Kansas City Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Car accidents happen every day in Kansas City. In accidents involving only motor vehicles, people can be seriously injured, but they at least have some protection from their vehicles. However, car accidents with pedestrians are different. Pedestrians don’t have any protection and can sustain severe, debilitating injuries in these kinds of crashes. This is not merely anecdotal evidence from our legal practice representing pedestrians who are injured in accidents in Kansas City and throughout Missouri and Kansas. National data and statistics support this conclusion.
One CDC estimate indicates that pedestrians are injured or killed at the rate of one every seven minutes, and are 1½ times as likely to be killed in car crashes than a passenger in the car. In 2017, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in crashes in the US, with over 129,000 visiting emergency rooms for treatment of their injuries.
Kansas City saw an increase in pedestrian accidents in 2018. There were 360 car accidents involving pedestrians with 22 fatalities. Motorists are required to exercise a duty of care when driving, especially in areas where there is a large number of pedestrians. However, anyone on foot also has to exercise care when walking along roads with motor vehicles.
Where Pedestrian Accidents Commonly Occur in Kansas City
Pedestrian accidents throughout Kansas and Missouri most commonly happen:
- Crossings at traffic lights
- Parking lots and garages
- School zones
- Shoulders of roads
Pedestrians are often killed when crossing an interstate on foot, where a driver doesn’t expect them to be walking.
Accidents happen more often between 6:00 p.m. and midnight, and the majority of them happen between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am. If you must walk in the darkness, carry a flashlight and wear reflective gear to help drivers see you.
Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents
These accidents occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Texting and other distractions (pedestrians and drivers)
- Alcohol and/or drug abuse (pedestrians and drivers)
- Aggressive drivers ignoring signs and traffic signals
- Turning without looking to see if anyone is ahead
- Pedestrians darting out into the street or jaywalking
- Walking at night without reflective gear
- Hybrid cars with quieter motors that are difficult to hear
- Negligent driver who caused your accident while boarding or exiting public transportation
- Valets and parking lot attendants who are unsafe drivers
While many pedestrian accidents are the fault of drivers, pedestrians may also be at fault. Both you and the driver have a responsibility to exercise care while on a public street and act responsibly.
Common Injuries For Pedestrians
These injuries can be the same as those sustained as a driver or passenger, but are most often to the upper body. Even at a low rate of speed, you can suffer severe injuries when hit by a passenger car or truck, including:
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
While these are the most common, you may experience additional or different types of injuries.
What Kind Of Damages Can You Recover?
Like most personal injury accidents, you may be able to recover:
- Medical expenses, past and future
- Lost and future wages
- Property damage
- Wrongful death (for surviving family members)
You may also be able to recover for:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
During the course of investigation and building your case, we will determine what the accident has cost you so far, and will cost in the future. From there, we will begin negotiating a fair settlement from the insurer of the party at fault.
Comparative Fault in Pedestrian Accidents
Missouri’s pure comparative fault laws allow an injured individual to collect even if they are partially responsible for their injuries.
If the other party is solely responsible, they will be assigned 100% of the fault. But if you were partially responsible because you were jaywalking, you could be assigned 25% of the fault. This means a settlement of $20,000 would be reduced to $15,000. You can still recover even if you are assigned fault of more than 50%, and the driver is less than 50% at fault.
This, however, is not the case in Kansas. Under Kansas comparative fault laws, if you are found 50% or more at fault in the accident, you are unable to recover anything.
Hiring A Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you’ve dealt with an insurance company before, you know that they will work hard to avoid paying your claim, or will offer you a very small amount of compensation. Did you walk when the sign said not to, or were you texting instead of paying attention? The other party can subpoena your phone records, or get video surveillance from nearby stores and other properties that have cameras in the vicinity.
One reason to hire a pedestrian accident attorney is that they can do the same thing for you, as well as gather other relevant evidence to prove you were not at fault and build your defense. An attorney can also:
- Thoroughly research the facts of your accident to discover all liable parties
- Collect and assemble all relevant evidence, documentation, witnesses, etc., to support your claim
- Successfully represent you in negotiations with insurers
- Work to prove wrongful conduct to recover damages
Insurance companies are interested in paying as little as they can—or nothing. An attorney can represent you in front of insurance companies as well as in court. He or she will make sure that your rights are protected and you are fairly compensated.
Missouri’s statute of limitations is five years after the date of your accident. That means you have five years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. That may seem like a long time, but gathering evidence and building a defense takes time. If you’ve spent a long time convalescing, you may not have a lot of time to file your claim. Speaking with a Kansas City pedestrian accident attorney as soon as you are able is the best way to get started establishing your claim.
While recovering compensation can’t reverse permanent damages or losses from the accident, the compensation will go a long way in helping you get the medical care you need to rebuild your life.
Our Kansas City Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help After a Pedestrian Accident
Our Kansas City pedestrian accident lawyer has helped countless victims in car accidents, including those who were pedestrians. Our law firm stands ready to help you in your time of need. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident in Kansas or Missouri, you likely have lots of questions and concerns about what to do next.
We can remove the stress and worry caused by the complicated legal issues that arise in these accidents so you can focus on what matters most -- getting better. Call us today at 816-203-0143, or use our online contact form for a free, no obligation consultation.