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 Statistics 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Fatal Crashes 942 1,024 918 919 1,030
Traffic Fatalities 1,016 1,122 990 1,008 1,110
Motor Vehicle Fatalities 898 987 879 900 965
Unbelted Fatalities 443 498 431 450 474
Non-Motorist Fatalities 118 135 111 108 145
Pedestrians Killed 99 117 88 93 118
OVI-Related Fatal Crashes 383 453 318 338 365
OVI-Related Fatalities 414 494 350 375 401
Motorcycle Fatalities 166 163 133 140 163
Helmeted Deaths 46 41 43 37 57
Heavy Truck-Involved Fatalities 84 113 106 102 132

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

What should I do after a pedestrian accident?

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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