Victims’ Rights in Non-Crosswalk Accidents

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Victims’ Rights in Non-Crosswalk Accidents

Victims are entitled to compensation even if they cross the street outside a crosswalk and against the light. This compensation is very important in these cases, because the injuries are so severe. At speeds less than 25 mph, a common crosswalk speed, the pedestrian fatality rate is under 10 percent. At impact speeds above 55 mph, a common straightaway speed, the pedestrian death rate skyrockets to over 90 percent. Even if these victims survive, they normally sustain disabling injuries.

Compensation is available in non-crosswalk pedestrian accidents, but these claims are very complex. Therefore, only the most experienced Columbus pedestrian accident attorney should handle them. Insurance companies care nothing about victims’ rights or their well-being. But they care a lot about their own profits, and they’re willing to go to the mat to protect them. A victim needs an equally-determined lawyer to even the odds.

Building a Case

Typically, if students do their homework, they do well on tests. Likewise, if a Columbus personal injury attorney lays a strong foundation, good results usually follow.

Basically, negligence is a lack of care. All drivers have a duty of care to avoid accidents at all times, no matter what another person does or doesn’t do. This responsibility clearly protects pedestrians.

However, it’s complicated. The sudden emergency defense, which excuses negligence, could apply in this situation, if the tortfeasor (negligent driver):

  • Reasonably reacted to
  • A sudden emergency.

Most people pull over, wait for emergency responders to arrive, and otherwise react reasonably to pedestrian accidents. However, a jaywalking pedestrian is not a “sudden emergency” as defined in Ohio law.

People cross outside crosswalks all the time. Many of them even step out into traffic without stopping and looking both ways. Therefore, a jaywalking pedestrian is an everyday hazard. In contrast, a “sudden emergency” is a cloud-to-ground lightning strike, hood fly-up or other completely unanticipated development.

Evidence in a negligence claim usually includes witness statements, medical bills, and the police accident report. This proof might be enough to establish a case, but it might not be enough to beat defenses like sudden emergency. Electronic evidence, like the information in a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder, shores up a case. EDRs measure and record information like brake application and steering angle.

Resolving a Case

Doing well on the test usually doesn’t mean winning an emotional courtroom showdown. Instead, this phrase usually means negotiating a favorable out-of-court settlement.

Informal settlement negotiations often begin once medical treatment is at least substantially complete. However, mostly because of the aforementioned legal issues, these talks often stall or break down entirely.

To jumpstart negotiations, a Franklin County judge might appoint a professional mediator. The mediator meets informally with both sides and hears brief opening arguments from each one. Then, while the parties wait in separate rooms, the mediator conveys settlement offers and counter-offers back and forth. At the end of the session, the two sides may reach an agreement.

Mediation works mostly because both sides have a duty to negotiate in good faith. “I’ll see you in court” is not a good faith negotiating position. Instead, both sides must show they want to resolve the case by making compromises when necessary.

Reach Out to a Diligent Franklin County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Columbus, contact the Oliver Law Office. Attorneys can sometimes connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money. Call us now at (614)-220-9100 or contact us online to schedule your case evaluation and to learn more about your legal options.


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