Elizabeth Larson Killed in Grand Prairie, TX, Pedestrian Accident
Grand Prairie, TX -- January 12, 2017, Elizabeth Michelle Larson was killed following an accident in which a vehicle hit her as she crossed the street.
According to reports released by the Grand Prairie Police Department, the accident occurred near the Jefferson Street and South Belt Line intersection at about 7:30 p.m.
Preliminary investigations indicate that 33-year-old Larson was attempting to cross Jefferson Street at the time. As she did so, a Dodge pickup did not avoid her in time, and she was hit by the vehicle.
Larson suffered critical injuries in the accident. Emergency services came to the scene and transported her to Methodist Dallas Medical Center. She later died in the hospital.
The condition of the driver was not specified. No charges or citations were reported. Authorities say the incident remains under investigation.
Map of the Area
Pedestrian accidents are often more complex than a lot of people may think. The common misconception is that if someone violates someone else's right of way, then the violator is automatically liable for an accident. Things aren't actually that simple. When determining liability for an accident, a civil jury is trying to determine the proximate cause of the injuries sustained.
Proximate cause is basically the event which most directly causes the damages in an accident. In other words, the main reason someone was hurt or killed. So when we look at this accident, I have seen some reports say the victim did not use a crosswalk, indicating that she violated the vehicle's right of way. This may or may not be the case, but let's assume this is true. The victim violating the vehicle's right of way does not automatically put them at fault for the accident. The entire context of the accident must be considered before any conclusions can properly be made.
For instance, our firm has had more than one accident where a pedestrian or a bicyclist crossed the street illegally and got hit by a car. However, upon further investigation, it was determined that the drivers were behaving negligently--texting, intoxicated, speeding, or otherwise not paying attention to the road. In this cases, it can be reasoned that a driver under normal circumstances would have been able to avoid hitting the pedestrian. Due to their impaired or distracted state, these drivers did not adhere to their duty to pedestrians to do everything they could to avoid an accident.
The state of Texas requires drivers to be attentive of the roadway at all times and to avoid accidents to the best of their ability. When a negligent driver fails to do this, they are breaking the law. Whenever this is the case, one can see how things aren't as simple as, "who had the right of way when the accident happened?" All of the details of the accident--the condition and actions of everyone involved--need to be thoroughly investigated in order to draw conclusions. Once all of the facts are brought to light, only then can victims and their families move forward.
--Grossman Law Offices