Houston pedestrian accidents highlight safety issues

A series of recent pedestrian accidents in the Houston area has called attention to the issue of pedestrian safety in the city. In one of the most recent incidents, a 25-year old man was struck by a motorcycle and killed on Highway 59 in the early morning hours of April 27, 2013.

Earlier the same month, two more pedestrians were struck on Houston roads in the space of two days. On April 13, a man was hospitalized after being clipped by a truck while walking on Gulf Bank Road. The next day, a 46-year-old woman was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while getting into a vehicle near downtown Houston, KHOU.com reported.

In another local case, a 41-year-old Texas City woman was convicted on May 6 of intoxication manslaughter for running off the road and killing a pedestrian in 2011.

Pedestrian injury facts

While people tend to think of car accidents mostly in terms of drivers and passengers, many of those who are harmed by traffic collisions are pedestrians. In fact, according to the Federal Highway Administration, pedestrian deaths account for 12 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Nationwide, about 4,000 pedestrians are killed each year in vehicle crashes, and another 59,000 are injured.

To put these numbers in perspective, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that someone is taken to an emergency room for treatment of traffic-related pedestrian injuries once every eight minutes in the United States - and once every two hours, on average, a pedestrian dies as a result of a vehicle crash. In the next 24 hours, this translates to approximately 460 pedestrian injuries and six pedestrian deaths on U.S. roads.

Liability for pedestrian accidents in Texas

Regardless of whether criminal charges are involved, vehicle drivers who kill or injure pedestrians in Texas can be held liable in civil court for the damage they cause.

Depending on the circumstances, a person who has been injured in a vehicle-pedestrian crash in Texas may be able to receive compensation for the harm they have suffered from the crash, including medical and rehabilitative costs, lost wages and other damages.

Similarly, when a person dies as a result of a traffic accident in Texas, his or her surviving family members may be able to recover compensation for their hospital bills, funeral costs, loss of financial support, and other harm caused by the crash.

To learn more about the process of pursuing compensation after a car crash in Texas, contact a veteran personal injury lawyer. An attorney with experience representing injured pedestrians and their families will review your case and help you decide whether to move forward with the process of seeking compensation.