An innocent walk in Smyrna can turn into a tragic accident within moments. Drivers should be careful and watch the road at all times. If they don’t, it can lead to a pedestrian accident.
You should not bear the expenses from a collision you didn’t cause. If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you have options. An experienced Smyrna personal injury lawyer can help you seek compensation.
John Foy & Associates is here to help. For over 20 years, we’ve been helping injury victims win what they deserve.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Smyrna
Drivers are almost always at fault for pedestrian accidents. Here are some of the most common reasons these collisions happen:
Failure to Yield
Georgia law has specific right-of-way laws for drivers and pedestrians. For example, Ga. Code § 40-6-91 states that drivers need to stop and let a pedestrian cross when:
- The pedestrian is in a crosswalk on the road where the driver is traveling.
- The pedestrian is approaching the lane where the driver is traveling or turning.
Drivers should also stop and yield to pedestrians with a “walk” sign while crossing. If drivers do not follow yield laws, they can hit a pedestrian and be liable for damages.
Exceeding the speed limit is dangerous for many reasons. Drivers have less control of their vehicles and less time to respond to hazards while speeding. A speeding driver is more likely to make mistakes, such as hitting those walking on the road.
The faster a driver goes, the longer the car will take to stop. Speeding can increase the severity of injuries in a pedestrian accident.
Distracted driving is all too common and incredibly dangerous. Examples of distracted driving include:
- Texting while driving
- Checking email
- Talking on the phone
- Changing the radio
- Personal grooming
- Talking to passengers
- Eating or drinking
- Programming a GPS
Just a few seconds of distraction can cause a severe accident. The driver might swerve out of their lane, run a red light, or run off the road. The driver might hit another car or a pedestrian in these situations.
Drunk drivers are too impaired to make safe choices. They might not even realize someone is in front of them until it’s too late. Pedestrian incidents with drunk drivers are especially common at night.
Not Checking Mirrors
Drivers should check their side and rear mirrors often. Pedestrian accidents can happen when a driver backs up without checking their rear mirror. Sadly, these types of incidents are especially if small children are nearby.
Once our pedestrian accident attorney in Smyrna, GA, determines your incident’s cause, we’ll gather evidence. We’ll gather evidence such as a police report, medical records, and photos and video footage of the accident.
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How Long Do You Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Georgia?
After you get injured as a pedestrian in Georgia, you have a limited time to file a personal injury claim to be eligible for compensation. According to Ga. Code § 9-3-33, you only have two years from your accident date to file a claim. If you file your claim after this deadline, you won’t be eligible for compensation.
While there are usually strict deadlines, there may be exceptions based on the details in your case. The only sure way to know exactly how long you have to file is to talk with one of our pedestrian accident attorneys in Smyrna, GA.
Pedestrian Wrongful Death Claims
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents sometimes end in death. If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, our team is sincerely sorry for your loss and can help you file a wrongful death claim. Georgia’s statute of limitations in the event of a wrongful death case is two years.
So you’ll have two years from your loved one’s death to file your claim. Our Smyrna wrongful death attorneys can help you determine what information you need and even help you file your claim. Wrongful death compensation can help families cover accident costs after a loved one passes.
Who Can Be an At-Fault Party in a Smyrna, GA, Pedestrian Accident?
Like anywhere else, pedestrian incidents in Smyrna, Georgia, can be complex events with potential involvement with various people or parties. Determining the liable party requires thoroughly investigating and examining the incident’s circumstances. While each case is unique, several parties may be considered at fault in a pedestrian accident, including:
- Negligent drivers: The most common scenario involves negligent drivers. If a driver fails to obey traffic laws, speeds, drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texts while driving, or exhibits any other reckless behavior, they may be held responsible.
- Distracted pedestrians: Pedestrians are also responsible for exercising caution and following traffic signals and rules when crossing roads. If a pedestrian’s distraction, such as being on the phone or not paying attention to traffic signals, contributes to the accident, they may be deemed partially at fault.
- Poorly maintained roads: In some cases, the incident might result from hazardous road conditions due to poor maintenance, inadequate signage, or faulty traffic signals. If the local authorities or responsible entities fail to address these issues, they might share liability for the accident.
- Vehicle or equipment malfunction: Occasionally, pedestrian accidents are caused by mechanical failures or defects in vehicles or pedestrian-related equipment (such as malfunctioning crosswalk signals). The vehicle manufacturer or equipment provider may be held liable in such instances.
A Driver’ Duty to Pedestrians in Smyrna, GA
Drivers have a responsibility to avoid causing harm to any pedestrians. Georgia laws state that each driver should “exercise due care” to:
- Avoid hitting a pedestrian on any roadway.
- Give a warning by honking their horn if necessary.
- Be cautious when driving near children or confused or intoxicated pedestrians.
That driver is liable if a driver’s carelessness leads to a pedestrian accident. As a pedestrian, you might be entitled to damages. The at-fault driver could be responsible for all of your costs.
Don’t Trust Insurance Providers After You Suffer Injuries
You likely have a legal case if a driver hits you as a pedestrian. You can file a personal injury claim against the driver’s auto insurance company. This is where things get tricky.
Insurance providers are for-profit businesses. They care most about their profits. When you file a claim, the insurer will look for ways to pay as little as possible.
Be very careful when communicating with the insurance company. It’s best to avoid speaking with them until you have a lawyer. That’s because insurers will use tactics like:
- Offering you a lowball settlement offer.
- Downplaying your injuries.
- Encouraging you to say things they can use against you.
Insurance adjusters know what they’re doing. They might seem friendly and concerned about you, but don’t be fooled. Their job is to reduce what they pay you instead of holding the at-fault party accountable.
The best way to protect your rights is with a pedestrian accident lawyer. Your pedestrian accident lawyer in Smyrna, GA, can communicate and negotiate with the insurance company for you. You can focus on your treatment instead of stressing about legal details.
Smyrna Pedestrian Accident Damages We Can Help You Recover
You have the right to recover compensation after you’re injured as a pedestrian. Our pedestrian accident lawyer in Smyrna, GA, can help you recover the following damages:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Pedestrian accident injuries are typically extreme. You should not have to pay for what you’ve suffered.
Our team is ready to fight for you to recover the maximum compensation. To learn your legal options, a pedestrian accident attorney in Smyrna, GA, from our law firm, can give you a free case consultation.
Talk to a Smyrna Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Free Today
John Foy & Associates has been helping accident victims for over 20 years. Over the last two decades, we’ve become one of the largest firms in Georgia. Our personal injury attorneys always support people who are accident victims.
To get a free initial consultation, call or complete our online form. We do not charge a fee unless we win your case. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and get help with the legal process.