What Are the Consequences of Hitting a Pedestrian?

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Many lawmakers have grandiose visions which include reduced pedestrian deaths. But these fatalities have increased 50 percent since 2009. Today’s cars are much bigger and faster than the ones on the road ten or twenty years ago. Therefore, in most accidents, pedestrians simply do not stand a chance. Furthermore, most pedestrian accidents happen outside intersections, so the driver is travelling at or near full speed in most cases.

Even if the victim wasn’t in a crosswalk and walking with the light, a St. Louis pedestrian injury lawyer can obtain substantial financial compensation. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. However, as outlined below, non-crosswalk accident claims are quite complex.

Pedestrian Injuries

These victims have no crash helmets, seat belts, or other devices to protect them from injury. Some of the serious wounds they sustain include:

  • Head Injuries: When speeding cars knock down pedestrians, the victims’ brains usually slam against the insides of their skulls. These traumatic brain injuries are usually difficult to diagnose and treat.
  • Excessive Blood Loss: Exsanguination is usually the official cause of death in fatal pedestrian accidents. Usually, by the time emergency responders arrive at the scene, victims have lost up to a quarter of their blood.
  • Broken Bones: These injuries normally are not life-threatening. But they are normally permanent, at least to an extent. Since doctors typically use metal screws and pins to repair severely broken bones, some loss of function is usually inevitable.

Many pedestrian accident victims are uninsured. Even in these cases, an attorney can usually arrange for these victims to receive top medical treatment at no upfront cost.

Legal Responsibility

The duty of care requires motorists to avoid accident hazards when possible. These hazards include jaywalking pedestrians. So, compensation is available if the driver was negligent. However, a negligence defense, or the sudden emergency doctrine, sometimes applies in these cases. This legal loophole excuses negligence if the driver reasonably reacted to a sudden emergency.

Generally, however, a jaywalking pedestrian is not a “sudden emergency” in this context. Instead, a sudden emergency is a completely unexpected event, like an earthquake or a lightning strike.

Pedestrian accidents often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced pedestrian injury lawyer in St. Louis, contact Schultz & Myers, Personal Injury Lawyers. We routinely handle matters in St. Louis and throughout the state of Missouri.


Why are there so many pedestrians in St. Louis?

Some people walk to get around and some people walk for exercise.

If I was not in a crosswalk, do I have a case?

Yes. Compensation is available if the driver was negligent.

Why do so many drivers hit pedestrians?

Most drivers only look out for other cars. They do not watch out for pedestrians.

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