Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may want to file a claim so that you can recover damages for your injuries. If so, you should consult a knowledgeable lawyer who is experienced determining liability in Toledo pedestrian accident cases. The jury will decide whether the driver or the pedestrian is liable for the accident. This is why you need a well-established lawyer who has the ability to sway the jury in a favorable outcome for you.
Even if a pedestrian is not paying attention to their surroundings, there is a presumption under Ohio law that if they are obeying the law and in the crosswalk, they are not legally responsible for the accident. From a legal perspective, the pedestrian is safe from negligence. However, pedestrians should always exercise the utmost care and pay attention to their surroundings. Also, a jury may expect that an individual crossing legally in a crosswalk would still be aware of the surrounding circumstances to protect themselves.
If the individual is not following pedestrian regulations, like walking outside the crosswalk or darting in front of cars, then they would most likely be found liable for the accident.
Distracted driving is a contributor to determining liability in Toledo pedestrian accident cases. The driver may be texting or looking at the phone and checking the internet. In this type of situation, the evidence of this could be revealed in the discovery process. Typically, the cell phone records of the driver and the pedestrian would be ordered to determine if either party was on the phone at the time of the accident.
Under Ohio law, whether either the pedestrian or the driver was convicted of a traffic violation in the accident, it would not be admissible in a civil case. A traffic violation is not admissible even if the alleged traffic offender pled no contest or guilty to the charge. However, if the individual was tried and convicted by a judge or jury, the jury in the civil case could hear it as part of the evidence. In most cases, the traffic violations would not have proceeded to trial by the time of the civil case.
Contributory negligence can be applied when the plaintiff acted in a negligent manner that contributed to their accident. In a typical pedestrian accident case, there may be disputed evidence of whether the pedestrian was in the crosswalk or not, whether there was a walk or do not walk sign, and whether the pedestrian was distracted.
Often, the major issue is the believability of the testimony of the plaintiff, the defendant, and witnesses. Based on the circumstances, a jury would determine the comparative negligence in such a situation. If both parties are at fault, the individual making the claim has to be less than 50 percent at fault in order to collect. As an example, if the driver was 60 percent at fault and the pedestrian 40 percent, the pedestrian would be able to collect 60 percent of whatever damages the jury determines is appropriate under Ohio law.
Attorneys could work to establish liability by interviewing the pedestrian, getting the police report, obtaining photos of the scene of the accident, and trying to get witness statements. The lawyer also would get the light sequence information from the traffic engineers department, obtain Google Earth photos, and visit the scene with the injured person to help with determining liability in Toledo pedestrian accident cases.