With more cars on the road and gas prices on the rise, more people than ever have turned to walking as an effective means of transportation. Though with more pedestrians on our roadways, so comes an increase in pedestrian-related accidents.
Pedestrian accidents can be especially devastating. Unlike motor vehicle occupants, pedestrians have virtually no protection around them. This vulnerability can lead to catastrophic injuries, even death.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries while walking, please know the Ohio pedestrian accident law firm of Slater & Zurz is here to help. Our attorneys have helped injured victims in Cleveland and across the state of Ohio recover the losses they sustained as a result of their accident. We have the knowledge, resources, and dedication to bring you justice and fight for the compensation you so justly deserve.
Alarming Statistics on Pedestrian Accidents
Though many of us prefer walking as a healthy and cost-effective means to get around, it has the potential to end in tragedy. Below are some alarming statistics on pedestrian accidents in the U.S.
- According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA,), nearly 7,000 Americans lost their lives in pedestrian-related accidents last year.
- More than 75,000 pedestrians are injured each year.
- 80% of pedestrian crashes occur in urban areas, and 20% take place in rural areas.
- Almost three-quarters of all pedestrian-involved accidents do NOT occur in or near intersections.
- Half of these accidents are caused by drivers or pedestrians who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- 20% involve a pedestrian over the age of 65, and another 20% involve children under the age of 15.
- Three-quarters of pedestrian accidents take place at night.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians are no match for a motor vehicle, and as such, victims can sustain severe, often fatal injuries. The crash’s circumstances play a significant part in the type and severity of a victim’s injuries; however, common injuries may include:
- Cuts, bruises, and road rash
- Soft tissue damage
- Facial injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Causes of Ohio Pedestrian Accidents
The list of circumstances surrounding pedestrian accidents is virtually endless. Still, there are some more commonly seen causes, including:
- Distracted drivers – According to the CDC, over 400,000 accidents are caused by a distracted driver, with approximately 20% of those incidents involving a person outside of the vehicle. Although there are strict laws in place aimed at preventing distracted driving, many motorists still text, use navigation systems, eat and drink, and tend to children and animals while driving.
- Impaired driving – Nearly half of all pedestrian accidents involve alcohol or drugs. When a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their perception and reaction time are significantly impaired.
- Reckless or impatient driving – When drivers make reckless moves, such as running red lights, speeding, and failing to yield, their behavior can quickly and devastatingly lead to a pedestrian injury or fatality accident.
- Dangerous driving conditions – Hazardous conditions are often to blame for pedestrian accidents. Poor or inadequate signage, poorly designed crosswalks or roadways, and inadequate lighting are all common contributors to pedestrian accidents.
Comparative Negligence in Ohio
Our experienced team of Cleveland personal injury lawyers is often asked whether an injured party who was partially at fault for the accident can still recover damages. The answer is maybe.
Ohio is a comparative negligence state, meaning a person can still seek compensation from the at-fault party(ies) as long as the individual is no more than 50% responsible for the accident. If they are assigned 50% or less of the fault, they can seek damages; however, the amount awarded to them will be reduced by their amount of fault. For example, if they were awarded $100,000 in damages but were found to be 30% at fault, they would ultimately receive $70,000.
For this reason, it is imperative your lawyer thoroughly investigates your accident and compiles evidence showing your actual amount of responsibility for the accident, if any. Proving you played a lesser role in the cause of the accident means a significantly higher amount of compensation for your losses.
Ohio’s Statute of Limitations
Every state has laws that set forth how long a person has to commence a lawsuit or other type of civil action. These laws are referred to as a “statute of limitations.” This time frame differs depending on the type of case, with the “clock” starting at the point where the alleged incident took place.
An injured victim in Ohio has only two years to take legal action by filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit. Should a victim not act within two years, their right to seek damages from the responsible party will be taken away. Although two years may seem like an adequate amount of time, it is always best to act quickly in any legal matter. Evidence may be lost, and eyewitnesses may forget over time. For this reason, we strongly recommend speaking to a Cleveland pedestrian accident attorney right away to begin the process.
How our Cleveland Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Can Help
Being involved in an accident and seeking compensation for your injuries can be stressful – and downright intimidating. Fortunately, you do not have to go through this overwhelming process alone.
Our pedestrian accident attorneys in Cleveland are committed to providing our sincere support and guiding you through the process from start to finish. We offer expert legal representation by:
- Promptly informing you of any updates in your case
- Handling all communication with the insurance company and legal counsel
- Meticulously investigating every aspect of your case, including collaborating with medical experts, financial professionals, and accident reconstructionists
- Skillfully negotiating outside of the courtroom to reach a fair settlement
- Advocating on your behalf at trial if a settlement cannot be reached
- Continuing to be there for you after your case is resolved
By filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit, you are seeking compensation for the losses caused by the accident, which may include:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing rehabilitation costs
- Assistive care
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death damages (if you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident)
After an accident, it is best to take the following steps to ensure your safety and protect your rights.
- Get to safety
- Call 911 and obtain the police report
- Seek medical care and follow your doctor’s instructions
- Get the contact information of those involved and any eyewitnesses
- Document your injuries
- Write down what happened and take pictures of the scene
- Speak to a lawyer right away
Our Cleveland Pedestrian Injury Law Firm Will Fight for You
Being involved in a pedestrian accident can change your life in an instant. You can be left facing a painful recovery, the inability to work, and even lifelong disabilities.
Fortunately, under Ohio law, you have the right as a victim to seek damages from the responsible party. At Slater & Zurz, our Cleveland personal injury attorneys understand the challenges you are coping with and are committed to helping you and your family in any way we can. We will fight hard to recover maximum compensation, allowing you to recover and move on from this difficult chapter of your life. And while we take aggressive action in the pursuit of justice, we will be your steadfast confidant, ally, and friend. At our firm, you are not just another case file. You are family.
Please call (440)557-2861 or reach out to us online to arrange a FREE, no-obligation case review.