Pedestrian Accident

When Can a Pedestrian Accident Victim File a Claim in Missouri?

If you are the victim of a pedestrian accident in Missouri, and the at-fault driver was negligent, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. Many people ask Missouri pedestrian accident attorneys who is at fault in pedestrian vehicle accidents. 

The short answer is this: Just because a vehicle hits a jaywalking pedestrian doesn’t mean the driver has no legal responsibility. The driver and the pedestrian may share responsibility, affecting the victim’s compensation. Below, a Missouri pedestrian accident attorney covers the ins and outs of traffic accidents involving pedestrians.

What Are the Pedestrian Laws in Missouri?

Missouri law requires pedestrians to cross roadways at crosswalks. Note that not all crosswalks are marked. The continuation of a sidewalk or pathway across a road (usually at an intersection) is considered an unmarked crosswalk. If the intersection has traffic signals, pedestrians must wait on the sidewalk or curb until the light turns green.

If you cross in an area other than an intersection, Missouri right-of-way law requires you to yield to all oncoming vehicles. If you walk into a road when you do not have the right of way, you are jaywalking. Jaywalking in Missouri could lead to fines, increase the risk of accidents, and complicate compensation claims. 

Who Is Liable in a Pedestrian Accident in Missouri?

Pedestrians and drivers have legal responsibilities to keep others safe when on the road. In addition to using crosswalks, pedestrians must walk on sidewalks when available, follow applicable street signs and signals, and wait until it is safe to enter the street.

However, because vehicles are much more dangerous to pedestrians than the other way around, drivers owe a higher duty of care. They must obey traffic laws, exercise extra caution during poor weather conditions, and stop for pedestrians even if they are jaywalking. 

Who owed a duty of care and who breached that duty can determine who is legally liable for an accident. Legal liability, in turn, can determine who bears financial responsibility for injuries and other damages accident victims suffer. Without a Missouri pedestrian accident attorney, it can be difficult to determine these factors.

How Do Comparative Fault Laws Come Into Play?

Missouri is one of only 12 states with a pure comparative fault system. Comparative fault laws reduce your settlement amount by the percentage of fault one shares for the accident. That means if you were 30% responsible for the traffic accident, you would receive only 70% of the compensation amount due to you.

Following these rules, a pedestrian who was jaywalking or otherwise not yielding the right of way would be partially to blame for the accident. For example, if you are crossing against a light and a car hits you, a court may decide you are 40% responsible and the driver is 60% responsible. In this case, an award of $500,000 would be reduced by 40% for your contribution to the accident, leaving you with $300,000.  

Call the Missouri Accident Attorneys at Kevin J. Roach, LLC Today

Regardless of who is at fault for an accident, an experienced Missouri pedestrian accident attorney can help protect your legal rights. Contact The Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, LLC at (636) 238-5848 for a free case consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t pay us anything unless you are compensated for your injuries.