Many people choose to travel by foot as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to commute. However, walking along roadways puts pedestrians at risk of being hit by a negligent driver.

If you or a loved one were walking in Missouri and a reckless motorist hit you, you may benefit from contacting a St. Louis pedestrian accident lawyer to discuss your case. An experienced injury attorney could help you determine if you have grounds for civil litigation.

Safety Action Plan for Pedestrian’s

The St. Louis Pedestrian Safety Action Plan has identified four areas to concentrate on that would make pedestrians safer in traffic as they walk around the city. The areas are:

  • Infrastructure —maintaining and adding to signage, crosswalks, walkways, and other pedestrian facilities
  • Safety education for everyone on the road and enforcement of existing laws
  • Livability —making walking around the city pleasant and safe through ongoing improvements and amenities
  • Accountability —tracking the progress being made in reducing pedestrian accidents and implementing policies until no pedestrians are injured

Even though the city continues to monitor and implement changes for the better on its roads, negligent motorists still pose a risk to people traveling on foot. A hardworking local attorney could help a pedestrian recover financial compensation after being hit by a motorist.

Damages Available to an Injured Pedestrian

When someone walking is struck by a negligent driver, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic. Fortunately, the state allows injured pedestrians to seek compensation in the form of damages.

Economic damages are the most common type of compensation and include lost wages and accrued medical bills incurred resulting from the accident. Non-economic damages take into account matters subjective to injured parties, such as how much pain they are in, if they have been disfigured by the accident, if they can no longer enjoy marital relations, and if they suffered emotional trauma. These damages are difficult to calculate without help from a skilled pedestrian accident attorney in St. Louis.

Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant who intentionally commits an egregious act with malicious intent or in wanton disregard of the individual’s safety. For example, if it determined that the motorist knowingly aimed their car at a pedestrian with the intent to hit that person, these damages could be awarded. However, 50 percent of any punitive damage award will be allocated to the state of Missouri.

How Long Do Pedestrians Have to File a Claim?

The Missouri Code, Section 516.120, grants residents a limited amount of time to file lawsuits for personal injuries. The statute of limitations to file a civil claim is five years from when the claimant discovers the injury, usually the day of the accident.

Some exceptions to this rule allow for a toll or delayed start of the five-year limit. This occurs if the pedestrian is under 21 years old or is mentally handicapped at the time of the accident. The five-year limit begins when the claimant turns 21 or is judged competent.

If the defendant is a government employee driving in the course of work, an injured pedestrian must file a claim within 90 days of the accident. Failure to file a claim in time could result in a case being permanently dismissed.

Call a St. Louis Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Help

While the city has made significant progress in reducing harm to pedestrians, these accidents are still fairly common. Therefore, it is highly important for people who are harmed while traveling by foot to consult with a local pedestrian accident lawyer. A seasoned attorney could help determine how to move forward based on the individual’s unique circumstances. To learn more, call our office today and schedule your initial case consultation.