Each year, more than 100 Ohio residents lose their lives in fatal pedestrian accidents. Many more of these accidents result in serious but non-life-threatening injuries. As Ohio’s largest city by far, Columbus is the site of a disproportionate number of these accidents. In this article, Columbus personal injury lawyer Jim Malek explains the process of filing an insurance claim after a serious or fatal pedestrian accident.
Auto Insurance Covers Pedestrian Accidents
The first thing to know is that auto insurance covers pedestrian accidents. Ohio law requires all drivers in Columbus to carry auto insurance, including a minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage for personal injuries. This liability coverage applies whenever the insured driver causes an accident—including an accident involving a pedestrian.
If you, your loved one or any other member of your household has auto insurance, you may be able to file a claim under your family’s policy as well. For example, in many cases, it will make sense to file an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) claim after a pedestrian accident. While $25,000 is a lot of money, this amount will often cover just a fraction of the costs an injured pedestrian – or an injured pedestrian’s family – incurs.
Some drivers purchase more than the minimum $25,000 in liability insurance required under Ohio law; and, if the driver who hit you or your loved one has additional coverage, this is good news. But, if the at-fault driver’s coverage isn’t enough (or if the driver is uninsured), then filing a UIM claim could be crucial to the recovery process.
Obtaining Liability Coverage for a Pedestrian Accident Requires Proof of Fault
Filing a UIM claim is similar to filing a claim under an at-fault drivers’ policy in that it requires proof of liability. This means that regardless of which claim (or claims) you can file, you will need evidence that the driver caused the accident. Liability for a pedestrian accident can be proven in several different ways, but it will be important for you to hire a Columbus personal injury lawyer to investigate and collect evidence as soon as possible.
Pedestrian Accident Victims and Families Also Need to Prove Their Losses
In addition to proving fault, pedestrian accident victims and their families must also prove how much they are entitled to recover. This is a critical – and often overlooked – part of the insurance claims process. Too often, claimants let the insurance companies decide how much to pay; and, in doing so, they unknowingly accept just a small fraction of the amount they are rightfully owed.
Pedestrian accidents can lead to substantial out-of-pocket costs. They can also lead to pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and other forms of non-financial losses. All of these losses are recoverable, but it is up to victims and their families to prove how much they deserve.
Talk to a Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer about Your Pedestrian Accident Claim
If you need help recovering after a pedestrian accident in Columbus, we invite you to contact us for more information. Please call 888-444-7440 or get in touch online to schedule a free consultation today.