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Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Cleveland

Helping Injured Clients Seek Justice

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 6,200 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic collisions in 2018. At the state level, between 2009 and 2018, there were over 1,000 fatal pedestrian accidents and more than 5,073 crashes that resulted in serious injury in Ohio. In 2018 alone, the state experienced 661 traffic accidents involving pedestrians. Of those, 134 resulted in death and 527 in serious injury.

The harm suffered in such collisions can be substantial, often requiring extensive medical care and missed work. If the pedestrian accident was caused by a driver, the victim may have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim against them.

At HMW Law, our Cleveland pedestrian accident attorneys are committed to helping victims seek compensation for expenses and losses they sustained. Backed by over 70 years of combined experience and a passion for helping people navigate complex legal issues, we can fight hard to seek a just outcome on your behalf. Request a free consultation with our team by calling 216-369-1352 or filling out an online contact form.

What Are the Most Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Because pedestrians aren’t protected the way passengers in cars are, they can suffer serious injury when involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. These injuries may vary in severity and can often be life-altering and lead to disabling, lifelong consequences. Common injuries include back injuries, broken bones, internal bleeding, leg injuries, neck injuries, nerve damage, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries, to name a few.

Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable in the event of a collision because they can be injured twice. Besides the initial injuries caused by the impact against the motor vehicle, a pedestrian is also at risk of being thrown by the impact and hit the pavement or another hard obstacle. The secondary impact can cause more injuries or aggravate their initial injuries.

Most cases of pedestrian accidents require immediate medical attention. However, if you are a pedestrian involved in an accident with a motor vehicle and do not believe you have suffered any injuries, you will still want to be examined by a doctor right away. Even if you feel fine, the shock and adrenaline of the situation may end up masking an injury, which means you may not feel anything for days or weeks after the accident. Other injuries, such as internal bleeding, may also not be apparent right away but can be life-threatening. In short, even if you don’t feel hurt, you should not skip the step of seeing a doctor after a pedestrian accident. Not only will you be better able to take care of yourself, but you will also have the medical records to prove that the delayed symptoms you may experience are directly related to your accident and not the result of a separate event.

What Are the Pedestrian Laws in Ohio?

In Ohio, both pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers have rights and responsibilities and are expected to exercise reasonable care to avoid accidents. Many pedestrian accidents are caused when the pedestrian or the driver fails to yield the right of way as required. If the driver is negligent in their duty, they could be legally liable for damages the victim sustained. Ohio Revised Codes 4511.46 and 4511.48 address the duties of pedestrians and drivers and are as follows:

  • If traffic signals aren’t working or in place, drivers must yield right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • If a car is stopped at a crosswalk, a vehicle approaching from behind must not pass that car.
  • Pedestrians cannot suddenly leave a safe walkway and run or walk onto a roadway in a manner that would create a hazard.
  • If a pedestrian is not in a crosswalk, they must yield the right of way to vehicles.
  • If an intersection has a working traffic control device, pedestrians must cross at the crosswalk.
  • Pedestrians are prohibited from diagonally crossing intersections.

Determining fault in a pedestrian accident requires a thorough investigation. At HMW Law, we can review all relevant information about your case and establish a compelling legal strategy on your behalf.

What Happens if a Pedestrian is Partially At Fault for Their Injuries?

In some situations, the responsibility for a pedestrian accident can be shared by both the pedestrian and the driver of the motor vehicle. For example, suppose a pedestrian was trying to cross a busy intersection without using a pedestrian crosswalk or traffic signal. At the same time, the driver of a passenger car takes their eyes off the road to respond to a text message on their mobile phone. The driver ends up colliding with the pedestrian, who suffers significant injuries.

In this case, both parties would share liability for the accident. However, the percentage of liability assigned to each party would ultimately impact their ability to recover compensation. This is because Ohio follows a modified comparative negligence rule in which the plaintiff who is partially responsible for their own injuries may still recover compensation as long as they are not more than 50% at fault. In our example, suppose the pedestrian was determined to be 35% at fault for their own injuries because they were making an illegal crossing. In this case, the pedestrian’s final award amount would be reduced by 35%. In contrast, if the pedestrian was deemed to be 60% at fault for their accident, they would be barred from recovering any compensation.

In short, it is still possible to recover damages for an accident if you are partially at fault for it, as long as your percentage of liability is not higher than 50%. An attorney can assist you with the process of building a strong case in your favor so you can minimize the percentage of liability assigned to you and maximize the amount of damages you may be eligible to receive.

What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered After a Pedestrian Accident?

Pedestrian accidents can result in significant expenses and losses. If another person’s negligence caused the collision, the victim can seek compensation for economic (those with an exact dollar amount) and non-economic (those that do not have a set value) damages.

Economic damages are expenses and financial losses associated with the accident and recovery process. Common examples of economic damages include past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, and the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property.

Non-economic damages are sometimes informally referred to as pain and suffering and are meant to address the subjective impact of the accident. Non-economic damages include pain associated with the injury as well as any further pain caused by the recovery process (such as surgeries and physical rehabilitation). Besides physical pain, non-economic damages can also include emotional pain, mental anguish, trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the accident.

It is worth mentioning that if a loved one lost their life in a pedestrian accident, surviving family members may be able to initiate a wrongful death claim and seek recovery for funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium, and mental anguish. Speak with one of our pedestrian accident lawyers in Cleveland to learn more about the compensation you may be entitled to and how to determine the amount to include in your demand letter.

How Much Time Do You Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Ohio?

Pedestrian accidents are considered a type of personal injury claim and are, therefore, subject to Ohio’s statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a hard legal deadline that determines how much time an injured claimant has to take action seeking compensation for their damages. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for pedestrian accidents is two years, counting from the date when the accident took place.

Practically speaking, that means the clock starts ticking as soon as your accident occurs, and you have not more than two years to file a claim or a lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused your accident. If you wait too long, your claim will most likely be dismissed, and you will not be able to recover compensation. This is one of many reasons why it is important to reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you begin working on your case, the better your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Why Should I Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney for My Case?

When you are a victim of a pedestrian accident, you already have a lot to deal with as you try to heal and get back on your feet. The last thing on your mind should be dealing with all the paperwork and phone calls required to file a claim and get the compensation you need to move on with your life.

At HMW Law, we understand what you are going through. Our Cleveland pedestrian accident attorneys care about the people we help. We can provide the personalized legal representation you need and stand by your side throughout our case, seeking fair compensation for you. If you or a loved one were seriously hurt in a pedestrian accident, contact HMW Law at 216-369-1352 and request a free consultation to discuss your case with one of our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers.