Texas drivers are aware of a variety of traffic laws they must follow while they are behind the wheel: stop at a red light, don’t text and drive, and make sure to turn on your signal light. However, many Texans have wondered if it is illegal to drive barefoot in Texas. Will driving shoeless get you a ticket in the Lonestar State?
What the Law Says in Texas
There is no law in Texas that prohibits a driver from driving barefoot. In fact, driving barefoot is legal throughout the United States, so drivers do not have to worry about putting on their shoes during a cross-country road trip.
However, many individuals believe that it could be dangerous to drive while barefoot. After all, a person’s feet may easily slip off of the accelerator or brake pedal. Additionally, without shoes, many drivers find it challenging to apply enough pressure to the pedals.
Certain types of shoes, such as heels, wedges, flip-flops, and bedroom slippers may also be difficult to drive in.
How the Shoes You Wear (Or Don’t Wear) While Driving May Impact You Legally
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, every detail about the incident becomes relevant—your driving record, the weather, and the extent of your injuries are all examined in a personal injury claim.
Texas personal injury attorneys advocate for accident victims and ensure that they receive adequate compensation for their injuries. In many cases, insurance companies try to assign blame to accident victims to reduce the amount of money they must pay in a claim.
If you were driving barefoot at the time of the accident, the insurance company may try to use this fact against you in a personal injury claim.
Personal injury claims are included under the umbrella of negligence claims in Texas.
All negligence claims examine the following factors:
- Any duties that were owed to the victim;
- The breach of these duties by a negligent act or omission; and
- The damages the victim suffered as a result of this negligence.
All Texas drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a manner that is reasonable under the circumstances. Following traffic laws and slowing down for poor weather are examples of being reasonable.
A breach of this duty may occur if a driver texts while driving, speeds in rainy conditions, or runs a red light.
Damages include the expenses a victim has incurred as a result of the incident, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Texas follows a modified contributory negligence model. An injured victim’s damages may be reduced in an amount that is proportionate to the victim’s own negligence. If the victim is originally entitled to $100,000 in damages, and the victim is found to be 25 percent responsible for the accident, the victim would receive $75,000.
Therefore, if you are barefoot while driving, an insurance company may try to argue that your damages should be reduced, if it can be argued that your lack of footwear contributed to the accident.
Damages in a Texas Car Accident Claim
The damages available in a Texas car accident case vary significantly depending on the facts of the claim. Damages may include:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of future surgeries, physical therapy, and other medical care
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- The cost of hiring in-home caregivers
- The cost of remodeling a home, such as building a wheelchair ramp or installing a chair lift
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Other types of damages may also be available, depending on the individual claim. Experienced Texas car accident attorneys ensure that all avenues of recovery are pursued so that the maximum amount of compensation available under the law is sought. These attorneys fight the ridiculous claims that insurance companies make against accident victims in an attempt to reduce their damages.
If You Need an Experienced Fort Worth, Texas Personal Injury Attorney, Call Today
The personal injury attorneys at Patterson Law Group are not afraid to take on insurance companies and fight for the compensation their clients deserve. To schedule a free consultation with our team to discuss your legal options, call 817-784-2000 today.