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Recent Cincinnati Cyclist Death Raises Questions About Victim Blaming

Last week, Melinda Woodall was indicted on numerous charges including aggravated vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident after she struck and killed Michael Prater who was riding his bike on US 52.

This heartbreaking death was a topic of conversation among local residents and brought to light one of the biggest obstacles injury attorneys must overcome in their attempt to bring justice to victims: victim blaming. There is common sentiment that an injury victim is entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them. We want to believe we can control what happens to us. We want to believe the world is logical and just. 

Could Mr. Prater have prevented this tragedy?

A short review of the incident indicates Mr. Prater was in no way at-fault for the crash. Prosecutor Joe Deters stated Mr. Prater did everything right.

Despite the fact that the cyclist did everything right, many people continue to believe Mr. Prater was partially at-fault for his own death.

Overcoming victim blaming in injury cases

Victim blaming occurs in all injury cases, not just bicycle crashes. An example is motorcycle injury and death cases where victim blaming is deeply rooted. Some people believe all motorcycle riders are dangerous and riders accept any and all risk of injury and death. A good injury attorney, however, can achieve full compensation for a motorcycle crash victim by using well established psychological techniques to help reduce the impact of victim blaming.

Please speak with a local and successful injury lawyer before speaking with an insurance company or insurance adjuster about an injury or death case. We offer free consultations. 

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