In Georgia, pedestrians usually have the right-of-way. However, if a driver fails to respect this, they could cause a pedestrian accident. If you or a loved one was hit and injured by a car and the driver was at fault, you’re likely entitled to a settlement for your damages.
What happens when a car hits a pedestrian?
If a car driver hits a pedestrian on a road, in a crosswalk, parking lot, or other location, chances are good the driver violated a traffic law or was not following best practices while driving. Although pedestrians can be found to be at fault in some accidents, it’s more common that the driver should have yielded. And pedestrians are usually left with painful injuries or even trauma related to the accident.
If you were a pedestrian hit by a car, there’s a good chance you can and should hold the driver responsible—both legally and financially. Your settlement could include money for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. And pursuing that settlement doesn’t just make sure the at-fault driver pays; it helps offset what could be years of impact on your life.
Get the strong arm
What can you expect during a pedestrian accident settlement?
A pedestrian accident lawyer can help you pursue financial recovery after being hit by a car. There are two ways they can do this:
- By filing an insurance claim with the driver’s auto insurance company and negotiating a settlement based on your damages that you have a legal right to receive.
- By filing a lawsuit against the car driver in civil court
Proving the other driver was at fault
To do either of the above, you’ll need to show the driver was at fault for the accident and therefore responsible for your resulting injuries. As a motorist, they have a duty to act in a way that keeps pedestrians like you safe from harm while on the road. Your lawyer will use any evidence from the accident to represent the driver’s negligence, including:
- Pictures of the scene (including damage and injuries sustained)
- The police report on the accident
- Medical records from the treatment you received for injuries
- Statements from any witnesses who were at the scene
- Any bills or other paperwork demonstrating your costs and damages related to the accident
What happens after the other driver is proven to be at fault for the accident?
If the driver is determined to be at fault for the accident, they (or their car insurance company) will be liable for your costs in the settlement. Those can include:
- Medical bills you received for doctor’s visits and treatment of your injuries
- Time missed from work due to your treatment and injuries
- Any property damage that occurred as a result of the accident
- Possible pain and suffering-related costs, which can be common in pedestrian accidents due to serious injuries
Never take the first offer from the insurance company
Pedestrians accidents are unfortunately often serious since the victim is hit with a large, heavy vehicle with little to protect the victim. As a result, you may be able to receive a substantial recovery from your injuries. Plus, in many cases where a car hits a pedestrian, the driver is clearly found to be at fault and the pedestrian is usually able to recover for all expenses.
However, you should expect the insurance company to first offer a low-ball settlement amount at first. Insurance companies will do whatever they can to limit payout, so never take the first offer. Call an experienced personal injury lawyer to be on your side and negotiate a fair and just settlement.
Note: Even if the driver is uninsured, they still may have to pay for your damages out-of-pocket—so don’t give up if the motorist doesn’t have insurance.
Will you have to take the driver to court?
In most cases, probably not. Many times, these types of claims can be settled without the need to go to court. Your attorney will file an insurance claim with the driver’s insurance policy and work to negotiate a fair settlement for you from there. In rarer cases, a pedestrian case may go to court. In that case, it really helps to have a lawyer on your side to fight for the full amount you need and deserve to move on.
Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation
Pedestrian accidents can be scary, painful, and overwhelming. If you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, you’re entitled to the settlement you need to recover. At John Foy & Associates, our experienced and compassionate lawyers are here to help. Give us a call at 404-400-4000 or complete the form to your right today for your free consultation.