As a pedestrian, you follow all the traffic laws. You wait at the crosswalk until you see the walk sign. You keep your phone in your pocket and your eyes on the road. But if the driver of a car decides to run a red light or swerve into cross traffic, you may still find yourself in a world of pain - even though you did what you were supposed to do.
More than 7,500 pedestrians were hit and killed by motor vehicles last year. This number does not account for the amount of pedestrians who were hit by motor vehicles but survived. A pedestrian accident can leave you with severe injuries, such as a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury. These injuries can come with hefty medical bills, lost wages, and a myriad of other expenses.
So, can a pedestrian sue if hit by a car? When you are in a pedestrian accident that was the fault of the motor vehicle driver, it's time to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit.
How Do You Know if You Have a Strong Pedestrian Injury Claim?
In order to have a pedestrian injury claim that holds up in court, you must be able to show:
- That you or a loved one were injured (or killed) in the accident that occurred
- That the accident and injuries were directly or indirectly caused by the other party's fault or negligence
- The severity of your injuries, both physical and emotional
Ohio is a comparative negligence state, which means that if, as the injured pedestrian, you are found to be 51% or more at fault for the accident, you will be unable to recover damages, even if the driver was also partially at fault. Speak with a pedestrian lawyer about the details of your case to determine whether or not you have a strong pedestrian injury claim.
Essential Steps To File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
So you think you might have a legitimate pedestrian injury claim. You can file a pedestrian lawsuit by following these steps:
Seek Immediate Medical Care For Your Injuries
Before you take any legal steps, it's important to first take care of yourself. Seek medical attention immediately, either from paramedics who arrive at the scene or by going to the hospital yourself. A medical professional may catch injuries that you weren't aware of, such as internal bleeding. Those medical records will also serve as evidence in your case.
Gather all Possible Evidence From the Accident Scene
Take pictures of the scene of the accident, as well as pictures of your injuries. Speak to eye witnesses. They may be able to testify or give an affidavit in your case. They may have even filmed a video of the accident on their phones. If so, ask them to send it to you. Keep any evidence you can find from the accident scene.
Find Legal Assistance
Once you have sought medical care and gathered all the evidence, it's time to find a pedestrian injury lawyer to represent you. Many personal injury attorneys offer free consultations where you can discuss your case and your options. Even if you expect the case to go no further than a settlement, you will want a legal professional at your side to advocate for your rights, negotiate with the insurance companies, and get you the best possible deal.
File A Lawsuit Within the Statute of Limitations
In Ohio, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case - including pedestrian injuries - is two years from the date of the injury. If you attempt to file a lawsuit after that time, it will very likely be thrown out. Before two years are up, you and your pedestrian accident attorney will gather the evidence and file a complaint and summons with the presiding court. From there, it's up to the defendant to respond. You and the defendant may then decide to settle the issue or take the case to trial.
Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents
A pedestrian car accident happens when the driver of a motor vehicle hits or runs over a pedestrian - either while they are crossing the street or when the driver goes off the road. Some common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving, such as a drunk driver
- Left-hand turns
- Rolling stops
- Illegal u-turns
- Unmarked crosswalks
Pedestrians can also be at fault when they fail to adhere to traffic laws, such as waiting for the walk sign or crossing at the crosswalk, or when they themselves are distracted or under the influence. That's why it's important to be able to prove that the driver's negligence led to the accident and that the pedestrian was not more than 50% at fault.
Pedestrian Accident Settlements and Compensation
What is the average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car? How much money can you get from being hit by a car as a pedestrian?
There are so many different kinds of pedestrian accident claims that it is hard to give a definitive average compensation for being hit by a car. Compensation depends on the severity of the injury and the impact on the life of the injured party or their loved ones after the fact. For instance, pedestrian injury claims for a broken arm may result in a significantly smaller settlement than a settlement for wrongful death or severe spinal injury as a result of a pedestrian hit in a crosswalk.
Similarly, it can be difficult to answer, "How long does it take to settle a pedestrian accident?" This depends on the factors of your case. The goal of your personal injury lawyer is to help you seek a fair settlement based on your unique situation.
In a pedestrian injury lawsuit, there are two main types of damages that you can sue for. There are economic damages, which cover things like:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Funeral expenses
Your attorney can walk you through how to claim economic damages from a car accident. The second type of damage, noneconomic damage, is more challenging to prove. Noneconomic damages are intended to compensate you for the emotional pain you may have suffered as a result of the accident. This includes:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of society or companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
For noneconomic damages, you will need an evaluation from a mental health professional.
Choose an Expert Team Of Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
When you or a loved one is hit by a car, you need a team of experts with pedestrian accident cases who will advocate for your right to financial recovery. The Moore Law Firm has you covered. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.