Jefferson City Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
We Represent Victims Throughout Central Missouri
Walking across the street should not be a dangerous activity. Yet far too many Missourians are seriously injured–even killed–each year in pedestrian accidents. The reality is that far too many motorists are reckless when it comes to sharing the road, and the result is often catastrophic for the pedestrian.
At Call & Gentry Law Group, LLC, we have a very experienced personal injury attorney who is dedicated to helping victims and their families seek compensation. If a reckless motorist has struck you, we can represent you in pursuing an insurance claim and, when necessary, filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover the full amount of damages owed to you under Missouri law. We know that rebuilding your life after this kind of accident is difficult. That is why we strive to provide each client with skilled, compassionate legal advice that can help them in getting back on their feet.
How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents in Missouri?
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were 1,234 car accidents reported involving pedestrians in 2022. These crashes sadly resulted in 118 deaths and 1,157 persons injured. The number of pedestrian accidents nationally resulted in about 7,400 pedestrians are killed and 60,000 injured each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Even if you never drive a car, everyone is a pedestrian at some point. And pedestrians have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists when it comes to safety. Yet motorists–i.e., people driving cars and trucks–often ignore these rules and act as if they own the road and then usually get involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Here are a few basic things to keep in mind when it comes to Missouri law and pedestrian safety:
- Where there are special pedestrian control signals in place, “WALK” means that a pedestrian has the right of way and may proceed into the intersection; “DON’T WALK” means that a pedestrian may not start to cross the street but may finish cross if they have already entered the intersection or crosswalk.
- A pedestrian has the right-of-way at an intersection where there is a crosswalk but no traffic signal.
- A motorist cannot pass or overtake another motorist who is stopped at a marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the street.
- A pedestrian must yield to motorists before attempting to cross the street at any point other than a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk within an intersection.
- A pedestrian must use sidewalks when available and not walk directly in the street; if there are no sidewalks, pedestrians must walk along the left side of the road (or shoulder) facing traffic when possible.
If you are not sure about if your accident was caused by you or by the negligence of another person in Jefferson City, MO, give Call Gentry a call for a free consultation!
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Car accident lawyers that work on a personal injury case sees that most of the time pedestrian injuries are often more extensive than those suffered by other accident victims. When struck by a vehicle going over 40 miles per hour, the odds of dying are very high indeed. Here are just a few of the injuries we see when an auto accident claim is filed:
- Leg fractures
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Chest injuries
- Road rash
- Herniated discs
- Vertebral fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
Severe injuries will severely impact a victim’s ability to return to a normal life. Many pedestrian accident victims continue to struggle with impairments for years, especially after serious brain or back injuries. Unlike motorcyclists, pedestrians are not wearing helmets when they are struck, so their brain injuries are often more dramatic. And unlike car passengers, there is no steel body around them to absorb the impact. Instead, pedestrians suffer the full brunt of any collision.
You should meet with an some auto accident lawyers to discuss how to pay for your rehabilitation and therapy. Many pedestrian accident victims have high ongoing medical needs, including future surgeries or at-home health attendants. You might receive compensation for expected future care.
What Is the Role of Negligence in a Jefferson City Pedestrian Accident?
Missouri law requires motorists to exercise the “highest degree of care” when it comes to pedestrians. This includes alerting pedestrians before a possible collision by sounding their vehicle’s horn. But it also simply means that drivers need to exercise basic common sense and not engage in risky or dangerous behaviors that put pedestrians at risk of a crash.
Some of the more common examples of how driver negligence leads to a pedestrian accident include:
- Excessive speed: A pedestrian may only have a couple of seconds to get out of the way of an oncoming vehicle. This is why motorists need to ensure they are always driving at safe speeds for the area they are in. Excessive speed–even if it is within the posted speed limits–can place pedestrians at unnecessary risk.
- Drunk driving: Alcohol or drug use can impair a driver’s functioning and dull their reflexes. This is often a prescription for disaster when it comes to pedestrians. An impaired driver may not see or react in time to a pedestrian in their path, leading to a collision.
- Fatigue: Pedestrians are far more likely to be hit by a vehicle at night. This is not only due to potentially reduced visibility, but also by the simple fact the driver may be tired after a long day and not keeping a vigilant lookout for pedestrians.
- Failure to yield: Some motorists refuse to slow down, even if a light is red or the pedestrian has the right of way. Instead, the motorist might try to squeeze past and only end up crashing into the pedestrian.
- Inadequate surveillance: A motorist making a right-hand turn should check that the crosswalk is clear before they make the turn. Unfortunately, some motorists are too distracted to check.
- past and future medical expenses and bills;
- long-term rehabilitation, including the need for assistive devices;
- lost wages and other lost income if a victim’s injuries prevent them from resuming their full-time work;
- diminished long-term earning capacity; and
- non-economic damages to cover the victim’s pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other intangible losses.
- Surveillance video from nearby businesses. If you were struck downtown, then a nearby business could have a camera pointed to the street. Businesses install these cameras for security and insurance purposes, but we can ask to view the video footage to see if it captured the accident. Video is very effective at showing what happened.
- Witness testimony. Witnesses might have spoken to the police. People who live and work in the area could have seen the accident as well. Our lawyers will try to speak to as many witnesses as possible.
- Physical evidence. Helpful physical evidence includes skid marks on the road, debris, and any damage to the driver’s car. This evidence sometimes offers up clues about how the accident happened.
- The defendant’s testimony. We can ask the defendant questions in person or in writing, which they answer under oath. Sometimes they admit to driving too fast or driving while distracted.
- Cell phone records. Many pedestrian accidents stem from texting-and-driving. A motorist isn’t looking at the road, so they never see the pedestrian in front of them. We can ask the defendant to turn over cell phone records to pinpoint when they were on the phone.
- 1. Call the police, if you are carrying a phone. You should report the fleeing driver. Share as much detail as you have about the car, such as its make and model.
- 2. Get medical assistance. You improve the chances of recovery if you get prompt care. You might need to call an ambulance or ask a bystander to drive you to the hospital.
- 3. Write down your memories of the accident when you have a moment to yourself.
- 4. Call our law firm to discuss options. We can explain the odds of finding the driver and what to do to obtain as much compensation as possible.
- Peace of mind. You will know that you have an experienced personal injury lawyer who is working diligently on your case. You know that we will always meet deadlines and present your claim in an orderly way. This knowledge frees you up to focus on your physical and emotional recovery following a traumatic accident.
- Skilled investigators. Pedestrian accident cases hinge on the quality of evidence. If the facts are muddy, it’s harder to receive any kind of settlement. We shine a light on what happened to illuminate who was really at fault for the crash.
- Expert negotiation. Most of our pedestrian accident cases settle outside of court, which means you never need to attend a trial. However, insurance companies are not eager to settle. Instead, they are often forced to settle on our terms because of how skillfully we have presented your case.
- Passionate advocates. If settlement is impossible, you will benefit from our courtroom advocacy. Sometimes the only way to receive fair compensation is to file a lawsuit and litigate a claim all the way to final verdict. We can handle your case from start to finish.
In addition to driver negligence, other potential factors in a Jefferson City pedestrian accident may include a defect in the motor vehicle itself–such as defective brakes–or problems with the underlying condition of the road. Third-party entities, including manufacturers and even local governments, may be legally liable for a pedestrian’s injuries in such cases.
Every pedestrian accident is different. But the same basic legal principles apply to any Missouri pedestrian accident where someone is seriously injured or even killed. The law allows victims to seek compensation in the form of legal damages, which can provide financial restitution for the following:
Factors that Reduce Your Compensation
Some injured pedestrians will not receive as much compensation as they anticipated. There are some familiar reasons why this is the case.
First, Missouri follows a “pure comparative fault” rule in personal injury cases. In simple terms, this rule allows a defendant to argue that the pedestrian was partially or completely at-fault for an accident. If a jury assigns any degree of fault to the pedestrian, the defendant’s share of any damages is reduced accordingly.
Here is a simple example. Janice was jaywalking when a speeding motorist clipped her, causing a broken leg. Because Janice didn’t cross the road where she was supposed to, she is partially to blame for the accident. If her share of fault is 50%, she will receive only half the compensation she expected.
But because Missouri follows a “pure” form of this rule, the pedestrian can still recover some compensation even if they are found 99 percent at-fault. That’s good news.
The defendant’s inability to pay might be another reason your compensation is low. For example, a driver might only have the minimum insurance in Missouri. Currently, that is $25,000 per person injured in a crash. If you end up in the hospital, then your bill will easily eat up all of that compensation, so you could have unmet financial losses.
At Call & Gentry, when we practice personal injury law, we work overtime to find additional sources of compensation! For example, we might be able to add more defendants, like an employer or the city. A crosswalk could be faulty, which would be the city’s responsibility. No matter the accident, Call & Gentry will work to find all the different ways you can receive compensation!
Reconstructing What Happened
When people are involved in auto accidents, it is many times hard to remember what happene. Many pedestrians call us from the hospital, and we hear a common refrain: “I have no idea what happened.” One second, they were diligently trying to get to the other side of the road, and the next they woke up in a hospital in incredible pain. They know someone must have hit them, but they don’t know how.
Our legal team will immediately begin sifting through evidence to uncover what happened. Some evidence we rely on includes:
Hit & Runs: Illegal but Common
Missouri law clearly requires that motorists stop after hitting someone. Unfortunately, too many drivers flee the scene, leaving gravely injured pedestrians to fend for themselves. When a negligent driver flees, there is another problem: you don’t know who to sue.
We recommend that pedestrians do the following:
We can try to find out additional information about the fleeing driver. For example, a bystander could have had a clear view of the license plate number, which will help us track down the motorist.
We can also discuss ways of receiving compensation. You might qualify for a payout from the Tort Victims Compensation Fund as a hit-and-run victim—even if we never locate the driver. That will help defray the cost of your injuries and provide a measure of justice.
Do You Even Need a Jefferson City Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Some people believe they can negotiate their own settlements and view lawyers as an unnecessary expense. But the Call & Gentry team provides invaluable services to our clients from the very moment they call us:
Someone without a lawyer could make critical errors and fail to obtain even minimal compensation. It’s best to hire Call & Gentry to serve as your legal counsel.
Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accidents
Missouri law gives you five years to file a lawsuit based on a personal injury. This is one of the more generous statutes in the country. Some states give victims only 1 or 2 years.
Nonetheless, you shouldn’t delay calling a lawyer. Some evidence can disappear if you wait too long. For example, we can lose track of witnesses who could have provided useful testimony about what happened. And physical evidence on the road can also wash away.
If for some reason you go over the deadline, then you cannot sue the defendant for this accident. That will mean no compensation for your serious injuries.
Fatal Pedestrian Accidents in Jefferson County
If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, please contact Call & Gentry. Surviving family members can sometimes seek compensation from the motorist who killed their spouse, parent, or child. This is a complicated legal claim to bring. It seeks to compensate family members for certain losses suffered as a result of the fatal accident.
For example, we might seek compensation for the income your loved one could have earned had the accident never happened. That could represent a lot of money, depending on their income and age. Your spouse, for example, could have died at 38 with several decades of working life left.
Family members can also seek loss of services, as well as loss of companionship, love, and guidance. Our clients also request compensation for funeral and burial expenses, as well as any medical bills incurred to treat the deceased after the crash.
Consult a Jefferson City pedestrian accident lawyer to fully review whether this is a claim you can bring. We can explain the process and represent you in the case.
How Can Our Jefferson City Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Help You?
A pedestrian accident can leave you faced with permanent injuries, thousands of dollars in medical bills, and an uncertain financial future. And even when the motorist was clearly at-fault, their insurance company may stonewall you when it comes to making a fair settlement offer. That is why it is crucial to work with a qualified Jefferson City pedestrian accident lawyer who can aggressively represent your interests.
At Call & Gentry Law Group, LLC, we can evaluate your case, investigate the circumstances surrounding your crash, and advocate for you during settlement negotiations. And when a settlement proves impossible, we can take your case to court.
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