Just like with car accidents in Georgia, what matters in a pedestrian accident case is who’s at fault. Typically, the person who is at fault becomes liable for the cost of injuries or damages. That means their actions, or lack of actions, caused the accident.
Whether the at-fault party intentionally hurt you or not, you still have the legal right to file a claim against them to pursue financial compensation. If you’re unsure who was at fault in your case, it’s worth getting a free consultation with a Georgia accident lawyer.
Pedestrian Accidents Are Deadly
7,688 pedestrians died in 2019 by getting hit by a car in both traffic and non-traffic settings. Even a slight impact from a vehicle can cause extensive injuries. Heavier impacts often result in permanent disability, grievous injuries, and death. Therefore, it’s the job of every driver on the road to be extremely careful and have a strict duty of care for pedestrians.
Chances are, your pedestrian accident left you with severe damages that you need to compensate for. To do so, you can file a claim, but still, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win a fair settlement. In order to negotiate strongly with the insurance company, you’ll need to prove fault for your accident and show that the other party was negligent in their actions.
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Can a Pedestrian Be At Fault in an Accident?
In pedestrian accidents, it’s rare for the pedestrian to be at fault. This is because:
- In Georgia, pedestrians usually have the right of way, and cars typically must yield to pedestrians.
- Any vehicles pulling into or out of parking lots, garages, driveways, or roadways must first yield and look for pedestrians.
- Vehicles should stop for pedestrians even if they are “jaywalking.” In other words, crossing the road outside of a crosswalk.
- In places where there aren’t sidewalks, it’s usually legal for pedestrians to walk on the roadway, as long as it’s off to the side.
Rules Concerning Drivers in Georgia Pedestrian Accidents
Drivers legally must stop or slow down for pedestrians, even if they’re on the road illegally. So, if a driver was able to do so but didn’t, it’s likely the court will find them either partially or fully at fault. However, there are cases where a pedestrian can be at least partially at fault in a pedestrian accident:
- Running suddenly into the road, not giving the driver enough warning to stop or slow down
- Walking on a street or highway while intoxicated
- Crossing against a traffic signal (such as entering a crosswalk when there is a “Do Not Walk” command)
- Crossing in the middle of the street
- Walking in areas prohibited to pedestrians, such as certain bridges or highways
As you can see, fault can vary by the specific situation, so you’ll want an experienced lawyer by your side. That way, you can both work together to gather evidence to establish both negligence and fault.
What Happens When the Driver Is At Fault?
If the driver is found to be at fault, they or their Georgia car insurance company is liable for costs, according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-1-6. Costs can include:
- Medical bills for injuries
- Any property damage from the accident
- Time missed at work because of your injuries and medical treatment
- Possibly additional costs for pain and suffering, especially if there were serious injuries, which is unfortunately common in pedestrian accidents
If the driver is determined to clearly be at fault, the pedestrian will usually be able to recover for all these expenses. However, the driver and the driver’s insurance company will have to cover those costs. The insurer will likely try to offer a lowball settlement amount initially, so having a good pedestrian accident lawyer on your side is the best option.
Even if you’re dealing with an uninsured motorist accident, the uninsured driver may be ordered to pay money owed to you out-of-pocket, sometimes overtime. In other cases, you may have insurance coverage that applies to the situation.
What If the Pedestrian Is At Fault?
If the pedestrian is determined to be entirely at fault for the accident, they will likely not be able to recover from injuries they suffered. In fact, the driver might try to sue the pedestrian for injuries or damage to their vehicle. Their insurer may also try to place higher blame on the pedestrian, such as claiming they ran out into the road even if they didn’t.
In most cases, even if a pedestrian bears some fault in the cause of the accident, the driver can also be partially at fault. For example, the pedestrian may have been walking in an illegal location, but the driver could have also been driving distracted and didn’t stop in time.
If this is the case and both parties are partially at fault, financial recovery will depend on the degree of liability for each party. However, pedestrians are more likely to suffer serious injuries or even death in a pedestrian accident. In many cases, the more serious the injuries, the greater compensation will be.
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Should I Really Hire a Georgia Lawyer to Help Me?
You absolutely should hire a lawyer to help you with your pedestrian accident case. Our lawyers have the dedication and experience necessary to fight hard on your behalf. We won’t settle for anything less than a settlement that accurately reflects the damages you sustained. Even though there’s no hard requirement to hire a lawyer, not hiring one only worsens your chances of winning a settlement.
Our lawyers take no upfront fees and charge no hidden fees. Instead, we operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay us once your case gets settled and not a moment before. If we can’t win compensation for you, you don’t have to pay us for our services.
Talk to a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Georgia Today
Whether you were the driver or pedestrian in a pedestrian accident in Georgia, never accept blame for the accident if you didn’t cause it. Instead, get on the phone with a pedestrian accident lawyer who can help you.
Our attorneys at John Foy & Associates have over 20 years of experience working with victims in pedestrian accident cases. Call us or complete the form to the right today for a free consultation. We are available 24/7 to schedule an appointment.