Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrian Accident

How Do I Know if I Need to Hire a Lawyer for My Pedestrian Accident in Columbus, Ohio?

You should at least consult with a Columbus pedestrian accident attorney after

  • A driver hit and injured you,
  • A driver hit and killed one of your family members,
  • Your child was hit and injured by a driver,
  • You or your family member were the victim of a hit-and-run driver, or
  • A person riding a bicycle or scooter caused your pedestrian accident.

Several questions will need to be answered before it is clear that you have grounds for proceeding with an insurance claim or lawsuit, but you should never assume that pedestrians do not have the right to hold the people who harm them accountable. Drivers and operators of other vehicles have legal duties to watch for pedestrians and to share roads, sidewalks and bike paths safely. People who act negligently or recklessly and injure or kill pedestrians should be made to provide compensation to their victims.

Understanding Right of Way for Pedestrians in Columbus

Insurance claims and lawsuits arising from pedestrian accidents usually involve arguments over who had right of way. Drivers and bike riders who violate a pedestrian’s right of way can be held liable for paying the crash victim’s medical bills, replacing lost wages, and providing compensation for pain and suffering.

Under Ohio state law and the ordinances of the City of Columbus, pedestrians have right of way when they

  • Stay on the sidewalk or a designated foot path,
  • Use a crosswalk,
  • Cross a street at an intersection, or
  • Cross a street with a green light or walk signal in their direction.

When a sidewalk or footpath is not available, a pedestrian can legally walk along the paved or grassy shoulder. On roads that lack shoulders, pedestrian can walk in the roadway as long as they stay close to the right edge of the pavement and face oncoming traffic.

The Ohio Revised Code further clarifies where and when pedestrians can cross streets that are not marked with crosswalks, As specified in Section 4511.46, “When not crossing at a crosswalk, the pedestrian must yield the right of way to all traffic upon the roadway.”

Local ordinances and state statutes also give pedestrians duties to respect drivers’ right of way. For instance, pedestrians cannot jaywalk, cross against the light, or step out directly in front of a car, truck, or bike.

Determining who violated who’s right of way is an essential way of assigning fault. When a driver or bike rider is more at fault than the pedestrian, the injured pedestrian can request compensation by filing an insurance claim or pursuing a lawsuit.

Questions will also come up regarding why the driver (or pedestrian) acted negligently. Common causes of collisions that injure or kill pedestrians are speeding, becoming distracted behind the wheel, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

A Note About Young Victims

Generally, the rules regarding right of way do not apply to children who are younger than 7 years of age. Parents and guardians should, of course, teach kids about pedestrian safety. But when the worst happens and a child runs out into the middle of the street, a driver might still be held liable for hitting and hurting the toddler or grade-schooler.

Drivers, being adults, simply have higher legal duties to ensure the safety of young children. They must slow down in school zones and keep a good lookout when traveling through neighborhoods.

A Note About Hit-and-Run Accidents

Pedestrians of all ages are particularly prone to falling victim to hit-and-run drivers. An experienced Columbus pedestrian accident attorney may be able to help even if an at-fault driver is never identified.

Ohio encourages, but does not require, all licensed drivers to carry uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage as part of their auto insurance package. UIM coverage can be invoked following a hit-and-run. It may also cover medical bills and other expenses following a collision with a bike rider.

Filing a UIM claim is usually as complicated and contentious as filing a claim against an at-faut driver’s insurance. No insurance company welcomes the opportunity to pay out on claims, so partnering with a Columbus pedestrian accident lawyer can benefit a hit-and-run victim.

What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident

Do not take any of the following as legal advice, but know that Columbus, Ohio-based pedestrian accident lawyers with Agee Clymer have advised and represented many pedestrian accident victims. Based on what we have learned, people can best protect themselves following a crash by

  • Moving out of the roadway, if possible;
  • Calling 911 to ensure police and EMS respond;
  • Getting the name, address, phone number, and insurance information from the driver;
  • Getting contact information from witnesses;
  • Seeking medical care even if visible wounds do not appear to be severe;
  • Following doctors’ orders, filling prescriptions, and keeping appointments for follow-up care and therapy;
  • Writing down what they remember about the crash;
  • Notifying their own insurance company;
  • Obtaining the police report on the accident; and
  • Contacting a pedestrian accident lawyer.

Going to the emergency room or visiting one’s own physician is particularly important. An insurance company will only pay out on claims if evidence shows that injuries were serious. Seeking medical care creates records that substantiate claims for compensation.

Connect With a Columbus Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Do not hesitate to ask for help from a pedestrian accident lawyer in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio law sets a 2-year statute of limitations on personal injury and wrongful death claims. The clock starts ticking on the day of the accident.

Personal injury attorneys with Agee Clymer provide free consultations. You can schedule an appointment online or speak directly with a lawyer by calling (614) 221-3318.

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