What to Do in an Accident With a Pedestrian

Every year, there are thousands of deadly accidents between cars and pedestrians. New studies show that pedestrian deaths rose 77% between 2010 and 2021 and that 2022 saw the highest number of deaths since 1981, with an average of 20 deaths per day.

One of the most shocking pedestrian accidents in St. Louis involved the recent deaths of a mother and daughter who were killed after leaving the Enterprise Center. A car sped through a red light at an intersection, hit another vehicle, and then spun into the victims, killing both of them.

When a pedestrian accident happens, everyone involved must be ready to act quickly to get the necessary help to the injured parties. Knowing what to do and speaking with the Missouri car accident lawyers from Cofman Townsley can also protect your rights, whether you’re the driver or pedestrian.

What to Do After Colliding With a Pedestrian

The priority after a pedestrian accident is to ensure everyone’s immediate safety and well-being. Here’s what to do after a pedestrian-vehicle crash:

  • Seek Medical Assistance: If anyone is injured, call emergency services immediately. Do not attempt to move the injured party, as it could worsen their condition.

Medical care is important even for seemingly minor injuries. For example, symptoms like a headache or dizziness could indicate serious brain trauma that needs immediate treatment. A medical provider can make sure you get appropriate care and document the injuries for future claims.

  • Report the Incident: Contact law enforcement to report the accident. This helps establish an authoritative record of the crash, which can be used in legal proceedings. Missouri law also requires you to report an accident if it results in more than $500 in damages, injury, or death.
  • Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to vehicles or property, skid marks, traffic signs, and road conditions. This documentation can be invaluable for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Gather Witness Information: Obtain contact information from any witnesses to the accident. Their testimonies can provide valuable support in determining fault and liability.
  • Exchange Information: Exchange necessary details with the pedestrian or driver involved, including name, contact information, and insurance details. Be cooperative but avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be interpreted as such.
  • Contact Your Insurance Provider: Immediately notify your own insurance company about the accident. Provide them with factual information to facilitate the claims process, but avoid speculating about fault.

Determining Fault in a Pedestrian-Car Accident

Determining fault in a pedestrian-car accident involves assessing the actions of both the driver and the pedestrian to establish liability. In Missouri, this process is guided by the principle of pure comparative negligence, which divides fault among the parties based on their degree of responsibility for the accident.

Here are a few examples:

  • At-Fault Driver: A driver runs a red light and hits a pedestrian legally crossing the street at a designated crosswalk. The driver’s failure to obey traffic signals places the fault on them for the accident.
  • At-Fault Pedestrian: A pedestrian suddenly steps out from between parked cars mid-block—not at a crosswalk—and is hit by a car driving at the speed limit. The pedestrian’s failure to use a crosswalk and their unpredictable action of darting into the road can make them primarily at fault.
  • Shared Liability: A pedestrian crosses the street against the signal in a crosswalk while a speeding driver fails to stop in time, resulting in an accident. Here, both parties may share liability—the pedestrian for crossing against the signal and the driver for speeding.

The insurance company or court will look at the evidence to assign a specific percentage of fault to each party, which proportionally reduces the compensation they receive. For instance, if the pedestrian in this example were found to be 30% at fault for an accident, they’d only receive 70% of the final settlement amount.

Protect Your Rights After an Accident

Due to the complexity and serious injuries often involved in pedestrian accidents, having the right legal representation for your case is important. Our team at Cofman Townsley has been helping injured St. Louis residents for more than five decades.

Your safety and well-being should always be your top concern, especially after a pedestrian-car accident. To file a claim to ensure you can cover your medical expenses and other losses, seek guidance from our experienced team at Cofman Townsley.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and learn how we can help.