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 (meaning their actions—or lack of actions—caused the accident, either through carelessness or intentionally) becomes liable for the cost of injuries or damages.
In pedestrian accidents, it’s rare for the pedestrian to be found at fault. This is because:
- In Georgia, pedestrians usually have the right of way and cars are typically supposed to yield to pedestrians.
- Any vehicles pulling into or out of parking lots, garages, driveways, or roadways are supposed to yield and look for pedestrians first.
- Vehicles should stop for pedestrians even if they were “jaywalking”—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).
In any cases, drivers are legally supposed to stop or slow down for pedestrians—even if they’re on a road illegally. So if a driver was able to do so but didn’t, it’s likely they’ll be found either partially or fully at fault. However, there are cases where a pedestrian can be at least partially at fault in a pedestrian accident (and shared fault is common). Those could include:
- 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 where pedestrians are prohibited, such as certain bridges or highways
Even any of these cases, a pedestrian could be determined at fault. However, results can vary by specific situation, so you’ll want an attorney on your side.
What happens if the driver is found to be at fault in a pedestrian accident?
If the driver is found to be at fault, they or their Georgia car insurance company is liable for costs like:
- Medical bills for injuries
- Any property damage from the accident
- Time missed at work because of injuries/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—covered by the driver and/or the driver’s insurance company. It’s important to note that 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 the pedestrian is owed out-of-pocket, sometimes over time. In other cases, the pedestrian may have an insurance policy that applies to the situation.
What if the pedestrian is found to be at fault?
If the pedestrian is determined to be 100 percent at fault for the accident, they will likely not be able to recover for injuries they suffered. In fact, the driver might actually try to sue the pedestrian for injuries or damage to their vehicle. Their insurer may also try to place a higher blame on the pedestrian—such as trying to claim 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 distracted while driving 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—and in many cases, the more serious the injuries, the greater compensation will be.
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. Get on the phone with a pedestrian accident lawyer who can help you. Our attorneys are John Foy & Associates have over 20 years of experience working with victims in pedestrian accident cases. We know how to win cases, and you don’t pay unless we get you the money you deserve. For a completely FREE consultation, call us at (404)-400-4000 or complete the form to the right today.