Kansas City, MO Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Every year, negligent motorists fail to obey traffic laws or drive safely, leading to serious, sometimes fatal collisions. Many of these accidents involve pedestrians, who are especially vulnerable to severe injuries.
If you were injured while walking in Kansas City, you may be entitled to financial compensation. In these situations, the lawyers at Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet can help. For years, our Kansas City pedestrian accident attorneys have fought for the rights of injured people—and will work tirelessly to hold the at-fault driver accountable.
Why Choose Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers?
- Our attorneys have over 25 years of combined litigation and trial experience. All have significant knowledge of all areas of personal injury and wrongful death law, including pedestrian accident claims.
- Our firm is dedicated to recovering maximum compensation for each of our clients. Over the years, we have secured millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts. We will explore all possible avenues to recovery in your case.
- To help limit your out-of-pocket expenses, we take all cases on a contingency fee basis. If we do not recover a settlement in your pedestrian accident case, you will not be charged any legal fees.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Kansas City
Pedestrian accidents frequently happen at crosswalks, intersections, driveways, parking lots, and garages. These collisions can occur due to several factors, such as poor weather, low visibility, and road defects. However, many pedestrian accidents happen because of the negligence and carelessness of a motorist.
Below are some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents:
- Driving over the speed limit
- Aggressive, reckless driving
- Driving while distracted
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- Turning without looking to check for pedestrians
- Pulling out of a driveway or parking lot without checking for pedestrians
- Failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian
- Failing to obey a traffic light or stop sign
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
Compared to larger motor vehicles, pedestrians are much smaller and lack the same protections. During a collision, a pedestrian can suffer serious and life-altering injuries that can greatly affect his or her quality of life. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you may require ongoing, intensive medical care and develop permanent impairments.
Even if a car hits you at a low rate of speed, you can suffer severe injuries, such as the following:
- Road rash
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
Legal Options for Injured Pedestrians in Kansas City
Missouri, like most states, has a fault-based system for road accidents. If a driver negligently causes a collision, he or she would be financially responsible for any damages that the victims suffered. These victims may include other drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
As an injured pedestrian, you have the right to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident. Most cases start in the insurance process but escalate to a lawsuit if the claim is unsuccessful or fails to yield an adequate settlement. In certain circumstances, filing a lawsuit is the best course of action, such as when you suffer damages that exceed the policy limits of the at-fault driver.
How to Prove a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Missouri
To recover compensation in a pedestrian accident claim, you need to show that the at-fault party caused your accident and the damages that you suffered. During the insurance process, you and your attorney will present evidence to a company representative, who will review these documents and issue a decision in your case.
To file a successful personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove four important facts:
- The at-fault driver owed you a duty to drive safely and follow traffic laws.
- The at-fault driver failed to uphold the duty of care.
- The at-fault driver’s failure to uphold the duty of care caused your pedestrian accident.
- You suffered damages in the accident that you can recover in your lawsuit.
What If You Are Injured by a Hit-and-Run Driver?
After a pedestrian accident, Missouri law requires all parties to stop, provide assistance if necessary, and exchange information with anyone else who was involved. Unfortunately, not all drivers obey this important rule and flee the scene of the accident.
This act turns a normal pedestrian accident into a hit-and-run. If you were injured by a hit-and-run driver, you may wonder what to do next. You do not know who the driver is, so you cannot file a lawsuit or insurance claim against him or her.
Depending on your situation, you could pursue a claim under your own insurance policy, provided that you have the appropriate coverage. Your pedestrian accident lawyer can also conduct a full investigation into the collision and work to identify the at-fault driver.
If you were hit by a hit-and-run driver, take the following steps to protect yourself and your future claim:
- Do not attempt to chase after the vehicle. Instead, try to remember as much information about the vehicle and the driver as you can, such as the driver’s physical appearance; the make, model, and color of the vehicle; the license plate number; and the direction the driver headed after the crash.
- Next, call 911 as soon as possible. Report the hit-and-run driver to the police and relay as much information to the dispatcher as you can. Remain at the scene of the accident to speak with an officer and receive medical care.
- Then, contact a hit-and-run accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will initiate an investigation into the driver and attempt to identify the at-fault motorist.
Damages You Can Recover After a Kansas City Pedestrian Accident
When filing a pedestrian accident claim, you may wonder how much compensation you can expect to receive. This is one of the most common questions our lawyers hear, but the answer is not as straightforward. Damages in pedestrian accident claims depend on the individual losses that you suffered.
Your attorney from Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet can help you calculate your potential damages and explore all possible avenues to compensation. Generally, you have the right to recover two types of damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic, Non-Economic, and Punitive Damages
Economic damages refer to the tangible monetary losses that you suffered as a result of the accident. These may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, disability accommodations, and the loss of future earning capacity.
On the other hand, non-economic damages involve the pain and suffering that you endured in the collision. This pain and suffering may be physical, such as permanent disability and ongoing pain. These damages may also be emotional, such as mental anguish, depression, anxiety, and a loss of quality of life.
In some situations, you may qualify for a third category known as punitive damages. In Missouri, these damages are awarded when the defendant intentionally harmed a plaintiff without just cause or shows a flagrant and deliberate disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages aim to punish the defendant rather than reimburse the victim for his or her losses.
Comparative Negligence in Missouri Pedestrian Accident Claims
To limit his or her liability, the at-fault driver may claim that a pedestrian was partially responsible for the accident. The driver may accuse the pedestrian of jaywalking, walking while distracted, or using alcohol or drugs at the time of the collision. If the court accepts this claim, the final settlement may be at risk.
Missouri follows a pure comparative negligence statute in these situations. Under this law, the court will reduce the plaintiff’s award by the percentage of fault he or she shares. The victim can recover a settlement even if he or she was 99% at fault.
For example, say that you file a claim for $100,000 in damages. The court discovers that you were jaywalking at the time of the accident and assigns 40% of the liability to you. You would only recover $60,000 instead of the full $100,000.
If you find yourself in this situation, you need an attorney from Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet on your side. Your pedestrian accident lawyer can help defend you against accusations of shared fault and advocate aggressively for your right to full compensation.
Statute of Limitations on Pedestrian Accident Claims in Missouri
In Missouri, you have five years from the date of your pedestrian accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you file your lawsuit after this date, the court will most likely dismiss your case—preventing you from recovering compensation. To protect your future case, contact Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet to identify your filing deadline and initiate your pedestrian accident claim.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident in Missouri
After a pedestrian accident, your first priority should be your health and safety. Call 911 to report the accident to the police and go to the hospital as soon as you can. You should always visit the hospital after a pedestrian accident, even if you do not feel injured; some injuries have delayed symptoms, and waiting to seek treatment could be extremely dangerous.
If you can collect evidence from the scene of the crash, you should take steps to do so. Take photographs and videos of your injuries and the accident from multiple angles. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other people involved in the collision. If any witnesses saw the accident happen, collect their contact details as well.
Once you have received medical care for your injuries, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer from Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet. Your attorney will investigate your case and take the first steps toward filing your claim and recovering the compensation that you deserve.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Pedestrian Accident Claim?
After a pedestrian accident, many people wonder if they need to hire a lawyer to handle their claims. These cases can seem fairly straightforward—but, in these situations, hiring an attorney is incredibly important. A pedestrian accident lawyer can provide much-needed support and guidance throughout your claim and will work tirelessly to protect your best interests and secure the best possible outcome in your case.
Hiring an attorney can benefit your case in several ways:
- Your Lawyer Can Help Prove Fault: To recover compensation in a pedestrian accident claim, you need to prove that someone else was at fault. Your lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove liability and also defend you against accusations of shared fault.
- Your Lawyer Can Help Calculate Damages: To avoid financial hardship in the future, you need to ensure that you claim the full value of your damages. Your lawyer can help you explore all potential avenues to compensation and accurately calculate your award.
- Your Lawyer Can Handle the Claims Process: When you are recovering from a serious injury, filing a lawsuit or insurance claim is the last thing on your mind. Your lawyer can handle the entire litigation process from start to finish, providing critical advice and guidance each step of the way.
- Your Lawyer Can Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Many pedestrian accident claims involve negotiations with insurance companies. Your attorney can handle these discussions on your behalf, advocating aggressively to protect your best interests.
- Your Lawyer Can Prepare Your Case for Court: If you are unable to recover an adequate settlement during the insurance process, your case will likely head to court. Our attorneys can help you prepare for trial and develop a compelling case to present to the judge and jury.
- Your Lawyer Can Determine Your Best Course of Action: Pedestrian accident claims require careful and strategic decision-making. Your lawyer will have a strong grasp on the most critical aspects of a pedestrian accident case and will help determine your optimal path to financial recovery.
Contact Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet Today
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, trust the lawyers at Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet. Our Kansas City pedestrian accident lawyers will work tirelessly to recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today at (816) 832-4688 to schedule a free case consultation and learn more about your legal options.