Guidance From Lawyers Who Care

What are my rights after a pedestrian accident?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2023 | Pedestrian Accidents

Car accidents involving a vehicle and a pedestrian are not uncommon. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over 7,000 pedestrians were killed and another 104,000 injured after a pedestrian accident throughout the country in 2020. The latest data from the Missouri State Highway Patrol provides some local information. The agency reports 3,577 pedestrian accidents in 2019. Of this group, 281 were killed and 3,296 injured.

What are common causes of pedestrian accidents?

The CDC states that the most common cause is impairment. This is a contributing factor in 46% of all pedestrian accidents. Other common factors that increase the risk of a pedestrian accident include a driver that was speeding or distracted at the time of the crash.

How can I reduce the risk of a pedestrian crash?

Pedestrians can take steps to protect themselves by walking on sidewalks or paths and avoiding walking on roadways. Steps to increase visibility, like wearing bright clothing or carrying a light if walking at night, are also helpful.

It is also a good idea to pay attention to surroundings. This can mean not listening to music or podcasts on earbuds while walking and refraining from making phone calls.

Do pedestrians have legal rights after this type of accident?

Unfortunately, even when pedestrians are doing everything they can to stay safe accidents happen. Pedestrians and families of those killed in pedestrian accidents can hold the driver accountable through a civil suit. This serves three main goals:

  1. Accountability. The lawsuit can hold the driver officially responsible for the negligent or reckless action that led to the accident.
  2. Financial support. It can also result in funds needed to help cover medical expenses, recovery, and lost wages.
  3. Deterrence. A lawsuit serves to help increase the safety of the community by deterring others from making the same mistakes.

It is important to note that there is a time limit for these claims, referred to by state law as the statute of limitations. In Missouri, this is generally set at five years after the accident.