Pedestrians vs. Vehicles: Who Has the Right of Way in Missouri?

Accidents involving pedestrians are more common than you would think. They occur thousands of times every year, leading to serious injuries and multiple fatalities. In fact, these types of incidents account for about 11% of all vehicle accidents. Determining who is at fault is a grey area, and lawyers need to prove that the actions of either the driver or the pedestrian were directly responsible for the accident.

Like any other accident, vehicle-pedestrian accidents can be caused by a number of factors. However, most of them occur as a result of negligent driving through things such as:

  • Improper lane use
  • Cell phone usage
  • Reckless driving, for example, speeding
  • Substance abuse

There are certain instances where the pedestrian may be at fault. These include:

Using electronics when walking – Electronic devices such as cell phones can distract you from the activities on the road. They can prevent you from watching out for oncoming vehicles and subsequently lead to an accident.

Failing to Exercise Reasonable Care – Like drivers, pedestrians are obligated to follow the rules of the road. Failure to exercise reasonable care, including jaywalking, walking in prohibited areas, and ignoring a traffic signal could be held against the pedestrian.

Being impaired – Drunk pedestrians are just as likely to cause an accident as drunk drivers. Statistics suggest that about 1/3 of pedestrians killed in vehicle accidents are intoxicated.

Who has the right of way?

In Missouri, car accident claims are handled through pure comparative fault. This basically means that you can be compensated for up to the amount you were not responsible for in the accident, even if you were the pedestrian. For example, if one party was 60% at fault (say the driver), then the other party (the pedestrian in this case) could collect 60% compensation from the driver.  

However, certain complications arise when it comes to claiming compensation from a pedestrian. For instance, if he or she sustained serious injuries, it will be difficult to convince insurers that it was the pedestrian who was in the wrong.

What to Do Immediately After the Accident

In the event of a collision with a pedestrian, it is important to stay calm and then:

  • Ensure everyone is safe and call 911.
  • Get help – contact medical care providers, auto insurance providers, and the police. You should also contact a lawyer if you are facing criminal charges for the accident.
  • Exchange contact information – exchange relevant information such as name, phone number, and insurance details with the pedestrian, if they are not incapacitated.

Vehicle accidents involving pedestrians can lead to serious criminal charges and a lengthy time in prison. As soon as possible, contact Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC to have an experienced attorney defend you against any possible charges. We are available anytime at 636-946-6886.

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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