Recent data indicates that more than 300 people died in the state of Georgia in 2021, an increase of almost 24% over the prior year. As a result, Georgia is considered to be one of the worst states for pedestrians in the country.
Regardless of what the statistics say, if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you need help – help dealing with the insurance company and help getting the compensation you need to pay your bills and get the medical treatment you need. You need a Georgia pedestrian accident attorney from Merritt & Merritt Law Firm. Call us today at 1-800-738-WE-WIN.
Pedestrians Can Suffer Severe Injuries
Pedestrian accidents often result in very serious injuries and sometimes death. These injuries may require months or even years of treatment, and many accidents result in permanent disabilities. Pedestrians who are struck by cars often suffer one or more of the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe lacerations
- Internal organ damage
- Torn ligaments and tendons
Whatever the extent of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for not just your medical bills, but also any lost income and pain and suffering your accident has caused. A Georgia pedestrian accident attorney can make sure you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.
Where and When Pedestrian Accidents Occur
While it is true that pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere, recent statistics suggest that certain places and times are more likely than others. For example:
- Pedestrian accidents are more common at night due to low visibility
- Pedestrian accidents are more common in urban and suburban areas than rural areas
- Pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur on busy arterial roads
- Most accidents occur outside of intersections
- SUVs and high horsepower vehicles are more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents than other vehicles
Fulton and Dekalb counties had the highest rates of pedestrian accidents, and other studies have suggested that road design and lighting can also play a role. While these findings may not be all that surprising, it does emphasize the fact that pedestrian accidents are more common than many people realize.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, factors such as where and when your accident happened can be important elements of your claim. An experienced Georgia pedestrian accident attorney will be able to use these factors to build a strong case so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Georgia
Pedestrian accidents are often the driver’s fault and are typically the result of negligence. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include the following:
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while drowsy
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Failing to come to a complete stop at a crosswalk
In each of these situations, it may seem clear that the driver is at fault. Unfortunately, you will still have to prove your claim even when dealing with the insurance company. This is the reason why it is so important to contact a Georgia pedestrian accident attorney if you have been struck by a car while walking.
Pedestrians Have Rights in Georgia
The roads do not belong only to motorists – the roads are for everyone, including pedestrians. Georgia has implemented several laws that both protect pedestrians as well as clarify the rights and responsibilities of drivers. That said, here are two important rights that pedestrians have under Georgia law:
- Pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk. Drivers must remain stopped so long as they are on the same half of the roadway or within one lane of the driver’s side of the roadway.
- Pedestrians have the right of way once they are in the roadway. While pedestrians must yield the right of way to drivers when crossing a road somewhere other than a crosswalk, they have the right of way once they enter the road. This means that drivers must yield to pedestrians who are already on the road.
While most drivers know they must yield to pedestrians who are in a crosswalk, many drivers are unaware that pedestrians also have the right of way when crossing outside of the crosswalk. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, the fact that the driver broke the law can be strong evidence to support your claim. An experienced Georgia pedestrian accident attorney will know how the law applies to your case so that you can get the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
Is the Driver Blaming You for the Accident?
Many pedestrian accident victims are shocked when the driver claims that the accident was their fault. Many drivers will take this position as a way to avoid their only responsibility out of fear of the potential consequences. And because it can be difficult to prove things like distracted driving, it is important that you take any suggestion that you are at fault very seriously and contact a Georgia pedestrian accident attorney for help as soon as possible.
If your own negligence contributed to the accident, it could significantly affect the outcome of your case. Georgia follows what is referred to as the “modified comparative negligence rule.” Under this rule, an accident victim’s claim will be reduced by the amount their negligence contributed to the accident up to 50%. In other words, if your negligence was 25% of the cause of the accident, then any compensation you are awarded would be reduced by that amount. However, if your negligence was 51% responsible for the accident, then you would be barred from receiving any compensation at all.
Some of the common claims that drivers will make include that the pedestrian stepped out into traffic without looking, they crossed against the light, or were not crossing at the intersection. While they need to prove that you were negligent and that your negligence contributed to the accident, you need someone on your side to defend against these claims and protect your rights.
Talk to a Georgia Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
If you have been struck by a car while walking or jogging, the best thing you can do is pick up your phone and give us a call – contact Merritt & Merritt Law Firm by calling 1-800-738-WE-WIN (93946) to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.