While traveling by foot has many benefits, it also comes at an increased risk of harm when occurring alongside heavily trafficked roads. If a driver is behaving recklessly or carelessly, they could unintentionally strike a pedestrian, causing grave harm.

Fortunately, a Chesterfield pedestrian accident lawyer could help you get the compensation you deserve if a reckless driver crashes into you while you are out for a walk. Enlisting the services of a knowledgeable injury attorney could help you hold the negligent motorist accountable for the harm they have caused you.

How Do People Walking Get Hit by Drivers?

Pedestrian collisions are more devastating than other accidents because pedestrians do not have the protection motorists do. While pedestrians enjoy many rights on the roads, drivers do not always pay attention to them. Drivers may strike a person walking due to:

  • Distracted driving by talking or texting on cell phones, eating, drinking, or searching radio channels
    Pedestrians crossing at an unmarked crosswalk
  • Drivers making left-hand turns and failing to see pedestrians
  • Pedestrians walking at night and wearing dark clothing, making it difficult for motorists to see them
  • Alcohol or drug use by either the motorist or pedestrian

An experienced attorney in Chesterfield could investigate the cause of the pedestrian collision to determine the chances of prevailing in court. If it is found that the driver’s negligence was the cause of the incident, a lawyer could begin building a claim for damages.

The Burden of Proof

Missouri law establishes that motorists have a duty to other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians to follow traffic safety laws in order to prevent undue harm. For instance, a pedestrian lawfully crossing a street within a crosswalk, but with no traffic control signal, has the right-of-way. If a motorist fails to stop and allow a pedestrian to cross, resulting in a collision, they could be liable for the resulting injuries.
The burden of proof falls on the pedestrian and their local attorney to prove that the motorist breached the duty to drive safely by violating Section 300.375 of the Missouri Code. This breach must have directly caused the pedestrian’s injuries which can be compensated in the form of damages.

Damages Available to an Injured Pedestrian

When an injured pedestrian seeks damages from a negligent motorist, the court will usually consider compensatory damages, which are broken down into economic and non-economic. Economic damages account for losses that can be calculated, such as for medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are subjective and include compensation for pain and suffering and loss of consortium. Although many states employ a ceiling for non-economic damages, Missouri does not.

Punitive Damages

If a defendant’s conduct before the accident is especially egregious, wanton, or intentional, Missouri courts may consider awarding the plaintiff punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. However, punitive damages are uncommon, and the Missouri Legislature recently voted to make them even harder for the plaintiff to seek. Currently, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant intentionally and without reason caused harm, or the defendant acted deliberately and with flagrant disregard of others’ safety. A local attorney could determine if punitive damages are viable in a pedestrian’s situation.

Book a Consultation with a Chesterfield Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you are injured while walking, jogging, or otherwise traveling by foot, you could benefit from seeking legal counsel to help you seek compensation for your losses from the at-fault driver. A Chesterfield pedestrian accident lawyer is here to help. Together, you could improve your chances of reaching a positive resolution to your case. Call today to schedule your free consultation.