According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a car accident involving a pedestrian occurs, on average, every 110 minutes in the state of Missouri. Car crashes involving pedestrians are generally the most deadly types of traffic accidents due to the fact that pedestrians have nothing to shield them from the impact of heavy motor vehicles.
Brown & Brown, LLP serves victims of pedestrian accident living throughout the Greater St. Louis area. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a pedestrian accident, please call 314-333-3333 or 618-888-8888 to schedule a complimentary case review and learn how we can help.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Factors that can increase the chances of a pedestrian accident include:
- Poor street lighting at night and/or lack of reflectors on crosswalks
- Malfunctioning signals at intersections
- Lack of signage or fading paint associated with crosswalks
- Vehicle equipment failures, particularly brake system failures
- Driver negligence, such as drivers not paying attention to the road, falling asleep at the wheel or having slowed reaction times due to alcohol or drug impairment
In the first three examples, the city or government entity responsible for keeping roadways safe would be the liable party and, as a result, could be named as the defendant in a pedestrian accident lawsuit. Alternatively, a vehicle equipment manufacturer or another driver would be the negligent party and could be found responsible for compensating victims for their injuries and losses.
At Brown & Brown, our attorneys investigate every pedestrian accident to determine its cause. This enables us to establish liability and build a case that seeks maximum compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and personal pain and suffering.
A Note on Crosswalks
Missouri and Illinois state laws detail specific legal rights that pedestrians have (and do not have) when it comes to crossing the street and using walkways like sidewalks and crosswalks. Some of these legal rights and prohibitions include the following:
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks when traffic control signals (such as “walk” or “do not walk” indicators) are not in place and when the pedestrians are about half-way across the road
- Vehicles stopped at stop signs must stay stopped and allow any pedestrians to cross the roadway in front of the car, and any vehicles approaching from behind the stopped vehicle must also stop and yield to the pedestrian right-of-way
- Pedestrians should NOT cross roadways in areas other than crosswalks between adjacent signals that are in operation
- Pedestrians should NOT attempt to cross a roadway when a “Don’t Walk” indicator is on unless that pedestrian has already crossed part of the street when the “Walk” indicator was present
- Pedestrians should NOT attempt to cross roadways by any route other than a right angle or the route that is the shortest distance to the curb
It is important to remember that very few accidents are black and white. Even if you were in violation of a state or local ordinance, if you have sustained a serious injury in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our St. Louis or Fairview Heights office to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
What Should I Do if I've Been Hit by a Car While Walking?
When you are seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, it is a good idea to discuss your options with a personal injury attorney. Insurance may be quick to offer a settlement in hopes of preventing you from taking further action, but accepting an insurance settlement will waive your right to seek fair compensation through legal action. Before accepting an offer from insurance, talk to one of our lawyers for free to learn more about your options and your rights.
How Long After the Pedestrian Accident Do I Have to File a Case?
In the state of Missouri, you have five years from the date an injury is discovered to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Illinois, you only have two years.
Regardless of the statute of limitations, it is always best to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible following a pedestrian accident. Waiting can cause complications and may diminish the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Pedestrian Accident Case?
Personal injury claims may settle within a few weeks of filing but often take six months or more. If your claim requires a trial, it may be two or more years before a verdict is reached in your case.
No two claims are the same. The best way to learn how long your claim may take is through a one-on-one consultation with a qualified and experienced pedestrian accident attorney.
What Is the Typical Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident Case in Missouri?
Typically, we will seek compensation for both general and special damages. General damages include things that may not have a provable monetary value but are still relevant to the claim such as pain and suffering and forced changes to your lifestyle. The value of special damages, on the other hand, can be established and will include things such as medical expenses, lost wages, and household expenses.
Each case is unique, making it very difficult to establish the “average” amount of compensation following a pedestrian accident. The attorneys at Brown & Brown utilize all available resources to build strong cases on behalf of our clients and prepare each case for any eventuality to seek maximum compensation for victims of serious injury.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Be Proven in the State of Missouri?
Personal injury claims typically require an investigation. Our attorneys know how to investigate claims in order to establish liability. This may require accident reconstruction, review of police and medical reports, interviews with witnesses, and more.
It is important to remember that, even if you played a role in your accident, you may still be entitled to compensation. Talking to an experienced lawyer is one of the most effective ways to learn if you have cause to file suit.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Following a car versus pedestrian accident, pedestrians will likely be suffering from serious injuries. Even cars traveling at very slow speeds can cause devastating physical damage to a person who has no protection from an impact.
Common types of pedestrian injuries that can be sustained in motor vehicle accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruising
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of limbs
- Paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal injury
When Negligence Causes Pedestrian Injuries
Car accidents resulting in pedestrian injuries may be caused by unforeseeable or unpreventable events such as poor weather conditions or animals in the roadways. However, these accidents are often the result of error or negligence committed by another driver, a vehicle equipment manufacturer and/or an entity responsible for keeping the roadways safe.
When you are injured in an accident, it is be crucial that you speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers as soon as your health has stabilized. During your cost-and-obligation-free consultation, we will carefully listen to your experience, provide honest and frank information about your legal options, and guide you towards the most suitable course of action.