A hit-and-run car accident in St. Joseph over the weekend left a young child injured. The suspect eventually turned himself in, and will face numerous charges. The incident raises interesting aspects of Missouri’s hit-and-run law, while highlighting the dangers that pedestrians have been facing in recent years.
8-Year-Old Pedestrian Hurt in Accident
The incident happened on the afternoon of Sunday, May 21, 2017, on South 24th Street in St. Joseph, Missouri. An 8-year-old girl was hit by a car on the quiet street that went through a laid back, residential neighborhood. The car hit the girl, rolled over her foot, and then sped away. The girl suffered injuries to her foot from the crash that were considered minor.
The next day, 19-year-old Khaury D. El-Amin turned himself in to the police. He’s facing numerous charges for being the driver of the car in the hit-and-run accident, including careless driving, leaving the scene of the crash, and driving without either insurance or proper license plates.
Missouri’s Hit-and-Run Statute Doesn’t Protect Minors
The accident reveals an interesting aspect about Missouri’s hit-and-run statute, MRS 577.060 – it does not provide greater protections to minors than it does for adults. Instead, anyone who’s involved in an accident and then flees the scene gets the same repercussions, regardless of the age of the victim they’re leaving behind.
This can put young children, who are less able to get the help they need than adults, at risk.
Pedestrians Getting Hurt More Often
As we covered in an earlier blog, pedestrian fatalities spiked in 2016, rising 11% in a single year to nearly 6,000, according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). This increase is likely due in large part to the rise of distracted driving, which puts pedestrians and other non-vehicle traffic at greater risk than other cars. This is because it takes extra effort to recognize and account for pedestrians, who are smaller and more inconspicuous than cars, and who are often not standing in the middle of the driving lane. Drivers who are distracted by other things, like smartphones, are unable to put in that extra effort that is necessary to keep pedestrians safe.
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at Smith Law Office
Legally speaking, drivers in the state of Missouri have a duty to drive reasonably safe whenever it is foreseeable that their driving could hurt someone else. This usually applies to other drivers. However, it can also apply to pedestrians, as well, if poor driving could foreseeably hurt them in an accident.
Unfortunately, pedestrians are not well protected in a car accident, and often get hurt far worse than the driver of the car involved. These injuries can be serious, debilitating over the long term, or even fatal.
If this has happened to you or someone you love, you need a personal injury lawyer from the Smith Law Office to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call our law office at (816) 875-9373.