations using equipment like red light cameras to help identify the driver of the car.
You should also note that the Texas Senate intends to enact legislation to further protect pedestrians who could be injured in an accident on a crosswalk. A proposed Act (known as the Lisa Torry Smith Act) proposes tougher penalties for negligent drivers who injure pedestrians.
What Type of Settlement Can I Expect for My Llano Pedestrian Accident?
It’s difficult to pinpoint how much you may expect to receive after a pedestrian accident in Llano, TX, as it will depend on the circumstances of the incident. The legal system will take into account several factors, including liability. Occasionally, pedestrians in Llano, Texas, can be found at least partially liable, which could affect the settlement amount. In Texas, this is known as “modified comparative negligence,” meaning that the pedestrian may not get a settlement if they are more than 50% to blame for the incident.
The amount of settlement will also depend on the nature of the injuries. In the unfortunate event of death, the pedestrian’s family can also file a wrongful death claim.
If the driver does not have adequate insurance (or none at all), it can be tricky for pedestrians to file an insurance claim. It may simply be necessary to file a civil lawsuit against the driver.
There are different “damage types,” including general and special. Special damages include lost wages, medical bills, future treatment, and inability to work. General or noneconomic damages include pain and suffering or emotional distress.
While it’s almost impossible to come up with averages, a good range is anywhere between $15,000-$1 million and again, depending on all the circumstances.
Contact the Law Offices of W. Shane Jennings Today
When you’re ready to go ahead with a claim for pedestrian accident damages, you will want to work with the best Llano pedestrian accident attorney you can find. W. Shane Jennings and his team have extensive knowledge in this field and many hours of courtroom experience before juries. Shane promises to defend you as if you were part of his own family and truly cares.
As a leading pedestrian accident lawyer in Llano, he gives you the guidance and advice you need every step of the way. This team of pedestrian accident attorneys in Llano will help you chase the correct compensation if you’re unfortunate to be involved in one of these accidents.
In addition to Llano, TX, the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings also serves Marble Falls, Burnet, Mason, Brady, Fredericksburg, Lakeway, Leander, Copperas Cove, Cedar Park, Anderson Mill, Kerrville, Jollyville, Round Rock, Hobbs, New Mexico, and Las Cruces.