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Mar 23, 2020
A recent Wall Street Journal article discussed an alarming public safety trend: In 2018, the number of pedestrian deaths in the United Stated reached a nearly 30-year high. An estimated 6,277 pedestrians died in 2018, accounting for 16% of total motor vehicle deaths. Unfortunately, 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.
Ohio law aims to protect pedestrians from drivers in several ways. First, according to Ohio Revised Code 4511.46, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within a crosswalk. This applies not only to individuals using crosswalks at lights. A failure to do so is a minor misdemeanor. If a driver fails to yield because they are distracted (such as by texting while driving, etc.), they are 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. The message of these laws is clear: when drivers are careless and fail to follow the rules of the road, they are putting pedestrians at risk of serious injury.
While Ohio law aims to protect pedestrians, pedestrians also have the responsibility from suddenly walking or running into oncoming traffic. Similarly, pedestrians are expected to also obey traffic control devices such as traffic lights and walk signals, and, are required to cross the roads within cross walks.
Even though the law protects pedestrians, accidents still happen and can lead to serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spine injuries, back and neck injuries, and broken bones. Sometimes, these accidents can even lead to life threatening injuries or fatal injuries. 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 compensation, 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.
For a free, no obligation evaluation of your potential pedestrian accident claims, and to speak with a local, experienced and trusted personal injury lawyer, please call Brian G. Miller Co., L.P.A. at (614) 221-4035.