Fatal Pedestrian Motor Vehicle Accidents in Ohio

At one time or another, we’re all pedestrians. People enjoy walking around their neighborhood. Many individuals walk to work, the store, or to go out and have fun. Sidewalks, traffic lights, speed limits, and all other traffic rules make it generally safe to walk around, and we don’t think twice about our pedestrian status.

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But sometimes pedestrians are involved in motor accidents when they cross the street or if a vehicle leaves the road. However the crash occurs, people on foot are far less protected and many of these accidents are fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of pedestrians are killed each year. The most recent data showed a pedestrian was killed in a traffic accident every two hours.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol shows similarly disheartening information. Pedestrian fatalities in the state increased between 2011 and 2015.

If your loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, you’re not alone. Others have suffered through the same. While there’s no way to end or lessen your grief, there is a way to move forward. Partner with an experienced Ohio wrongful death attorney to learn your rights and hold the negligent party legally responsible for your family member’s death.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Deaths

Many pedestrian fatalities occur in large cities, where people are consistently walking to and from work or live entirely without a car. These areas have dense populations, heavy traffic, and many more people on foot than in rural areas. Poorly marked roads, broken or a lack of walking signals, and traffic congestion can all lead to pedestrian accidents.

Denser foot traffic isn’t the only factor in pedestrian fatalities. Driver error, including distraction, fatigue, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and failure to follow traffic signals often plays a central role in the accident. An individual may even be grossly negligent if he or she was driving aggressively or recklessly.

Criminal versus Civil Charges

If a motorcyclist, car or truck driver strikes and kills a pedestrian, it’s likely he or she will face criminal charges. In addition to traffic violation tickets, he or she may be charged with vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter. Any criminal charge brought against the driver will depend on their actions and state of mind at the time of the accident.

Whether or not criminal proceedings occur, if you believe your loved one died because of the driver’s negligence, you may be able to bring a wrongful death action in civil court.

Wrongful Death Accidents

If your parent, child, spouse, or other relative was killed as a pedestrian, a wrongful death suit may be appropriate. This type of claim is similar to a personal injury suit, if the decedent were alive to bring the claim themselves.

Only an individual can bring a wrongful death suit as a representative for the estate of the decedent. People who are presumed to have suffered losses from the death and can bring a suit are:

  • A surviving spouse
  • A surviving child
  • A surviving parent

Under Ohio law, siblings and grandparents are not presumed to have suffered a loss, but these family members can bring the suit if they can show a measurable loss.

Through this lawsuit, you can seek compensation for several losses, which potentially include:

  • Medical expenses caused prior to death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Future financial support from the decedent
  • Loss of services provided by the decedent
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Mental anguish

Contact an Ohio Wrongful Death Lawyer

Deciding to file a wrongful death suit and head to court can be difficult, but families must do so within a certain period of time. To have your questions answered and to determine the best course of action, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule an appointment. The skilled car accident lawyers at KNR can explain your rights and legal options, and won’t hesitate to help you however they can.

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