In the state of Missouri, laws require automobile drivers to “exercise the highest degree of care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway.” Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are becoming more common due to reckless driving and increased driver distraction from smart phones and other devices. Such negligence on behalf of motorists requires pedestrians to be even more alert and cautious to avoid a pedestrian accident or injury.
Pedestrian Best Practices
Pedestrians can avoid accidents, reduce their risk of injury, and protect their own safety when crossing the street by:
- Staying alert and not texting while walking
- Only crossing a roadway when the “walk” signal is illuminated
- Always looking both ways to ensure a clear and safe path
- Never jaywalking by crossing a roadway diagonally or outside of a crosswalk
- Looking out for distracted drivers
- Wearing bright or reflective clothing at night
- Using sidewalks when available
- Not darting into traffic
Pedestrian Legal Rights
In the event that you are hit by a car or suffer serious injury as a pedestrian, it’s important to know your rights so that you may be awarded fair compensation. Pedestrians have right-of-way when:
- The “walk” signal is illuminated
- At stop sign intersections that lack “walk” or “do not walk” signals
- They are already crossing the roadway and the signal changes to “do not walk”
Regardless if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk or not, a driver who hits a pedestrian is generally considered to be at fault.
Pedestrian Legal Options
Because Missouri is an at-fault state, you may be entitled to compensation if struck by a negligent driver. While your primary claim for compensation will be with the driver’s insurance, you can also file a claim with your personal insurance or against the municipality in which you were hit If faulty street lights or traffic signals contributed to your accident. Oftentimes, the driver’s insurance company will try to blame the pedestrian for the accident in order to reduce compensation. Failure to contact an experienced attorney after a pedestrian accident can result in claim denial or less money recovered for your injuries.
We Can Help
If you have sustained a pedestrian injury by an inattentive driver, call the personal injury professionals at Lanzotti & Rau. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, please contact us today at 573-335-9300.