As a pedestrian walking in Atlanta, GA, you shouldn’t have to worry about being injured while walking on the sidewalk. But unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are common in Atlanta due to drivers failing to drive responsibly and follow the road rules.
You’re not alone if you or a loved one was a pedestrian injured by a negligent driver. A pedestrian accident lawyer from our personal injury law firm in Atlanta, GA, can help you get justice and a fair settlement.
Common Injuries Pedestrians Can Sustain
Pedestrians are some of the most vulnerable road users, and unfortunately, they often suffer severe injuries when involved in car accidents. Common injuries pedestrians can sustain include:
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Catastrophic injuries, including amputation
- Road rash
You should seek medical treatment immediately after your accident. Since the effects of your injuries could be long-lasting, it’s important to anticipate your future medical costs and consider how you will pay for your treatment and time spent recovering.
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Fatality Rates of Pedestrians Are Increasing Nationwide
According to Governors Highway Safety Association, 7,485 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in 2021 in the United States. This is almost a 12% increase in pedestrian deaths compared to 2020. As fatalities increase across the country, the same is true for Georgia.
Smart Growth America, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of communities, rated Georgia as the 9th most dangerous state to walk in from 2016 to 2020. The non-profit’s Dangerous By Design report shows Georgia had 2.4 annual pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people.
What To Do After Being Injured as a Pedestrian
After you suffer injuries, gather as much information as possible. Record the names of witnesses. Then, get the driver’s license number, insurance information, and license plate number. Make a note of your surroundings, such as walkways and traffic signals.
You should also make a call to report the accident. You must call 911 if you or anyone else needs 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 and get the all-clear from paramedics at the scene, we recommend visiting the doctor for a full check-up. Many injuries are not evident immediately, and waiting to go to the doctor can make it challenging to recover compensation for an injury later.
Finding a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Atlanta, GA
The next call you should make is to a pedestrian accident attorney in Atlanta, GA. When choosing a lawyer, it is essential to go with someone with experience and a proven track record of recovering substantial compensation for their clients.
One of our seasoned personal injury lawyers 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 your pedestrian accident claim.
Before you make a recorded call with any insurance company, including your own, you should know that they will rush to make a quick, low settlement before all your injuries are apparent. It’s important to keep in mind that once you sign a settlement agreement, you will most likely lose the chance to recover additional compensation. This is why it’s essential that you don’t talk to an insurance adjuster without a lawyer.
Compensation You May Be Entitled to After a Pedestrian Accident
As with any personal injury, you have a right to pursue compensation. You can seek restitution for economic and non-economic damages in a pedestrian accident.
Economic damages are the losses you suffer that directly impact your finances. This accident compensation is meant to replace the money you lost, dollar for dollar.
By recovering economic losses, you can stay out of debt and recover financially. Economic damages include things like:
- Medical bills
- Anticipated future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Property damage
Meanwhile, non-economic damages are a bit more difficult to put a value on. Because all the court can do is award monetary compensation for these profound losses, the amount awarded for non-economic damages is often substantial. But, as your Atlanta, GA, pedestrian accident team, we’re ready to fight for you to receive the maximum compensation.
Non-economic losses don’t have a dollar value, but they are meant to compensate you for the losses and long-term effects of your injuries. These damages include things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life
Your compensation will depend on the severity of your injuries. For example, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may need long-term care or miss out on activities you used to enjoy. Due to these losses, you may recover more damages.
You may be eligible for additional compensation if the driver is criminally negligent or drunk. The money awarded in these cases is known as punitive damages, meant to punish the defendant for their actions. A pedestrian accident attorney in Atlanta, GA, can advise you about the damages that you may receive in your case.
Damages Available After a Fatal Pedestrian Accident
We extend our deepest sympathies if you recently lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident. An unexpected death can turn your life upside down. Attempting to move forward after a loved one passes away can feel impossible, and the burden could be even greater if the deceased was the primary financial provider.
After losing a loved one in a fatal accident, you may be eligible to collect compensation on behalf of the deceased. Wrongful death attorneys in Atlanta can give you more information on damages, such as loss of consortium, burial and funeral costs, and loss of income.
How an Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help You
Hiring a pedestrian accident attorney in Atlanta, GA, can help minimize the stress of recovering fair compensation for yourself or a loved one. It can also help you relax and focus on healing from your injuries or grieving the pain of losing a loved one.
A qualified attorney can advocate for your legal rights in the following ways:
- Establishing the negligent party owed you a duty of care
- Speaking with all other parties and their representatives
- Collecting evidence that establishes the defendant’s fault and your damages, such as a police report
- Initiating legal action by filing insurance claims
- Negotiating with the liable party’s representatives for a settlement offer
- Taking your case to trial if necessary
While it is possible to recover compensation without a lawyer’s help, the challenge will be far greater, and the reward will likely be far less. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can help significantly increase your payout and get you the money you need to return to your normal life.
Determining Liability and Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
A traffic accident involving a pedestrian can be complicated. The driver may not be at fault, and the pedestrian may share some blame.
Additionally, a third party could hold a level of liability. This could be another at-fault driver or the vehicle manufacturer of the car that hit you. Some instances will require investigation, but it’s important to ask questions such as:
- Were you on the sidewalk?
- Did you have a “safe-to-walk” signal?
- Did you dart out into traffic?
- Did you walk on marked crosswalks?
In a city like Atlanta, with few formal sidewalks or walkways, you’ll need a pedestrian accident attorney in Atlanta, GA, 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 for if you are partially to blame for your injuries.
The level of fault you hold for an accident will directly correlate with the compensation you receive. For example, if you are 10% at fault for your accident, you can only recover 90% of your personal injury claim’s value. 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 legal in Georgia. However, this does not give pedestrians a pass on neglecting their safety.
Both drivers and pedestrians must be careful and share the road. Pedestrians are expected to yield to traffic, and drivers must keep an eye out for pedestrians by refraining from engaging in behaviors such as:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
- Drowsy driving
How Negligence Per Se Can Affect Your Pedestrian Accident Case
“Negligence per se” means Georgia law presumes the driver was negligent in a pedestrian accident case without needing any evidence to prove it. For this reason, seeking an attorney’s help is vital 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 to protect pedestrians. A pedestrian accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA, can help you determine whether negligence per se plays a role in your case.
Legal Obligations of Pedestrians and Drivers
In addition to following general traffic laws, drivers and pedestrians must comply with lawful orders or directions a police officer gives. This requirement holds, even if the order contradicts a general rule of law.
A pedestrian is defined in Georgia as “any person afoot.” Pedestrians must follow certain safety guidelines to uphold their legal obligations. They should:
- Cross the street within a marked or designated crosswalk.
- Avoid walking or running in front of the path of a vehicle when the car is too close for the driver to yield.
- Remain clear of roadways when walking under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Use the sidewalk if one is available unless doing so presents a threat of injury.
- Refrain from crossing an intersection diagonally unless a traffic light specifically allows it.
Drivers also must follow certain rules to keep pedestrians safe. Individuals behind the wheel of a vehicle have a responsibility to have and act in these specific ways:
- Have insurance and provide proof in their vehicle at all times.
- Yield to pedestrians and cyclists.
- Keep a safe distance of more than three feet between their car and nearby cyclists and pedestrians.
- Adhere to traffic lights.
- Remain stopped to allow pedestrians to cross at a crosswalk.
- Exercise care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.
- Use 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 to you as a pedestrian, you have the right to pursue a claim against them.
Time Is of the Essence in a Personal Injury Case
Under Georgia Code § 9-3-33, most accident cases have a statute of limitations of two years from the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are exceptions, and a lawyer can explain them to you in a free case consultation.
It’s important to call a pedestrian accident injury lawyer in Atlanta, GA, as soon as possible to ensure you meet all applicable deadlines in your case. Contacting a lawyer soon after the accident will help you get the medical care and services you need to recover.
Many personal injury lawyers provide their services on a contingency-fee-basis, and so do we. Clients do not have to pay for legal services unless we win them a settlement. We will deduct our legal fees from your settlement.
You will never pay out of pocket for our legal services, so you can hire us regardless of your current financial situation.
Reach Out to Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Atlanta, GA
If you or someone you love has been injured as a pedestrian, don’t attempt to handle things alone. At John Foy & Associates, we have more than 20 years of experience fighting for injured people.
Our pedestrian accident lawyers in Atlanta, GA, help accident victims get the proper medical care from top-rated providers to document their injuries. So if you’re hurt, let us help you. Call our 24-hour free hotline or fill out the contact form online to get started with a free case evaluation.
A legal team member will review the details of your accident and advise you on your legal options.
404-400-4000 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form