St. Charles County, Mo., accident kills lawn maintenance employee

On an early morning in September 2013, a 48-year-old woman driving a car lost control on a wet curve in St. Charles County, Mo., flipping over and striking a 59-year-old landscaper doing work on a church lawn. The driver had minor injuries. The victim was a Mexican citizen on a seasonal work visa who was the breadwinner for his family.

Unfortunately, this type of pedestrian-motor vehicle crash is all too common in Missouri.

The facts about Missouri pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents

The most recent pedestrian accident data available from the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Statistical Analysis Center is from 2011. The 2011 Missouri Traffic Safety Compendium contains this information about pedestrian accidents in the state that year:

  • Only 1 percent of Missouri traffic accidents involved pedestrians.
  • More than one-tenth of all traffic accident fatalities involved pedestrians.
  • In Missouri pedestrian accidents that year, 75 people died and almost 1,400 were injured.
  • One person was killed or injured in a pedestrian accident in the state that year about every 6 hours on average.
  • Almost four-fifths of all pedestrian accidents were in city areas.
  • Just over 61 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents were in city areas.
  • Just over 61 percent of pedestrians involved in accidents were men or boys.
  • Of the vehicle types that struck pedestrians, about 58 percent were automobiles and 15 percent pickup trucks.

The study also included revealing information about what the pedestrian victims were doing when struck:

  • Kids 14 and younger: 15.8 percent were crossing the road from behind a parked car and 9.7 percent were playing in the street.
  • Adolescents 15 to adults 64: almost one-quarter were crossing with no signal and 6.4 percent were crossing the road from behind a parked car.
  • Seniors 65 and older: 36.1 percent were crossing with no signal and 12.8 percent were in marked crosswalks or crossing diagonally.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA reports that the most common injuries from pedestrian accidents are (starting with the most common and declining): musculoskeletal injuries, head and neck injuries, external injuries, abdominal and pelvic injuries, chest injuries and spinal injuries.

Seek legal advice for pedestrian accident injuries

Everyone should seek to reduce pedestrian accidents. Walkers and joggers should not wear headphones or use cell phones, but rather should be alert to all traffic patterns around them. Drivers have the duty to obey traffic laws, avoid distraction and take reasonable care around vulnerable pedestrians, including adjusting for weather and road conditions. A driver who hurts or kills a pedestrian because of reckless or negligent driving practices may be liable in a personal injury lawsuit, and sometimes subject to traffic or criminal charges also.

If you are a Missourian injured in a pedestrian knockdown accident with a car, motorcycle, truck or bus, or if a loved one is killed in such an incident, consult with a knowledgeable Missouri personal injury attorney with specific experience handling pedestrian accident lawsuits. Your pedestrian accident lawyer can help you to deal with the insurance company, launch an investigation on your behalf and advise you of available legal remedies and potentially responsible parties.

You may be able to file a Missouri personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages for medical bills, lost wages, therapies and more.