Pedestrian Accident Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri
You have probably heard the saying that “the pedestrian always has the right of way.” According to the law, this is not accurate. Pedestrians, just like people driving motor vehicles, share a duty of care to others using roadways and sidewalks.
Nonetheless, a pedestrian hit by a car is no match for thousands of pounds of steel, aluminum, plastic, and rubber. If struck by a vehicle, the pedestrian will pay the highest price. If the driver was negligent, the financial responsibility is theirs.
Pedestrians injured by drivers, or their families if they are killed, deserve to be represented by a pedestrian accident attorney dedicated to getting them the compensation they deserve. At The Law Office of Steve Slough, we are fierce negotiators with insurance companies and tenacious litigators in the courtroom.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been incapacitated or killed in a pedestrian accident in St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, or Madison County, Missouri, or in St. Clair County, Illinois, count on us. We will walk you through your personal injury or wrongful death claim from beginning to end.
Who Is Liable in a Pedestrian Accident?
Who is liable in a pedestrian accident determines who is financially responsible for the harms and losses suffered by victims of that party’s negligence. However, fault in a pedestrian accident can lie with more than one party, including the vulnerable pedestrian.
Missouri’s pedestrian right-of-way law places responsibility on both drivers and pedestrians. Fault is determined by which party breaches their responsibilities and to what degree.
Pedestrians are required to cross streets at marked and unmarked crosswalks where streets intersect. They are required to obey traffic signs and signals and to not enter a crosswalk in front of an oncoming vehicle without giving that vehicle sufficient time to stop and yield the right of way to the pedestrian.
If a pedestrian crosses a roadway in an area other than an intersection, they must yield the right-of-way to all oncoming vehicles.
Where sidewalks are provided, Missouri law requires that pedestrians use them. If there are no sidewalks, they can walk as far to the left of the roadway as possible with oncoming traffic coming toward them.
Drivers are required by law to exercise the highest degree of care when operating a vehicle. They must yield to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks. Moreover, if a vehicle is stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway, no other vehicle should attempt to pass it.
Because drivers must exercise the highest degree of care, they must stop for pedestrians in the roadway, even if the pedestrian is crossing against a signal, jaywalking, or crossing outside of an intersection. Drivers who fail to stop and injure a pedestrian may be found liable despite the pedestrian’s actions, but the pedestrian will likely also shoulder blame.
There are hazards that demand extra vigilance by both pedestrians and drivers. For example, wet or icy streets can cause pedestrians to move slower, or they can slip and fall when crossing a street. Drivers need to slow down to be able to stop if a pedestrian crosses in front of them when roadways are slick. Streets without lighting make it difficult for pedestrians to see at night. Sidewalk-adjacent construction can force pedestrians into roadways, and roadway construction can distract drivers.
How Is Fault in a Pedestrian Accident Determined?
Missouri is a fault state, but it also recognizes pure comparative fault. Accident victims can pursue personal injury and wrongful death claims against any party that bears any degree of fault. However, a victim’s settlement or jury award will be reduced by the victim’s percentage of fault.
For example, Mary approaches the crosswalk as the walk light is flashing yellow. She chooses to enter the crosswalk and attempts to hurry across the street. Joe is driving a car waiting for the green light. As soon as the light turns green, Joe accelerates through the intersection and strikes Mary’s rear leg as she’s stepping up on the curb. She is thrown into the air and falls violently to the ground.
Joe owed the highest duty of care to allow Mary to finish crossing the street, even if he had the green light. Still, because Mary chose to enter the crosswalk at a time when it was likely she would not make it completely across the street before the traffic light turned green, she will bear some fault as well.
A jury determines that Joe is 80% at fault and Mary is 20% at fault. If that jury awards Mary $300,000 in damages, that award will be reduced by her percentage of fault, or $60,000, leaving her with $240,000.
How Much Time Do I Have to Pursue a Claim?
Missouri’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is five years. You must settle your claim with the insurance company or file a civil lawsuit against the driver within that amount of time or you forfeit your legal right to pursue compensation.
The statute of limitations in wrongful death claims is only two years.
What Damages Can I Recover?
You can recover economic and non-economic damages in personal injury and wrongful death claims. Economic damages are medical and funeral expenses, lost income, and other expenses. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and loss of consortium, guidance, and companionship.
What Steps Are Next?
If you are the victim in a pedestrian accident, you can pursue a personal injury claim. If someone you love could pursue a personal injury claim but their injuries make them incapable of doing so, you can petition the court to appoint you as conservator to pursue the claim on their behalf. If you are a surviving spouse, child, parent, or sibling of someone killed in a pedestrian accident, you can pursue a wrongful death action.
In any of these situations, you should immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you.
Pedestrian Accident Attorney Serving
St. Louis, Missouri
You place faith in vehicle drivers that they will watch out for you when you are sharing Missouri’s roadways. If you are injured or someone you love is killed because they neglected the care you deserve, you need to hold them accountable. At The Law Office of Steve Slough, holding others accountable for the harm they have caused to our clients is what we do.Call our St. Louis, Missouri, office now to schedule a free case consultation.