The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles Can a Pedestrian Be At Fault For a St. Louis Auto Accident?

Can a Pedestrian Be At Fault For a St. Louis Auto Accident?

By Christopher Hoffmann  Jun. 11, 2020 7:10a

If you witness a car accident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian, the default assumption for many people is that the driver is at fault. There is also the idea that pedestrians usually have the right of way, which helps fuel this perception.

In fact, there are some cases when the pedestrian may be completely, or partially at-fault for the accident.


When Are Pedestrians Liable?

Pedestrians are may be at-fault for a car accident when they are ignoring traffic signs or acting recklessly. Some examples can include:


  • Jaywalking

  • Crossing outside a crosswalk and not double-checking for upcoming cars

  • Ignoring traffic lights

  • Walking in areas that are prohibited for pedestrians, such as highways, or bridges

  • Running straight into the street

  • Entering a street while intoxicated, unable to control their movements.


These are cases where pedestrians may be found totally or partially at fault for a car accident. The fault is determined by analyzing the situation and essentially answered the question: who is responsible for the event taking place?

In some cases, a driver may not be at fault at all. Consider an example of someone running into the streets without looking for upcoming cars, and getting struck by a vehicle. Because of the sudden turn of events, you can argue the driver had no time to act properly, and hit the brakes or swerve to avoid the pedestrian. This is an example where the pedestrian may be considered at fault and depending on the circumstances, liable for any damages the driver may have endured

How Do You Get Compensated from an At-Fault Pedestrian?

First, you should know that in Missouri more parties can share liability for the same accident. For example, if a pedestrian runs into the street, and you hit them, then the pedestrian is at-fault for the accident. However, if you were also speeding at the time of the accident, and therefore made the matters worse, you will also be at-fault.

When there is shared liability, each party can only receive damages up to their percentage of "blamelessness.* So, if you are found 30% at-fault, you can only receive 70% of your total damages as 30% was your own doing.

To get compensated, you will likely have to sue the pedestrian for damages. If it was another vehicle, you could file a compensation claim and get damages through the insurance company, but when a pedestrian is involved this is not the case.


Speak With a Lawyer

Car accidents involving pedestrians are complicated. Though the pedestrian is often the victim, this is not always the case, and the driver may be the one entitled to compensation. Whether you are an injured driver or pedestrian reach out to a St. Louis car injury attorney today for a free consultation to see what you can do to protect your rights and get compensated for your injuries from the party at-fault. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242.

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