The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles Pedestrian Accident Attorney St. Louis

Pedestrian Accident Attorney St. Louis

By The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.  Feb. 26, 2019 10:02a

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a pedestrian death happens once about every 1.6 hours due to motor vehicles.

St Louis pedestrian accidents often injure those who are most vulnerable — school children walking to and from school, or elderly persons trying to cross busy streets. Another common type of pedestrian accident occurs when a car hits a pedestrian in the crosswalk because the driver is looking at traffic, and not at the pedestrian.

In car accident law, a person can be charged with either a criminal penalty or a civil penalty, depending on the circumstances of the car/pedestrian accident. Often the at-fault driver may have done nothing malicious to cause the accident, but other times it is a criminal act. When a non-motorist dies, car accident cases are handled much differently.

Different from a civil suit, if there was reckless or wanton conduct by the driver, criminal activity or if a crash involves driver driving while under the influence, then a driver may be charged with a criminal offense. Criminal prosecution can occur when other factors like hit-and-runs and drugs or alcohol are involved.

Hit-and-run

If a driver hits a pedestrian and stops at the scene to follow the proper procedures and report the accident, they might also be opening themselves up to civil action for the injuries of the pedestrian (if they are found negligent).

If, however, someone strikes a bystander or pedestrian and leaves the scene without following the proper protocol for an accident (this type of accident is referred to as a hit-and-run), they can be charged with a hit-and-run, which is a criminal offense. A hit-and-run can lead to the potential for a felony charge and even jail time.

DWI/DUI

If a driver is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and hits a pedestrian, they will be charged with a DUI in Missouri. The DUI will be escalated due to "aggravating circumstances" if a pedestrian is hit. For the driver, this means that they will likely face stiffer penalties and sentencing on top of the regular DWI/DUI charges.

Vehicular Manslaughter or Involuntary Manslaughter

A study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that about 6,000 pedestrian deaths resulted from car accidents last year. This is an 11 percent increase from the year before.

If someone is driving recklessly before an accident or are under the influence and a pedestrian is killed, then it is possible for the driver to be charged with vehicular manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. These cases are proven by one key component: proof of the driver driving with disregard for the safety of pedestrians. The evidence must show that it was that recklessness that led to someone being killed. To be charged with manslaughter, it must be shown that the driver was engaging in indifferent or risky behavior, and that their actions, specifically, led to the death of a pedestrian.

Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

To speak with an experienced trial lawyer about your pedestrian accident, call (314) 361-4242 or fill out our online contact form. We offer free consultations in all personal injury cases and you never pay attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.

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