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Pedestrian Accident Lawyer St. Louis

Pedestrian accidents are almost always severe. As a result, it’s essential to obtain total financial compensation so the injured person can receive the medical care and rehabilitation services they will need.

Pedestrian accidents often injure those most vulnerable — school children, walking to and from school, or elderly persons trying to cross busy streets. Another common type of pedestrian accident occurs when a car hits a pedestrian in the crosswalk because the driver looks at traffic, not the pedestrian.

The seriousness of pedestrian injuries depends upon how fast the car was traveling. Leg injuries can range from torn cartilage and tendons to broken bones (fractures of the kneecap (patella), tibia and fibula of the lower leg, and femur in the upper leg). If the pedestrian is thrown into the air, injuries can include brain damage, herniated discs, internal injuries to the kidney or spleen, and liver lacerations.

pedestrian walk sign

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 7000 pedestrians died as a result of car accidents in 2020. On average, one pedestrian dies every 75 minutes in the U.S. Most of these accidents could have been averted with simple measures such as drivers giving pedestrians the right of way and pedestrians being vigilant and avoiding distractions while on the road.

Be Vigilant

All motorists should maintain constant vigilance and control over their vehicles, especially in pedestrian traffic. A driver traveling at 25 mph in a residential area should be extra cautious and reduce the speed if children are playing nearby.

Distracted Pedestrians

Just like distracted drivers, distracted pedestrians can cause fatal accidents. Smartphones and tablets are a source of distraction for pedestrians. Distracting activities like texting, talking, or listening to music isolate pedestrians from the sounds of their surroundings, such as car horns, ambulance or police sirens, and train whistles. Pedestrians should avoid distractions while walking on the road to avoid serious accidents.

distracted man looking at his phone while crossing the road

Distracted Pedestrians are Dangerous

Studies show that pedestrians distracted by smartphones have a 2-second delay before they cross a street busy with motor vehicles. This delay is enough to confuse motorists on the road. The distraction also makes a pedestrian slower and unable to cross the road before the traffic light changes.

Dangerous Times of Day for Pedestrians

Rush Hour

Rush hour is hectic for commuters, and pedestrian accidents are unfortunately all too common. There are several reasons for this:

  1. There are more pedestrians on the road during rush hour.
  2. Lengthy commutes at this time often lead people to be in less than optimal mental and physical states, which may cause them to be distracted either before or during their walk or commute.
  3. Traffic is often heavy and fast-moving during rush hour, making it difficult for drivers to stop in time if someone suddenly walks into the street.

All these factors contribute to the increased risk of pedestrian accidents during rush hour. 

During Rain and Snow

Pedestrian accidents are also common during inclement weather, particularly when it’s raining or snowing. This may be because slippery roads make walking more treacherous, increasing the risk of slipping and falling into the path of oncoming traffic. In addition, reduced visibility due to heavy fog can also contribute to pedestrian accidents. For example, a person walking crossing a foggy street may not be able to see an oncoming vehicle until it is too late, leading to dangerous collisions and potentially life-threatening injuries. 

After Dark

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities occur between 6 p.m. and midnight. Many factors contribute to this increase in accidents after dark. First, it’s more difficult for motorists to see pedestrians at night. Pedestrians may also have difficulty seeing potential hazards, such as potholes or oncoming traffic. Additionally, darkness can reduce depth perception and make it more difficult to judge distances. 

Failure to Yield Right of Way to Pedestrians

Many pedestrian accidents occur in crosswalks and are often the fault of the car’s driver.

Car-pedestrian accidents are a common occurrence across the United States. Unfortunately, many of these accidents occur due to the driver’s fault, who either did not look out for any pedestrians or failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian. A large number of pedestrian accidents occur on crosswalks. Failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk is a moving violation and often results in serious injuries and fatalities. A person found guilty of this violation can face heavy penalties and fines.

Fines and Penalties

A person found guilty of failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk may have to pay a fine ranging from $100-$500. If the person repeats the offense, the fine may be higher, and the person may even get jail time.

The individual will have to pay higher penalties and fines for more serious injuries and damages.

Traffic Points and Driving Record

A driver found guilty of failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk can get at least two demerit points on their driving record. This can have several consequences for the driver. For example, the points can add up quickly, and they may lose their driver’s license for a specific period. This would also lead to an increase in the premium the person has to pay for insurance.

Lawsuits Against the At-Fault Driver

If a pedestrian gets injured in an accident caused by a driver who failed to yield to the right of way in a crosswalk, he or she can claim damages from the at-fault driver. The pedestrian can claim all medical expenses, loss of wages, property damage, pain and suffering, or any other accident-related expenses from the driver. If the driver fails to pay the damages claimed by the pedestrian, the pedestrian can file a lawsuit to get the compensation that he/she deserves.

Depending on how serious the injuries are, the at-fault driver may have to pay damages running into thousands of dollars. In the case where a pedestrian gets killed in an accident caused by the driver’s failure to yield to the right of way, his or her dependents may be able to make a claim and seek compensation for all the expenses they incurred and for the pain and suffering they endured.

Who is At Fault If a Pedestrian is Injured While Jaywalking?

Generally, you’d think that people who break the law have what’s coming to them. If a person jaywalking gets hit by a car, tragic as it may be, you may think the accident is automatically their fault.

pedestrian walk sign

Indeed, they should not have been jaywalking in the first place. You may think the case is closed immediately since they broke Missouri law. Well, not quite. Yes, if you jaywalk, you are breaking Missouri law, and as frustrating as this action may be for drivers, it doesn’t always mean that if you get hit, it is your fault alone.

The driver can also be held accountable.

What Does the Law Say?

In Missouri, you are required to walk and cross the street only in areas specifically designated for this purpose, such as public sidewalks or crosswalks, and only when the relevant traffic signs allow you to.

If you break this rule, you can end up paying a fine. While it’s not considered a very serious offense, it’s best not to conduct any act of jaywalking to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

Drivers are not automatically exempted if they hit someone just because they were jaywalking. According to the traffic law that oversees jaywalking offenses, drivers must give way to pedestrians crossing the road, even if they do not do so on an existing crossing facility. Failing to do so may result in paying a hefty fine.

What This Means

Drivers still have the obligation to watch out for pedestrians. In accidents involving jaywalkers, it’s important to review the circumstances of the incident to determine who is at fault—the driver or the pedestrian.

In some cases, a driver can take little action to avoid a pedestrian. If someone runs into the street thinking they could cross before the oncoming vehicle, the driver may not have sufficient time to slow down or change lanes. As a result, the pedestrian is injured, but it’s unlikely for the driver to be found guilty if they did not have a reasonable time to react.

If, however, it is established that the driver had the means to avoid the pedestrian but did not, then their behavior may come into question:

  • Were they speeding?
  • Were they distracted?
  • Did they intentionally try to hurt the pedestrian?

Therefore, the details of the case are essential in establishing fault. Jaywalkers should never be dismissed as guilty automatically until all the case details are reviewed.

Jaywalking is a law violation punishable with a fine, but if you get injured in a car accident because of it, you aren’t necessarily 100% to blame. Contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer to see if your case is eligible for an injury claim or to learn about your other legal options. 

Ensuring Maximum Compensation for Your Injuries

At The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C., our focus is helping people recover total financial damages for injuries and wrongful deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents. With 25 years of personal injury experience, attorney Christopher Hoffmann has handled hundreds of car, truck, and pedestrian accident cases in Missouri.

We handle a variety of pedestrian accident cases, including those caused by a car or truck driver who:

You deserve total and fair compensation for your losses. We aim to ensure you are treated fairly by the insurance company and receive the money you need to maximize your physical recovery.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

Free Consultation (314) 361-4242

Frequently Asked Questions About Pedestrian Accidents

How long does settling a pedestrian accident claim in St. Louis take?

Settling a pedestrian accident claim can vary widely in duration, depending on the case’s complexity, the extent of injuries, and the insurance companies involved. While some cases may settle within a few months, others may take a year or more, especially if they go to trial.

What happens if a pedestrian causes an accident in Missouri?

Missouri follows a pure comparative fault rule, which means a pedestrian who is partially at fault for causing an accident can still recover damages. Still, their percentage of fault will reduce their compensation. Understanding the specific circumstances of the accident is essential to determining liability.

When is a pedestrian at fault for a car accident in St. Louis?

A pedestrian might be considered at fault for a car accident if they were jaywalking, crossing against traffic signals, walking along highways or bridges not designed for pedestrian traffic, or being distracted while walking. Each case is unique, and fault is determined based on the specific facts.

What is considered a pedestrian accident in Missouri?

A pedestrian accident involves a vehicle colliding with a person on foot. These incidents can occur in various settings, such as crosswalks, sidewalks, parking lots, or roadways, and can involve different types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles.