The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles Could a Pedestrian Be At Fault For a St. Louis Car Accident?

Could a Pedestrian Be At Fault For a St. Louis Car Accident?

By Christopher Hoffmann  Jul. 27, 2020 9:03a

If you have a traffic accident where a car hits a pedestrian, most people will assume that the driver is at-fault for the collision.

The driver who is operating this heavy piece of machinery has a duty to act in a certain way on the road and make sure their actions do not affect any bystanders or other vehicles. In accidents involving pedestrians, there is a rather big disparity in damages, as the pedestrian likely faces higher medical needs.

However, in some cases, it’s actually the pedestrian who is at-fault for the event.

You Need to Determine Fault

Neither the insurance company nor any Missouri court will automatically assume the pedestrian is the victim, even if they’ve suffered the most damages.

In any car accident claim or trial, the fault must be proven, which means that the details of the event will be studied in order to determine what actually took place at that moment. Proving fault means the party has to show the others involved were negligent in their actions, either because they did something they shouldn’t have done, or because the failed to do something.

And there are many instances where a pedestrian could have been negligent:

  • Crossing the street at points not designed for sake crossing

  • Not checking for upcoming vehicles

  • Entering the road

  • Walking in areas where pedestrian access is limited or prohibited

So even though they may suffer the better bulk of the damages, it’s completely possible for the pedestrian not to be able to recover any of it if it’s found that their actions lead to the entire event.

It’s not just drivers who must act reasonably while on the road. Pedestrians are held to the same standard.

Pedestrians Can Share Fault

Since Missouri has a comparative fault system, it’s possible for the pedestrian and the driver to be both liable for the collision. Here, you will still have to determine fault, but the goal is to show the other party is more at-fault than you.

For instance, the pedestrian may have been crossing the road outside of the crosswalk, which is a violation of traffic rules. However, the driver could also be liable if at the time of the incident they were not looking at the road, but at their phones. One could argue that the driver could have avoided the pedestrian if they were paying attention to what was going on in front of them. And since it was the pedestrian who started the events in the first place, neither of the party can be excused from liability.

From this point on, it’s a battle of showing who is the most to blame.

Speak With an Experienced Attorney

If you’ve been in a car accident, don’t navigate the complicated world of insurance claims alone. Get in touch with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney now for a FREE consultation. Call us 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation.

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