If you walk or run on the local roads for exercise or enjoyment, you know that vehicles often do not pay adequate attention to pedestrians. Close calls are frequent and serious incidents are not uncommon.
If you have sustained injuries in an accident with a motor vehicle while you were on foot, you could recover financial compensation with help from an experienced local attorney. Consult a Wildwood pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal rights.
A driver who hits a pedestrian almost always has some liability for the accident. Drivers have an obligation to keep a keen eye out for hazards and other road users. Even if a pedestrian is not crossing in a crosswalk or not keeping to the far side of the road, a driver who hits them will often carry some liability.
Other parties might potentially be negligent, too. If the failure of a vehicle part contributed to the incident, the manufacturer or dealer could be liable. A local government might have responsibility if a malfunctioning traffic signal or poorly maintained road had a role in the accident. An experienced Wildwood lawyer could look into the specific circumstances that led to the pedestrian accident to identify all the parties whose negligence might have contributed to it.
Missouri follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence in personal injury cases. This doctrine holds each party responsible for the results of their actions. An injured pedestrian can only receive the percentage of damages that can be attributed to others’ negligence.
Many accidents result from the combined impact of multiple parties’ negligence. For example, if standing water on the side of the road forces a runner into traffic lanes where a speeding car hits them, the runner, the driver, and the local government might all have some responsibility for the incident. If a court decides the runner was 20 percent responsible, they could collect only 80 percent of their damages from the driver and the local government.
The statute of limitations define the time a person has to bring a lawsuit. The Missouri Revised Statutes §516.120 gives injured people five years to bring a lawsuit seeking damages. Even though the law provides a generous window, it is wise for injured pedestrians to begin working with a capable accident attorney in the area as soon as possible.
Proving negligence and establishing a right to damages requires substantial proof. In a typical injury case, gathering evidence requires examining accident reports and photos of the scene, interviewing witnesses, and other investigations appropriate to the circumstances. As time passes after an accident, evidence might disappear or become “stale.” When an investigation begins immediately after an incident the results will likely yield more compelling results.
When a local government could have some liability, as is the case in many pedestrian accidents, quick action is necessary to fully preserve an injured person’s rights. If a claimant does not file a document called a notice of claim within 90 days of the incident, they lose their right to bring suit against the local government. Failure to file this notice on time could produce a harsh result denying the injured party their right to recover damages from a liable party.
Recovering from a pedestrian accident might require your full attention for a few weeks or even months. Do not spend that time trying to get insurance companies to offer adequate compensation for your losses.
A savvy Wildwood pedestrian accident lawyer could provide you the support you need. A dedicated legal representative could identify liable parties and handle communication with their insurers so you can concentrate on healing. Schedule a consultation today.