You can choose pastoral vistas or vibrant cityscapes when out for your walk in St. Louis County. What you do not want to choose is a run-in with a careless motorist. Even though you may be mindful of your surroundings, obey traffic laws, and give others you share the road with plenty of room, accidents still happen.
Sadly, injuries can be catastrophic when a motorist crashes into a pedestrian. You are no match for two tons of steel and could suffer harm that will take a long time to heal. While being in an accident on its own is stressful and overwhelming, what is even more aggravating is when someone else’s careless actions caused you harm. In these situations, you may have the legal right to hold the negligent party liable. To explore your options, contact a Eureka pedestrian accident lawyer. A seasoned injury attorney at our firm could help you seek the justice you deserve.
Common Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents
In 20201, the United States hit a four-decade high for fatal pedestrian accidents. Those who survive are often left with broken bones, brain injuries, burns, and paralysis, leading to costly rehabilitation. The havoc wreaked on pedestrians is most often caused by reckless motorists. Some common causes of motorist-pedestrian accidents are:
- Texting or talking on the phone behind the wheel
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Speeding or breaking other traffic laws
- Failing to give pedestrians the right of way in crosswalks, including abruptly turning into them when they are crossing
When people get behind the wheel, they have a duty to other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians to drive safely. If they fail to behave in a reasonable manner, they have breached their duty. If such misconduct leads to a collision and a pedestrian is injured, the negligent driver can be held liable in a court of law. A skilled Eureka pedestrian accident attorney could collect the evidence necessary to hold an at-fault driver financially accountable for the losses you suffered.
Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents in St. Louis County
Plaintiffs who prove the elements of negligence are entitled to compensation, also known as compensatory damages (economic and non-economic), to help them recover and get back to their normal life. Economic damages reimburse plaintiffs for what their direct expenses related to the accident or their injuries such as:
- Hospital care
- Lost wages
- Property loss
Non-economic damages attach value to the emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and disfigurement plaintiffs might suffer. While some states cap non-economic damages, Missouri does not.
Punitive Damages Punish the Wrongdoer
Punitive damages punish defendants and are meant to make them think twice before once again committing the blatant acts that caused harm to pedestrians. In Missouri, plaintiffs must ask the court’s permission to plead for punitive damages separately from their negligence claim. They must provide definitive evidence for the court to determine punitive damages are appropriate. Missouri, unlike many states, does not cap punitive damages once a plaintiff proves the defendant acted intentionally or with blatant disregard for human life.
Calculating the total financial award an injured person will need and the appropriate punitive damages amount can be a complicated process. An experienced legal professional in Eureka could assist in determining what it will take to fairly compensate an injured pedestrian following a serious accident.
Comparative Fault Law
What happens when a pedestrian is partly at fault for a collision with a motorist? Missouri follows a pure comparative fault law. Plaintiffs ask for a damage amount, and the courts will apportion a percentage of liability for an accident in which the plaintiff is partly to blame. The damages award will be reduced according to that percentage. For example, in Missouri, an award of $400,000 will be reduced by 50 percent for a plaintiff found 50 percent liable for the accident.
Enlist the Help of a Eureka Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Walking is a healthy way to get around St. Louis County and enjoy its many hiking trails. While you may be careful to follow traffic laws, stop for signals, and never jaywalk, sometimes, conscientiousness is not enough. And, through no fault of your own, you could end up seriously hurt.
Following being hit by a motor vehicle, you could be facing devastating injuries, a lengthy recovery period, and economic instability because of someone else’s irresponsible actions. We understand how frustrating this can be, and our team of committed legal professionals could work tirelessly on your behalf to secure a legal settlement for your peace of mind. Call to schedule a consultation with a dedicated Eureka pedestrian accident lawyer today.