Wrongful Death and Pedestrian Accidents
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a pedestrian is killed through the negligence of a driver, certain family members can bring a wrongful death claim for compensation. The spouse of the victim as well as the parents of a child victim can bring a lawsuit against the negligent party. If a parent was killed, one of the children can bring a claim against the party responsible for the accident, even if his or her siblings do not want to. If you have another type of relationship with the victim, such as an uncle with legal guardianship over a child victim, you may also be able to bring a claim against the negligent party. The lawyers at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. will be able to determine whether or not you have the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the driver who caused the accident.
Pedestrian Fatalities on Rise
The number of pedestrians killed in Houston by motor vehicles has risen dramatically recently, as reported by the Insurance Journal. In fact, from 2015 to 2016 alone, pedestrian fatalities rose by one third. Urban planners believe that part of the rise in deaths may be due to millennials’ preference of making trips on foot, whereas older generations stick to cars. Authorities may blame pedestrians for using pedestrian infrastructure incorrectly and first ask whether the pedestrian was crossing in or outside of a crosswalk; local transportation advocates believe that the better question to ask is whether or not the infrastructure was designed correctly in the first place.
If pedestrians have to walk four blocks to cross a street at a crosswalk, of course they are going to attempt to cross outside of a crosswalk. However, the most likely cause of rising pedestrian fatalities in Houston is the prevalence of cell phone use behind the wheels of cars. Even at the end of 2014, only 89% of Americans had cell phones. That number rapidly rose to 95% by 2017, according to Pew Research. More and more drivers talk and text on their phones, taking their minds and eyes off the road while operating deadly two-ton vehicles through traffic, by sidewalks, through crosswalks, and in parking lots.
If the fatality occurred outside of a crosswalk, the driver can still be found negligent if he or she was not paying attention. However, if the victim contributed to the accident, a court may reduce the settlement based on the percent of fault assigned to the victim. This is called contributory negligence. In these instances it is crucial to have a lawyer with trial experience handling your case. Your attorney can minimize contributory negligence by proving that the at-fault driver was distracted, speeding, intoxicated, or driving aggressively.
A Houston Wrongful Death Attorney is Here to Help
The lawyers of Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. are here to help you seek compensation from the person who took your loved one’s life. Financial justice is, of course, never enough to take back even the smallest amount of true damage caused by this terrible incident. Call us today for assistance and free consultation 713-221-6800.