Atlanta is one of the most dangerous cities in the country when it comes to pedestrian fatalities. 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 from John Foy & Associates 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 accident is to gather as much information as possible. Record the names 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. You will need to call 911 if you or anyone else need immediate medical attention. You will also need to notify the police to file a formal report.
Even if you do not think you are seriously hurt, seeking medical attention is essential. Many injuries are not evident immediately, and waiting to get checked out by a doctor can make it challenging to recover compensation for an injury later. Even if you get the all-clear from paramedics at the scene, a visit to the doctor for a full check-up is recommended.
How to Find a Pedestrian Injury Lawyer
Another call you will likely want to make will be to a pedestrian accident attorney in Atlanta for representation. When looking for a lawyer, it is essential to find someone with experience and a proven track record of recovering substantial compensation for their clients.
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 your injuries are apparent. Once you sign a settlement, you may never have the chance to recover additional compensation from that accident.
When you hire a pedestrian accident lawyer, they can handle all aspects of your case, including dealing with insurance companies. Making the insurance company go through your attorney will neutralize the tactics they attempt to use to undervalue or deny a claim.
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Compensation You May Be Entitled to After a Pedestrian Accident
As with any personal injury, you are entitled to compensation. For a pedestrian accident, you can obtain compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the losses you suffer that have a direct impact on your finances. The money awarded for these damages is meant to directly replace your money lost, dollar for dollar.
Economic damages include things like:
- Medical costs
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning ability
- Property damage
Meanwhile, non-economic damages cannot be so easily replaced. These profound losses can not be properly compensated by the legal system. Because all the court can do is award monetary compensation for these losses, the amount given for non-economic damages is often profound.
Non-economic damages include things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Lowered quality of life
- Mental anguish
If the driver is criminally negligent or drunk, you may be eligible for additional compensation. The money awarded in these cases is known as punitive damages, meant to punish the defendant for their actions. A pedestrian accident attorney can advise you about whether or not punitive damages are likely to be awarded in your case.
Damages Available After a Fatal Pedestrian Accident
There were 6,205 pedestrian casualties following auto accidents in 2019 nationally, according to a Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center report. This statistic is representative of an overall 43.6% increase in non-motorist fatalities in the period beteween 2010 and 2019.
The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult things to have to face. This is especially true when a loved one dies unexpectedly. A wrongful death can turn your life upside down. Attempting to move forward after the death of a loved one can feel impossible at times, and the burden is even greater if the deceased was the primary provider.
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.
Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Near Me 404-400-4000
How a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Atlanta Can Help You
Hiring an Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney can help take away the stress of attempting to recover compensation and let you focus on healing from your injuries. Pedestrian accident lawyers can do more for you than you can do on your own. With legal representation, you can have an advocate for your rights who can 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
While it is possible to recover compensation without the help of an attorney, the challenge will be far greater, and the reward will likely be far less. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help to significantly increase your payout and get you the money you need to move on after an accident.
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. The attorney’s fee is paid directly from the compensation you recover as a preset percentage. You will never pay a penny out of pocket for the legal services provided.
Under Ga. Code § 9-3-33, 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 injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you get the proper medical care and services you need to recover while your case is being pursued.
Liability and Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents can be quite complicated. The driver may not be entirely at fault, and you, the pedestrian, may share some of the blame. Additionally, a third party could hold a level of liability, such as another driver or the manufacturer of the vehicle that hit you. Some instances will require investigation, but it’s important to ask questions 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.
The level of fault that you hold for an accident will directly correlate with the amount of compensation you are able to receive. For example, if you hold 10% of the fault for your accident, you will only be able to recover 90% of the value of your claim. If your level of fault rises above 50%, you will no longer be eligible for compensation.
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 share the road. Pedestrians are expected to yield to traffic, and drivers are required to keep an eye out for pedestrians on the road.
Negligence Per Se Can Affect Your 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.
For a free legal consultation with a pedestrian accidents lawyer serving Atlanta, call 404-400-4000
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. This requirement holds true, even if the order is inconsistent with a general rule of law. It is the responsibility of everyone to do their part to ensure safety on the roadways.
Pedestrians are defined in the state of Georgia as “any person afoot.” Pedestrians must follow certain safety guidelines to uphold their legal obligations. Pedestrians should:
- Cross the street within a marked or designated crosswalk
- Not 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
- 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
- Not cross an intersection diagonally unless there is a traffic light specifically allowing it
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
- Yielding to bicyclists and pedestrians
- Keeping a safe distance of more than three feet between their car and nearby bicyclists
- Adhering to traffic lights
- Remaining stopped to allow pedestrians to cross at a crosswalk
- Exercising due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian
- Using their horn to provide a warning when necessary
Under the law, a bicyclist in the street must follow the rules of the road, just as someone operating a motor vehicle. If a bicyclist caused an injury and you were not at fault, you have the right to pursue a pedestrian accident case. Bicycle accident attorneys familiar with state laws for bicyclists can work with you to sort out your case’s details.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Today
If you or someone you love has been injured as a pedestrian, don’t try to figure out how to handle things 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 or contact us online to get started on a free case review with an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer and learn how you can be protected.
A member of our legal team will review the details of your case and provide you with answers to your questions, along with presenting your options and advising you on how best to proceed.