Missouri Pedestrian Accidents Attorney
In 2015, traffic crashes killed 5,376 pedestrians nationwide, and emergency rooms treated 129,000 pedestrians for crash-related injuries. Last year, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety said pedestrian fatalities were on the rise – 83 pedestrians died in traffic crashes, representing about 10 percent of all statewide crash fatalities for the year.
The reasons for pedestrian accidents are complex, and it may take months for investigators to determine the cause of such an accident. In the meantime, pedestrians seriously injured in a crash may have unmanageable medical costs, and families of pedestrians killed in a crash may be struggling with medical costs, burial costs, and the effect of lost wages.
If a driver injured a pedestrian in your immediate family, you can’t afford to wait for investigators to decide your fate. You need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your family.
The Columbia accident attorneys at Bley & Evans have helped many personal injury victims in Missouri get the compensation they need. Attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning injury victims pay nothing up-front – attorney fees come from any settlement you may receive. To find out if you have a case, call us to ask for a free, no-obligation consultation, at 1-844-443-8385.
The Link Between Infrastructure and Pedestrian Accidents
Often, when a pedestrian accident occurs, investigators blame the pedestrian for crossing the street illegally or stepping out into traffic. But in some areas, there’s no safe way to cross the street.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has identified the most common factors in pedestrian crashes, and many are related to infrastructure. Pedestrians have a higher risk of crash involvement in areas that lack crosswalks, or where crosswalks lack adequate markings, signs, or lighting. Another hazard for pedestrians is inadequate signal phasing, which means traffic lights at intersections are not timed in a way that allows pedestrians to safely cross the street.
While these factors, and environmental factors such as darkness, fog, or rain, may contribute to pedestrian crashes, driver error is a significant factor in crashes of all kinds.
Careless Drivers Put Walkers in Danger
In July, eight months after he struck and killed a pedestrian, a St. Louis man was charged with involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash. Police said the man was driving between 71 and 78 miles per hour when he struck the victim at an intersection. A few months earlier, another St. Louis man was charged with involuntary manslaughter, armed criminal action, and leaving the scene of an accident. While drag-racing on a busy street during the middle of the day, he struck and killed a woman who was out running errands.
Speeding, especially when combined with other factors like distraction and alcohol impairment, poses a serious risk to pedestrians, even if they’re standing on a sidewalk. Speed limits are lower in areas where pedestrians will likely be crossing or walking alongside the road. A driver who ignores posted speed limits could easily lose control and veer onto the sidewalk, without having time to react.
Dangers for Elderly Pedestrians
Walking is the most common type of exercise for people older than 60, and regular exercise can help fend off disease and extend one’s life. Sadly, pedestrians in this age group are also most at risk for being seriously injured or killed in a crash.
About 13 percent of the U.S. population is older than 65, but about 21 percent of people killed in pedestrian crashes are over 65. Reasons for their disproportionately higher number of accident fatalities include:
- Vision loss – As vision deteriorates, people may have difficulty seeing approaching cars, or judging the speed at which cars are approaching.
- Mobility impairment – A person who is 75 can’t move as quickly as someone who’s 25, and when traffic signals change quickly, an elderly person may still be crossing the street when traffic starts moving again.
- Overall health – Injuries that might not be fatal in younger populations could cause serious and fatal complications in people older than 65.
Help for Victims and Their Families
People who survive being struck by a vehicle may be left with permanently disabling injuries and require ongoing medical care. Although insurers are aware of those possibilities, they may try to offer settlements to injury victims that would not adequately cover their ongoing costs. But when you have legal representation, you’re more likely to get the outcome you deserve.