Getting hit by a car while you’re walking on the road is a devastating experience. Pedestrians do not have the protection of two-ton-plus vehicles like drivers, so the accident can cause serious and even life-threatening injuries, not to mention costly medical bills and missed work time. Thankfully, as a pedestrian in an accident, you have legal rights in Georgia.
Pedestrians often face unfair blame after an accident on the roads. The driver involved, and sometimes even the responding police officers, assume that you caused the accident by walking somewhere you weren’t supposed to be. You will need to advocate for your rights and remember that you were likely doing nothing wrong.
What Rights Do I Have As a Pedestrian After an Accident in Georgia?
According to Ga. Code § 40-6-91, all drivers in Georgia must come to a full and complete stop when pedestrians are present in a crosswalk and anywhere on the roadway the vehicle is traveling on (or within one lane of that roadway).
This has changed from Georgia laws in 1995 that only required drivers to yield to people in crosswalks. Many drivers fail to follow the updated law due to carelessness or distracted driving. When determining fault in a pedestrian accident, the vehicle driver is almost always negligent.
If you are injured in the accident, which is incredibly likely if you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your damages. You can do this by filing a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
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Am I at Fault If I Was Jaywalking?
Many people do not realize that “jaywalking” actually means nothing in the scope of Georgia traffic laws. Jaywalking is used to refer to a pedestrian illegally crossing a street (outside of a crosswalk). However, this is a myth.
It is completely legal for you to walk across a street where there is not a crosswalk as long as you yield to traffic there. Crossing the road does become illegal if:
- You cross a road that has traffic light intersections on each side of where you are crossing (Ga. Code § 40-6-92)
- You do not cross the road straight across, utilizing the shortest distance you can
As a pedestrian, you must also avoid suddenly walking or running into the path of a vehicle when it is close enough to not have time to yield.
Crosswalk for Pedestrians
Most intersections have crosswalks, even if they are not clearly shown with the traditional white lines.
A crosswalk can refer to any area of a road at an intersection “within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway” (Ga. Code § 40-1-1). It can also mean any area of the roadway specifically indicated for pedestrians with crossing lines or other markings.
What Damages Can I Recover After Getting Hit By a Car?
You can file a claim for compensation for any losses you experience resulting from the pedestrian accident and your injuries. For pedestrian accident settlements, those losses can include:
- Medical costs like doctor visits, hospital bills, and prescription medications
- Travel to and from your doctor appointments
- Lost wages from missed work time
- Property damage if any personal property was damaged in the accident
- Pain and suffering damages, such as emotional trauma, scarring, or disfigurement
Biases are common against those who were hit by a car while walking. The driver or their insurance company may try to pin some of the blame on you, saying you walked in front of the vehicle or were not paying attention to where you were going.
You will need to protect your rights by gathering evidence of the accident, keeping track of all your expenses, seeing a doctor as soon as possible, and contacting a Georgia pedestrian accident lawyer right away.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-400-4000
You Must File a Lawsuit Before Time Runs Out
If you get hit by a car while crossing the street, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the liable party. However, in order to take advantage of that right, you should get started as soon as possible. Georgia has a two-year statute of limitations for pedestrian accident victims to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Failing to file your lawsuit on time can negate your right to compensation. Additionally, other factors may be present in your case that further limit the amount of time you have to file. The best way to ensure that you don’t miss out on your chance to get the money you need is by hiring a lawyer immediately after your accident.
An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can review your case and ensure that all your paperwork is filed on time so that you don’t fall victim to any deadlines.
Your Insurance May Cover Your Damages
If you get hit by a driver who then flees the scene and can not be tracked down, you may be wondering about your options. Fortunately, you are likely not out of luck in this situation. Even though you were a pedestrian at the time of the accident, there is a strong chance that your car insurance will cover the damages.
Talk to your insurance provider to learn more about your coverage and if it includes protection for pedestrian accidents.
If your car insurance policy does not protect you in this situation, you might want to look into your health insurance plan. While many health insurance plans do not provide coverage in the case of a car accident, some do. Check with your health insurance provider to find out if you have coverage.
Talk to a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Free Today
If you were injured after you got hit by a car while walking, you have the legal right to financial recovery for your damages. You should not have to pay for the consequences of the driver’s negligence. John Foy & Associates can help.
We can begin investigating your case immediately, and there are no costs to you unless we win you money. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and discuss the details of your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.