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Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Clients Throughout Ohio

Overview of Pedestrian Accidents and Liability

Ohio residents should have some idea of what the laws are like surrounding pedestrian accidents. These can be pedestrian-vehicle accidents or incidents where a pedestrian is injured because of a dangerous condition on another’s property. The former type of accidents kill nearly 5,000 pedestrians and injure some 76,000 every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.

Regardless of the nature of the incident, a pedestrian may recover damages if he or she was harmed through another’s negligence. To establish negligence, though, one must establish that the other party owed a legal duty to one’s self and breached it. This breach must then be linked to the injury.

For drivers, that legal duty is carried out by following traffic laws and exercising reasonable care on the road. For property owners, that duty includes eliminating dangerous conditions like ice on the sidewalks, potholes in the parking lot and debris around walkways. Pedestrians have a duty to others, too. They must use marked crosswalks, cross an intersection only at the “walk” signal and do nothing that would disrupt traffic flow.

In addition, “reasonable care” among drivers excludes a host of negligent behaviors. These range from drunk and drugged driving to speeding and disregarding weather and road conditions. Drivers also have a special duty to children aged 5 to 9.

Before the victims of pedestrian accidents decide to file a personal injury claim, they may want a lawyer to evaluate the case. Ohio follows a modified rule of comparative fault, which says that plaintiffs can recover damages if the defendant is 51% or more to blame for the incident. A lawyer may determine in the light of this rule how much plaintiffs might be eligible for. Successful claims usually cover losses such as pain and suffering, as well as medical expenses.