When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, the results can be catastrophic. While those in passenger vehicles are protected by their vehicle’s exterior, pedestrians have nothing to reduce the impact. Because of this, they often experience very serious injuries, such as broken bones, blunt force trauma, traumatic brain injury, and paralysis, and sometimes succumb to their injuries. These physical injuries and other damages can take a huge toll financially. Luckily, victims may bring a claim against the at-fault driver to recover damages. However, the injured party is responsible for proving negligence.
Elements of Negligence
In order to prove negligence in Texas, you must prove four elements:
- Duty – The driver had a duty of care to safely operate their vehicle.
- Breach – The driver failed to carry out this duty by not acting with reasonable care.
- Causation – The driver’s breach of duty caused the accident and subsequent injuries.
- Damages – The pedestrian suffered damages as a result of their injuries.
Damages may include things such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Other expenses related to the accident
Evidence to Support Liability
We know that drivers all owe a duty to operate their vehicle safely and with reasonable care. Therefore, the difficulty in proving liability is proving that the driver breached this duty and therefore the other two elements as well. Pedestrian accidents are not always the fault of the driver. So, to prove that the driver breached their duty, the pedestrian must present evidence of the breach, causation, and damages.
Evidence that can be used to support the allegation that the driver breached their duty include:
- Police report – A police report is an official document that the police compile after responding to the scene of the accident. It provides a detailed description of the events that transpired. It generally includes the names of the parties involved, the time and date, the weather, contact of witnesses, injuries, damages, and description of what occurred. Your attorney may be able to use the police report to support your claim.
- Witness testimony – If anyone witnessed the accident, it’s important to obtain their names, numbers, and addresses. Be sure to ask the witnesses if they would provide a written statement regarding everything that they saw. You can record the statement if that’s easier, but be sure to record yourself getting permission first. The statement should be as detailed as possible (everything from the street(s) to the weather, to the time). The sooner that you can gather this testimony, the better. The longer you wait the more memory will fade.
- Photographs and video – Photographs and video are a special type of evidence. They allow you to prove the conditions at the time of the accident without having to only describe them. There are a variety of elements to capture, such as:
- Damage to the vehicle(s)
- Weather conditions
- Road conditions
- Skid marks
- Traffic signs and signals
- Overall scenes of the accident
Since the scene of the accident can easily change, it’s best to take the pictures and video as soon as possible.
- Medical records – Medical records are great for demonstrating the severity and extent of your injuries as well as the treatment required. This can assist not only in proving liability, but also in determining damages.
When you are injured in a pedestrian accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. There is a good chance that you may have suffered very serious injuries whether or not you can see them. Because you must leave the scene to get help, having someone else you trust to collect the evidence is very helpful, whenever possible. Additionally, a knowledgeable and experienced attorney with experience in pedestrian accidents can help to collect relevant evidence and build a strong case on your behalf.
The Attorneys at Ceja Law Firm Help Those in Houston Who Have Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident due to the recklessness or negligence of another, it’s vital that you understand to what you are entitled under the law. With this information under your belt, you can make the important decisions regarding how you want to move forward. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a qualified Texas personal injury attorney.
At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we understand the impact that an accident can have on many parts of your life and the importance of properly dealing with such negligence or recklessness. That’s why we will work to get you the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!