A pedestrian is someone walking and not traveling in a vehicle. A vehicle here is a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, etc. When vehicles collide with pedestrians, they inflict severe traumatic injuries on them. These injuries can lead to their death or leave them with a disability.
Victims who survive pedestrian accidents can seek compensation from the fault party. Most times, the responsible party can be the driver of the car that struck the victim. However, there are times when the supposed fault driver is not responsible for the crash. In cases like this, the question becomes who pays for pedestrian injuries in an accident?
Our Columbus personal injury lawyers might be able to shed light on who injured pedestrians can get compensation from after getting hit by a motor vehicle. If you desire to file a pedestrian accident claim, contact Babin Law. We may be able to help you take legal action and receive compensation for your injuries.
What Are the Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Drivers owe pedestrians a duty of care to drive carefully, obey traffic rules, and stay alert when on the road. However, negligent drivers fail to uphold the duty of care to pedestrians, and this breach causes accidents. Below, our personal injury attorneys discuss some of the common causes of auto-pedestrian collisions.
- Distracted Driving: A distracted driver is a negligent driver. According to the CDC, eight people die daily in the United States from an accident caused by a distracted motorist. Distractions can be visual, manual, or cognitive. Aside from drivers, a distracted pedestrian can cause an accident. E.g., a pedestrian who jaywalks and texts.
- Drunk Driving: Alcohol-impaired drivers also contribute a lot to pedestrian accidents. A driver who operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol has less reaction time. In addition, they are reckless and disregard traffic control devices.
- Adverse Weather: When the weather is foggy or misty, a driver may not see a pedestrian crossing the road or standing by the side and strike them. The preceding is mostly common at night and hours before dawn. Also, rainwater causes cars to hydroplane. This may cause the vehicle to jump the curb and strike a pedestrian standing there.
- Pedestrians Wearing Dark Clothing: When pedestrians wear dark clothing at night and walk without flashlights, they leave themselves open to accidents. If you plan to walk at night, wear reflective clothing. In addition, a driver who drives at night should be careful and expect pedestrians to walk about at night.
Who Pays Compensation for Injuries Sustained By a Pedestrian in an Accident?
You must first identify the fault party if you want to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Below, our pedestrian-car accident lawyers discuss the possible parties who can pay for injuries in pedestrian crashes.
The Vehicle Driver
The first person to look at following a pedestrian crash is the driver. A driver would be liable once there’s evidence they breached their duty of care. An example of such a breach is disregarding traffic lights at a crosswalk. Where the driver is at fault, they will pay compensation using their auto insurance policy.
Where the driver lacks insurance, the victim can use their uninsured insurance policy if they have one. Likewise, if the fault driver has insurance, but it is not enough, the victim can use their underinsured coverage. These insurance policies also come in handy where the accident is a hit-and-run.
However, note that Ohio does not make it compulsory to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Thus, if you don’t have any of them, your health insurance may cover your injuries. Then you can file a lawsuit against the driver to make them pay for their negligent actions.
A third party is someone whose action caused an accident but is not directly involved. Here, different classes of people may be liable.
First, a different driver other than the one who struck you can be liable. For example, suppose driver A has a green light, and an alcohol-impaired driver runs a red light. Driver A then swerves to avoid a collision and ends up striking you where you stood to use the crosswalk. The drunk driver would be the liable party. However, driver A can still be partially liable if they were distracted and failed to see the impaired driver in time.
Secondly, a vehicle manufacturer can be liable if a design defect caused the accident. The evidence must support that the collision would not have happened if not for the defect. Furthermore, if adverse road conditions cause the occurrence, you may be able to sue the city or agency responsible for maintaining the road. Again, it may be a good idea to reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney.
Can a Pedestrian Pay for Their Injuries?
Aside from instances where the responsible party lacks liability insurance, a pedestrian can pay for their injuries. This is usually the case where the pedestrian caused the accident. So suppose you jaywalk into oncoming traffic; the driver who hit you will not be guilty. They will only be guilty if they could have avoided the accident but failed to because they were negligent.
What Type of Compensation Can You Claim for Pedestrian Injuries?
Ohio law allows accident victims to get three types of damages. They are economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages are losses you can calculate to a fixed dollar amount. Common examples of this compensation are lost income, medical expenses, etc.
Non-economic damages are losses that are not quantifiable; that is, they have no fixed dollar amounts. Examples of this compensation are pain and suffering, emotional anguish, loss of consortium, etc.
Punitive damages are not compensatory. They are not awarded in insurance claims but when you file a lawsuit. The court aims to punish a grossly negligent party and deter others from the same action.
Does Ohio Comparative Negligence Rule Affect Compensation for Pedestrian Injuries?
If you contributed to the auto-pedestrian accident in any way, the Ohio comparative negligence rule would reduce your compensation. The amount you get would be less the fault percentage. Therefore, if you were 40% at fault, you would get 60% compensation. Keep in mind that your liability must be less than 50% to get a settlement.
Were You Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? Babin Law May Be Able to Help
When you survive a pedestrian accident, it can be quite traumatic. Not only will you be dealing with medical bills, but you also have emotional scars from the occurrence.
If you are able to hire an attorney you’ll have more time to focus on healing your wounds. Your lawyer will work to get you fair compensation. You don’t have to worry about our fees as we work on a contingency fee basis. It means you don’t pay us until we win. So contact us today for a free initial consultation.