I’ve been injured as a pedestrian. What should I do?

Pedestrians walking
Pedestrians walking

Ohio drivers are often dangerously unaware that they’re sharing the roadways with pedestrians. In 2015, 118 pedestrians were killed by a motor vehicle. Those lucky enough to survive a pedestrian accident face devastating injuries, costly medical bills, and possible permanent disability. If you were injured as a pedestrian, you are entitled to have the at-fault driver pay for all of your losses.

Crash Statistics20112012201320142015
Fatal Crashes9421,0249189191,030
Traffic Fatalities1,0161,1229901,0081,110
Motor Vehicle Fatalities898987879900965
Unbelted Fatalities443498431450474
Non-Motorist Fatalities118135111108145
Pedestrians Killed991178893118
OVI-Related Fatal Crashes383453318338365
OVI-Related Fatalities414494350375401
Motorcycle Fatalities166163133140163
Helmeted Deaths4641433757
Heavy Truck-Involved Fatalities84113106102132

*Source: DPS Electronic Crash Record system. Updated on 2/26/2016.

What should I do after a pedestrian accident?

Pedestrian accident injury signage If you haven’t already, immediately go to a doctor to receive a full checkup. Even if you think you are OK, you may have suffered hidden injuries that may take time to show symptoms. If your injuries aren’t documented soon after the accident, it may be difficult or impossible to later make a claim.

Next, talk to a personal injury attorney. Even if you are working with the insurance company, they have an interest in paying you as little as possible, so you want an advocate who can help you understand what you’re entitled to.

How soon can I file a lawsuit?

  1. You can file a lawsuit as soon as you are medically able to.
    In fact, it’s often best to file as quickly as possible to ensure that witness memories are fresh and other evidence isn’t lost.
  2. It’s equally important not to wait too long.
    You must file your lawsuit no later than two years after the date of the accident unless you were a minor at the time of the accident.

What if I was partially at fault?

If you were partially at fault, you can still make a pedestrian accident claim, but the damages you receive will be reduced. For example, if you cross an intersection against a don’t walk sign and are struck by a driver who ran a red light, the court might decide both you and the driver were 50 percent liable for the accident. The driver would be responsible for paying 50 percent of your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

What if the accident was caused by a distracted driver?

You can generally use the fact that someone violated safety-related laws as evidence of that person’s responsibility for an accident. Ohio bans drivers under 18 from using cell phones, and all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Because this type of cell phone use is considered unsafe as a matter of law, you would not need to take additional steps to prove distracted driving caused the accident.

When should I contact a personal injury attorney?

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you only have a limited amount of time to make a claim. Contact a personal injury attorney in Ohio as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.

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