Why Is Crossing The Street So Dangerous?
Most pedestrian accidents happen in non-intersections and outside marked crosswalks. Therefore, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is usually traveling at or near top speed at the moment of impact. At impact speeds under 30mph, the pedestrian fatality rate is under 10 percent. At impact speeds above 50mph, the pedestrian death rate skyrockets to over 90 percent.
As outlined below, the resulting injuries are very severe, even if the pedestrian survives. A Columbus car accident attorney can obtain compensation for the medical bills and other economic costs associated with these injuries. Attorneys also obtain compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. More on this process below.
During wrecks, various advanced restraint systems and engineering features protect vehicle occupants. But pedestrians have none of these protections, either from the initial impact or the subsequent fall. Most pedestrians fly several feet through the air and land very hard in these accidents. The double dose of extreme force causes injuries like:
- Head Injuries: Contrary to popular myth, the brain doesn’t fit snugly inside the skull. In fact, the human brain isn’t much larger than a clenched fist. So, during pedestrian accidents, the brain violently and repeatedly slams against the insides of the skull, causing serious injuries that are usually permanent.
- Broken Bones: The violent motion and repeated impacts don’t just crush bones. They usually crush them. Since doctors must use metal parts to reconstruct these bones, physical therapy is longer, more difficult, and more expensive.
- Internal Injuries: Frequently, tiny bone fragments pierce internal organs. The piercing may be smaller than a pinprick. However, since these organs don’t have protective skin layers, a tiny prick causes serious bleeding. This bleeding is hard to detect and even harder to stop.
In a catastrophic injury case, the medical bills and associated costs often exceed $100,000. That’s a bill most families cannot possibly afford to pay. So, a Columbus personal injury attorney connects injury victims with top-notch doctors who charge nothing upfront for their professional services.
When motorists strike pedestrians outside crosswalks, pedestrians usually have the right-of-way in these situations, but the law is unclear. Therefore, emergency responders rarely issue citations to these drivers, even if the pedestrian victim was killed. That’s unfortunate for victims. If a tortfeasor breaks a safety law and causes injury, the victim could be entitled to damages as a matter of law.
Therefore, attorneys typically use the ordinary negligence doctrine to obtain compensation in court. Drivers have a duty of reasonable care in Ohio. This responsibility means they must avoid accidents whenever possible. Striking a helpless person in a roadway clearly violates that duty. This breach causes injury. Bad weather and other factors only contribute to these crashes.
As a result, the victim is entitled to compensation for his/her actual damages. That category includes economic and noneconomic losses.
A full range of insurance company defenses are available in ordinary negligence claims. Comparative fault, which may be the most common defense, basically shifts blame for the accident from the tortfeasor to the victim. In simple terms, the insurance company argues that the victim didn’t watch where s/he was going.
Attorneys must anticipate and refute such defenses if they are to obtain maximum compensation for injury victims.
Speak With a Dedicated 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. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.