The Atlanta Metropolitan area has the highest fatality rates in the nation for males, Hispanics, and those in the 15 to 34 and 35 to 54 age groups. Atlanta is auto-focused and unfortunately known for its poor public transportation and pedestrian walkways.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a pedestrian by a vehicle due to a negligent driver, you’re not alone. A pedestrian accident lawyer in Atlanta can help you get justice and compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered.
What to Do After Being Injured as a Pedestrian
The key to any kind of accident is to gather as much information as possible. Take down the name of any witnesses. Hopefully, the vehicle that hit you has stopped. Get the driver’s license number, insurance information, and license plate number. If possible, take a photo of the license plate. Make a record of your environment—Was there a walkway? Was there a light?
You should also make some important calls: to the police to file a formal report, to 911 if you need immediate medical attention, and to your pedestrian accident attorney in Atlanta for representation.
Before you make a recorded call with any insurance company, including your own, you should know that they will be in a rush to make a quick, inexpensive settlement even before all of your injuries are apparent. Once you sign a settlement you may never have the chance to recover additional compensation from that accident.
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Pedestrian Accidents Compared to Other Personal Injury Accidents
When a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle or bicycle, the pedestrian is almost always injured. An accident can be swift, unexpected, and deadly. It seems counterintuitive, but the Department of Transportation found that 88% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in normal weather, not fog, rain or snow.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center reported that almost three out of four pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas. Compared to other auto and personal injury accidents, there is no property damaged, such as a car. Instead you are taking the blunt force of the collision and your severe injuries should be fully financially recovered.
Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Near Me 404-400-4000
Compensation You May Be Entitled to in a Pedestrian Accident
As with any personal injury, you are entitled to compensation. For a pedestrian accident, you can obtain compensation for:
- Recover medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Decreased earning ability
If the driver is criminally negligent or drunk, you may be eligible for additional compensation, known as punitive damages, meant to punish the defendant for their actions.
Damages Available After a Fatal Pedestrian Accident
If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you may be eligible to collect compensation on behalf of the individual who passed away. Wrongful death attorneys in Atlanta can give you more information on additional damages such as loss of consortium, funeral or burial costs, and lost source of income that you could receive.
Liability and Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents can be quite complicated. The driver may not be completely at fault, and you, the pedestrian, may share some of the blame. Some instances will require investigation but it’s important to ask question such as:
- Were you in the walkway?
- Did you have a “safe-to-walk” signal?
- Did you dart through traffic?
In a city like Atlanta, with few formal sidewalks or walkways, you’ll need a pedestrian accident attorney who can help prove liability and fault. The modified comparative negligence law in Georgia Code § 51-12-33 could affect how much compensation you’re eligible to receive if you are partially at fault for your injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a pedestrian accidents lawyer serving Atlanta, call 404-400-4000
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Atlanta
Children and the elderly are often the victims of pedestrian accidents. According to the CDC, people 65 and older account for 18% of all pedestrian deaths, and one out of five children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians.
Some common causes of pedestrian accidents in Atlanta include:
- Unmarked crosswalks
- Left-hand turns
- Use of electronics by the walker and driver
- Quiet cars
- Busy streets
Sadly, one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents is drinking, either by the walker or driver. Government reports estimate that 48% of pedestrian deaths involve alcohol, either with the driver or pedestrian. A pedestrian accident lawyer in Atlanta can hold the drunk driver accountable.
Legal Obligations of Pedestrians and Drivers
Regardless of what the general traffic laws are in any given situation, both drivers and pedestrians are required to comply with lawful orders or directions given by a police officer – even if the order is inconsistent with a general rule of law.
Individuals behind the wheel of a vehicle have a responsibility to have and act in these specific ways:
- Having insurance and providing proof in their vehicle at all times
- Yield to bicyclists and pedestrians
- Keep a safe distance of more than 3 feet between their car and nearby bicyclists
- Adhere to traffic lights
- Remain stopped to allow pedestrians to cross at a crosswalk
- Exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian
- Use their horn to provide warning when necessary
Pedestrians are defined in the state of Georgia as “any person afoot” and includes people engaged in the following conduct:
- Cross the street within a marked or designated crosswalk
- Not to walk or run in front of the path of a vehicle when the car is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield
- Unless there is a traffic light specifically allowing it, pedestrians are not allowed to cross an intersection diagonally.
- Remain clear of roadways when walking while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Use the sidewalk if one is available, unless using the sidewalk presents a threat of injury
Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim if You Were Injured by a Bicycle
If a bicyclist caused an injury and you were not at fault, you have the right to pursue a pedestrian accident case. Bicyclists are supposed to follow the rules of the road, but often they do not. Bicycle accident attorneys with familiarity in state laws for bicyclists can work with you to sort out your case’s details.
Negligence Per Se Can Affect Your Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Case
“Negligence per se” in a pedestrian accident case means Georgia law presumes the driver was negligent in a pedestrian accident case without needing any evidence to prove it. For this reason, it is incredibly important to seek an attorney’s help if you were the driver in a pedestrian accident case.
Something important to note is that the law allegedly violated must be a law created for the purpose of protecting pedestrians. A pedestrian accident lawyer in Atlanta can help you determine whether negligence per se plays a role in your accident.
Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Can Help You Meet Deadlines
Most personal injury cases have a statute of limitations of two years from an accident to file a lawsuit, but there are some shorter exceptions. It’s important to call a pedestrian accident attorney in Atlanta as soon as possible to ensure you get the proper medical care and services you need to recover while your case is being pursued.
Jaywalking in the State of Georgia
You may be surprised to learn that jaywalking is actually legal in Georgia. However, this doesn’t give pedestrians a pass on neglecting their own safety. Both drivers and pedestrians must be careful and they must share the road. Pedestrians are expected to yield to traffic, and drivers are expected to keep an eye out for pedestrians on the road.
How a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Atlanta Can Help You
Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyers can do more for you than you can on your own. With legal representation, you can have an advocate for your rights and help you:
- Speak with all other parties and their representatives
- Collect evidence that establishes the defendant’s fault and your damages
- Initiate legal action by filing insurance claims
- Negotiate with the other party’s representatives for a settlement offer
- Take your case to trial
Many personal injury lawyers provide their services on a contingency-fee basis, meaning clients do not have to pay anything unless their case is won and they receive payment for their damages.
Talk to an Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love has been injured as a pedestrian, don’t try to figure this out on your own. At John Foy & Associates, we’ve had more than 20 years of experience fighting for those who have been injured by another. We’re very familiar with Atlanta’s pedestrian cases.
We help our clients get the proper medical care from top-rated providers who document our client’s injuries. If you’re hurt, let us help you. You can call our 24-hour free hotline to get started on a free case review with a pedestrian accident lawyer in Atlanta and learn how you can be protected.