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Legal Blog

Steps To Take After Being Hit By A Car

Texas drivers share the roads with pedestrians and cyclists every day. Though all parties must obey the rules of the road, sometimes, people get careless or distracted, and accidents happen. For pedestrians and cyclists, these car accidents are especially dangerous. Taking steps immediately and in the days following an auto accident can make the road to recovery a bit smoother for victims. One step in learning what to do if you get hit by a car is reaching out to The Krist Law Firm, P.C. for help. The Texas pedestrian accident attorneys from our legal team fight for the rights of those who have been hit by a car, working to hold the responsible parties accountable and get victims the financial justice they deserve.

Pedestrian and Cyclist Accidents on the Rise

TxDOT classifies pedestrians and cyclists as “vulnerable road users” in its open data portal and “more likely to sustain fatal or severe injuries in crashes than occupants of motor vehicles.” The portal also shows that roads are becoming more dangerous for Texas pedestrians and cyclists.

For both groups, fatalities have shown an upward trend over the past five years. The most recent full year of TxDOT data collection shows:

  • 5,751 traffic crashes involved pedestrians
  • 2,347 traffic accidents involved pedal cyclists
  • 825 pedestrian and 92 pedal-cyclist accidents involved fatalities
  • 1,442 pedestrian and 321 pedal-cyclist accidents produced serious injuries
  • 2,227 pedestrian and 1,124 pedal-cyclist accidents produced minor injuries
  • For both pedestrians and cyclists combined, there were 1,816 possible injury crashes and 401 non-injury crashes

Safety Comes First

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has rules that drivers involved in car accidents must follow. First, those involved need to offer help to the injured. Whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist, driver, or passenger in another car, the driver who hit you needs to follow these laws. While the driver who hit you probably does not have the medical expertise to provide professional care, it is still their responsibility to call 911 and / or help you move to a place of safety, as long as that movement will not cause further injury.

Document Information

Drivers involved in car accidents must exchange specific information as per TxDOT regulations. If you are a pedestrian or cyclist, the driver who hit you must still provide you with the following:

  • Contact information
  • Vehicle identification
  • License plate numbers
  • Insurance information
  • Driver’s license information

You should also document the location of the accident as well as any witnesses’ names, addresses, and contact information.

Report the Car Accident

Lady is on the phone as an ambulance approaches. What to do if you get hit by a car. The Texas Transportation Code establishes laws governing what drivers must do after a crash. Drivers must stop their cars at the scene. Along with attending to the injured and exchanging information, they must stay at the site until law enforcement arrives if the crash involves:

  • Fatalities or injuries
  • A driver or drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • A driver who flees the scene
  • An uninsured driver or drivers
  • A vehicle or vehicles with too much damage to be moved
  • Apparent property damage of $1,000 or more

If you are hit as a pedestrian or cyclist, the probability of injury is extremely high. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for a driver to think otherwise and leave the accident scene. Drivers who ignore Texas law and leave the scene of accidents producing injuries can face felony charges. Costly fines and imprisonment are potential penalties, not to mention a personal injury lawsuit to collect financial damages for any and all injured parties.

Gather Evidence

If you can do so safely, start gathering evidence at the accident site. Take pictures documenting your injuries, property damage, and the scene overall. Road conditions, traffic signs and signals, road markings, street lighting, or other aspects of the environment may be important.

For accidents occurring in business areas, ask proprietors to save security camera footage. If bystanders or witnesses have photos, video, or dashcam content, ask them to send it to you. Your Texas car accident lawyer can use this information when investigating your accident and building your case.

Prompt Medical Attention

Woman is on the phone next to an injured cyclist. What to do if you get hit by a car. Unfortunately, most who are hit by cars need emergency care. If you are fortunate enough not to, still see a doctor soon after your accident–within hours or a day of the crash. Do not assume you “got lucky” if you initially manage to walk away from the scene. This step is essential both for your safety and the success of your injury claim, should you need to file one.

Some injuries have delayed effects. Adrenaline surges in the moments after a crash, and this adrenaline can hide systems or distract you from them. Pain may set in later or appear as you put more stress on certain parts of the body throughout the day. Even deadly injuries can take time to show. Brain trauma, internal organ damage, and / or internal bleeding may not be immediately apparent, but if left unnoticed and without prompt treatment, it can lead to long-term damage or death.

Regarding your injury claims, postponing treatment gives the at-fault party an opening to argue that your injuries could not have been that severe if you did not seek fast care and to blame you for any worsening in your condition. They will also allege the injuries are not connected to the accident, but instead were caused by an intervening or independent event that occurred in between the crash and seeking treatment.

Contact a Houston Car Accident Attorney

As soon as possible after your auto accident, reach out to a Texas personal injury lawyer from The Krist Law Firm, P.C. Texas car accident victims have the right to seek compensation from the party who caused the crash leading to their injuries. By partnering with an experienced trial attorney promptly after an accident, you put yourself in the best position to collect the compensation you deserve.

How A Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Once you connect with The Krist Law Firm, P.C., your attorney can begin investigating the car accident. It is rare for pedestrians or cyclists to bear the full blame for an accident. However, the at-fault party will do their best to put as much blame as possible on you. Texas follows a comparative negligence, or proportionate responsibility, system for personal injury cases, which means:

  • Victims can only pursue damages if they are less than 51% responsible for the accident causing their injuries.
  • Victims eligible to seek damages but who still bear some fault for the accident will see their total compensation reduced according to their percentage of fault.

Your attorney will gather evidence to prove the at-fault party’s negligence and to protect you from unfair blame. Your personal injury lawyer will take care to value your losses with precision, factoring in all expenses and losses incurred by the accident and calculating a settlement demand.

The Krist Law Firm, P.C. will handle all negotiations with the at-fault party, working to secure a fair settlement outside of the courtroom. However, if the other side does not engage fairly and you need to take your case to court, our award-winning legal team will be primed and ready to fight for you at trial.

Put The Legal Burden On Us

All your resources need to go into healing after you have been hit by a car. Achieving maximum recovery is your goal. Do not be distracted from your goal by managing the complexities of a personal injury claim on your own. The Krist Law Firm, P.C. is here to take the legal burden off of you and manage your case from start to finish. Your Houston pedestrian accident attorney will handle your case with efficiency, communicating with you every step of the way, and fight to hold the at-fault party or parties accountable for paying you the compensation you deserve.