If you run or jog on local roads or just enjoy a stroll through the neighborhood in the evenings, you know to be wary of negligent drivers. In collisions between a person and a motor vehicle, the person sustains the brunt of the damage, often resulting in devastating injuries that could be permanent, or even fatal.

If you or someone you love were struck by a motor vehicle while standing, walking, or running in the area, a local injury attorney could help you seek damages from the negligent party. Damages could cover medical bills, lost wages, and a host of other expenses and losses. A Maryland Heights pedestrian accident lawyer could evaluate your case and advise whether bringing a claim makes sense in your particular situation.

Laws Governing Maryland Heights Pedestrians

Pedestrians sometimes assume that they always have the right of way when they use public roads, but that is not always the case. Missouri Statute §300.390  requires pedestrians to use crosswalks in business districts and other places where they are available. If there are traffic lights or pedestrian control signals, people traveling by foot must obey those signals when crossing a road. When walking or running along a road, pedestrians must be facing oncoming traffic.

Furthermore, if pedestrians attempt to cross a road that does not have a crosswalk, they must yield to oncoming traffic. A person may not step into a roadway when a vehicle is approaching if it is so close that it will not have time to stop. Pedestrians who contributed to their accident should speak with a local attorney about how this could impact their potential recovery.

Is the Driver Always Responsible for Striking a Pedestrian?

An injured pedestrian (plaintiff) who seeks damages must prove that one or more other parties (defendants) were negligent. Proving negligence requires a plaintiff to show that a defendant had an obligation to the plaintiff and failed to uphold it. The plaintiff also must prove that the defendant’s failure directly led to the accident that caused their injuries and compensable damages.

While the driver of the vehicle is almost always partially responsible for striking a pedestrian, in some cases, a lawyer may identify other people in Maryland Heights who played a role. This includes the municipality, the vehicle manufacturer, and even the plaintiff.

Government Entity

Municipalities and local governments are responsible for maintaining their roadways so that they are reasonably safe for users. Sometimes their failure to do so results in drivers striking pedestrians, and in those cases the local government could be held liable.

A few examples of situations in which a local government could be liable to an injured pedestrian include:

  • Inadequate street lighting
  • Poorly marked crosswalk
  • Poorly maintained traffic lights or pedestrian control signals

Vehicle Manufacturer

Sometimes an injured pedestrian could seek damages from the manufacturer or seller of a defective product that contributed to the situation that led to their injury.  Product liability might come into play if a car’s brakes failed or a traffic light or crossing signal malfunctioned due to a design or manufacturing defect as opposed to poor maintenance.

Driver Error

Most pedestrian accidents are caused by driver error. Sometimes the error is inexperience, such as a teenage driver inexperienced in the time it takes to stop to avoid hitting a pedestrian in an intersection. Distracted driving and driving under the influence often contribute to pedestrian/vehicle collisions.

Work with a Maryland Heights Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Pedestrian accidents often are physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. Therefore, you should allow a Maryland Heights pedestrian accident lawyer to handle the litigation process so you may focus on your recovery.

A seasoned professional could investigate the accident, identify all potentially liable parties, and start building a case against them, while simultaneously attempting to reach an equitable settlement. If negotiations fail to produce a fair offer, then a dedicated attorney could represent you in court. Call today to get an legal advocate working for you.