Bicycle & Pedestrian Accident Lawyer, St. Louis
There is no contest when a 3,000-pound car runs into a bicycle or pedestrian. If the cyclist or walker survives, there is a great probability that it will be with serious injury. Every year, cyclists and pedestrians throughout Missouri and Illinois are injured or killed by motor vehicles. Drivers must adhere to the laws of the road and exercise the highest degree of care.
At The S.E. Farris Law Firm, Spencer Farris represents injury victims and that includes bike and pedestrian accidents.
Recipe for Injury: Drivers, Bicyclists & Pedestrians
Usually, any recovery in a pedestrian or bicycle negligence case involving a motor vehicle will hinge upon the exact duty of care owed by those involved.
In many cases, it may seem obvious who was careless or negligent, but the courts look to a number of factors in applying the facts of each case to the elements of a “negligence” claim. A person who negligently operates a vehicle may be required to pay damages for personal and property damage caused by that negligence.
Driver’s Duty of Care: A Lawyer’s Assessment
Generally, people who operate motor vehicles must exercise “the highest degree of care,” and any failure to do so – that which a very careful person would use – is considered negligence. Some of the most common examples of driver negligence are preoccupation or inattentiveness; failure to observe traffic laws such as speed limits; disregarding weather or traffic conditions; and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Bicycle fatalities represent just fewer than two percent of all traffic fatalities, and yet bicycle trips account for less than one percent of all trips in the U.S. (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008)
The early involvement of a personal injury attorney with experience helping injured cyclists and pedestrians is the best way to assess and protect any potential legal claim you may have. Call us today at 314-A-LAWYER (252-9937) to arrange for a free evaluation.
Cyclist’s Rights and Responsibilities: Before the Crash
Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as motorized vehicles, and as a result, bicyclists must obey all rules of the road. While bicycle laws provide more safe and bike-friendly rules for bicycles and cars on public roads, there are also key provisions regarding travel, lane positions, and passing that cyclists must adhere to.
Too often, however, motor vehicle drivers ignore or are unaware of cyclists’ rights, and as a result, bicyclists are seriously injured or killed. A crash between a motor vehicle and a bicycle rider should be reported to police if the crash results in injury or death.
U.S. Department of Transportation reported 677 deaths and 48,000 injuries in cyclist-motor vehicle crashes. View, the complete fact sheet here.
Pedestrian’s Rights and Responsibilities: St. Louis
Pedestrians shouldn’t have to risk their lives just to cross the street but must exercise “reasonable care” for their own safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a pedestrian is injured by a motor vehicle seven times an hour in the United States. In 2011, there were 4,432 reported pedestrian deaths in the U.S. and more than fifteen times injuries. That is the average equivalence to a pedestrian killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes. The 2011 Data Traffic Safety Facts is available online.
Missouri is a comparative fault state, which means that an injury victim cannot recover that portion of their damages which they caused. In other words, fault may be assessed against a pedestrian if they failed to exercise reasonable care and directly contributed to the cause of their own accident or injuries. A few of the most common factors contributing to pedestrian negligence are ignoring “don’t walk” signals, failing to use marked crosswalks, and darting in front of a vehicle.
Speak to an experienced attorney about your bicycle or pedestrian accident. We represent bicycle and pedestrian accident victims on a contingency fee basis so you will pay nothing unless we win compensation for you.
About the author, S.E. Farris
Spencer Farris is a personal injury lawyer at The S.E. Farris Law Firm in St. Louis, Missouri. See his profile on Google+.