After a pedestrian accident, you may be wondering what comes next. Injuries and pain might have left you unable to work or you might be suffering emotional trauma. This is a sensitive time for accident victims, and it’s difficult to know who to turn to or what steps come next.
Stone Mountain pedestrian accident attorneys with John Foy & Associates understand the suffering of injury victims and may be able to help you to find the next steps to take. We have recovered financial compensation for countless clients and victims in pedestrian accident cases, and we may be able to help you.
What Is Georgia’s Modified Comparative Fault Law?
This is a common doctrine followed in most states when it comes to tort law and personal injury cases. Modified comparative fault is set in Georgia and the state recognizes liability with a 50% rule.
This means that if you, as the plaintiff, are found to be more than 50% liable for your accident, you are barred from collecting damages and will be left to pay your own expenses. This also means that the plaintiff’s damages are proportional to their degree of fault.
So, if you are found to have contributed to the crash, perhaps by distracted walking while glancing at your phone, you might share 10% of the blame. If the jury or judge decides the damages of the case are valued at $10,000, your award is reduced by $1,000 since you were 10% liable.
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How to Avoid Making Costly Mistakes After a Pedestrian Accident
After you’ve been in a pedestrian accident, you don’t want to leave any room for doubt that you might have contributed to fault or that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim they are. The best way to strengthen the value of your claim is to follow these steps so that you avoid making costly mistakes.
Seek Medical Attention
If you haven’t already, seek medical attention now. You need to be certain there isn’t some issue that may become worse without treatment. Seeking medical care immediately is usually the best way to avoid paying for injuries or future medical complications out of your own pocket in a pedestrian accident case.
Gather Photographic Evidence
Secondly, have someone take pictures of the scene if you cannot do so yourself. This might be someone you call following the accident such as a friend, family member, or your attorney. This helps to preserve all the visual evidence at the scene before it is all removed.
Refrain From Posting About the Incident on Social Media
Much as you may be tempted to, do not speak about or post any photos on social media. Instruct your friends and family to avoid talking about the accident, you, your treatment, or recovery on any social media.
Social media evidence can be used in court, and even a post from your mom saying you are doing better can be twisted and used to invalidate the severity of your injuries in court.
Do Not Give Statements or Accept Settlements
Call an attorney immediately so that any surveillance camera footage can be secured, and do not speak to the insurance company, offer any statements, or agree to any settlements without legal representation and advice. Don’t admit fault or apologize to anyone. Say very little about the accident.
Don’t Attempt to Handle the Case Yourself
Don’t take chances by trying to settle the case yourself. You may not know all of the factors involved in the accident or who else may be liable. It could involve the manufacturer of a bad car part, the company the driver works for, the city that maintains the road, or another insurance company.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney
Don’t be afraid to use an attorney. Use the knowledge and experience a Stone Mountain pedestrian accident lawyer can offer to improve your chances of collecting full compensation.
Can a Motorist Sue a Pedestrian?
It is theoretically possible, but it rarely happens. The comparative fault law in Georgia will impact the pedestrian’s ability to sue the motorist, however, and it is likely to impact the balance of liability. Similarly, if the pedestrian is found to be more than 50% liable for the crash, they cannot collect for their injuries or any damages.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Georgia?
While the insurance companies involved may have their own time limitations on how long you have to file a claim, the State of Georgia allows you two years from the date of the accident. If you cannot settle with the insurance company or reach a satisfactory agreement for the amount of money they are willing to part with, litigation will be the next step.
Since this is your last option to cover your injuries and damages in the accident, you have to file a suit within that two-year time frame or you lose the opportunity to recover any damages.
This is important because if you haven’t settled by then and the insurance company sees that you are nearing the deadline, they will often wait out the clock by not answering your calls and you will be left with no recourse, and zero compensation.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Stone Mountain Today
Pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries and considerable pain. While your life may be turned upside down in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, there may be a way to ease your financial burden.
Our team has recovered over $1 billion in personal injury cases for our clients, and they deserved it. It’s important to move quickly in any personal injury case in order to preserve the evidence that can be found to prove your case.
The Stone Mountain pedestrian accident lawyers of John Foy & Associates have the experience and resources to investigate your claim, find the evidence, and pursue your legal right to financial recovery. We are ready to help you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation, and see what our attorneys can do for you.