St. Louis makes a big claim as one of the worst regions for pedestrian fatalities. For example, the numbers increased by 228% in the period 2020–2022, compared to the period 2010–2012. There are increasing pedestrian claims tabled in court or settlement proceedings. Here are some of the ways drivers cause pedestrian accidents in St. Louis:
- Reckless or speed driving
- Exhaustion or lack of sleep
- Failing to obey traffic rules
- Making improper turns
- Failing to stop at a pedestrian right of way
- Driving without checking the surroundings
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Navigating these pedestrian accident claims requires an understanding of the various factors influencing them. There are St. Louis pedestrian accident lawyers who can help victims and involved parties go through the legal process. They influence fair compensation and hearings.
So, what influences the value of pedestrian accident claims? Read on to discover more.
Factors Influencing the Value of a Pedestrian Accident Claim
Severity of Injuries
The extent and severity of pedestrian injuries are big factors. Normally, victims will want their medical bills covered. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, increased damage requires comprehensive medical documentation to support your claim.
Here are some injuries that require a higher value of compensation:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: TBIs are almost unavoidable in pedestrian accidents. They are also sensitive, requiring the intervention or help of St. Louis pedestrian accident lawyers for quality legal representation. Moreover, such treatments might be long-term, thus necessitating a fair trial for the victim.
- Long-Term or Permanent Disabilities: Victims can also be disabled in the process, halting their normal life activities. Such claims tend to be high for users to cater to their long-term needs, including daily expenses and medical coverage.
Keep in mind that severe injuries often require long-term therapy sessions, medical care, and prolonged absences from work. This severe injury may have a permanent impact on your health condition, so this could make you eligible for the higher compensation due to long-term medical support and care.
Another way to determine the value of pedestrian claims in St. Louis is what transpired before the accident. Usually, liable drivers tend to break traffic laws, leading to traffic violations. Sometimes, though rarely, pedestrians can also be at fault. According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, here are the violations causing an increase in pedestrian accidents:
- Failure to give way
- Distracted driving
Identifying the credibility of these violations is key to determining the liable party and the amount of the potential claim. A key player is the involvement of witness statements. A good lawyer can assist you in collecting such information from bystanders. This strengthens your case and raises the chances of getting a better value on the tabled claim. For example, if the victim has police reports, several surveillance footage, and eyewitnesses showing the driver was at fault, then the injured pedestrian has a stronger claim. So it helps the victim to claim the huge settlement offer from the insurance company.
An estimated 16% of St. Louis motorists are uninsured. This is a big number, considering such drivers/riders are dangerous. Therefore, it’s important to examine your own uninsured motorist coverage. It can provide additional compensation without the at-fault party’s insurance.
You can also have underinsured motorist coverage. This mode safeguards you if the liable party’s insurance cannot cover your damages. In this scenario, it is necessary to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in St. Louis who will help you get the reasonable compensation.
With the rising economy, St. Louis healthcare costs have risen. Considering the 6.2% annual increase in healthcare costs, the region’s situation is now higher than the national average. As a victim, you have to consider all medical documentation.
Additionally, victims may require specialized treatments. There are sensitive procedures, like physical therapy, that require more resources. A good lawyer can help you claim such compensations, which can sometimes be overlooked.
Several factors during the legal process impact the value of the pedestrian accident claim. They include:
- Your lawyer’s negotiation skills: An experienced attorney has good negotiation skills, so they can help you achieve better compensation. In your self-representation, you could not claim reasonable compensation. That’s why you should consider legal assistance from an experienced lawyer.
- Courtroom representation: As a victim, you may not have the knowledge or experience to represent yourself in court. An attorney’s experience is invaluable if litigation becomes necessary. However, St. Louis’ local procedures and judges can influence case outcomes positively.
Different contexts determine how the discussed factors come into play. For instance, many users might not prefer to follow a court’s process to get their potential claim, especially when the accident is minor.
Nonetheless, factors like the severity of injuries, medical expenses, party at fault, and insurance issues dictate the value of a pedestrian accident claim. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you overcome the challenges when calculating damages in a pedestrian accident case.