No driver ever wants to hit a pedestrian and when it happens, it is a terrifying experience. You may fear that you will face civil liability, and perhaps even criminal charges. It is important to remember that determining liability in a pedestrian accident is not always so simple. Contrary to what many people think, drivers are not automatically to blame when they strike a pedestrian. Below, our Ohio pedestrian accident lawyer explains when a walker may be found liable for an accident.
Pedestrians Are Liable When They Violate Traffic Law
Like motorists, there are certain laws pedestrians must comply with when they are out on the roads. For example, under Ohio law, pedestrians always have the right of way any time they are in a crosswalk. However, when a pedestrian is crossing the road and is not using a crosswalk, they must yield the right of way to motorists and other traffic, such as cyclists.
The law also requires pedestrians to walk in the right half of crosswalks when crossing a road, and they cannot walk on an adjacent road when a sidewalk is present. When a pedestrian is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they also cannot walk along a roadway if doing so creates a hazard.
Any time a pedestrian violates any of the above traffic laws, they can be found wholly or partially liable for a crash.
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How to Prove a Pedestrian Caused a Crash
If you think you were driving in a safe manner and hit a pedestrian, but believe it was the pedestrian’s fault, it is important to collect evidence that corroborates your argument. Important evidence that can help your claim includes police reports, witness testimony, video footage, and physical evidence, such as the lack of a sidewalk.
Unfortunately, even when you have evidence that shows you were not at fault for a crash, the pedestrian may try to file a claim for damages anyway. Ohio is governed by comparative negligence law. Under this law, accident victims can still claim damages if they were less than 51 percent at fault for the accident. If the pedestrian is found to be less than 51 percent at fault for the crash, they can still file a claim for damages. The amount of damages they can claim though is reduced by the percentage of fault they carry for the accident.
If the pedestrian was more than 51 percent at fault for the accident, you can actually file a claim against them. You can claim your losses related to injuries if you sustained any, and you can also file a claim for compensation to repair any property damage, such as any repairs your vehicle needs after the accident.
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Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Toledo Can Determine Liability
Determining liability after a pedestrian is never easy. At Groth & Associates, our Toledo pedestrian accident lawyers can determine who was at fault for the crash, and shield you from claims of liability when you were not at fault. Call us today at 419.482.1176 or contact us online to request a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys and to learn more about the pedestrian laws of the state.