A key part of any car accident injury claim is determining who is at fault.
Each accident is unique, so our Missouri
car accident attorneys have to consider several different factors in each case. When
a pedestrian is part of the equation, there are additional issues that
must be evaluated. In this post, we answer some frequently asked questions
about car accidents involving pedestrians
Is a pedestrian accident always the driver's fault?
Every accident requires an investigation to determine
liability, or who is at fault. There are instances where the pedestrian might have
been reckless or negligent. Certain factors could cause a pedestrian to
endanger his or her life, or to cause an accident through negligence (for
example, impaired judgment due to alcohol or drug use, or a medical condition).
Other accidents are caused by pedestrians who are simply distracted or
careless, failing to pay attention to traffic around them. In any case,
if the driver was being careful and following all traffic laws, and he
or she was unable to avoid a pedestrian accident, the driver is not always
legally liable. Once again, each case needs to be weighed separately.
If I am the driver and someone intentionally ran out in front of me, can
I sue the pedestrian?
In a small number of cases, it can be possible to take legal action against
the pedestrian, but it is extremely difficult: it is much easier to build
a case against a driver. A case against a pedestrian requires witness
statements and clear-cut evidence to demonstrate that the pedestrian was
primarily at fault for the accident. In some situations, it may be possible
to seek damages from other responsible parties, if it can be shown that
they contributed to the pedestrian's actions.
As a pedestrian accident victim, when can I sue a driver?
If you can establish that the driver was at least partially at fault for
your injuries in a pedestrian accident (for example, the driver was negligent,
or impaired, or speeding, etc.), you are entitled to pursue a lawsuit.
The amount you can recover is limited by the percentage the driver was
at fault. That is one reason why it can be beneficial to consult a lawyer,
whether you were the pedestrian or the driver: to determine the percentage
of liability, and therefore the viability of a personal injury suit.
Can I seek damages from other parties (besides the driver who hit me) in
a pedestrian accident?
Here again, it depends on the nature of the accident - but in certain
cases, it's possible that another party could bear some measure of
responsibility. For example, if the signal light was malfunctioning, or
if the crosswalk or sidewalk were in disrepair, and these factors contributed
to an accident, then the city or county responsible for maintenance could
be found at least partially liable.