In Texas, filing an insurance claim as an injured pedestrian—and the types of insurance available to cover your damages—is very similar to those who are involved in more traditional two-car accidents.
Since Texas is a tort state, the at-fault party bears the primary responsibility for paying medical expenses, wage losses, pain and suffering, and any other applicable damages related to the crash. If you were a pedestrian hit by a car, and the accident was not your fault, you would typically file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
However, this is not the end of the story for many pedestrians. If the driver is uninsured (which is true for around one in six Texas drivers) or you’re the victim of a hit and run, there’s no source of liability insurance for you to make a claim against. And even if the driver is insured, Texas only requires a minimum of $30,000 in liability coverage per person (or $60,000 total for an auto accident with multiple victims). Since pedestrian accidents are often severe or fatal, this figure may be woefully inadequate to cover your damages.
Fortunately, there are other potential sources of insurance you may be able to turn to. If you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UI/UIM) or personal injury protection (PIP) on your own auto insurance, these policies could apply to your situation even though you weren’t in your car when the accident occurred.
A pedestrian accident attorney can help you identify all potential sources of insurance coverage so that you can receive the largest settlement possible.
Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault in an Accident?
Yes. Even in pedestrian accidents, the driver of the automobile isn’t always 100% liable. Often, fault is shared between the driver and the pedestrian. In rare cases the pedestrian hit by a car may even be primarily or entirely liable.
For example, a pedestrian could be held at least partially liable if they:
- Clearly failed to follow right of way rules
- Ignored crosswalk directions
- Was jaywalking
- Suddenly darted into the road (for example, while intoxicated)
- Was walking in an area where pedestrian access is restricted or prohibited
That said, the driver will often share responsibility as well—for example, if the were speeding, or distracted at the wheel.
How Texas Law Affects Your Pedestrian Accident Case
Texas is a modified contributory negligence state. You can only recover financial compensation to cover your losses if you’re found to be 50% or less at fault for the accident. Furthermore, the amount of damages you can recover are reduced by your share of fault. For example, if you’re claiming $100,000, and a jury finds you 25% responsible, you can only recover $75,000.
Personal injury cases where fault is shared or unclear are frequently contentious and often take longer to resolve. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you protect your legal rights and work toward a fair resolution.