Most individuals incorrectly believe that drivers are automatically at-fault if they strike a pedestrian. However, Ohio law imposes duties on both drivers and pedestrians, which may determine who is at-fault. If you were injured as a result of an accident, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a skilled personal injury attorney in Columbus, Ohio.
As for drivers, Ohio Revised Code 4511.46 requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are within a crosswalk. This applies not only to individuals using crosswalks at lights, but also to individuals using sidewalks. For example, if an individual is struck by a car attempting to pull into a driveway, that driver has breached his or her duty to yield to the individual on the sidewalk. A failure to do so is a minor misdemeanor. Overall, if a driver fails to yield to the individual due to being distracted (such as by texting while driving, etc.), that driver is also subject to additional penalties. See O.R.C. 4511.991. Even when a pedestrian is not within a crosswalk, drivers must still be careful to avoid colliding with them. See O.R.C. 4511.48.
As for pedestrians, pedestrians are also required to follow certain laws to avoid harm caused by drivers. Ohio law first requires pedestrians to crossroads within the crosswalks and obey traffic control devices like walk signals and traffic lights. In addition, pedestrians also have the responsibility from suddenly walking or running into oncoming traffic. Therefore, when a pedestrian attempts to run across the road, is not in a crosswalk, or is attempting to cross the road without the walk signal, pursuing a personal injury claim may be difficult.
Despite these laws, pedestrian accidents continue to happen in Ohio. Statistics in Columbus, Ohio also reveal that car crashes involving pedestrians continue to rise. Several reasons have been offered as explanations for the rise: distractions by smartphones, impairment by drugs or alcohol, excessive motor speed, and careless driving. When drivers are careless, pedestrians are uniquely vulnerable.
Due to the exposure that pedestrians have compared to cars, serious injuries often result from pedestrian-vehicle accidents. Injuries can range from traumatic brain injuries, spine injuries, back and neck injuries, and broken bones. Sometimes, these accidents can even lead to fatal, life threatening injuries and wrongful death.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a vehicle-pedestrian accident, you might feel overwhelmed or confused about your options. Several issues that often arise in these cases include identifying the legally responsible parties, determining the amount of damages and the potential sources of compensations, and communicating with the insurance companies of all the parties involved. Even when the other party has accepted fault, the amount of compensation may still be disputed. An experienced attorney will work to ensure a fair settlement and help you obtain the compensation that you are entitled to receive.
We recommend promptly contacting an experienced and trusted personal injury attorney to help you navigate this complex process and protect your legal rights. Look for a personal injury attorney with specific experience representing injured pedestrians hit by cars or other motor vehicles, who understands the relevant law, and who knows how to construct a strong case.