Pedestrians have little to protect them if they get hit by a vehicle, motorcycle or even a bicycle traveling at high speed. As a result, pedestrian accident injuries are often serious or life-altering. Victims may often face lengthy recoveries and excessive medical costs.
At Friedman, Domiano & Smith, we understand you may be uncertain about what to do after being injured in a pedestrian accident. However, when you have an experienced attorney to manage your claim, it can help to give you peace of mind so you can focus on healing.
Unsure if you have a claim? Call our firm today to set up a free, no-risk consultation. Our intake staff is always happy to speak with you and available to take your call 24/7.
Our attorneys are ready to answer your questions and help determine if you have legal options. Our pedestrian accident attorneys in Cleveland have been helping injured victims for decades. We have recovered millions in compensation for our clients.
Proven Results. No Upfront Costs. 216-621-0070
Is My Pedestrian Accident Claim Valid?
Every traffic incident is unique, so it is difficult to answer that question until we know more details about your situation. That said, your injuries must have been caused by negligence or there is no claim.
As the victim, the burden of proof falls on you. This means that you must be able to prove another party’s negligence led to your pedestrian accident. To prove negligence, an attorney must establish the following:
The Other Party Owed You a Duty of Care
Drivers of any vehicle, whether operating a car, motorcycle, SUV or bicycle, have a duty to avoid causing harm to others. This means, among other duties, following posted speed limits and traffic signals. Drivers must also remain alert and avoid looking away from the road.
The At-Fault Driver Breached the Duty of Care
There are many ways drivers may breach a duty of care. Some drivers may get a ticket at the scene of a pedestrian accident for a traffic violation. For instance, if the at-fault party fell asleep at the wheel. However, if no one saw the accident, it may be harder to prove there was any negligence.
Sometimes, a pedestrian could share fault for the accident. For example, pedestrians impaired by alcohol may wander into the street without looking and get hit by a speeding driver.
There is a Direct Link
An attorney must be able to establish the link between the accident and your injuries – the injuries that you sustained can be related to the impact of the vehicle.
You Suffered Damages
The driver who caused the pedestrian accident must have caused you to suffer damages, such as medical costs, lost wages and property damage.
We offer a free consultation to learn more about the accident that caused your injuries. We strongly recommend that you seek legal help as soon after your accident as possible.
How Could Hiring a Lawyer Benefit My Case?
Hiring an attorney may benefit your claim in many ways. To start with, victims who have legal representation often get significantly more compensation from an injury claim than those who do not.
If we represent you, our qualified Cleveland pedestrian accident attorneys are prepared to:
- Handle every aspect of your pedestrian accident claim
- Answer any questions you have about the legal process
- Fully investigate your accident, gathering evidence to help support your claim
- Deal with the insurance company and other third parties on your behalf
- Communicate with you regularly regarding your claim
- Negotiate tirelessly to help ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your losses
- Work hard to avoid going to court, but be fully prepared to represent you if necessary
We are ready to help. Call for your FREE case review today. 216-621-0070
What Compensation Can I Seek After a Pedestrian Accident?
This is another aspect of a pedestrian accident claim that varies from one victim to another. There are many factors that determine both the type and amount of compensation a victim maybe eligible to receive.
Once you reach your maximum medical improvement point (MMI), your attorney will calculate the full value of your claim. This is the point when your doctor has determined that you recovered as much as is possible.
There are many types of compensation you may be eligible to recover for your damages, including:
- Emergency vehicle transportation after the accident occurred
- Surgery, diagnostics and other medical interventions needed to stabilize your injuries
- Prescription or over-the-counter medication costs
- Mobility assistive devices – for instance, wheelchairs, crutches, or prosthetics
- Property damages you may have sustained
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering damages, such as emotional distress and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And more – including any related future medical costs
How Soon After the Crash Should I File a Pedestrian Accident Case?
In Ohio, you can never file a pedestrian accident case too soon. However, you can file too late. There are strict filing deadlines, called the statute of limitations, which apply to injury claims. Under the law, you must file your lawsuit no later than two years from the date of the accident. Injured pedestrians who miss this deadline lose the opportunity to recover compensation through a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Dangers of Waiting to Seek Legal Help
Waiting to the last minute to try to hire an attorney is also a mistake. Your attorney needs time to investigate your accident and build a strong claim. If an attorney is not fairly certain that he or she can win, such as by not having enough time to build a case, he or she is unlikely to represent you.
For this and other reasons, we strongly encourage you to seek legal help as soon as your injuries are stabilized.
What Should I Know About Dealing With the Insurance Company?
When you speak with the insurance company, you may find them to be friendly and helpful. However, it is important to recognize that they do not have your best interests in mind during a claim. This is because insurance companies are for-profit businesses. So rather than pay full compensation for your damages, they will look for valid reasons to devalue or deny your claim.
The attorneys at Friedman, Domiano & Smith are well-versed in the tactics insurers try to use. We are prepared to handle any communications with the insurance company, so you do not have to. For situations where you must speak with the insurer, we can prepare you in advance, so you are not caught off guard.
Where are Pedestrian Accidents Most Likely to Happen in Ohio?
Pedestrian accidents could happen on any busy street. However, the risk is especially great in areas that are poorly lit and where there are no crosswalks or pedestrian signals. Common locations for pedestrian accidents include:
- Urban areas
- Parking lots and multi-level parking garages
- Large venues, such as for concerts or sporting events
- Crossing areas
- Residential or commercial driveways
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are often down to some type of negligence. For instance, if a driver was:
- Speeding or committing other traffic violations
- Driving distracted, such as by texting or something else
- Impaired driving (by alcohol or other substances)
- Running traffic lights or stop signs
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving recklessly
- Going too fast, given the weather conditions
- And more
Injuries Often Seen in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian injuries tend to be more severe when pedestrians are struck by larger vehicles, such as a car or SUV. Some of the most common pedestrian accident injuries may include:
- Broken bones
- Skull fractures and other head injuries
- Internal organ damage and bleeding
- Spinal cord damage
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Road rash
- Severe bruising
- Fatal injuries
Who May Be Liable for the Accident and My Damages?
The negligent party who struck you is often the liable party. However, these claims could get complicated when others are involved. For instance, if the driver’s brakes failed because of a defect, the manufacturer could be liable for the accident. Another driver could be liable, such as if he or she rear-ended a driver, pushing his or her vehicle into you.
What if the Driver Fled the Scene?
If you can get any of the driver’s details, such as his or her license plate, or the make and model of the car, police may be able to find the driver. Witnesses may also be able to help in this situation. If the driver is found, you can pursue a claim through his or her liability insurance.
However, if the driver cannot be identified or found, whether you have other options for recovering compensation may vary. Your attorney can review your auto insurance to see if you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance or MedPay.
What if I Was Partly to Blame for the Accident?
You may still be able to recover some compensation, even if you are partly to blame. Ohio follows a comparative negligence system, so as long as you are not more than 50 percent at fault, you can still recover damages. Do not try and make that determination on your own. Speak to the experienced lawyers at Friedman Domiano & Smith to determine if we can make a recovery for you.
The insurance company will determine whether or how much liability you share for the incident. If you have an attorney, he or she may be able to challenge the insurer using evidence and argue your role was less than they say.
In the end, the total compensation awarded will be reduced by your share of fault. So, if you are awarded $100,000 and assessed with 10 percent of the fault, your award will be reduced to $90,000.
First Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident
After a pedestrian accident, it is important that you call 9-1-1 right away. In fact, in Ohio, drivers must call police for crashes involving any type of bodily injury or more than $400 in damages.
Additional steps should include:
- Remaining at the scene until help arrives
- Seeking immediate emergency medical care
- Being sure to keep all medical appointments and follow treatments
- Following your doctor’s orders
- Seeking legal help right away
- Following your attorney’s advice
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Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? Contact Our Trusted Law Firm Today
After a pedestrian accident that leaves you injured, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out the complicated legal process.
At Friedman, Domiano & Smith, we are prepared to help. Our qualified pedestrian accident attorneys in Cleveland handle every step of the legal process, making sure no stone is left unturned. This means you can focus on your health and your family.
Contact our trusted law firm today to learn more. There is no cost for your initial consultation, and we welcome your questions. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay us up front or while we work on your case. We do not get paid unless you do.
Experienced lawyers who care. 216-621-0070