When a person is struck by a car, the results can be devastating. Often, a person will suffer severe injuries and might even incur a lifetime of medical bills and rehabilitation expenses.
Because these costs can be overwhelming, an injured pedestrian has the legal right to hold the at-fault party responsible for the part they played in causing their injuries.
If you have endured the painful experience of a pedestrian accident, a local personal injury attorney might be able to help you navigate through the legal obstacles of filing a civil claim. A compassionate and hardworking Defiance pedestrian accident lawyer could review your case and help identify what steps you could take toward your recovery.
What are the Four Elements of Negligence?
Many pedestrian accidents occur as a result of the negligent operation of a vehicle.
To successfully sue a negligent driver, an injured individual must prove a series of legal steps, including duty, breach of duty, causation, and harm.
Establishment of Duty
The establishment of duty is relatively the most simple to prove because according to state law, drivers have a duty to all other people on the road to operate their automobile with reasonable care. When an injured individual hires a skilled Defiance pedestrian accident attorney, they could get help determining each step of negligence on account of the at-fault driver.
Breach of Duty of Care
The plaintiff must also demonstrate that the driver breached their duty of care by driving recklessly. This is typically done by proving that the negligent party was not paying attention, was inebriated, or was otherwise reckless while driving. Reckless driving most commonly occurs in the following ways:
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Failing to maintain their vehicle reasonably
Causation and Harm
Furthermore, it must be shown that the defendant’s actions caused an accident and that this accident caused the plaintiff to suffer harm as a result.
Negligence Per Se
In some cases, a plaintiff might also be able to prove that the reckless driver was negligent “per se”. In this situation, a plaintiff could make a claim without providing proof of duty or a breach of that duty. Instead, a defendant might be negligent per se if they violated a traffic law that was created to prevent injury—and that the claimant’s injuries arose from this violation.
Potential Damages to Recover
Depending on the specific circumstances of a case, a plaintiff could seek both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages cover monetary losses—such as medical expenses or loss of income—that the claimant suffered as a result of the accident. On the other hand, noneconomic damages are more difficult to quantify and are typically created to compensate an injured plaintiff for the pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other intangible damages that they endured from their injuries.
However, it is important for injured individuals to be aware that they have two years from the date of the accident that caused their injuries to pursue these damages in a lawsuit, according to Ohio Revised Statutes §2305.10. Because of this, an injured pedestrian might benefit from hiring a proactive Defiance attorney for help with filing a timely accident claim.
What is Comparative Fault?
The amount of potential damages that a plaintiff may seek could be affected by the comparative fault doctrine.
Under the 51 percent bar rule, the law prohibits plaintiffs from recovering any damages if they are found to be 51 percent or more at fault for causing an accident. If a plaintiff is 50 percent or less at fault, they could still recover. However, under these conditions, the courts may reduce their awarded damages to match their percentage of fault.
Call a Defiance Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Legal Assistance
If you or a loved one was struck by a vehicle, it might feel as though your entire life has changed. Suffering a severe injury could change your ability to work, conduct daily tasks, and how you live your life.
However, you might be able to recover numerous types of damages against a negligent driver with the help of a Defiance pedestrian accident lawyer. A well-versed attorney could explain your rights, answer your questions, and work tirelessly to pursue compensation on your behalf. To start exploring your legal options, schedule a consultation today.