When a car hits a pedestrian, the damage can be terrible. If you or a loved one were a pedestrian accident victim in Macon, GA, you deserve compensation. Never pay for damages without first retaining legal counsel.
The Macon pedestrian accident attorneys from our personal injury law firm know what to do. We’ll help you build a personal injury claim to recover your costs. Plus, we don’t charge a fee unless we win you money. So to get a free, no-risk consultation, call our legal team today.
A Statistical Overview of Pedestrian Accidents in Georgia
Pedestrian accidents in Georgia are a serious problem that continues to impact the community. According to recent statistics, pedestrian fatalities account for a significant portion of traffic-related deaths in the state.
The Governors Highway Safety Association reported 239 pedestrian fatalities in 2019 and 281 in 2020 for Georgia. The same study shows that the pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 people was 2.62 in 2020, representing an increase from the previous year. In 2019 the rate was 2.22, while in 2018, it was 2.49.
Given the alarming rise in pedestrian fatalities, it is essential that affected individuals and their families receive the legal support they need. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Georgia, we strongly urge you to seek expert legal assistance. Reach out to us today to discuss your case and explore your options.
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The Value of Hiring a Lawyer for a Pedestrian Accident in Macon
You might wonder if hiring a personal injury attorney is even worth it. This is a common and understandable concern. In most cases, getting a lawyer is the best option. Macon car accidents involving pedestrians are complicated, and every case is different.
An experienced attorney can investigate your case and help you decide what suits your situation. Our pedestrian accident lawyers in Macon can help by:
- Investigating the details of the accident
- Collecting evidence of your damages
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and expert witnesses
- Building a solid insurance claim
- Handling the insurance company
- Making sure your rights are protected
At the very least, scheduling a consultation to learn what to expect in your pedestrian accident settlement with us is a good idea.
Getting Compensated for Your Injuries After a Macon Pedestrian Accident
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that pedestrian safety gets neglected frequently. In 2020, traffic accidents killed 6,516 pedestrians and injured 55,000 U.S. residents.
The severity of your injuries will determine your damages.
In most cases, you can recover economic damages. These account for the tangible losses you suffered after the accident. You can easily quantify these losses through the bills and receipts that document your expenses. Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Prescription drug costs
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
Medical bills are often high for pedestrian accidents. Unlike drivers, those walking on foot don’t have the protection of a vehicle. Nothing is shielding them from the force of an accident. You’ll want to consider how your injuries impact your finances and life; our Macon pedestrian accident lawyers can help you do that.
Injured pedestrians should not handle legal details alone. Therefore, we’ll focus on building and winning your case while you recover.
These are complicated because they don’t have fixed monetary values. While you can prove medical bills and lost wages, there is no dollar value for pain and suffering. Other examples of non-economic damages include:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring or disfigurement
Your lawyer will use a formula to determine your pain and suffering damages. Most of the time, non-economic damages are three to five times the amount of your economic damages.
How to Qualify for Punitive Damages Following Your Macon Pedestrian Accident
Georgia law also allows pedestrian accident victims to recover a reward for punitive damages if their case allows it. Punitive damages act as a punishment for the negligent driver that hit you. To qualify, the evidence must show that:
- The irresponsible driver was egregiously negligent in their actions on the road
- The at-fault driver sought to hurt you in the accident intentionally
- A careless driver was committing a serious illegal act when they hit you
While not all cases qualify for punitive damages, a pedestrian accident lawyer in Macon, GA, will ensure you get rewarded for them if your case does. We want to see you get the most out of your settlement so that you can recover and heal.
The Average Value of a Pedestrian Accident Settlement in Macon
There is no “average” settlement amount for pedestrian accidents, given that cases vary significantly. However, a rough average shows that these cases in Macon tend to reach between $20,000 to $100,000 or more.
Remember, this is just a rough estimate. It doesn’t take into account any unique circumstances surrounding your case. Therefore, your total could be a lot more or significantly less. The best way to know how much your settlement is worth is to contact one of our lawyers.
Understanding Assumption of Fault in Georgia
Pedestrians are rarely at fault for an accident. In most situations, pedestrians have the right-of-way compared to drivers. However, the driver or their insurance company might look for ways to blame the victim.
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-12-33. That means:
- More than one party can be partially responsible for an accident.
- If you are partly at fault, that will reduce what you can recover.
- You can recover damages if you are less than 50% at fault.
- It would affect your settlement potential if you were partially at fault, but don’t let anyone blame you.
Even though the law allows you to file a claim, that doesn’t mean you will instantly recover compensation. During negotiations or trial, you must prove that the other party was negligent and responsible for your damages.
Don’t Accept the Initial Settlement Offer from Insurance Adjusters
Many pedestrians are uninformed after an accident. Therefore, assuming the driver’s insurance company will pay a fair settlement is easy and understandable. But, unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
The insurance company might present a settlement, but it will likely be a lowball offer. Therefore, you must negotiate an offer covering your damages.
Always remember that insurance companies aren’t on your side. Their main goal is to get you to settle for less than you need. They only want to save money and protect their bottom line. Don’t let their greed get in the way of getting a fair settlement.
What Happens If I Was at Fault for the Pedestrian Accident?
Many pedestrian accidents are the fault of the driver. However, there are exceptions. For example, a pedestrian could be partially at fault for the following:
- Entering a crosswalk when they don’t have the right-of-way
- Jaywalking in the middle of a busy street
- Walking in areas where pedestrians are not allowed, such as along bridges
- The pedestrian could be at fault if the driver cannot avoid an accident. In that case, a driver might have a lawsuit against the pedestrian.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident that was your fault, you could still bring legal action. In addition, you may recover any damages from the accident.
A pedestrian accident attorney in Macon, GA, can examine the facts and ensure you know all the legal options available for your case.
Consequences When a Pedestrian Dies Due to an Accident
Tragically, many pedestrians die after a vehicle hits them. If so, the victim’s family could have a wrongful death claim. Surviving family members could be entitled to damages like:
- The cost of medical care before death
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses
Some pedestrian deaths warrant criminal charges. According to OCGA § 40-6-393, a driver can commit “homicide by vehicle” if their actions are malicious.
It all depends on the details of the crash and the driver’s actions. We recommend contacting a lawyer if you lost a loved one in an accident.
File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit Before the Georgia Statute of Limitations Deadline Expires
In Georgia, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit. If you don’t file within the set statute of limitations, you lose your chance at winning a settlement.
Unfortunately, plenty of pedestrian accident victims procrastinate and end up paying for their damages. Don’t end up this way.
Two years may seem like a lot of time, but don’t delude yourself into thinking your evidence will await you a year later. It’s best to organize everything and build a strong case as soon as possible. Waiting only makes it harder to get the financial compensation you need.
Speak With a Macon Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Free Today
You don’t have to handle your case alone after a pedestrian accident. At John Foy & Associates, our pedestrian accident lawyers in Macon know how to fight for financial recovery.
Whether you wish to file an insurance claim or a pedestrian accident lawsuit, our legal team will help you fight for justice. As a personal injury law firm, we have served the Georgia community for over 20 years.
To get started with a free consultation, call or contact us online. We are available 24/7 to help.