Pedestrian & Semi-Truck Accidents
If you or your loved one has suffered an injury from a truck accident, it can be a devastating experience to be involved in a pedestrian truck accident. If another party was at fault, we’re here to help answer any questions you may have.
Pedestrian truck accidents are scary and can have devastating consequences. So while they are not as common as other truck accidents on the open highway, pedestrian related truck accidents can be the worst kind of automobile accident that one could suffer. The law firm of Pierce Skrabanek has worked on behalf of numerous victims of pedestrian truck accidents, and have worked with individuals and families who need support after the accident.
To help persons seeking information about this topic, we have put together the following article to help you understand how the law treats pedestrian truck accidents. The topics covered in this are the following:
- Who are Pedestrians, The Legal Standpoint
- Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities
- Pedestrian Injury Statistics
- Pedestrian Injuries Type
- Common Causes of Pedestrian Truck Accidents
- Pedestrian Safety
It is our hope that this information will offer you some direction for moving forward. If you would like to talk about your legal options with an experienced attorney, call us today.
Who are Pedestrians, The Legal Standpoint
It is important to understand that from a legal standpoint, a pedestrian is not only a person on foot. The law defines pedestrians as anyone not on or in a motorized vehicle. By that definition, people using skates, skateboards and wheelchairs (includes non-motorized wheelchair and motorized mobility device) also qualify as pedestrians.
Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities
If you have been injured in an auto-related accident, the injured party should be aware that Texas uses the Modified Comparative Fault Rule. This means that the insurance companies involved will investigate the accident in order to assign a percentage of responsibility to each party involved to determined whether a claim should be paid or not paid.
To ensure that an injured party’s rights for claiming recovery are secure, legal experts typically advise that the claimant (in this case, the pedestrian) not make any statements about the accident if there is a request for a statement. To learn what to do at the scene of the accident, we provided and article on What to Do After a Texas Auto Accident.
An experienced legal expert can protect your claims in the event that the driver at fault or insurance company may seek to invalidate your total claim through assigning fault or partial responsibility to the pedestrian who had been injured.
Pedestrian Truck Injuries and Statistic
How often do pedestrian injuries occur? The city of Houston has one of the highest rates of pedestrian accidents in the state of Texas and ranks among the top 5 cities in the nation for pedestrian deaths.
Our area’s notoriously heavy traffic creates the conditions for one small misstep to result in major catastrophe. That is why it is imperative for pedestrians in Houston to be extra aware of their responsibilities and their rights.
An overwhelming percentage of pedestrian fatalities are caused by accidents with semi-trucks. The most recent statistics show that 71 percent of annual pedestrian deaths are the result of being hit by a truck, with 14 percent of nonfatal injuries to pedestrians caused by truck accidents. The reason for the disparity between these fatal and nonfatal injuries percentages is clear: when a pedestrian is hit by a truck, there is much less likelihood of their surviving the impact.
Common Types of Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
Being struck and falling to the ground can cause an injury at any speed. The devastating seriousness from being injured by a vehicle weighing upward of 10,000 pounds and moving as fast as 55 miles per hour is unimaginable until it happens.
Some common injuries that occur from pedestrian truck accidents are:
- Broken bones
- Bleeding (external and internal)
- Leg injuries
- Pelvis fractures
- Broken neck
- Traumatic brain injury
It is important to remember that some injuries are long-term life-changing injuries that manifest over the years. You may want special care to monitor your health. If you have been injured, you may want to seek the advice of a medical professional who is experienced in vehicular related pedestrian accidents.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Most people usually think of semi trucks as being confined to highways and interstates, and may wonder how a pedestrian gets hit by a semi truck in the first place.
- Pedestrian truck accidents can easily happen within a rest stop or service station lot. These environments are often disorienting, with many vehicles passing between the entrance and exit, and it is all too easy for a pedestrian to wander into the blind spot of a semi truck or to misjudge which direction the truck is about to move in.
- In addition, many pedestrian truck accidents have taken place on freeway ramps and their nearby intersections. In these situations, semi trucks have barely transitioned out of highway speeds, which causes a delay in their ability to make a sudden stop.
- Smaller commercial trucks, such as delivery trucks or moving vans, are often found in urban areas, whether on the main streets of a town center or within neighborhood side roads. In this environment, numerous pedestrian truck accidents have taken place. For example, a driver backs out of a driveway and strikes an approaching bicycle that they failed to see. Another example is when a driver takes a corner too quickly and hits someone who has just entered the crosswalk. In either scenario, the slower pace of these roads may cause a truck driver to forget how suddenly pedestrians can appear, and how likely they are to be invisible until it is too late.
Pedestrians often assume that truck drivers can easily see them from the high perch of their cab. In fact, the height and size of commercial trucks create large blind spots for drivers. It is best to assume that unless you make eye contact with the truck driver, you are outside his field of vision and should use extreme caution while moving near his vehicle.
Here are some of the actions pedestrians can take to reduce their likelihood of being hit by a semi truck.
Even something as simple as anticipating the “walk” signal at a crosswalk can cost you dearly. Your safety begins with obeying traffic laws that govern pedestrian behavior.
One of the first lessons we all learn as children is to look both ways before crossing the street. As adults, though, it is easy to forget this maxim, especially when we are in a hurry or distracted by our phones. Keep your eyes open for lights and oncoming traffic, listen for the noises that signal a truck backing up and, if possible, make eye contact with drivers at intersections.
Use Alcohol Consumption Safety Practices In Public
We all know not to drink and drive. But a few too many drinks can just as easily impair your safety as a pedestrian. Be aware that stumbling off the sidewalk and weaving off your travel course has the potential to bring you into the path of an oncoming truck.
Report Dangerous Driving
If you spot a truck driving recklessly, whether it is going too fast for the safety of other motorists or is creeping over the line at an intersection, do your part to protect others in your community. Many trucks have a number posted on the end of the trailer where their driving may be reported. If you cannot obtain that number, report the truck to the police.
What to Do If Hit by a Truck
If you or someone you love is involved in a pedestrian truck accident, you may want to enlist the services of an experienced attorney.
The law firm of Pierce Skrabanek has years of experience helping victims of car and truck accidents successfully file claims for financial damages. Our expert attorneys have a proven track record of making sure that truck accident victims receive the maximum compensation allowed by law. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your legal options.