Can a Pedestrian Be Responsible for His or Her Own Injuries?
We’ve all heard it stated that “the pedestrian always has the right of way.” That would suggest that, whenever a pedestrian is injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, the driver will be held liable. But is that accurate? Are there situations where the pedestrian may be partially, or even wholly, responsible for any injuries suffered?
The Rights and Duties of Pedestrians and Motorists in Texas
As a general rule, all persons in society have a duty to use reasonable care in all their endeavors, so as to minimize the risk of injury to others and to themselves. Accordingly, both drivers and pedestrians must act reasonably at road crossings. Furthermore, pedestrians must obey the same traffic laws and regulations as motorists, including stop signs, yield signs and traffic lights. If a pedestrian approaches a four-way stop, he or she must typically act as if in a motor vehicle, first coming to a complete stop, then looking at all other stop signs and allowing any driver who is already there to go first.
If there is a crosswalk at the corner, the pedestrian must cross the road there and must obey any signs at the corner. If the “Walk” sign is illuminated, the pedestrian will always have the right-of-way. If the “Do Not Walk” sign is on or the pedestrian has a stop sign, he or she must stay at the corner until the crosswalk sign changes. Note that, under Texas law, there is a pedestrian crosswalk at all four-way intersections, whether one is painted on the pavement or not (unless there is signage specifically prohibiting pedestrian travel).
Motorists must always yield to pedestrians who are in a crosswalk, even where the driver is allowed to make a right of left turn. Motorists must also give pedestrians the right of way when pulling into or out of an alley or driveway. A motorist may not pass a vehicle that has stopped to give a pedestrian the right of way.
Can a Pedestrian Walk on the Road?
In Texas, a pedestrian may only travel on the road if there is no sidewalk or if the sidewalk is blocked for any reason. When walking on the road, a pedestrian should always be on the left side of the road, adjacent to oncoming vehicles.
Can Both Parties Be Liable?
Absolutely! Texas adheres to the principle of “modified comparative negligence.” If the injured party caused the accident, he or she can still recover compensation, provided his or her liability was less than 50%.
Contact the Proven Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we understand the devastating impact a pedestrian accident injury can have on every part of your life. We’ll be at your side throughout the legal process, acting as your advocate with insurance companies and as your voice in all meetings, hearings and legal proceedings. Contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.