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Driver fault is not assumed in Texas auto-pedestrian accidents

The automatic assumption following an auto-pedestrian accident may be that the driver is to blame. Certainly, pedestrians are more often than not the ones who experience the most pain and suffering. A driver can be entirely responsible for a Dallas pedestrian collision or may share blame for an accident.

A tractor-trailer accident in a busy Southern city claimed the life of a high school junior. The 17-year-old was in a crosswalk, as the truck was making a right turn on a green light. During the police investigation, the truck driver said he never saw the teen, before his vehicle struck and ran over the girl.

The student was pronounced dead at the mid-day accident scene.

Authorities brought no immediate charges against the 45-year-old truck driver, although the investigation into the fatality is continuing. Police indicated the teen’s death was due partly to the driver’s failure to yield.

Investigators did not say whether the pedestrian had a signal to cross at the time of the accident. Driver intoxication was not suspected. The interstate driver’s record showed he had a driving history containing an unspecified number of traffic violations.

Blame is not assigned for an injury accident or fatality until evidence supports criminal wrongdoing or civil liability. At first glance, it may appear that a driver bears the fault for a pedestrian injury or death. Upon closer examination, evidence may show that the crossing signals or traffic lights were not working properly or poorly maintained.

Governments that design or maintain roadways improperly may be held accountable for accidents, when proof of negligence is produced. Liability lawsuits involving government defendants are more complex and handled differently than civilian claims, because settlements and damages involve taxpayer money.

Pedestrians are sometimes faulted for an accident. In that case, any damage award the injured plaintiff received would be reduced by the percentage of blame the pedestrian shared.

Source: The Tennessean, “Pedestrian killed in downtown tractor trailer collision was Hume-Fogg student” No author given, Dec. 19, 2013

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