Close to 5,000 pedestrians are killed in car accidents every year. Our St. Louis car accident lawyer represents clients who have suffered injuries or who may be a survivor of a pedestrian killed as the result of the reckless or negligent conduct of another person. For obvious reasons, the pedestrian’s chances of avoiding injury or death are very low, especially when factoring in the speed of the car involved in the pedestrian collisions; slow speeds are fatal but as the speed of the vehicle approaches 30 MPH, almost no pedestrian goes uninjured.
Driver Fault & Factors in Car versus Pedestrian Deaths:
- 30% Hit and Run Accidents
- 14% Failure to Yield to the Pedestrian’s Right of Way
- 13% Speeding or Driving Too Fast for Conditions
- 12% Inattention by the driver
- 10% Failure to maintain proper lane by the driver
- 6% Erratic and Reckless driving
- 15% All Other Factors or Undetermined.
Most injuries or deaths are the result of single-vehicle crashes, or in other words, one car hits the pedestrian. Other causes are from pedestrians being hit by the vehicle or stationary object that is hit by another vehicle and forced into them. According to the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration, the largest contributing factors to pedestrian injuries are:
- 75% occur at non-intersections and dangerous roadways without crosswalks
- 47% of pedestrian injuries involve alcohol
- 67% of pedestrian fatalities occur on urban roads
- 66% occur after dark, 6 p.m. to midnight account for 50% of all pedestrian fatalities
- 48% of pedestrian deaths occur on the weekend.
- 18% of pedestrians killed are victims of hit & run crashes
Additionally, only about 10% of pedestrian deaths occur around roadways with a speed limit of 30 MPH or less. The majority of pedestrian deaths and injuries occur in speed limit zones between 30 and 50 MPH.
How to avoid a Pedestrian Accident when walking along the roadways:
- Try to stay in lighted areas or increase visibility in any way you can. As mentioned above, two-thirds of pedestrian deaths occur in low light conditions, not just at night, but low light conditions.
- Avoid crossing the streets when there is no crosswalk.
- Always assume a driver does not see you or is distracted driving.
- Be particularly careful during the high-risk times of 6 p.m. to midnight and the weekends.
- Also see the Walkability Checklist by NHTSA, especially for kids.
Pedestrian Deaths and Injury Cases
Any good personal injury lawyer will also investigate and rule out any fault by the pedestrian when looking into a case. If there are adverse witness statements or other evidence which points partial or more fault on the pedestrian that must be addressed immediately.
The most common defenses include blaming the pedestrian for the injuries because:
- Improper crossing of roadway or intersection
- Walking, playing, or working in the roadway
- Failure to yield
- Darting or running out into the road
- Failure to properly treat injuries by not seeking adequate medical treatment
The above examples of potential defenses could be a basis for a jury to find the pedestrian completely at fault or at least partially at fault. This is referred to as “contributory negligence” or “comparative fault”. The best injury lawyers deal with unfavorable evidence as early as possible and take it head-on rather than ignore it and wait for their adversary to bring it up.
Injuries suffered as a result of these types of accidents are almost always severe such as brain injuries and unfortunately often end in death. According to governmental statistics, less than .01% of the time a car and pedestrian are involved in a collision the driver is hurt; however, that percentage is close to 90% for the pedestrian. Specific legal issues arise in these types of cases; specifically, whether or not the pedestrian had the right of way is critical.
Drivers of motor vehicles owe everyone else the “highest duty of care” while operating their car. Similar to car accidents involving bicycles or motorcyclists, pedestrian and vehicle accidents are often the result of the negligence of the driver as people tend to look for other cars and fail to recognize pedestrians and their right of way.
Different counties and states have specific laws regarding the right of way of pedestrians and there are fact issues that are unique to every case. We can evaluate your case for you and give you an assessment of your legal options and compensation you are entitled to.
Get Help from our Pedestrian Injury Lawyers in St. Louis
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed injured in a pedestrian accident, contact us online or call one of our pedestrian accident attorneys at (314) 863-0500 to set up a free consultation with a St. Louis car accident attorney to discuss your case. Your insurance claim may entitle you to lost wages, pain, and suffering, medical expenses, or wrongful death.