A pedestrian was struck and killed by a tour bus carrying Jason Aldean, whose album “My Kinda Party” was album of the year at the 2011 Country Music Awards. Only the driver and Aldean were on the bus at the time of the accident. According to reports, the pedestrian walked out in front of the bus at about 1:30 a.m.
When a pedestrian is killed after walking out in front of a vehicle, does their family have a wrongful death claim against the driver?
It depends on who was at fault. Under Missouri law, recovery for injuries sustained in an accident is reduced to the extent the victim at fault for the accident. For instance, if a pedestrian is struck and injured by a vehicle and the pedestrian is 50% at fault and a jury finds that the pedestrian’s injuries are worth $100,000, the pedestrian’s recovery will be limited to $50,000. This system of reducing damages in personal injury cases is called “comparative fault.” Comparative fault also applies when a deceased person’s family brings a wrongful death claim.
As a result, if a pedestrian walks out in front of a vehicle, and the driver was not in any way responsible for the accident, it’s likely that even if the pedestrian’s injuries are worth $1 million, they will not recover anything for their injuries. But the question of whether the driver was entirely without blame depends on the facts. In many cases, blame doesn’t fall squarely on one party. Both contributed to the accident.
That’s why it’s so important to have your case evaluated by a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Determining who was at fault in an accident requires an experienced professional.