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The 2 sides of 'duty of care' in Texas auto-pedestrian accidents

In our last post, we offered a take on what makes for a successful pedestrian accident claim. As we noted, the central matter of concern is the level of attention paid to the details of the case. Lacking experience, it is possible to overlook important factors that could derail efforts to obtain the full measure of recovery that may be possible.

Of particular importance is the notion of duty of care that all parties in an accident are subject to. In very general terms, when a claim of injury is brought, the basis of the plaintiff's argument will be that the defendant owed a duty of care that was ignored, overlooked or was neglected altogether. But duty of care is something that exists on both sides of the equation.

On the driver's side of the scale, the weight of the issue is whether the person exercised reasonable care for the circumstances. Common elements that might be cited as evidence of negligence could include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Ignoring the right of way of a pedestrian in crosswalks
  • Failure to account for existing conditions such as weather or traffic
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs

Reasonable care is also expected on the part of pedestrians. Examples of someone on foot failing to exercise proper duty of care might be:

  • Walking against the light at a controlled intersection
  • Ignoring the flow of traffic at uncontrolled intersections
  • Crossing at locations other than crosswalks
  • Dashing in front of traffic

We all have an obligation to exercise due care. But when someone fails to meet that obligation and injury or death results, victims' rights for compensation need to be fought for and upheld.

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