When it comes to accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians, the immediate assumption often places the driver at fault. However, the concept of pedestrian negligence introduces the possibility that pedestrians themselves can contribute to accidents through careless or reckless behavior. Understanding what constitutes pedestrian negligence is essential for both pedestrians and drivers to navigate the legal landscape following an accident. pedestrian

Defining Pedestrian Negligence

Pedestrian negligence occurs when a pedestrian fails to exercise reasonable care for their safety or for the safety of others while walking. This can include a range of actions or failures to act, such as jaywalking, ignoring traffic signals, walking while intoxicated, or entering a street or highway without yielding to oncoming traffic.

Common Examples of Pedestrian Negligence

  • Ignoring the “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signals at intersections
  • Crossing outside of a crosswalk or “jaywalking”
  • Walking along highways or bridges where pedestrian access is prohibited
  • Distracted walking, such as using a smartphone or headphones without awareness of the surroundings
  • Failing to use sidewalks or pedestrian paths where available

Legal Consequences of Pedestrian Negligence

When a pedestrian is found to be negligent, it can significantly impact their ability to recover damages following an accident. In some cases, it can reduce the compensation they may receive, or it may bar them from recovering any compensation at all, depending on the state’s laws regarding comparative or contributory negligence. Missouri follows a pure comparative fault model, meaning that an injured victim who was 90% at fault for an accident can still receive 10% of their damages.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Given the complexities of negligence laws, those involved in a pedestrian-vehicle accident must seek competent legal counsel quickly after an accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can help:

  • Investigate the accident and gather evidence
  • Determine the extent of negligence by each party
  • Advocate for fair treatment under the law
  • Navigate the claims process or represent the client in court if necessary

Foster Wallace, LLC: Protecting Your Rights as a Pedestrian

At Foster Wallace, LLC, our Kansas City-based personal injury lawyers understand the nuances of pedestrian accident claims. Whether you are a pedestrian who has been struck by a vehicle or a driver involved in an accident with a pedestrian, we offer expert legal guidance to ensure that your case is fairly evaluated, and your rights protected. Pedestrian negligence is a significant factor in determining fault and compensation after an accident. It underscores the need for both pedestrians and drivers to adhere to road safety laws and exercise due care. If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, it is wise to consult with a personal injury lawyer who can provide clarity on your legal standing and assist in pursuing or defending a claim.

Michael Foster
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Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney