Saturday, March 30, 2019

Pedestrian Partially at Fault for Auto Accident

The NHTSA reports that almost 6000 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in 2016, meaning roughly one every 1.5 hours. Not to mention the thousands of pedestrians who got injured as a result of a car crash. In Missouri, nearly 10% of fatalities relating to car accidents involve pedestrians.

These accidents are, unfortunately, rather common, and most often the party to blame is the negligent driver whose actions created this mess. However, this is not a golden rule, and in some instances, the pedestrian can be the one responsible for the accident.

Liability in Accidents Involving Pedestrians

The most common instances where a pedestrian causes a car accident is when they violate certain rules, such as crossing the street at a red light. However, in these cases, the driver can also be found guilty of violating a rule.

For instance, if the pedestrian was crossing the street at a red light, and a car hits them, it begs the question: how come the driver didn’t see them in time to slow down? Further investigations can bring to light that said driver was also speeding at the time and did not have sufficient time to act and avoid the pedestrian. Missouri drivers are also held to a higher degree of responsibility than pedestrians, because through their positions they can cause a lot more harm.

Missouri is also a pure comparative fault state, which means both parties can be held responsible for the accident. The pedestrian can be found to be 60% responsible and liable for the accident because they crossed on a red light, which means they can be liable for compensation for only 60% out of total damages.

The driver, on the other hand, can be responsible for 40% of the incident, because they were speeding at the time. So the pedestrian, in turn, would want to recover 40% of total damages from the driver.

What Does the Legal Process Look like?

In Missouri, all drivers are required to carry auto insurance, which also covers accidents involving pedestrians. Any compensation claims will be made through the insurance company.

If, however, the driver wants to seek compensation from the pedestrian, then they may have to attempt to through trial. If the pedestrian also has valid auto insurance but was just not driving at the time, then it’s also possible to get compensated through their insurance company.

What Should You Do if you were involved in a Pedestrian Accident?

If you’ve been in a car accident involving a pedestrian, it’s in your best interest to contact a St. Louis car accident attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. as soon as possible. With their help, you can decide on the best course of action to get compensated for your injuries and damages, as well as build a compelling case. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

St. Louis Road Debris Car Accidents

Driving often presents a lot of risks. A lot of elements on the road could potentially lead to an unfortunate incident, particularly on interstates where you also drive alongside commercial vehicles. While the list is rather long, we're going to talk for now about road debris. It may not seem like much, but this small inconvenience can lead to severe accidents that can leave you heavily injured.

According to an AAA Foundation report, more than 200,000 crashes in the U.S. involve road debris, resulting in roughly 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths between 2011 and 2014. If you are injured in an accident involving road debris, you should contact a St. Louis auto accident attorney and consult with them about what your next steps should be.

 Who Is Liable?

 It all depends. In most road debris accidents, the liable party is the driver of the vehicle from which the object or substances fell. However, you’d have to prove driver negligence, such as showing that they did not secure the cargo according to safety standards and therefore acted negligently.

However, it’s possible that the driver is not at fault for the cargo falling. For instance, if they respected protocol and secured the cargo, but it fell anyway, it may be difficult to argue the driver could have predicted the outcome. In these cases, liability can go up the reigns to the company or institution that employs the driver, either a private entity or even a governmental institution.

In either case, it is still the task of the victim to prove negligence. You and your St. Louis car accident lawyer will have to prove that the driver’s employer breached their duty of care and, as a result, it caused the accident and your injuries.

Steps to Take

After receiving initial medical treatment, you may consider filing a claim for compensation, or even opening a lawsuit, particularly if the medical bills start piling up. Because these cases can be very hard to argue, you will certainly benefit from having an experienced attorney in your corner.

Personal injury claims have a rather complex process involving a lot of paperwork, and a lot of back-and-forth between you and the party you’re demanding compensation from. The best way to succeed is to gather sufficient evidence that can clearly show your claim has a basis, and that your request for a settlement is justified. Depending on your case, this evidence file can include:

A good lawyer can help you gather everything you need to make your case, and negotiate the settlement on your behalf. Particularly if you’re dealing with a company or an institution which can afford a team of legal representatives, it’s advised to work with a St. Louis car injury attorney.

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