Can a pedestrian be held liable for causing a car accident if I hit him while driving?

Hitting a pedestrian can be a terrifying experience, and you may fear facing civil or even criminal charges as a result. However, liability for a pedestrian accident isn’t always straightforward. In some cases, a pedestrian may be to blame, or partially to blame, for causing an accident. If you hit a pedestrian in Ohio, here’s what you need to know about the pedestrian’s liability.

If the Pedestrian Violated a Traffic Law 

If the pedestrian violated a traffic law, then the pedestrian may be fully to blame for the pedestrian accident. For example, while Ohio law stipulates that pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk, pedestrians must yield the right of way to all traffic when not crossing at a crosswalk. The law also states that pedestrians shall move along the right half of crosswalks when crossing a street, that they shall not walk along an adjacent roadway when a sidewalk is provided, and that they shall not walk along a highway when under the influence of alcohol or drugs to an extent that renders them a hazard.

As such, if the pedestrian did any of the above and those actions contributed to the accident’s occurrence, then he or she may be held liable for the accident. 

How do I prove that the accident wasn’t my fault? 

If you believe that you were driving safely when you hit the pedestrian and that the accident would not have occurred but for the pedestrian’s negligence, then it’s important that you take action to prove it. Evidence that may be relevant to your claim includes witness testimony, police reports, physical evidence and any video footage of the accident if available.

In some cases, the pedestrian may file a claim even if you don’t believe that you were at fault. If the contributory fault of the plaintiff (the pedestrian) was not more than the fault of the defendant (you), then a claim still can be filed. However, the amount of damages recoverable by the pedestrian will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. This stipulation is found under Ohio Revised Code Section 2315.33 – Contributory Fault Effect on Right to Recover.

How can I learn more about pedestrian accidents in Ohio? 

There’s nothing worse than hitting a pedestrian. Even if you were the one who hit the pedestrian though, the pedestrian may be held liable. You can read more about personal injury laws and negligence laws on our website. And if you have more questions about liability in a pedestrian accident and what you should do moving forward, call Bressman Law at 1-877-538-1116 or contact us online.