If you are hit by a car or truck while walking or jogging, you might suffer significant injuries. However, the negligent parties responsible for your injuries should pay for your damages.

A seasoned pedestrian crash attorney could negotiate with the negligent driver’s insurance company to obtain a reasonable settlement. However, if negotiations do not produce an acceptable offer, the case could go to court, where a jury could decide how much compensation you are entitled to. Contact a knowledgeable lawyer with Roberts Markland LLP today to learn more about damages in Houston pedestrian accidents.

What Payments Can a Pedestrian Collision Victim Recover?

Compensatory damages make up for the losses a person suffers in an accident. Everyone who suffers harm in an incident due to another party’s negligence is entitled to these payments. An attorney in Houston could help an injured person compile the documentation and other evidence they need to prove their damages after an accident on foot.

Economic damages

Economic payments—often referred to as special or monetary damages—are a form of compensatory damages. These damages compensate victims for losses with a fixed price or a cost that is easy to estimate, including the following:

  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Home or vehicle renovation to accommodate an injury

Economic damages also cover the income losses a person might experience due to an injury. These payments could include the wages a person did not earn while recovering and the value of any sick or vacation time they took. In addition, if the plaintiff cannot return to their job because of their injuries, economic damages will pay the difference between their current earning potential and their earning capacity before the accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Many of the most severe losses a person experiences after a pedestrian accident are not obvious. These damages include the physical and emotional changes a traumatic incident brings. Non-economic damages, also called general or non-monetary damages, compensate injured people for these changes.

For instance, an injured person could seek non-economic damages for their physical pain, emotional trauma, disfigurement, or disability. Non-economic damages could also compensate plaintiffs for inconvenience, humiliation, and lost enjoyment of life. In addition, if an injury caused a significant change in family relationships, family members could seek damages for loss of consortium.

Exemplary Damages

Texas Civil Practice Law and Rules §41.003 allows injured people to seek exemplary—or punitive—damages. However, to collect these payments after a pedestrian collision, a hardworking attorney in Houston must prove that the motorist or other responsible party acted with gross negligence. Doing so requires showing by “clear and convincing evidence” that the party:

  • Acted in a way that created a likely risk of severe harm to others
  • Knew of the significant risk but acted with conscious disregard for others’ safety

Proving these elements is much more complex than demonstrating simple negligence, which only requires showing that someone failed to take reasonable care.

The law places some limits on exemplary damages awards. These settlements may not exceed two times the economic damages plus the non-economic damages up to $750,00, or $200,000, whichever is greater.

For example, if someone received $30,000 in economic payments and $50,000 in non-economic damages, their maximum punitive damages award would be $200,000 because $200,000 is greater than twice their economic damages ($60,000) plus their non-economic damages ($50,000).

However, if someone with severe injuries received $800,000 in economic damages and $1,500,000 in non-economic damages, their maximum exemplary damages would be $2,350,000—twice their monetary damages ($1,600,000) plus $750,000, the maximum amount of non-monetary damages available.

Work With an Attorney in Houston to Claim Damages in a Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrian accident injuries can be severe and create massive financial strain. However, the negligent party that caused the accident might be responsible for compensating your losses.

A capable lawyer could help you pursue damages in a Houston pedestrian accident. Call today to discuss your case with a seasoned attorney.